Friday, December 23, 2016

"Heart Don't Lie" by La Toya Jackson

Song#:  1889
Date:  05/05/1984
Debut:  80
Peak:  56
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Reggae, R&B

Pop Bits:  The fifth-born child of the Jackson clan did not have entertainment aspirations like her siblings. Initially, she wanted to become an attorney and began to pursue that career in college, but then her father stepped in and basically forced her to stop college and join her siblings on the CBS variety show The Jacksons. After that, there was no looking back and Jackson moved on to a solo career and recorded a debut album in 1980. It spawned the #17 Dance hit "If You Feel the Funk" and another minor R&B entry. Her second album faded quickly, but her third one, Heart Don't Lie, got Jackson her first (and only) single on the Pop chart with this title track. It stalled short of the top half of the chart, but did better at R&B getting to #30. After this, Jackson's music career began to slide away. Her father brought in a new manager for her, which ended up being a life changing event for Jackson. Soon the manager had complete control over her and she ended up spending years being abused, being estranged from her family, and the butt of many jokes thanks to the public perception that she was just plain crazy. She finally escaped her manager later in the 90s and began to regain control of her life. She returned to music in 2004 and scored a #13 Dance hit with "Just Wanna Dance." She has also appeared on a few reality shows including Celebrity Apprentice and her own show Life with La Toya.

ReduxReview:  Pretty much all of the Jackson family were ridin' the crazy train, but sadly La Toya ended up getting transferred to a hell train soon after this album. It's too bad because there was potential for her to have a good career in music. But she got caught in a twisted situation with her manager that lasted far too long and made her look like a loon to the general public. It was all kind of sad. Before all of that happened, Jackson was beginning to enjoy some success with her early 80s recordings. The Heart Don't Lie album had some good electro-funk tracks like the #25 R&B "Bet'cha Gonna Need My Lovin'," but this reggae-tinged track wasn't a highlight for me. It reminds me of Donna Summer's toe-dip into reggae, "Unconditional Love," which I didn't care for either. It's too bad "Bet'cha" didn't catch on. It's a far better song and single.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) In addition to singing, Jackson is also a songwriter. She has written or co-written several tracks for her albums. One of the songs she co-wrote for Heart Don't Lie, "Reggae Nights," ended up not making the final cut and was left off the LP. However, reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff picked up the tune and recorded it for his album The Power and the Glory. The song was released as a single and it became a Top 10 hit in many countries. In the US where reggae wasn't as popular, the song could only manage a #89 showing at R&B. The song would end up grabbing a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Recording. Cliff asked Jackson for more songs and she co-wrote two for his next LP Cliff Hanger. That album would win the Grammy for Best Reggae Album.  2) The male vocal on this song was supplied by Shalamar's Howard Hewitt. In addition to his appearance, both Musical Youth and Janet Jackson help out on background vocals.


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