Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Modern Day Delilah" by Van Stephenson

Song#:  1873
Date:  04/21/1984
Debut:  71
Peak:  22
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  As a songwriter, Stephenson was selling tunes to country artists and doing quite well. He then jumped into being a solo artist and his first more pop-leaning effort, 1981's China Girl, produced the minor Pop chart single "You've Got a Good Love Coming" (#79). The results were not great, but Stephenson pushed forward and got a new record deal with MCA. His first album for them, Righteous Anger, included this first single, which became his first and only one to reach the Pop Top 40. It would also be a hit at Rock going to #9.

ReduxReview:  Here is a song that despite getting near the Top 20 was really overlooked. The tune was well-written, had a great chorus, and had a top-notch production. I thought for sure it was destined for the Top 10, but it stopped way short. Then it kind of disappeared. Some medium charting songs end up having extra life due to inclusion on compilations or being picked up on radio or streaming or being used in TV shows or movies. For some reason, this has remained a lost gem. It truly deserved a better fate. The album was pretty good too. I believe I still have my copy somewhere. I think my favorite part of the song is the intro and outro with the mysterious guitar lick and scissor snip sound effect. This song needs to be resurrected stat!

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  While Stephenson was enjoying his solo success, he continued to write songs for other artists. He ended up co-writing several songs that found their way to the 1985 self-titled debut album by the country group Restless Heart. Over the course of four albums, Restless Heart recorded several songs co-written by Stephenson. Some of those songs ended up being released as singles. Four of those songs went Top 10 at Country with one of them topping the chart, 1988's "The Bluest Eyes in Texas."


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