Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Infatuation" by Rod Stewart

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1920
Date:  05/26/1984
Debut:  47
Peak:  6
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Stewart's 1983 LP Body Wishes was definitely a disappointing bump in his career. The album failed to generate a Top 10 hit and it peaked at #30, which was his worst chart showing since his debut album in 1969. It was also his first LP to miss reaching gold or platinum status since 1970. He needed to change things up and for his next effort he enlisted the help of Grammy-winning producer Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Donna Summer). With a mix of new and cover songs, Omartian put a hi-tech glossy sheen on the tunes for Camouflage and this first single was a prime example. Listeners loved it and sent the song to #5 at Rock and #6 Pop. The song featured a guitar solo by Stewart's old bandmate Jeff Beck. From 1967-69, Stewart was the lead singer for the Jeff Beck Group. With Stewart, the band released two highly acclaimed albums.

ReduxReview:  I think this song copped a little from another tune, but then inspired another band in the process. To me, the very opening of this song sounds very similar to "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Nothing else does, but those first few seconds sound eerily similar. Then, this song almost seems like the inspiration for the super group Power Station. It's just a hunch as some of what Power Station did the following year sounds similar to the production of this song. Regardless of any similarities or inspirations, I've always liked this song. I thought Omartian took a solid Stewart tune, rocked it up, and then polished it in a glossy 80s sheen. It had a bit more meat on it than some of his previous 80s singles. The song sounds a bit dated now, but if you listen to the alternate mix, which takes out a lot of the synths and effects, it sounds pretty great.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Along with being a successful music producer, Omartian was also a devout Christian. That aspect of his life fit in well with someone like Donna Summer, who was also a Christian (Summer and Omartian co-wrote the Christian-leaning tune "He's a Rebel," which won Summer a Grammy for Best Inspirational Performance). However, working with Rod Stewart was a bit different. For Camouflage, Stewart brought in a song he had co-written titled "Bad for You." Although PG by today's standards, Omartian was not thrilled with the lyrics to the song as they went against his Christian beliefs. By most accounts what happened was that Omartian refused to produce the tune, so Stewart did the job himself and got the credit. However, a band member at the sessions seems to remember that Omartian did do the work, but wanted his credit erased from the song. Instead, Stewart was listed as producer. Either way, the issue worked itself out and the song became part of a hit album.


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