Friday, February 3, 2017

"Breakin'...There's No Stopping Us" by Ollie & Jerry

Top 10 Alert!
One-Hit Wonder Alert!
Song#:  1930
Date:  06/02/1984
Debut:  62
Peak:  9
Weeks:  18
Genre:  R&B, Dance, Soundtrack



Pop Bits:  Ollie E. Brown and Jerry Knight were session musicians who met up when Brown played drums on the 1978 debut album of the group Raydio, in which Knight was a member. Knight left Raydio after that album for a solo career. Brown played on Knight's third and final solo album in 1982 and that connection led to them developing a duo. They signed with Polydor and their first effort was this single that was recorded for the film Breakin'. The movie was a hit and this song followed suit getting into the Pop Top 10, #1 Dance, and #3 R&B. It appeared like the duo were on their way, but oddly there was no album on the horizon from the pair. They did record a follow-up song titled "Electric Boogaloo," which was used the the 1985 sequel film Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, but it failed to chart at Pop and could only muster a minor #45 at R&B and #43 Dance. Following the dismal results, the duo split having never recorded a proper debut album. With just the one lone Pop hit to their name, the pair ended up getting tagged as one-hit wonders. 

ReduxReview:  Although definitely stuck in the 80s, this is still a slick sounding production on a song that still holds up well today. I think they threw about every synth effect and sound at this recording and somehow it all worked. It's a shame these guys didn't record a full album. They could obviously write catchy songs, Knight had a solid voice, and Brown's production work is over-the-top, experimental, and fun. Somehow, the opportunity slipped away and we were basically left with this terrific single and the good, but less effective "Electric Boogaloo."

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Brown continued to perform as a session musician for many years. He later gave it up and moved over to work in the real estate industry. Knight turned to songwriting and penned songs for several R&B artists like The Whispers and DeBarge. He would end up co-writing most of the songs on the 1985 debut album of the R&B/pop group The Jets, including their #3 Pop/#4 R&B hit "Crush on You." Prior to forming this duo, Knight grabbed two solo Top 20 R&B chart entries with 1980's "Overnight Sensation" (#17) and 1981's "Perfect Fit" (#16). Neither song could dent the Pop chart.

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