Monday, March 13, 2017

"I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" by Cherrelle

Song#:  1969
Date:  07/07/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  79
Weeks:  9
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  Cheryl Anne Norton gained experience touring with a few jazz and R&B artists. She recorded a demo along the way that got the attention of Tabu Records. She signed a deal with them, changed her name to Cherrelle, and work commenced on her debut album. Five of the eight songs for the album were written and produced by the increasingly in-demand team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, including this first single. The song caught on at both R&B and Dance where it peaked at #8 and #6, respectively. The hit then leaked over to the Pop chart where it circled around the bottom quarter for a couple of months. It was a solid hit, but the following year the song would gain a wider audience via rocker Robert Palmer's remake and the associated video.

ReduxReview:  Jam and Lewis were doing quite well getting established as go-to songwriting/production team, but they were still a ways from their peak period. The songs they provided for Cherrelle showed that they still had some growing to do. Three of their contributions, including this song, were very (unnecessarily) lengthy jams that seemed to have roots in Prince's music. They're not bad, but they are a bit forgettable. This one was the best of the bunch and in the edited single version, it's pretty tasty and it's Top 10 R&B/Dance placement was deserved. I think it played a bit too urban for Pop radio at the time, so it kind of got ignored. That may have ended up being a good thing because it then sounded fresh (and more pop-friendly) when Robert Palmer covered it. But before his hit came this jammin' original.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Apparently, Cherrelle was very good friends with Whitney Houston. They ended up living in Atlanta at the same time. Cherrelle was even seen during parts of the reality TV series Being Bobby Brown hanging out with Houston. The night before Houston's overdose death, Cherrelle had a nightmare that they pair were in a hotel room and someone broke in and tried to kill them. She later saw it as a sort of sign or omen about Houston's death. It seems that Cherrelle may have had her own experiences in the drug world. In the early 90s, she was married to Dana Gold, who was a notorious drug kingpin.


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