Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Leave a Tender Moment Alone" by Billy Joel

Song#:  1974
Date:  07/07/1984
Debut:  72
Peak:  27
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  By this time in '84, Joel's album An Innocent Man had already spawned four hit singles, which including three Top 10's. The label decided to keep the singles rolling out and this fifth one was released. On the AC chart it did very well becoming the LP's fourth single to reach the #1 spot. However, the subdued ballad didn't play as well at Pop and it stopped just inside the Top 30.

ReduxReview:  The beginning of this song has always sounded to me like a theme song from some late-70s/early-80s TV sitcom. Something along the lines of "Family Ties" or "Chico and the Man." One of those sitcoms-with-heart. Even though the tune played well at AC, I don't think it made for a very good Pop single. It's just a little to subtle. It has a lovely, warm feeling to it, but it was just a bit too adult to hit at Pop. Perhaps if he had issued this back in the 70s, it might have gone Top 10, but for the synthpop/hair metal 80s, it wasn't gonna make it.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Like the other songs on the album, Joel wrote this one in the style of a legendary artist that influenced him in his teen years. The tune is basically an homage to The Miracles, led by superstar Smokey Robinson. 2) The harmonica on the song was performed by the legendary jazz artist Toots Thielmans. The Belgian-born artist was proficient on guitar, but was more well-known for playing the harmonica. He worked with all the top jazz musicians while also fronting his own band. This song was not Thielmans first time recording with a pop star. He had previously worked with John Denver, Paul Simon, and Brook Benton (Thielmans played harmonica on Benton's 1971 #4 hit "Rainy Night in Georgia"). Later in '84, Thielmans harmonica would be heard on the #5 Julian Lennon hit "Too Late for Goodbyes."


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