Thursday, April 13, 2017

"Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)" by Billy Ocean

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Song#:  2010
Date:  08/11/1984
Debut:  85
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  26
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  Born in Trinidad and later raised in England, Ocean began singing on his own and with various bands when he was a teenager. A few singles were recorded along the way, but none of them attracted much attention. By 1975, he had signed with GTO Records and the following year issued a self-titled debut album. It featured the single "Love Really Hurts Without You," which became his first UK hit reaching #2. The song also became his first to chart in the US, but it was a minor hit at #22. Two follow-up singles hit the UK Top 20 and a non-album single titled "Red Light Spells Danger" would become his second #2. After that, things kind of crumbled. Over the course of three more albums, the only significant single would 1981's "Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)," which got to #7 on the US R&B chart. His fortunes would change when he moved over to the Arista imprint label Jive and recorded his fifth LP, Suddenly. This first single took its time revving up, but it would eventually reach #1 at both Pop, R&B, and Dance. It also got to #7 at AC. In his UK homeland, the song would get to #6. It would end up being a gold seller that would earn Ocean a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. In doing so, Ocean would become the first artist from the UK to win in that category. He would go on to have several more hits, but this one would remain his biggest chart song.

ReduxReview:  I didn't dig this song when it came out. The little sound effects at the beginning to go with the lyrics were annoying, I didn't much care for Ocean's little vocal additions in the chorus, and it kind of sounded like a Michael Jackson ripoff. I didn't understand the attraction to the song, but it ended up all over the place. I don't mind it so much now. The groove is solid as is the hook of the chorus. It's an 80s standard that is always a good addition to an 80s playlist mix.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song had two other versions that made it specific to certain world regions. "European Queen" got issued in Europe and it had some success in Germany (#2) and Switzerland (#3). The UK opted for the original version over this one, which could only manage a #82 showing. There was also "African Queen," which got to #7 in South Africa.


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