Monday, April 17, 2017

"There Goes My Baby" by Donna Summer

Song#:  2014
Date:  08/11/1984
Debut:  59
Peak:  21
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, R&B

Pop Bits:  Summer experienced her best post-disco success with the 1983 album She Works Hard for the Money. The album would be a #9 gold seller that was boosted by the #3 title track. For her next LP, Summer retained producer Michael Omartian and the pair co-wrote most of the tracks for Cats Without Claws. One exception was this remake (see below) that was chosen to be the LP's first single. Although it got a healthy start on the Pop chart, it didn't fully grow to its potential and it missed out on the Top 20.  The results were about the same at R&B (#20) and AC (#17). The single's lack of success didn't bode well for the album.

ReduxReview:  This is not too bad of a remake from Summer. She and Omartian dressed it up in lots of 80s flare. While it is hard to compare this to the original classic, the newly polished version is an easy summertime listen with a terrific vocal by Summer. However, Summer seems to take some liberties here by adding a strange minor key bridge that certainly wasn't in the original. I'm not sure why they would do that. Maybe for a dramatic pause to break up the originals continuous groove. It's not a bad little addition, but it really does nothing for the song. Even though it's a nice remake, it's just not a very strong single when compared to her other hits, especially the recent "She Works Hard for the Money."

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) When it came time to record the album, Summer wanted complete control over it. She didn't want the label (Geffen) stepping in and trying to control everything. Geffen complied with the request and left Summer and Omarian alone. However, when it came time to select a first single, that is when Geffen took over. Summer wanted the track "Oh Billy Please" to be the lead single, but Geffen said no and ordered up this remake instead. It was a disappointment for Summer that would continue to linger over the course of two more singles as Geffen didn't issue the tune as either an a-side or b-side.  2) This is a remake of a 1959 hit by The Drifters. The song would reach #1 at R&B and #2 Pop. It would be the group's first Pop Top 10 hit. Prior to this song, The Drifters experienced solid success at R&B with ten Top 10's, including three #1's. But Pop success eluded them. However, it wasn't the original Drifters that made "There Goes My Baby" a hit. Due to conflicts, declining popularity, and loss of key members, the manager of the original Drifters, George Treadwell, ended up firing the entire group. Since Treadwell owned the Drifters name, he then asked another group called the Five Crowns to become the new Drifters. Led by singer Ben E. King, they accepted and their first single was "There Goes My Baby." King would stay with the group for only a short time before heading out on a solo career, but before leaving he would front their first #1 Pop hit, 1960's "Save the Last Dance for Me."


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