Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Bouncin' Off the Wall" by Matthew Wilder

Song#:  2057
Date:  09/22/1984
Debut:  78
Peak:  52
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Wilder had an unexpected breakthrough with the single "Break My Stride," which was from his debut LP I Don't Speak the Language. The song would reach #5 at Pop and #4 AC. A year later, Wilder was ready to unleash his second album titled Bouncin' Off the Walls. The title-track was issued as the LPs first single, but it just wasn't catching fire like his signature hit. It got near the halfway point on the chart before fading away. The disappointing results of the song had the label scrapping any plans for further singles and the album quietly disappeared. Along with it went Wilder's solo career. Despite not being able to remain a viable recording artist, Wilder continued to be highly successful in the music business as a songwriter/producer. He would later earn an Oscar nomination for his work on the Disney film Mulan.

ReduxReview:  "Break My Stride" was such a unique hit that Wilder was going to have a difficult time following that up. He tried with this spacey Major Tom-ish jam, but it wasn't going to get the job done. It had some good things going for it like the production, the "boom-boom-boom" hook, and the crazy video that did the upside-down room stuff way before Lionel Richie did in "Dancing on the Ceiling." However, the song was just not strong enough to cut through all the other hooky synthpop tunes out there at the time. It's definitely worthy of a listen or two.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Back in 1992, a young band from California got signed to Interscope Records and released a debut album. It sold poorly. Afterwards, the label wasn't that much interested in the band and prospects for a new album were dim. With a lot of songs written, the band then decided to record on their own and issue and album independently. Their second LP sold over 100,000 copies which, of course, immediately got Interscope's attention. Now with a potential hit band on their hands, the label pushed for a new album. However, they were not all that happy with what the band was coming up with on their own, so they ended up getting Matthew Wilder to produce the album. In 1995, the Wilder-produced album Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt was released. It would go on to sell over 10 million copies in the US and it made huge stars of Gwen Stefani and the band.


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