Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Don't Stop" by Jeffrey Osborne

Song#:  2080
Date:  10/13/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  44
Weeks:  15
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Osborne's second album, Stay with Me Tonight, boasted two R&B Top 10's that also reached the Pop Top 30. The hits helped it become his most successful album. His third LP, Don't Stop, would do well, but did just slightly less business than Stay. That was mainly due to the album's singles getting locked out of the Pop Top 40. This title-track served as the LP's first single and it was able to reach #6 at R&B. However, it couldn't match the results of his previous two hits and stalled outside of the Top 40. The following year, Osborne would get his second Grammy nomination for his work on the album. He would be nominated in the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance category.

ReduxReview:  I think this song is quite good and has a solid chorus, but it seems held back by the weak production. It's definitely a product of its day and not too far off from some of the productions Luther Vandross was doing, however even for the time the sound and arrangement just didn't fully support the song. Osborne makes the best of it and turns in a hot vocal performance, but I just wish there was more meat on the production to really sell the tune. I would have slowed the tempo down just a tad, got rid of some of the tinny synth sounds, added some screamin' guitars and beefed up the bass. Had that been the case, I think it would have been a bigger hit at Pop. Still, it's a nice tune and as always, Osborne is great.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Osborne was the last in line of twelve children. Although Jeffery would be the most famous family member, some of his other siblings carried on musical careers as well. His eldest brother, Clay, was a singer and piano player who performed around the family's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. He was also a featured vocalist with the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra and performed on that band's 2001 self-title CD. Another brother, Billy, got his start alongside Jeffrey in their group L.T.D., who would score five R&B Top 10's in the late 70s including three #1's. The two brothers left the band in 1980 with Jeffrey stepping out on a solo career and Billy having success as a songwriter/producer.


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