Monday, July 31, 2017

"Love Again" by John Denver and Sylvie Vartan

Song#:  2117
Date:  11/10/1984
Debut:  88
Peak:  85
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  As pop music changed over the late 70s into the early 80s, Denver's folk/country sound was finding it hard to compete with disco, new wave, and Michael Jackson. His last significant hits came in 1975 with the #1 "I'm Sorry" and its #13 follow-up "Fly Away," which featured Olivia Newton-John. After that, Denver struggled to get anything significant on the chart. He scraped the Top 40 a few times with his last one being the #31 "Shanghai Breezes" in 1982. The following year his album It's About Time failed to score any Pop chart entries (although it did contain the #14 Country hit "Wild Montana Skies," a duet with Emmylou Harris). With diminishing returns, Denver took a break and issued a third Greatest Hits collection. In addition to featuring some of his late 70s/early 80s chart entries, the album also contained this new recording, which was issued as a single. The song was a duet between Denver and French pop star Sylvie Vartan. It wasn't able to make much headway and the singled stopped at #30 at AC while only spending a month at the bottom of the Pop chart. It would end up being Denver's final song to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  Oh man. This is so old-fashioned that I'm actually shocked this got on the Pop chart. I'm assuming that was due to its time on the AC chart. This was just not going to cut in for the 80s. It's even more treacly that a lot of his 70s output. I don't know how or why Vartan got involved in this, but she really doesn't add anything here. Not even a name that would attract additional fans. Denver needed some kind of makeover to at least keep AC interested, but it never happened. He still continued to record his same standard style for the rest of his career.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Denver's next album, 1985's Dreamland Express would provide him with one last hit. The title track would click at Country radio and the song would make it to #9 on that chart. The song would get to #34 at AC to become his final charting entry there.  2) Denver did this song as a duet with Sylvie Vartan. Although virtually unknown in the US, Vartan was a major pop star in France and around Europe. She was particularly known for being a "yé-yé girl." Yé-yé was a popular style of rock 'n' roll in France and a couple of other European countries beginning in the early 60s. The genre got its name from the English "yeah! yeah!" that was often sung in early rock tunes by artists like The Beatles. Vartan had many hits over the years and continues to perform and record as of this posting. She has been knighted twice by the French government for her contributions. In 1965, she married French rock superstar Johnny Hallyday. They were France's "it" couple of the day. They would divorce later in 1980. Although Vartan and Hallyday would tour in America, neither were ever able to breakthrough on the charts. However, their son David would grab a couple of low-charting entries in the US later in the decade.


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