Monday, August 7, 2017

"Tenderness" by General Public

Song#:  2124
Date:  11/17/1984
Debut:  89
Peak:  27
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, New Wave

Pop Bits:  After the popular ska/new wave UK band The Beat broke up in '83, two of its members, Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, decided to continue their association and form a new band. They filled out the various positions and General Public was born. They got signed to Virgin Records (I.R.S. Records for the US) and recorded their debut album All the Rage. An initial single, "General Public," was issued in the UK, but didn't do all that well at #60. This second single pretty much tanked at a lowly #95. However, when issued in the US, the single began to gain momentum and it got to #15 at Dance and #39 Rock while bumping into the Pop Top 30. The song got a little help thanks to its appearance in the hit film Sixteen Candles (although it wasn't included on the film's EP soundtrack). The hit helped sell albums and it got to #26 on the chart. The news was even better in Canada where the song got to #11 and the album to #19.

ReduxReview:  This slice of Britpop caught my ear back in the day and I got the single. I played it for a while and then kind of forgot about the song. Years later, I hooked into again thanks to a couple of 80s compilations. Now, most any 80s playlist I create will include this tune. It should have done better on the chart. I love how this song was produced and arranged. It still sounds great today. I've always like Dave Wakeling's voice as well. It is distinctive and interesting.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The Beat were quite popular in the UK. Over the course of three studio albums and one compilation, the band accumulated five Top 10 singles. In the US, where they were known as The English Beat due to legal reasons, their fortunes were not quite as bright. Although a few of their songs were able to get on the Dance chart, none were able to make it to the Pop or Rock charts. However, they toured the US supporting big names like David Bowie, The Police, and Talking Heads and that helped them gain a sizable fan base. Their third album, Special Beat Service, would do well reaching #39 without the help of any singles.


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