Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Tragedy" by John Hunter

Song#:  2147
Date:  12/08/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  39
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Hunter honed his skills in the 70s playing Chicago clubs with his band Hounds (see below). After that band split, Hunter spent time songwriting and figuring out his next move. He decided to try again for music stardom, but this time he was going to do it on his own. He recorded a demo and then began shopping it to labels. Clive Davis at Arista bit first and it seemed like Hunter was set to join the roster. Unfortunately, someone he brought in to negotiate the deal screwed things up and it all fell through. Undeterred, he soldiered on and soon he was picked up by Private I Records, which had distribution through Columbia (his former band's label). Hunter then readied his debut solo album Famous at Night. This first single was issued and it did pretty well breaking into the Pop Top 40. Unfortunately, none of the follow-ups could get on the chart. The single did well enough for Private I to flip the bill on another LP and in 1986 Hunter issued More Than Meets the Eye. It came and went quickly, as did Hunter's contract.

ReduxReview:  This had a very brief stay in the Top 40, so I'm not surprised that I don't remember it. Although, if I had heard it a few times, I'm still not sure I'd remember it. The song is actually quite good and I like the chorus, but I don't think it was strong enough to really make headway on the chart. A mid-tempo rock tune was gonna have a hard time cutting through the din of synths, new wave, and hard rock. I think it did about as well as it could.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Hunter founded and fronted the Chicago band Hounds. They were popular on the club circuit and eventually it led them to a deal with Columbia Records. Their debut LP, Unleashed, was issued in 1978. The first single from that album, a remake of The Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb," failed to hit the Pop chart, but did bubble under at a low #110.  That didn't really excite Columbia, but somehow the band was able to record a second album titled Puttin' on the Dog. It performed worse than their debut and that was enough for Columbia. The band was sent packin' and soon after they broke up.


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