Friday, October 13, 2017

"Obsession" by Animotion

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2191
Date:  01/26/1985
Debut: 90
Peak:  6
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Formed from the ruins of another band called Red Zone, Animotion came alive via co-lead singers Astrid Plane and Bill Wadhams (who served as the band's songwriter). Their previous experience along with their demos helped to get the band signed to Mercury Records. An album was in the works with Wadhams providing the compositions. However, it seemed the LP needed a hooky single to sell the set. This song, written by Holly Knight and Michael Des Barres, seemed like it might do the trick. When issued as a single, it debuted low on the chart, but as the weeks ticked by the popularity of the song slowly increased. It took a while, but the song finally got into the Pop Top 10 (#35 Dance).

ReduxReview:  I swear this has to be one of the most licensed songs out there. It seems to pop up on compilation albums constantly. A quick search on a music database shows the song appearing on over 200 different compilations and soundtracks. The band probably didn't benefit as much as the writers and publishers, but it did make sure that the band would not be forgotten. VH-1 put them at #11 on their list of Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s, but that's a bit inaccurate. The band (although in a new lineup that excluded Plane and Wadhams) did score another Top 10 hit later in 1989 with "Room to Move" (#9). However, most folks only remember this song. I'll refrain from labeling them as one-hit wonders here, but I can understand why they got the tag. This song is pure synthpop candy. The memorable keyboard lines, production, hooky chorus, and dual vocals really made this song snap. It's still a fun listen.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song was originally written and performed by Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight and was included in the 1983 film A Night in Heaven. It was also included on the movie's soundtrack. It was issued as a single, but it didn't do any business. Although Des Barres had a musical background and had released music with bands and as a solo act, he ended up having more success as an actor. He has appeared in numerous films and TV shows over the years. Right around this time, his acting career got a boost thanks to his appearance in the horror/comedy film Ghoulies. However, audiences may know him via his six season stint on the his TV series MacGyver, on which he played the character Murdoc. Fans of Roseanne may recognize him from playing Leon's boyfriend for a couple of episodes. Des Barres still continued with music projects along the way. At one point, he became the new lead singer of Power Station following Robert Palmer's departure. Although the band would break up before any new recordings were done, Des Barres did lead the band in their appearance at 1985's Live Aid concert.


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