Monday, October 9, 2017

"Ooh Ooh Song" by Pat Benatar

Song#:  2186
Date:  01/19/1985
Debut:  59
Peak:  36
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Benatar changed her sound and ended up with a major hit. "We Belong," the first single from her album Tropico, was a #5 smash that showed she had more to offer than just her hard rockin' tunes. She continued the trend with this next single, which was co-written by Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo. The retro-rock sounding tune wasn't quite as enticing as the previous big ballad and the singled stalled once it reached the Pop Top 40. It also managed a #22 showing at Rock. Despite not doing all that well, the strength of "We Belong" pushed the album to platinum sales - her sixth album in a row to do so.

ReduxReview:  This organ shuffle with its "At the Hop" feel, wordless chorus and a cappella breakdown was certainly an oddity in Benatar's catalog. It's a fun little tune, but it definitely wasn't hit material. It was a little surprising that it made it into the Top 40. However, besides the can't-miss "We Belong," there really wasn't another single on Tropico, which I consider the weakest LP of her 80s output. Giraldo kind of took over the writing (co-writing 8 of the 10 tracks - "We Belong" was not among them, obviously) and the songs were just not hitting the mark. Several were meandering affairs that weren't very memorable. This one was the only one that had any single prospects, so it got released. Results were meh and the song has gotten buried by her other hits and far better album tracks.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  It's kind of a mystery as to why the album is called Tropico. None of the lyrics mention the word and nothing thematic seems to relate to the word. However, the word was picked up and used in other entertainment projects. Later in the 80s, it was the title of a telenovela that was filmed in the Dominican Republic and lasted for 100 episodes. In 2001, Tropico was a video game developed for Xbox along with other Windows and Mac platforms. The strategic game centered on the player (who is the El Presidente) trying to retain control of a small Caribbean island during the Cold War. There were new versions released over the years with the last one (as of this posting), Tropico 6, issued in 2017. Bentar may have possibly named Tropico after a former small town in California. Tropico, California, was situated just outside of Glendale and Los Angeles. Developed around 1887, the town was a stop on the railroad and was known for its strawberry farms. In the new decade, both Glendale and L.A. were expanding and annexing bordering towns. Tropico was a prime target and in the end it became a part of Glendale in 1918. The Tropico name was then abandoned for good (although the neighborhood kind of retains that name). Benetar's album may have been recorded in or around the old Tropico town or she might have had a connection to that neighborhood during this time. Whether or not this was the case is unknown, but it seems to make some sense (and is an interesting story to boot).


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