Sunday, October 1, 2017

"Rain Forest" by Paul Hardcastle

Song#:  2178
Date:  01/12/1985
Debut:  95
Peak:  57
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Electro-Funk, Instrumental, Smooth Jazz

Pop Bits:  This British musician first gained notice as half of the duo called First Light (with Derek Green). The pair issued a couple of albums in '83 and '84 that got a little attention in the UK thanks to two minor charting singles. They split after the second album and Hardcastle quickly jumped into a solo career. His debut album, Daybreak, contained two mid-charting UK singles. To follow them up, Hardcastle issued a new single titled "Rain Forest." While it remained a mid-charter for him in the UK, the news was far better in the US where the single reached #2 on the Dance chart and #5 at R&B. The action on those charts allowed the song to cross over to Pop where it got near the halfway mark. An album of the same name that consisted of two mixes of this song and some tracks already released in Europe was issued for the US market and it did well getting to #63.

ReduxReview:  This slick tune has a nice groove with a memorable theme. It wasn't quite what I expected. I thought it would be a lot more dance oriented, but it really does lean towards a funky smooth jazz sound. I usually don't like this kind of thing, but I don't mind this at all. It reminds me of something you might start grooving to while having a cocktail at some big city, sophisticated bar/lounge a couple of hours before the main crowd arrives.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although he doesn't consider himself a jazz musician, in 1993 Hardcastle began an album series of contemporary/smooth jazz music with the release of The Jazzmasters. Featuring original songs and Hardcastle playing nearly every instrument, the album was successful and it led to six sequels. The latest in the series as of this posting, 2014's The Jazzmasters VII, reached #1 on the Jazz album chart. Hardcastle also expanded on the sounds of Jazzmasters for a second series that was simply titled Hardcastle. There have been seven LPs in that series as well with some of them doing well on the Jazz chart.


No comments:

Post a Comment