Thursday, October 26, 2017

"The Word Is Out" by Jermaine Stewart

Song#:  2204
Date:  02/02/1985
Debut:  82
Peak:  41
Weeks:  15
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  When Stewart was performing as a dancer backing the R&B trio Shalamar, he had a chance meeting with Culture Club's bassist Mickey Craig after a London show. The meeting led to Stewart providing backing vocals on Culture Club's "Miss Me Blind" and Craig helping Stewart assemble a solo demo tape. The demo and connection to Culture Club helped Stewart get signed to Arista Records. Stewart then set out to record his debut LP, The Word Is Out. The title-track would be selected as the first single. Although it wasn't a major hit, it did well getting to #4 Dance, #17 R&B and peaking at the dreaded #41 at Pop. Follow-up singles failed to do anything, but the results seemed good enough for Arista to keep Stewart on the label for a second LP.

ReduxReview:  This is a pretty good debut single and grooves along just fine. I'm just not sure the chorus part is quite as hooky as it should be. The title is mentioned, but then there are other vocals saying a bunch a words that are a bit difficult to hear/understand. It's a bit confusing. It needed to be a bit more forceful and apparent so that folks could sing along. Not bad for a first effort though.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Mickey Craig co-wrote this song with Stewart along with two other tracks for the album.  2) Stewart became a dancer on the local Chicago version of the show Soul Train in the early 70s. After that show closed up, he moved out to L.A. and ended up being a featured dancer on the national syndicated version of the show. That is where he met and became good friends with two other dancers, Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel. When Soul Train's Don Cornelius was assembling a new R&B trio act, all three tried out. In the end, Watley and Daniel made the cut, but Stewart just missed out on the third spot. However, his skills as a dancer and friendship with the other two artists helped to secure a backing position on their tours, which led to Stewart meeting Mickey Craig.


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