Thursday, November 23, 2017

"Along Comes a Woman" by Chicago

Song#:  2231
Date:  02/23/1985
Debut:  60
Peak:  14
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Chicago got two of their biggest hits when "Hard Habit to Break" and "You're the Inspiration" both reached #3. These were the second and third singles, respectively, from their album Chicago 17. With those results, it was decided that a fourth single might be prudent, so they decided to break out of the ballad mode and issued this upbeat tune. Rock radio was happy about the change and the song ended up at #10 on that chart. It played about the same at Pop stopping just short of the Top 10.  AC preferred the ballads and left this one stalling at #25. It would be the last single released from the album and the last one co-written and sung by Peter Cetera. By the summer of '85, Cetera had decided to leave the band he had been with since 1967 in favor of a solo career. The band would go through a couple of other personnel changes and return to the charts later in '86.

ReduxReview:  David Foster's production tries hard to make this thing rock out, but it doesn't really work. He even tries to incorporate the horn section, but their contributions are so clean and punchy that it nearly sounds like synth horns (I'm guessing a synth was used to boost the sound). For me it was all production and hardly any song. However, it had a decent hook and was a good choice for a single. I just wasn't diggin' it. Besides the two big ballads, there was nothing on Chicago 17 that kept my interest.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The Indiana Jones-style video for this song was direct by Jay Durbin. Durbin had previously done videos for Hall & Oates and Billy Joel. In 1980, Durbin directed the pilot to a proposed new series based on The Wombles, characters from a popular British book series and TV show. The original British TV show The Wombles was done in stop-action form and sixty shows between 1973 and 1975 were created. Musician Mike Batt was hired to do the music and he along with a cast of session musicians (including well-known guitarist Chris Spedding) recorded songs for the show that would get released as by The Wombles. Four albums by The Wombles were released during the run of the show with four singles hitting the UK Top 10. The success of the singles make The Wombles the top charting singles artist in the UK for 1974. The Wombles didn't necessarily translate well to the US, but their second album, Remember You're a Womble, was issued in the States and it did result in one charting single, "Wombling Summer Party," which reached #55 in 1974. The Durbin-directed reboot apparently didn't get picked up and no further episodes besides the test pilot were done. The Wombles returned to TV in animated form in 1997 for a fifty-two episode run. Apparently, The Wombles will make another return in CGI form sometime in 2017.


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