Thursday, November 9, 2017

"New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle

Song#:  2217
Date:  02/16/1985
Debut:  95
Peak:  17
Weeks:  21
Genre:  R&B, Synthpop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  LaBelle had some difficulty finding her footing on the charts following her departure from the trio that bore her name, LaBelle. She hadn't scored a major hit at R&B since her solo career began in '77 and she remained off the Pop chart completely. Things began to turn around a bit in '83 when she scored her first solo R&B #1 with "If Only You Knew." The song finally got her on the Pop chart as well (#43). Two more R&B Top 10's followed before she was offered to record two songs for the soundtrack to the upcoming film Beverly Hills Cop. The movie was a big success and the soundtrack was catching on as well with two songs from it already going Top 10. This LaBelle contribution would be the third single issued from the album and it became a #1 Dance hit while reaching #3 at R&B. The tune also caught on at Pop and it became her first Top 40 solo hit getting to #17.

ReduxReview:  This is a good synthpop ditty, but when it really comes down to it, Miss Patti makes this record work. If anyone else had sung this song, it would have probably been a fun, but forgettable, hi-nrg track relegated to some club play and soon forgotten. Or perhaps someone like The Pointer Sisters might have gotten a minor hit out of it. However, LaBelle just crushed the vocals on it and truly made you want to get a new attitude. It's like she sold this song with every fiber of her being and folks certainly bought it. Over the years it has been used in commercials and TV shows and has become a bit of an empowerment anthem as well. LaBelle's new attitude certainly broke her through to a Pop audience and she became a certified solo star.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song would later be nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Song. Although it did not win, the writers of the tune, Sharon Robinson, Jon Gilutin, and Bunny Hull, did grab a Grammy for this contribution to the soundtrack, which won for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Although Robinson wrote songs for other artists, she mostly became known for her collaborations with Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. Initially, she served as a backup singer on some of his tours, but then the pair began to write songs together including one of Cohen's more famous tracks, 1988's "Everybody Knows." Later in 2001, Robinson would co-write and produce Cohen's album Ten New Songs. The well-received album would reach #4 on the Canadian chart.


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