Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2222
Date:  02/16/1985
Debut:  65
Peak:  3
Weeks:  22
Genre:  R&B, Pop, Dance, Soundtrack



Pop Bits:  This family group's star had been steadily rising since their debut album in 1981. By late '83 they had scored their first #1 R&B hit with "Time Will Reveal" (#18 Pop). Their label, Motown, thought it was time for the group to break through in a bigger way and decided to bring in some name producers and writers to help get them out of their R&B ballad mode and into something more mainstream friendly. First up was this track that was written by Diane Warren and produced by Richard Perry. It was recorded for DeBarge's new album, but Berry Gordy was producing a movie titled The Last Dragon and decided to use the song for the soundtrack as well. Released as a single, the song caught on and became the group's second #1 at R&B. It also broke them through to the Pop Top 10 along with hitting #1 at AC. The hit would help make DeBarge's album of the same name their third gold certified in a row.

ReduxReview:  This song kind of followed in the footsteps of Lionel Richie's "All Night Long (All Night)" with its Caribbean feel. This really was irresistible pop candy. It was a nice change of pace for the family group as well. They were starting to get tagged as smooth R&B ballad makers and for a young group, that wasn't necessarily good. This upbeat hit did a great job in expanding their sound. It's still one of those songs that when it starts, it just makes people smile and wanna dance.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Songwriter Diane Warren had been making strides in her career to this point. In addition to writing songs for Stevie Woods, Patti Austin, and one for Barbra Streisand, she had some success on the Pop chart when she wrote the English lyrics to Laura Branigan's 1983 hit "Solitaire" (#7). More work with Branigan would follow, but it was this DeBarge song that she wrote on her own that really set her career in motion. By the mid-80s she was churning out hits for artists like Cher, Heart, Chicago, Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle, Taylor Dayne, Milli Vanilli, and many others. She's been nominated for fourteen Grammys (winning one) and eight Oscars (no wins yet). She's considered a superstar in the world of pop songwriting and it all pretty much began with this DeBarge hit.

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