Thursday, December 14, 2017

"Injured in the Game of Love" by Donnie Iris

Song#:  2255
Date:  03/23/1985
Debut:  93
Peak:  91
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Iris' third album for MCA, 1983's Fortune 410, didn't sell so well thanks to its lone single "Do You Compute?" only getting to #64 Pop/#20 Rock. The label wasn't thrilled with the results and wanted to bring in a new producer and outside songwriters to lend a hand on Iris' next LP. That was something that Iris was not interested in, therefore the label said goodbye and dropped Iris. Luckily, he was able to sign on to the indie label HME and by the spring of '85 his new album, No Muss...No Fuss, was ready. This first single got things started. It was a mid-charter at Rock getting to #28, but there was little support at Pop and the song only managed a very short two-week stay on the chart. It would be Iris' last single to reach the charts. A year later, a couple of strokes of bad luck sidelined Iris' career. His next album got recorded, but then was blocked from being released due to a pending lawsuit from his old label, MCA (to this date, the LP has still not be released). Then, HME went belly up and that left Iris without a label once again. He wouldn't be able to record and release a new album until 1992. Since then, he has issued six studio and two live albums.

ReduxReview:  Here's another solid rock tune from Iris. It's not quite as infectious as some of his other singles, but it's got a big sing-along chorus and Iris' personality certainly shines through. At the time, I didn't know much about Iris or his music so he kind of slipped through the cracks. I discovered more about him many years later and now realize how underrated he and his music was. If you like this style of rock, I highly suggest at least checking out Iris' Best of LP. It's full of gems that should have made him a bigger star.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Around this same time, two members of Iris' band decided to leave for a new hard rock band called The Innocent. That band released one album in 1985 titled Livin' on the Street. The band and the album didn't get anywhere, but it has one claim to fame. A pre-Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor was a member of the band. Reznor would then join the band Exotic Birds before launching his own Nine Inch Nails in 1988.  2) Also around this time, Iris' longtime producer/co-writer Mark Avsec had a bunch of demos that got shopped around and CBS Associated though they were good enough to release. Avsec signed on and under the name Cellarful of Noise released an album in the summer of '85. Three years later, Avsec worked on a follow-up album titled Magnificent Obsession. With Iris' career on hold, Avsec brought him in to co-write a couple of tunes and perform lead vocals some tracks. The album ended up selling a few copies thanks to the single, "Samantha (What You Gonna Do?)," reaching #69 on the Pop chart in 1988.


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