Thursday, January 25, 2018

"Through the Fire" by Chaka Khan

Song#:  2296
Date:  04/27/1985
Debut:  84
Peak:  60
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, R&B

Pop Bits:  Khan's second single from her I Feel for You LP, "This Is My Night," was a bit of a bust on the Pop chart peaking at #60. Luckily, it did better at R&B (#11) and Dance (#1). For the third single, this David Foster-produced track was chosen. It did fine at R&B (#15) and AC (#16), but once again it failed to do much on the Pop chart and stalled at the same #60 spot that her previous single reached. However, even though the two songs stopped at #60, this one spent a remarkable nineteen weeks on the Pop chart. That longevity is usually reserved for major #1 hits or Top 10'ers, not songs that peaked in the bottom half of the chart. So while it may not have been a big Pop hit in terms of peak position, it certainly sold some copies and was an airplay star for a lengthy period of time.

ReduxReview:  When it comes down to it, this is just a standard AC tune that has pedigree (David Foster, Cynthia Weil, and Tom Keane) and a memorable chorus. A number of artists could have easily breezed through this tune and it would have been fine. However, Khan's vocal work, especially at the end, gives a little extra oomph to the ballad and her performance makes the song more compelling than it actually is. The tune hung around the Pop chart for a long time waiting for a larger audience to catch on, but they never did. It probably should have done a bit better, especially at AC.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) For the US, this song would be the third and final single released from the album. However, in certain European countries, a fourth single would be issued. The track "Eye to Eye" would get released and it did fairly well in a few countries including the UK where it peaked at #16.  2) Later in '85, a song Khan recorded for the movie Krush Groove would get issued as a single. "(Krush Groove) Can't Stop the Street" served as the theme song to the film and it saw a little action at R&B peaking at #18. Unfortunately, it failed to reach the Pop chart. The song along with the film doing well at the box office helped to push the soundtrack album to #14 at R&B (#79 Pop). The film was based around the formation of Def Jam Records and its co-founder Russell Simmons. Several top music artists appeared in the film including Sheila E., New Edition, Run-D.M.C., and Kurtis Blow.



  1. Sometimes a song would peak at different times in different cities, so you'd get a long chart run with a low peak and more sales than you might expect. (It probably happens less often today.) Jim Bartlett mentions such a case involving a fantastic song here:

    1. That's interesting. I never gave that a thought, but it sure makes sense. Good article and a fun song attached to it as well!