Friday, January 5, 2018

"Walking on the Chinese Wall" by Philip Bailey

Song#:  2276
Date:  04/06/1985
Debut:  87
Peak:  46
Weeks:  12
Genre:  R&B, Pop

Pop Bits:  Bailey's third album outside of his group Earth, Wind & Fire, Chinese Wall, became a gold-seller thanks to the #2 duet with Phil Collins, "Easy Lover." For the follow-up, this title track was chosen. Although not a duet, it does featured Collins on drums and background vocals. This time around the magic wasn't there and the song petered out shy of the Pop Top 40 while only getting to #56 at R&B. It would end up being Bailey's final solo single to reach the Pop chart. Bailey recorded a follow-up album title Inside Out, but it failed to make a major impact since the LP's only charting single, "State of the Heart," could only reach #20 at R&B.

ReduxReview:  I've always liked this rolling, meditative song. The production by Collins is top-notch with the punctuated horns and his drums adding depth to the mix. The song just has a lovely feel to it and Bailey's vocals fit in well. However, I think it may have been too subtle of a song for Pop radio. I'm actually surprised that AC didn't jump on this. It seemed to fit that format the best, but it failed to chart there. An overlooked follow-up single.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In addition to his solo pop/R&B career, Bailey also had success in the gospel market. He did several collaborations in the early 80s and then released his first solo gospel album in 1984 titled The Wonders of His Love. It did well reaching #17 on the Gospel chart and #13 on the Contemporary Christian chart. His follow-up LP, Triumph (#18 CC, #34 Gospel), netted Bailey a Grammy award. He won in the Best Gospel Performance, Male category. He would record one more gospel album in the 80s, 1989's Family Affair (#37 Gospel).


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