Thursday, March 15, 2018

"Let's Go Out Tonight" by Nile Rodgers

Song#:  2343
Date:  06/01/1985
Debut:  92
Peak:  88
Weeks:  3
Genre:  R&B, Dance, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Rodgers conquered the charts with his band Chic, but he was also making a name for himself as an in-demand producer. He scored giant hits with artists like Diana Ross, David Bowie, and Madonna while also being a contributing member to Robert Plant's side project, The Honeydrippers. Along the way, he also attempted a solo career. Following the breakup of Chic, Rodgers recorded his first solo LP, Adventures in the Land of the Good Groove. The album received some good notices, but it tanked and disappeared quickly. Two years later he decided to give it another go. Rodgers signed with Warner Bros. and recorded B-Movie Matinee. This track was issued as the first single and it got inside the Top 40 at both R&B (#35) and Dance (#38). The minor support there didn't bode well for a Pop crossover bid and indeed it was barely a blip on the chart for a few short weeks. It would be his only solo single to reach any chart. Rodgers would then mainly stay in the songwriting/production world and would later win a Grammy for his work on Daft Punk's 2013 Album of the Year winner Random Access Memories.

ReduxReview:  This track with its staccato keyboards stutters along just fine, but anyone looking for the tasty dance-pop that Rodgers had been serving out via artists like Bowie or Madonna was not gonna get it here. While the tune is interesting with its guitar licks and Japanese rap, there is not much that truly reels in a listener. Rodgers' voice is capable, but indistinguishable. Overall, the tune is not very memorable. Rodgers is an excellent producer who has written or co-written some great songs along the way and while I admire that he wanted to break out on his own and experiment, he just wasn't one that was destined for a solo career.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The female singing vocals on this track were performed by Alfa Anderson. Anderson began her career as a background vocalist for Chic, but then became a co-lead singer in 1978 and remained with the band until they dissolved in '83. She then worked as a background vocalist for many artists and as a member of Next Step contributed to "Get on Up," a 2016 #8 Dance hit by the DJ duo Aristofreeks.  2) This single also features some rap-like sections that are in Japanese. These were performed by Shizuko Orishige. It seems that Orishige would later gain work as an engineer and helped out on albums by Stevie Winwood, Karen Kamon, and Little Steven (Steven Van Zandt).


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