Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Who's Holding Donna Now" by DeBarge

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2348
Date:  06/01/1985
Debut:  75
Peak:  6
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, R&B

Pop Bits:  After two gold albums that produced three Top 10 R&B hits including the #1 "Time Will Reveal," the family group finally made the Pop Top 10 with the #3 "Rhythm of the Night." It was taken from their fourth album of the same name as was this follow-up single. The song would become their second biggest overall hit reaching #6 Pop, #1 AC, and #2 R&B. The double hits would help the album reach #19 Pop/#3 R&B and become their third gold seller.

ReduxReview:  After a terrific detour into something more upbeat with "Rhythm of the Night," the group gets back to the smooth ballad style that first made them famous. This is a lovely little tune with a good chorus and a solid vocal from El DeBarge. The song was co-written by David Foster and Jay Graydon along with Randy Goodrum. It's funny - just a few posts ago I was bitching about a song that Foster and Graydon (with Glen Ballard) wrote for Jack Wagner called "The Lady of My Heart" and how three very talented folks could write and record such a dud. Well, Foster and Graydon redeemed themselves with this track. It just goes to show you that even the best songwriters can have dogs in their closet.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  DeBarge's previous two albums were mainly family affairs with various siblings writing the songs and El DeBarge producing most of the material. However, when sessions for Rhythm of the Night started, the family element wasn't quite there. Outside producers would be brought in and out of the nine songs on the album, only three were written by members of the family. At first, the reason cited for this change was because the group was busy on tour with Luther Vandross. However, it was later revealed that drugs were really the issue behind the lack of involvement. Nearly every member of the group was having addiction issues at the time and that affected participation in the sessions. Only El would escape the drugs at the time and Motown relied on him to get the album done, which he did. Unfortunately, later in the 90s El would face his own addiction demons after being prescribed prescription pain meds. Eventually he would get hooked on cocaine and end up in prison for thirteen months. He was released in 2009 and the following year released the solo album Second Chance, which received two Grammy nominations.



  1. 7/10 for me. Also, I absolutely love that Paul Hardcastle song! 10/10 for me on that one. Also, it was No. 73 on Vh1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80's special. Just a minor mistake.

    1. Interesting. Not sure what site you were looking at. The actual VH1 site has it at #72 and that's what I go by. But no matter. Close enough!