Sunday, April 29, 2018

"Dare Me" by The Pointer Sisters

Song#:  2388
Date:  07/13/1985
Debut:  62
Peak:  11
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Dance-Pop, R&B

Pop Bits:  The Pointer Sisters experienced their biggest career moment with their tenth album Break Out. The album would peak at #8, sell over three million copies, and feature four Top 10 hits. Originally released in November of '83, the long-lasting seller was still kicking around when this first single from their follow-up album, Contact, was issued. The song started off well and looked like it was going to be another Top 10 hit for the trio, but then it stalled at the dreaded #11 spot. It did better at R&B getting to #6 and made it to #32 at AC. It did best at Dance where it got all the way to #1. It was the Sisters' first and only chart topper at Dance. This song and the trio's popularity helped move albums and it eventually did go platinum, but it didn't do nearly as well as Break Out. It only reached #25 at Pop and #11 R&B. However, the album generated a Grammy nod for the Pointers for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Duo or Group.

ReduxReview:  The trio retained producer Richard Perry for the seventh time and didn't toy too much with the formula that made Break Out such a big hit. Unfortunately, this time around the material just wasn't up to snuff. The songs weren't all that bad, but none of them had the same hit appeal as the ones from Break Out. There were no smart, well-written, catchy fare like "Jump (For My Love)" or "Automatic." This first single came closest, but it still paled in comparison. I'm sure they were under pressure to get something out, but they needed to find some better songs and perhaps slightly change up their sound. I remember buying the album right away like a lot of folks did and I was disappointed. I may have only played it a couple of times before filing it away. It's a bummer because it ended up being all downhill for them following this single.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was inadvertently part of an infamous celebrity rant that became somewhat legendary. Casey Kasem had been host of the popular radio show American Top 40 since 1970. Kasen would introduce all the charting songs for the week and play them. In between song he told trivia facts and each week there was also a featured called the "long distance dedication" in which Kasem reads a letter from a listener who wants to dedicate a song to someone. During one of the weeks that "Dare Me" was charting, Kasem was scheduled to follow up the playing of the song with a long distance dedication spot. Well, the dedication was from someone whose dog had died and they wanted Kasem to dedicate Henry Gross' "Shannon" (#6, 1976), which is a song Gross wrote about the death of Carl Wilson's (Beach Boys) dog Shannon. As "Dare Me" ended and Kasem started the dedication, he suddenly got mad that a dedication about a dead dog was coming in after a big upbeat dance tune. He started a profanity-laced rant about the issue and also about some pictures he was supposed to see. Kasem's show was a taped one for syndication, so the rant wasn't broadcast live, but it was on tape and copies of the rant got out. It was all over the place and was even featured on Howard Stern's show. You can still hear it on YouTube.


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