Friday, April 13, 2018

"Take No Prisoners (In the Game of Love)" by Peabo Bryson

Song#:  2372
Date:  06/29/1985
Debut:  89
Peak:  78
Weeks:  6
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Bryson finally got his first Pop Top 10 hit when the big ballad "If Ever You're in My Arms Again" made it to #10 in 1984. The track would also reach #1 at AC and #6 R&B. His associated album Straight from the Heart would sell well and garner him a new set of fans. But keeping them was tricky and he was hoping his next LP Take No Prisoners would be another winner. Unfortunately, this title track from the new album couldn't do much of anything on the charts. It barely scraped the Top 40 mark at both R&B (#39) and AC (#37), while tanking near the bottom of the Pop chart. Two follow-up singles failed to do any better and that affected album sales. Bryson would have a tough time throughout the rest of the 80s, but he'd bounce back with a couple of soundtrack hits later in the early 90s.

ReduxReview:  Bryson's bread n' butter was always silky ballads, so it was bit of a surprise that he tried to grab a hit with this synthpop tune. While I appreciate that he wanted to break out of the crooner mold, this song just wan't going to do it. It's definitely not a bad tune, but it was a bit too pop-oriented for R&B, and not strong enough to make an impression at Pop. I think he needed to ride the line a bit more in the way that Jeffery Osborne did with songs like "Stay with Me Tonight." Bryson just needed better material at this point.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song was co-written by Billy Livsey and Sue Shifrin. Shifrin had written songs for several artists and recently had one of her tracks, "Show Some Respect," released as a single by Tina Turner (#37 Pop). Shifrin would later collaborate on a 1990 comeback album for teen idol David Cassidy. The album would be somewhat successful with the single "Lyin' to Myself" reaching #27 Pop/#25 AC. It was his first charting solo hit since 1972. Cassidy and Shifrin would marry in 1991. They would remain together until 2014. Cassidy would die of liver failure in November of 2017.


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