Thursday, May 17, 2018

"No Lookin' Back" by Michael McDonald

Song#:  2406
Date:  07/27/1985
Debut:  72
Peak:  34
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  It had been three years since McDonald issued his first solo album, which featured the Top 10 hit "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" (#4). After that success, McDonald spent time overcoming a drug and alcohol addiction and along the way recorded a hit duet with James Ingram ("Yah Mo B There"). He also began writing songs that would make up his second album, No Lookin' Back. Pop music had changed quite a bit in the interim three years and McDonald attempted to give an 80s commercial sheen to his soft rock/blue-eyed soul sound. While it was a solid hit at Rock getting to #4, neither Pop nor AC supported it quite as well. The song could only make the Pop Top 40 while just getting to #18 at AC. Two follow-up singles failed to reach the Pop chart and that certainly affected sales of the album, which could only reached #45. For a major music star like McDonald, the results were disappointing.

ReduxReview:  This is another quality track from McDonald and Loggins (see below), but it does have one major problem in regards to being a single - it's missing a hooky, memorable chorus. The chorus nearly acts like another verse. It's not until the second time through the chorus that the title is mentioned - and it doesn't stand out. If you played this for anyone who didn't know the song and asked them what the title was or to sing the hook, they couldn't. For a pop single, those are essential items. Think about the Top 10's these artists have had. In every case, there is a definite, memorable hook. For some reason they left it out of this song and that pretty much doomed it. That said, I do think it's a good song, but it just wasn't one that should have been a single.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although McDonald co-wrote this song, it is actually a remake. It was first recorded by one of the song's co-writers, Kenny Loggins. Loggins recorded his version of the tune for his 1985 album Vox Humana, which had come out earlier in the year. Loggins did not issue the song as a single. McDonald then did his take on the song for inclusion on his second solo LP. This isn't the first time the pair recorded their own versions of songs they co-wrote. They had rival versions at least two other times. The 1979 Grammy-winning #1 hit by the Doobie Brothers, "What a Fool Believes," was first recorded by Loggins for his 1978 album Nightwatch. Then in 1982, each artist recorded a version of their co-write "I Gotta Try" for their respective albums released that year. McDonald would release the song as the second single from his debut album. It got to #44 Pop/#28 AC. McDonald had the upper hand in the pair's dueling co-writes with three of them charting, but Loggins also scored a hit with another song they wrote together, "This Is It." That 1979 song would reach #11 on the Pop chart. It would also net Loggins a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. This time around, McDonald did not record a version of the song.


1 comment:

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