Monday, May 14, 2018

"Spanish Eddie" by Laura Branigan

Song#:  2403
Date:  07/27/1985
Debut:  84
Peak:  40
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Branigan was at a career high with her 1984 album Self Control. The album was her biggest seller (platinum certified) thanks in part to the #4 title-track hit and its video, which grabbed a lot of airplay on MTV. For her fourth album, Hold Me, Branigan didn't change up her winning formula. She retained Jack White, who had been a producer on her previous three albums, and selected another set of songs that had a mix of dance-pop and ballads. The first single out of the gate was this Europop-ish track. It seemed like it might be another solid hit for Branigan, but then it stalled just as it entered the Pop Top 40. It did slightly better at Dance (#26) and AC (#29). It was a bit of a disappointment and in turn the album did not sell well and it became the lowest peaking one of her career to this point (#71).

ReduxReview:  There are things I like about this song, such as the memorable chorus with the big castanets/tympani accent, but in general it's a weak outing for Branigan. "Self Control" gave a bit of a rock edge to her dance-pop and it stood out. I was hoping she would continue in that direction, but then this Eurodisco style tune came out instead. While the style fit her well, the material couldn't compete with her earlier hits. It just wasn't the right song or single and it kind of dinged up her career. Sadly, she never really bounced back after this.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song was co-written by David Palmer and Chuck Cochran. Palmer was a singer/songwriter from New Jersey who caught his first break when his band The Myddle Class got signed to Tomorrow Records, which was owned by the famous songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Beginning in 1965, the band recorded three singles for the label, but nothing came from them. After a fourth single on Buddha that went nowhere, the band split up. Palmer later ended up in a newly formed band called Steely Dan. Palmer shared lead vocal duties with Donald Fagen on the band's 1972 debut album Can't Buy a Thrill. Unfortunately, before their second album, Palmer was eased out of the band and Fagen took over all the vocal duties. A couple of years later, Palmer's association with Carole King paid off when the pair co-wrote all the songs for her 1974 album Wrap Around Joy. The album would be a #1 hit thanks to two Top 10 hits including the #2 "Jazzman." Palmer continued to write for other artists over the years and this song he co-wrote for Branigan became another chart entry for him.


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