Monday, July 23, 2018

"Hard Times for Lovers" by Jennifer Holliday

Song#:  2473
Date:  09/21/1985
Debut:  83
Peak:  69
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Holliday's debut album Feel My Soul yielded the #2 R&B ballad "I Am Love" (#45 Pop). Produced by Maurice White, the LP was a solid seller that gave her the opportunity to record a follow-up. This time around Holliday worked with a variety of producers and came up with Say You Love Me. To introduce the album, this first single was issued out. It got an okay response at R&B getting to #17, but it just couldn't make much headway at Pop or Dance (#26). The results left album sales lagging and it could only manage a #34 showing at R&B while not even making the Pop Top 100.

ReduxReview:  Of course, Holliday's vocals are impeccable and she is what makes the song a success. However, it is more of an album track than a single contender. The chorus just meanders about and never really catches fire in a hooky way. It's also halfway between a mid-tempo quiet storm jam and a dance tune, which sometimes confuses people because do you slow or fast dance to it? I think it is a solid, well-written song expertly performed by Holliday, but it wasn't nearly strong enough to make it on the charts.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was co-written by Lotti Golden and Richard Scher. Golden had started writing a songs at an early age and by the time she was in her late teens she had signed her first publishing deal. Songs that she wrote from her experiences living in New York's East Village got the attention of Bob Crewe (producer/writer for The Four Seasons and others). Crewe would producer her 1969 debut album for Atlantic Records titled Motor-Cycle. While the album didn't take off, Golden got good notices and was even featured in a Newsweek article alongside Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro about new female singer/songwriters. A follow-up album failed to do anything so Golden moved on to music journalism before returning to songwriting and production work in the 80s. One of her biggest hits as a songwriter came in 1989 when her co-write "With Every Beat of My Heart" became a #5 hit for Taylor Dayne. Other artists like Diana Ross, Celine Dion, and Al Green have recorded her songs.


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