Sunday, August 5, 2018

"Party All the Time" by Eddie Murphy

Top 10 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  2486
Date:  10/05/1985
Debut:  82
Peak:  2
Weeks:  22
Genre:  R&B, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  By 1985, Eddie Murphy's career was in overdrive. The former SNL alumni was at his peak thanks to the mega hit film Beverly Hills Cop. Murphy could do about anything he wanted and that included making a music album. Murphy was no stranger to music. He sang in skits on SNL and performed comedic songs during his live shows. His first comedy album in 1982 included two music tracks, a parody of the Streisand/Summer duet "Enough Is Enough" and the novelty tune "Boogie in Your Butt," which was issued as a single and got to #56 on the R&B chart. Yet what he had not done was to write and sing legit serious songs. Murphy would write or co-write six songs for his debut studio album How Could It Be. He also got assists from a couple of famous friends, Stevie Wonder and Rick James. Wonder contributed two songs to the album while James would mainly write, arrange, produce, and perform on the lead single "Party All the Time." The song would be a significant hit nearly topping the Pop chart while getting to #8 R&B and #19 Dance. The single would be a platinum seller, which would then boost the album to gold-level sales. While critics may not have been all that kind to the project, it was another successful venture for the comedian.

ReduxReview:  I hated, hated this song when it came out. I thought it was one of the biggest turds of the decade. Although the groove put out by Rick James is solid, the tinker toy synth production sounded cheap (and sounds even worse now), the chorus was annoying, and the worst part was Murphy. He could carry a tune, but that didn't make him a real singer. His voice is thin and whiny with barely a trace of any style or skill. You get a real sense of that when James pops up singing. He basically mows down Murphy in just a few minor lines. Murphy is great when he's doing comedic songs or singing in skits, but as a legit music star he just didn't have the goods to really pull it off.

ReduxRating:  1/10

Trivia:  1) For the album's producer, Murphy didn't want to hire on a big name. He wanted someone that wouldn't overpower the situation or have a lot of ego going. He ended up hiring Aquil Fudge, who had very little experience but was eager to do the work. Fudge came about due to Murphy's Stevie Wonder connection. Fudge is Wonder's cousin. But just how much of a no-name was Fudge at the time? So much so that there was even a blurb in Billboard magazine that made the assumption that Aquil Fudge was just a pseudonym for Murphy. An issue or two later, the magazine published a little apology in one of their columns for making the mistake.  2) While this was certainly a feather in Murphy's cap when it came out, time hasn't been good to the song. The very 80s sounding track has been listed on several "worst song" lists including a 2016 New York Post readers' poll. Although Murphy would get one more minor Top 30 entry later in the decade and five more R&B entries, he's sometimes seen as a one-hit wonder. The song placed #87 on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s.


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