Sunday, August 26, 2018

"Shock" by The Motels

Song#:  2508
Date:  10/26/1985
Debut:  87
Peak:  84
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  The first single from The Motels' fifth album Shock was the #10 Rock hit "Shame." Unfortunately, the song couldn't match that result at Pop and stalled just shy of the Top 20 (#21). It wasn't a great kickoff for the LP and this second single didn't help. This title track was a non-starter that became a three-week blip on the chart. Despite only featuring a moderate hit, the album sold well and came close to the gold-level sales mark. The band then retreated back to the studio to begin working on a follow-up album, but as 1987 rolled around, lead singer Martha Davis decided to dissolve the band and head out on a solo career. Because of that, this song ended up being the band's last to reach the Pop chart. Years later in 1998, Davis would begin performing again with a new band as The Motels. Personnel changes would take place over the years, but Davis still fronts The Motels and issued out a new album in 2018 titled The Last Few Beautiful Days.

ReduxReview:  The beginning of this album opener is a bit menacing, yet it is quite effective. I really liked the track and thought it set a solid tone for the album. I didn't think it was Top 10 material, but it should have made it into the Top 40. It's hooky with dense synthpop production, but for some reason it just didn't connect with listeners. It may not have been promoted very well either, especially after "Shame" didn't perform as expected.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Davis' first post-Motels project was a duet with Sly Stone for the soundtrack to the 1986 film Soul Man. The two artists recorded a cover of the 1976 Joan Armatrading song "Love and Affection." While Armatrading's original didn't reach the US charts, it was a #10 hit in the UK. The movie Soul Man starred C. Thomas Howell as a student who tries to pose as an African-American in order to secure the last scholarship available that year to Harvard Law School. The film faced a lot of criticism due to the perception that Howell was playing blackface. Despite the controversy and poor reviews, the film ended up being a box office hit.


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