Friday, August 17, 2018

"Talk to Me" by Quarterflash

Song#:  2498
Date:  10/19/1985
Debut:  90
Peak:  83
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After three Top 20 hits, a Top 10 debut album, and a lesser-selling follow-up, this Portland, Oregon, band was ready to take on the charts again with their third effort Back into Blue. This first single would set the tone for the album and unfortunately it wasn't a good one. The tune could only manage a few weeks at the bottom of the Pop chart while completely missing the Rock chart. A second single, "Walking on Ice," failed to do anything and with that the album stopped at very minor #150 and quickly disappeared. The results didn't sit well with Geffen and the band was dropped from the label. They broke up soon after. The band's leaders Marv and Rindy Ross would later push out three indie albums under the Quarterflash name, but none charted.

ReduxReview:  What made Quarterflash stand out was their hooky, Benatar-ish rock tracks that featured Rindy Ross' solid vocals and sax playing. Yet somewhere on the way to their third album they traded their solid rock for a more MOR pop style and as a result they lost what made them good. This synth-led track has none of the spark of their hit singles.  Even Ross sounds a bit sleepy and uninterested. It's like something came along and sucked the life out of the band. The song itself is not too bad, but it would have greatly benefited from a much stronger rock production. A disappointment from a terrific band that pretty much killed their career.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  Years after their Quarterflash hits, Marv and Rindy Ross developed an interest in Native American music and culture, particularly around their hometown area of Portland, Oregon. One famous story regarding the relationship between Native Americans and the government got Marv Ross' attention. In 1957, the new Dalles dam was built along the Columbia River and as a result the Celilo Falls area that had been the home to Native Americans for thousands of years was to be flooded and submerged. Ross thought the story was still impactful and relevant and set out to write a musical about the event. In 2007, The Ghosts of Celilo debuted in Portland. It was well-received in its initial run as was a 2011 revival of the show.


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