Friday, September 28, 2018

"Morning Desire" by Kenny Rogers

Song#:  2541
Date:  11/23/1985
Debut:  88
Peak:  72
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, Country Crossover

Pop Bits:  Rogers' 1984 album What About Me? was another platinum seller for him, but it wasn't quite as popular as his previous albums with only the title track becoming a moderate #15 hit at Pop. Another single, "Crazy," would hit #1 at Country, but with Rogers trying to balance on a thin line between country and pop, it seemed both audiences were not sure whether they were on board with him or not. For his next effort, Rogers decided to move in a more AC direction and brought on famed Beatles producer George Martin to help craft the album The Heart of the Matter. This track was selected to be the first single and despite being a pop tune at heart, the song took off at Country and became Rogers' twelfth #1 on that chart. AC also responded well taking the song to #8. However, it was pretty much ignored at Pop and the single faltered in the lower part of the chart. It would end up being his last song to reach the Pop chart for 15 years. The album would become his last to reach #1 on the Country chart based on the strength of this song and a second #1 "Tomb of the Unknown Love." With his crossover days fading, Rogers would return to a more country-oriented sound on his following albums. He'd have five more Top 10's at Country including two #1's. One of those would be his last significant entry on the Pop chart - 1999's "Buy Me a Rose," which he did in collaboration with Alison Krauss and Billy Dean. The song would make it to #40 at Pop.

ReduxReview:  This is a nice, easy listening track that seemed to work just fine for country fans. I think it was just too subtle and adult for pop radio at the time. The production by Martin is quite lovely and fit the song perfectly, but is definitely of its time. The real highlight of the song though is the work by jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan. His work on the outro was terrific. For what would end up being Rogers' last major foray into pop music, this was a pretty ballad to go out on.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song was written by singer/songwriter Dave Loggins. Loggins was a bit of a one-hit wonder of the 70's with his #5 hit "Please Come to Boston." While his solo career didn't much pan out after that, he wrote plenty of hits for other artists including Juice Newton's 1985 Country #1 "You Make me Want to Make You Mine." Although he didn't write the tune, a duet he did with Ann Murray titled "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" got #1 on the Country chart in 1984. Rogers personally asked Loggins to write a new tune for his album and he came up with "Morning Desire." According to Loggins, the first line he wrote for the song was "The thunder sounds like horses hoofs." It was from there that the song flowed. When it came time to record the tune, Rogers asked for that line to be changed, but Loggins thought it was the most important lyric in the song and refused. Rogers decided to sing the song as written and it turned out to be a good thing since it went to #1 at Country.


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