Friday, October 26, 2018

"Own the Night" by Chaka Khan

Song#:  2570
Date:  12/21/1985
Debut:  93
Peak:  57
Weeks:  9
Genre:  R&B, Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  While the soundtrack to the hit TV series Miami Vice had a few previously released tracks, there were a few originals including Jan Hammer's theme song, which had recently hit #1. Another original was this tune from R&B star Chaka Khan, which would serve as the LP's third single. Unfortunately, it didn't quite catch fire and it stalled near mid-chart at Pop while getting to #66 at R&B. Although the song didn't do very well, the album was still selling and the following week after this song debuted on the Pop chart, the LP would return to the #1 spot for four weeks. Combined with it's previous seven week run at the top the album would spend a total of eleven non-consecutive weeks at #1. It would eventually sell over four million copies.

ReduxReview:  Producers Arif and Joe Mardin tried their darnedest to make something hit worthy out of this song, but it just didn't quite get there. It's not a bad song, but it's more of a b-side or album track. It just doesn't have the goods to truly be a memorable single. Khan is a powerhouse singer, yet she nearly sounds like she's just going through the motions. It didn't help that the song wasn't a good vehicle to showcase her voice. The rock edge of the track didn't do it any favors on the R&B chart. The production/arrangement is probably the best thing about the tune. It actually sounds like a song that should be on a soundtrack, so in that respect it was fine. It just wasn't a very good single choice.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song that was originally recorded by soul star George McCrae. He recorded the song for his 1984 album of the same name. His version was issued out as a single, but the only thing it could so was reach a low #59 on the Dance chart. McCrae is mostly known for his 1974 disco hit "Rock Me Baby." That single reached #1 at Pop and R&B (also #19 AC). McCrae would grab two more R&B Top 10's, but things quickly cooled and his singles stopped charting before the 80s even began. The song was written by Franne Golde, Mary Dean Lauria, and Marti Sharron. Golde had scored earlier in the year co-writing "Nightshift" by the Commodores (#3 Pop) while Sharron had success in 1984 co-writing "Jump (For My Love)" by the Pointer Sisters (#3 Pop).


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