Monday, October 15, 2018

"The Heart Is Not So Smart" by El DeBarge with DeBarge

Song#:  2558
Date:  12/07/1985
Debut:  93
Peak:  75
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B, Pop

Pop Bits:  The DeBarge siblings were at the peak of their career with their fourth album Rhythm of the Night. With two Pop/R&B Top 10's and an additional R&B Top 10, the LP would easily turn gold. They went for a fourth hit with this track, but it didn't perform very well. It only managed to reach #29 at R&B while staying in the lower quarter of the Pop chart. It did a little better at AC getting to #17. However, despite the success the family was splintering with members have issues with drugs and El DeBarge garnering more of the spotlight and support from the label. Even their previous single and this fourth one from the album would be credited mainly to El with the rest of the family tagged as a supporting group. After the tours and promotions of the album were done, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that El would step out on his own. Although El's departure wouldn't formally kill the group, it did end their Pop charting days.

ReduxReview:  This Diane Warren-penned track was a nice add to the album with it's near-Caribbean feel, but it didn't really make a good single. It just wasn't strong enough to break through on a larger crossover scale. I think the label figured a fourth single was needed because the previous single, "You Wear It Well," got to #7 at R&B and #1 Dance, but it really wasn't necessary. They should have just called it a day at three, especially when they knew El was headed out as a solo artist.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Around this time, both El and his sister Bunny were offered solo deals. El would have good luck with his debut solo album, but things cooled off after that. He would later develop a drug addiction and have to go through rehab. In 2010, he returned to music with the album Second Chance. It would be well-received and he would earn three Grammy nominations for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album. Bunny would issue one solo album that failed to produce any charting songs. She would be dropped from the label and then later be forced to deal with her drug addiction. Besides a few minor projects, she has basically remained out of the music business. After El and Bunny departed, the remaining three brothers regrouped with another brother, Bobby, who already had success with the R&B band Switch. They released an album in 1987 that contained two minor R&B singles, but it seemed that very few people were interested in a DeBarge without El. Although he was not part of DeBarge, younger brother Chico pursued a solo and had some success gathering ten charting R&B singles including one Top 10. Like his siblings, he would struggle with drugs as well.


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