Thursday, October 11, 2018

"When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" by Billy Ocean

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2554
Date:  11/30/1985
Debut:  63
Peak:  2
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Ocean's fifth album, Suddenly, finally broke him through to the masses. It would spawn one #1 hit, two other Top 10's and a Top 25 entry. As Ocean began to work on a follow-up, he was offered the chance to contribute a theme song to the upcoming Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner adventure flick Jewel of the Nile. Ocean would co-write this song that would play over the film's closing credits. The track was issued out as a single and it bounded up to the #2 spot at Pop while also getting to #2 at AC, #6 R&B, and #31 Dance. Although Ocean's next LP, Love Zone, would not be released until April, this song was included on that album and considered its first single in addition to appearing on the film's soundtrack LP, which would hit #55.

ReduxReview:  This synth shuffle fit the film well and the movie's success most likely helped the song move up the chart. It also helped that it was quite catchy. I thought it was a pleasant, well-written tune and a good radio hit, but that was about it. I didn't love it, yet I didn't dislike it. I still feel that way. I'll jam along if it happens to play, but I have no urge to seek it out and hear it.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) Jewel of the Nile was a sequel to the hit 1984 film Romancing the Stone. That rom-com adventure movie was initially derided as a rip-off of Raider of the Lost Ark, but critics ended up liking the film and it eventually won over audiences and became a surprise box office hit. Jewel of the Nile didn't impress critics, but it became an even bigger hit than Romancing. Although a third film was discussed, it never got off the ground.  2) The video for this song ended up getting banned in the UK, but for an unusual reason. In the video, the film's stars, Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito, all appear and lip sync parts of the song. Back then, the UK had a rule regarding videos and who performed in them. If anyone in the video played/mimed an instrument or even appeared to sing, that person had to be a member of the musicians union. Otherwise, the video could not be aired. Actors could certainly act in videos, but anyone not in the union could not even pretend to play or sing. Since the three actors were not union musicians, the video was basically banned in the UK. Despite that, the song was strong enough to reach #1 in the UK without the aid of a video. It was Ocean's first and only #1 there.  3) The Irish boy band Boyzone remade this song in 1999. It would be their fifth #1 in the UK. From 1994 to 2010, the group scored nineteen UK Top 10 hits that included six #1's. They were hugely successful in many countries, but success in the US eluded them. Their only charting single came in 1998 when "No Matter What" got to #12 on the AC chart. That song was written for the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Jim Steinman musical Whistle Down the Wind. The Boyzone version appeared on the musical's concept album in 1998. In the US, it was included on the soundtrack to the film Notting Hill, the 1999 hit com-com starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.


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