Saturday, November 24, 2018

"Bop" by Dan Seals

Song#:  2598
Date:  01/25/1986
Debut:  83
Peak:  42
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Country Crossover

Pop Bits:  After a successful run with his duo partner John Ford Coley, "England Dan" Seals set out on a solo career in 1980. He decided to move away from the duo's soft rock sound and head toward country music. His debut solo disc (and only one as England Dan Seals), Stones, was a crossover effort that yielded the #57 Pop entry "Late at Night," but country radio didn't bite. A second album fared even worse. Seals then moved over to the Liberty label and put out Rebel Heart. This time country folks took notice and Seals ended up with four country chart entries including the #10 "God Must Be a Cowboy." His next LP contained three more Top 10's, but it would be this single from his fourth album Won't Be Blue Anymore that would get him back on the Pop chart. The peppy tune would bolt up to #1 at Country while nearly making the Pop Top 40. It was also a hit at AC getting to #10. The hit helped his album get to #1 Country (#52 Pop) and go gold. It would be Seals' peak moment as a solo star. Although he would not get on the Pop chart again, Seals had a remarkable run of nine #1 songs in a row on the Country chart from '85-'88. He got two more in 1990, but his fortunes dwindled quickly when the new breed of country star (a la Garth Brooks) began to take over. Seals would pass away from cancer in 2009 at the age of 61.

ReduxReview:  Man, this brings back memories of the skating rink! When I DJ'd on adult skate night, this was the most requested song for a long time. People just loved it. Even younger kids thought it was a fun tune. It was a perfectly written song that appealed to a big cross section of folks. Even with it's janky 80s country-trying-to-be-pop production, it's still a great song and I still enjoy it. This really should have made it to the Pop Top 10, but by the mid-80s, country crossover tunes were just not being played anymore at pop radio so it kind of got the shaft. Had it been released three or four years earlier, it would have been an across the board smash. Still, it was highly successful and the charm of the song hasn't diminished a bit in all these years.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was written by Paul Davis and Jennifer Kimball. Davis was familiar with writing hits and had a few of his own including 1982's "'65 Love Affair" (#6 Pop, #5 AC). He also wrote "Meet Me in Montana," which was the first single from Seals' Won't Be Blue Anymore album. The song was a duet between Seals and Marie Osmond. It would hit #1 at Country and kick off Seals' streak of hits. The pair won a CMA as Vocal Duo of the Year for the song.  2) Seals' older brother was Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts fame. That duo scored three Pop Top 10's in the late 70s all of which, oddly, peaked at #6 ("Summer Breeze," "Diamond Girl," and "Get Closer"). Dan and Jim would later get together and tour as Seals & Seals. They would perform versions of the chart hits each had earned over the years.


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