Monday, November 19, 2018

"Do Me Baby" by Meli'sa Morgan

Song#:  2593
Date:  01/25/1986
Debut:  94
Peak:  46
Weeks:  14
Genre:  R&B, Quiet Storm

Pop Bits:  Singer Meli'sa Morgan was still a teenager when she recorded a song as a member of the funk band B.B.P. (Business Before Pleasure). It didn't get anywhere but four years later, an 18-year-old Morgan would find herself on the charts leading the studio band Shades of Love. Their 1982 song "Keep in Touch (Body to Body)" would get to #26 Dance and #52 R&B. The same year, Morgan was also part of an assembled trio of vocalists called High Fashion. Their song "Feelin' Lucky Lately" would make it to #32 at R&B. Neither of the songs made Morgan a star, but it did get her work as a background vocalist for artists like Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston. She was finally able to secure a recording contract of her own with Capitol Records and as '86 rolled around her debut album, Do Me Baby, was set to go. The first single would be the title track and it propelled Morgan to the #1 spot on the R&B chart. The hit got a bit of crossover action just missing on the Pop Top 40. Morgan would go on to have four more R&B Top 10 over the next few years, but this song would be her only one to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  This sleek and sultry ballad got a much needed boost from Morgan. I think it was her voice and the arrangement that sold the tune. It's one of the rare times that an artist outdid Prince on one of his tunes. I had Prince's Controversy album back then and thought this was a pretty good track, though a bit long and Prince's vocal was a tad overdone. So when the song's fire got tamed down into a hot ember by Morgan and producer Paul Laurence, I was rather impressed. It was exactly what the song needed and it certainly helped to make it a big R&B hit. I wish it had gone further on the Pop chart, but it actually did pretty well nearly making the Top 40.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia: This is a remake of a song originally recorded by Prince. His version appeared on his 1981 album Controversy. The track was issued out as the third single from the album, but it failed to chart. The composition credit for the song goes to Prince, but according to some folks he is not the sole author. Musician André Cymone had worked with Prince in a couple of bands and then took a spot in Prince's touring band after he went solo. Sometime in 1979, Cymone was asked to write a song for a project by the late 50s/early 60s R&B group Little Anthony and the Imperials. Cymone wrote up a tune that was about his girlfriend at the time. He even recorded a demo. The song seemed to not go anywhere. Early in '81, Cymone left Prince's band after the pair had a falling out. As the fall rolled around, Prince's Controversy album was released. Among the tracks was one called "Do Me, Baby." Cymone recognized it immediately as the song he wrote. Although there were some lyric and other changes, it was basically the same. Despite it mainly being his song, Cymone decided to not pursue the matter and decided to let it go. Prince still retains sole writing credit.


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