Saturday, November 10, 2018

"Night Moves" by Marilyn Martin

Song#:  2584
Date:  01/18/1986
Debut:  82
Peak:  28
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Singer Martin had been getting some good gigs doing background vocals for the likes of Stevie Nicks and was even able to record one of Nicks' songs, "Sorcerer," for the soundtrack to the cult film Streets of Fire. Atlantic Records took an interest in her and first teamed her up with Phil Collins for the duet "Separate Lives." The song would be a #1 hit that put a spotlight on Martin. Atlantic signed her up and work began on a debut album. Several big named producers, writers, and musicians would contribute to the LP including recent hitmaker John Parr ("St. Elmo's Fire"). Parr along with Jon Astley and Martin would co-write this track that would serve as the album's first single. The more rock oriented song was certainly different from the pop balladry of "Separate Lives" and it may have thrown listeners for a loop as the song could only make a Top 30 showing. It did a little better at Rock getting to #18. Two follow-up singles failed to chart at Pop, but the song "Move Closer" did become a minor entry at AC reaching #34. Martin then softened up her sound for the 1988 follow-up album This Is Serious, but no one paid attention and the album quick disappeared along with Martin's contract. Atlantic took a chance on her again later in 1994 with a country album titled Through His Eyes, but it ended up shelved. Martin stayed in the music business for a long while providing background vocals for other artists including Stevie Nicks, with whom she toured in 2016. She also became a real estate agent and has been living in Nashville. In 2012, she released an indie Christian album titled "Trust, Pray, Love."

ReduxReview:  I really liked this moody, dark track when it came out. The opening with that bass piano riff is very cool and when the song cranks up it sounds damn good. Plus Martin's vocals were spot-on and intense. I've always been disappointed that the song didn't do better. It really should have. I can only guess that the dark rock track just wasn't the right fit for Pop radio and that folks who knew Martin from "Separate Lives" were disappointed in her musical direction. I do think it was a risk to issue this song out as a first single from Martin. She really needed a hooky pop single that could retain all those Phil Collins fans. I still think it's a pretty great tune and I've always appreciated Astley's production work.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Despite getting some positive reviews, the edgier pop/rock of Martin's debut LP just didn't click with listeners. So for her second effort, Martin chose to be more trendy and move towards a softer dance-pop direction. When looking for a producer to help her out, Martin ended up meeting Patrick Leonard who in the midst of working on Madonna's fourth album Like a Prayer. Leonard invited Martin to a session and Martin ended up singing background vocals on the soon-to-be hit "Cherish." Leonard then approached Madonna to write a song for Martin's new album. Madonna agreed and along with Leonard and Kai Winding wrote "Possessive Love." The song would be issued out as the first single from Martin's This Is Serious album. Oddly, despite Madonna's involvement, the track was virtually ignored and it failed to chart. That result made the album tank and ended Martin's days in the spotlight.


No comments:

Post a Comment