Saturday, November 3, 2018

"Secret Lovers" by Atlantic Starr

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2578
Date:  12/28/1985
Debut:  80
Peak:  3
Weeks:  23
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary, Quiet Storm

Pop Bits:  Despite scoring three R&B Top 10's, over the course of five albums Atlantic Starr's only significant entry on the Pop chart was the #38 "Circles" in 1982. As their sixth album, As the Band Turns,  kicked off, the grabbed another R&B Top 10, but once again saw little action at Pop. That is until this fourth single was released. The ballad slowly caught on and soon it got to #4 at R&B while becoming their first Pop Top 10. It was also a big success at AC reaching #1. The late blooming single helped push the album to #17 (#3 R&B) and it would eventually become their first album to reach gold level sales.

ReduxReview:  Perhaps it didn't seem like it at the time, but this was a no-brainer for single release. Yet the label chose three other songs ahead of this one which were more upbeat. I'm guessing they were trying to establish the band as something hip and funky and didn't want to get them tagged as a quiet storm act. When that didn't really pan out, someone finally went - screw it, let's put the ballad out. They were lucky that it got noticed as fourth singles will rarely become big hits, especially following a couple of tepid releases. It really revived their career, which was waning a bit at the time. Who knows what would have happened had this not been released, especially since they had already been dumped by A&M. The song was a great fit for Pop and AC. It's a lovely tune with a sweet 80s production. I found it odd back in the day that couples would crowd the dance floor and happily sway to this tune about - infidelity. Weird.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Apparently the band's label at the time, A&M, were not thrilled with the band's progress or initial sales of As the Band Turns. Despite reaching the R&B Top 10 with the LP's first single "Freak-A-Ristic" (#90 Pop), A&M made the decision to let the band go and had basically dropped them before "Secret Lovers" was released. Because they no longer had label support, the band had to actually pay for a video themselves in order to promote the unexpected hit. With a major crossover hit to their credit, the band was quickly snatched up by Warner Bros. where they would have the biggest selling album of their career.  2) The female lead singer for Atlantic Starr, Sharon Bryant, decided to head out on a solo career after the band's 1983 album Yours Forever failed to capitalize on their previous success, 1982's #1 R&B LP Brilliance. Bryant would then work as a session singer until she finally got a record deal. Her 1989 album Here I Am would feature two R&B Top 10 singles, but it ended up being her only solo effort. Her replacement in Atlantic Starr was Barbara Weathers, who sang on "Secret Lovers." Weathers would also leave the band for a solo career after one more album. Her self-titled 1990 album was a modest seller that featured the #13 R&B single "The Master Key."



  1. The song is very beautiful musically, but I've always found the lyrics more than a little gross. It's a tender take on adultery, which is disturbing.

    1. That is true. Much like Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love for You" and Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lovers."