Saturday, January 19, 2019

"Call Me" by Dennis DeYoung

Song#:  2653
Date:  03/15/1986
Debut:  95
Peak:  54
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The former Styx member scored a Top 10 hit in 1984 with the #10 "Desert Moon," taken from his debut solo album of the same name. Although the LP wouldn't be a huge seller like his works with Styx, it did well enough to call for a follow-up. In the spring of '86, DeYoung would issue out his second solo disc, Back to the World. This first single was pushed out ahead of the album and the song would be a hit at AC reaching #5 on that chart. It crossed over to Pop, but it couldn't attract a larger audience and the song sputtered out before it could get into the upper half of the chart. Without a solid Pop hit, the album then faltered and could only manage a very minor #108 peak.

ReduxReview:  I liked this song when it came out and especially dug the sax opening. It was definitely a DeYoung composition as it wasn't too dissimilar from some of the big ballads he penned for Styx. However, that may have been the problem. It seemed a bit stuck in the late 70s and the sound lended itself to an AC crowd. What might have made this song soar was a big production by someone like David Foster. If given the same treatment as some of the songs he did with Chicago around this time, DeYoung might have had a bigger hit. As-is, it's a lovely tune and a nice addition to DeYoung's catalog.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  It was DeYoung's theatrical side that certainly played a part in the dissolving of Styx, but for his solo efforts he kept things mainly in the soft rock arena. He would later feed his theatrical side when he took on the role of Pontius Pilate in a 1993 touring version of Jesus Christ Superstar. The experience spurred him to do two other projects. First up was an album of Broadway show tunes titled 10 on Broadway. Around the same time he began to write a musical based on the Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He completed the show and in 1996 DeYoung issued out a concept album on which he and his sister-in-law performed all the parts. That same year, a production of the show debuted at the Polk Theater in Nashville. The response was positive and plans were developed to take the show to Broadway, but health issues sidelined DeYoung and progress of the show halted. In 2007, DeYoung got another production of the show up and running in his hometown of Chicago. The show would end up winning a Joseph Jefferson Award (for Chicago area theater) for best musical production.


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