Wednesday, January 2, 2019

"Where Are You Now?" by Synch

Song#:  2636
Date:  03/01/1986
Debut:  95
Peak:  77
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  This Pennsylvania band formed in the mid-80s with Lou Butwin handling most of the lead vocal duties. However, the band's drummer, Jimmy Harnen, offered up this song that he had co-written with a friend and when they went to a local studio to record the demo, Harnen did the lead vocal. The demo ended up getting the attention of a local radio station who began to spin the track. Requests to hear the song kept coming in and soon the band had to get a single pressed to offer for sale. After the single sold a few thousand copies, the major labels came knocking. The band ended up in a deal with Columbia and a debut album, ...Get the Feelin', was issued out. It included a newly recorded version of this song, which served as the LP's first single. Hopes were high for a big hit, but the song ended up falling short of expectations staying in the bottom quarter of the Pop chart. With little to show for their investment, Columbia let the band go. The band tried to keep going, but eventually just split up. Normally, this would be the end of the story, but for this song it wasn't. It would return to the airwaves later in 1989 and become a left-field hit.

ReduxReview:  I typically don't mind a small dose of schlock like this song once in a while. I used to write stuff like this - big pop ballads with saccharine lyrics that gets everyone doe-eyed. I probably got a dozen or more tunes that could sit comfortably next to this one. In the late 80s, forgotten songs were all of a sudden getting rediscovered and practically forced into being hits and this was one of them. While there were songs that were far more worthy of being dug up, this one wasn't too bad. It's actually quite perfect for sentimental teenagers and reminiscing middle-aged adults. In fact, if you look at the comments for the video above, the words "prom" and "high school dance" are often used. It makes sense. I barely remember the song so it obviously didn't make an impression on me. I guess I'm just picky about my schlock.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  After his days in the music spotlight waned, Jimmy Harnen went on to have a career behind the scenes working as a promoter for labels like DreamWorks and Capitol. He then became a big wig at Big Machine Records, the home of Taylor Swift. He was hired in by BMR's founder Scott Borchetta, who some folks may remember from his appearances on American Idol as a senior mentor. The winners of the last two season of the original run of American Idol were signed to BMR (Nick Fradiani and Trent Harmon). Harnen helped sign and break major BMR acts like The Band Perry and Florida Georgia Line.


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