Monday, February 11, 2019

"Is That It?" by Katrina & the Waves

Song#:  2676
Date:  04/05/1986
Debut:  87
Peak:  70
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  With a Top 10 hit and a Top 30 album under their belt, Katrina & the Waves dashed back to the studio to record what would become their fourth LP, Waves. To get things kicked off, this first single was issued out. Unfortunately, the tune just didn't connect with listeners and after a couple of months trying to get a foothold, it finally fell off the Pop chart. It would do even worse in the band's UK home base only reaching #82. However, a follow-up single titled "Sun Street" would do much better there reaching #22. In the US, the song was a non-starter and failed to chart. The less-than-stellar results didn't excite their label (Columbia) and the band was dropped. That could have been the last of the band, but they would return to the US charts before the decade was out and nearly a decade later would score their biggest hit in the UK.

ReduxReview:  This is a solid rock 'n blues rave up sung with gusto by Katrina Leskanich. The production is on-point with the horns and background singers giving the tune a nice boost. I could imagine it being one of those songs that would really get a concert crowd going. So why was it such a dud on the chart? My two guesses would be that it wasn't promoted very well and/or the style of the song just wasn't in fashion on pop radio. "Walking on Sunshine" was also a big rock rave, but that tune's hooks were definitely pop rooted and easier to digest. This one is soul-edged and that can be a harder sell at pop. Yet two years later Stevie Winwood would top the chart with the bluesy "Roll with It," so maybe it was just timing. Regardless, this is a fun song that should have done better.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In 1990, the band got an opportunity to record a song for the soundtrack to an American TV series. China Beach debuted on ABC in 1988 and ran for four seasons. The Emmy-winning show starring Dana Delany centered on an evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War. Music was key to a lot of episodes with The Supremes' 1967 #2 hit "Reflections" serving as the show's opening credits theme song. By the time its last season was coming around, a soundtrack album was assembled titled China Beach: Music and Memories. It mixed original songs from the era used in the show as well as new remakes of old hits all connected by snippets of sound effects and spoken word dialog from those who actually served or were at China Beach back during the war. One particular song that was very popular with American forces in Vietnam was The Animals' 1965 #13 hit "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, the song was a definite fit for the soundtrack album. But instead of using the original version, Katrina & the Waves were asked to cover the tune. Joining in on the remake was Eric Burdon from The Animals who had sang the lead vocal on the original hit.


No comments:

Post a Comment