Friday, February 1, 2019

"Stick Around" by Julian Lennon

Song#:  2666
Date:  03/22/1986
Debut:  72
Peak:  32
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rock, Pop

Pop Bits:  As John Lennon's son, there was a lot of focus on Julian Lennon when he decided to pursue a music career. There was a ton of scrutiny surrounding his first album, Valotte, but it ended up being a hit getting some favorable critical notices while generated two Pop Top 10 hits including the #5 "Too Late for Goodbyes." The album would eventually become a platinum seller. With his music career starting out on the right foot, Lennon then had the difficult task of following it up. Once again utilizing the talents of producer Phil Ramone, Lennon recorded his second album The Secret Value of Daydreaming. To introduce the new LP, this track was selected to be the first single. Rock radio welcomed the song heartily and the track made it to the #1 spot. That seemed to bode well for another hit at Pop, yet the song stumbled before it could reach the Top 30. To make things worse, two follow-up singles failed to chart at all. Still, enough folks showed up to make the album reach #25 and go gold. Unfortunately, this would end up being Lennon's final single to reach the Pop Top 40.

ReduxReview:  I wasn't all that hep on Lennon's debut album. The two singles were solid, but other than that, I wasn't impressed. So I wasn't necessarily all that interested in this single when it came out. Yet the tune kind of surprised me with its more rock-oriented sound and beefier production. I liked it enough to buy the single, but it wasn't enough to convince me to buy the album. The problem was that Lennon just didn't have enough solid songs to maintain the momentum he gained with his first LP. He could have benefited by working with a few more outside established songwriters instead of handling everything on his own. It also might have helped to work with a more inventive producer. Phil Ramone is a legend, but his slick pop production wasn't quite the right fit and it sounded like he was desperately trying to muscle up Lennon's weak tunes. This one was easily the best of the bunch and I still like it - well, all except for Lennon's nasally "ah-ah's."

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In 1986, Lennon performed on the original concept album to the musical The Hunting of the Snark. The following year, he would also perform in a one-off concert rendition of the musical for a charity event. The Hunting of the Snark was a musical written by British singer/songwriter Mike Batt. In addition to his own solo albums, Batt has written and produced songs for many artists including Cliff Richard. Batt also added lyrics to the title song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera and produced the original single of the song by Sarah Brightman and Steve Harley, which became a Top 10 hit in the UK. But Batt may be most known for creating and performing the music to the successful 1970's British TV show The Wombles. Batt would develop the band called The Wombles and they would go on to record several albums that resulted in five UK Top 10 hits. Batt's musical The Hunting of the Snark was based on Lewis Carroll's 1876 poem of the same name. The show was performed a few times as a costumed concert. It wasn't until 1991 that the show became a full musical production. The West End production got some good notices, yet it seemed interest in the show lagged and it closed after a seven-week run. The song Lennon recorded for the original concept album, "Midnight Smoke," was released as a single late in 1986, but it failed to chart.


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