Wednesday, April 17, 2019

"Karen" by B.E. Taylor Group

Song#:  2741
Date:  05/31/1986
Debut:  94
Peak:  94
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This Pittsburgh-based band grabbed a minor chart hit in 1984 with "Vitamin L" (#66) a track from their second album Love Won the Fight. However, it seemed the results weren't good enough for their label at the time, MCA, and the group was left without a record deal. They ended up recording an EP later in '84 titled Life Goes On and apparently it attracted the attention of another major label, Epic. The band signed on to a new deal and their third full-length album, Our World, got recorded. Two songs from the EP were recycled for the new LP including this single. It gained some local attention, but the tune just couldn't break through to other markets around the U.S. and the only thing the single could do was two short weeks at at the bottom of the Pop chart. Other singles failed to make the chart and that ended the band's days together.

ReduxReview:  Taylor had a terrific voice that was a bit similar to Steve Perry's. He sounded excellent on this smokey jam. The song itself it good, but it wasn't quite strong enough to be a real contender on the chart. The album is full of solid AOR rock and it really should have broke the band wider. Unfortunately, they just didn't have that one killer track that would click at pop radio.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  All but one of the songs on the album was written or co-written by the band's guitarist Rick Witkowski. Witkowski had been a member of the prog rock band Crack the Sky. Their 1975 self-titled debut album was critically well received and was even named the debut album of the year by Rolling Stone. Despite solid press, the album only managed to reach #161 on the chart. A follow-up album, Animal Notes, did slightly better (#142), but the band's non-commercial sound just wasn't translating to a wider audience. Witkowski stayed for two more studio albums before leaving the band after 1980's White Music. After the B.E. Taylor Group split up, Witkowski returned to Crack the Sky in 1988. Two of the band's albums after that reached the lower rungs of the album chart. The band has continued to record albums and tour over the years gaining a loyal following. Their 20th studio album, Living in Reverse, came out in 2018.


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