Wednesday, May 1, 2019

"Headlines" by Midnight Star

Song#:  2755
Date:  06/14/1986
Debut:  96
Peak:  69
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B, Rap

Pop Bits:  It took five albums worth of songs, but Midnight Star finally grabbed a significant Pop hit when "Operator" reached #18 (#1 R&B). It was from their album Planetary Invasion, which became their second LP to reach gold level sales. Hoping to keep their hot streak going, the band reconvened and recorded their sixth album Headlines. The title track would be issued out as the first single and it did well at R&B reaching #3. Unfortunately, the song didn't click as well at Pop as "Operator" and it ended up stuck in the bottom half of the chart for only a few weeks. The track would also briefly make it on the Dance chart at #34.

ReduxReview:  This was a good jam that incorporated the band's signature style along with a bit of rap. I can see where this would be a winner at R&B, but it was just a tad too urban for pop radio at the time. After they got a Pop hit with "Operator," I would have thought the band might have released something that had a bit more of a mainstream appeal in order to keep that audience interested. They could have done that if they had released "Midas Touch" first, but they chose to release this title track instead and in the process lost some of the ground they gained at pop radio. The lengthy album version was a bit too long in the tooth so the more concise single version sold the song better. Either way, it wasn't one of the band's best songs.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The band's home label for all of their prime era albums was SOLAR Records. They were signed by label founder Dick Griffey after he saw them at a 1978 talent showcase. Griffey started SOLAR in 1977. The label name was an acronym for Sounds of Los Angeles Records. Griffey and SOLAR's heydays were in the 80s. The label signed several hit-making acts like Midnight Star, Shalamar, Dynasty, The Deele, Klymaxx, Lakeside, and The Whispers. SOLAR was also the launching pad for Babyface who, along with L.A. Reid, became the label's main production team from 1986 to 1989. The label started to experience a decline near the end of the decade partially attributed to changes in music and by 1992, SOLAR had issued their final LP, the soundtrack to the crime drama Deep Cover. The soundtrack is mostly known for its title track, which got to #4 at Rap and #46 R&B. It was the first solo single by former N.W.A. member Dr. Dre and it also featured the first appearance of a new rapper on the scene, Snoop Doggy Dogg.


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