Friday, June 14, 2019

"Money's Too Tight (To Mention)" by Simply Red

Song#:  2799
Date:  07/19/1986
Debut:  87
Peak:  28
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  It took nearly a year for UK's Simply Red to finally win over a US audience. Back home they had limited success with four singles, but none of them got attention in the States. Their third UK single, "Holding Back the Years," was a bit of a dud upon release in 1985 getting to #51, but then a reissue of the song caught on and it got to #2. The tune was then issued in the US and it went on to become a #1 hit. Since none of their other singles charted in the US, it gave the label options for a follow-up. This track, which was their very first single in the UK (#13), was selected for release. It was able to crack the Pop Top 30, but it didn't get any further than that. It did better at Dance getting to #2. Although no further singles from their debut album Picture Book would reach the US charts, its two hits would make it reach #16 and go platinum.

ReduxReview:  This song is a bit of a lost soul classic (see below) and Simply Red basically does a pretty faithful cover of it. The production gets an upgrade, but Simply Red doesn't necessarily capture the grittiness of the original. These days the subject of the song (Reaganomics) is out of date, but parts of it still resonate. I wasn't a big fan of the tune when Simply Red put it out, but I do enjoy the groove even though the original was superior.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally written and recorded by US duo The Valentine Brothers. Their 1982 version reached #41 on the R&B chart. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, brothers John and Billy Valentine formed a duo in 1975. Their 1979 self-titled debut album didn't do anything, but their second album, First Take, featured this charting song along with a follow-up "Let Me Be Close to You" (#43 R&B). Their third album in 1984, Have a Good Time, contained what would be their biggest hit, "Lonely Nights" (#28 R&B). They would record one more album in 1987 before going off on their own career paths.


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