Wednesday, June 12, 2019

"Somebody Like You" by 38 Special

Song#:  2797
Date:  07/19/1986
Debut:  89
Peak:  48
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Southern Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's seventh album, Strength in Numbers, started out fairly well. Its first single, "Like No Other Night," went to #4 at Rock and #14 Pop. Unfortunately, things went a bit downhill after that. This next single made it to #6 at Rock, but it didn't get the same support at Pop and it stalled shy of the Top 40. Another track from the album, "Heart's on Fire," could only manage a #30 spot at Rock based on airplay. That result did not encourage the label to officially release the song and so the promotion of the LP stopped at the two minor singles, which affected sales of the album. It managed to reach #17 and go gold, but that was a distinct drop from the platinum level sales of their previous three albums.

ReduxReview:  Again, just like their previous single, this one is just fine. It's hooky, commercial rock that sounds akin to most other 38 Special songs. It's perfectly acceptable and it's an easy listen. The problem is that it just doesn't do anything to advance the band and it's too similar to their usual material. Because of that, nothing about it stands out and it ends up just blending in with their catalog. Listeners were tiring of the formula and I think the song's peak speaks to that. I was getting bored with them too.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  When this band formed in 1974, they didn't have a name yet. Four of the members had previously been in a band called Sweet Rooster, but when that group split in 1973 it seems the name went defunct as well. With their shot at fame on the line, the band needed a strong, memorable name. According to an interview with co-lead singer Don Barnes, they had originally picked Alice Marr, which they got from an encyclopedia. Alice Marr was a mythical ghost ship that was said to have been piloted by dead soldiers. The name wasn't really the best choice so they kept their ears open for something else. They ended up getting a new name following an incident with the police. Apparently, the band had rented an old abandoned auto parts warehouse for their rehearsal space. Because they had regular day jobs still and couldn't constantly setup/pack up/haul their gear all the time, they decided to use a big tractor trailer chain to lock up the building so they could leave everything there. Unfortunately, they lost the key to the lock and so when they wanted to rehearse they had to climb up to the top of the building and squeeze in through a small window. One night the band was rehearsing and after finishing a song they heard police outside yelling at them to come out. It seems someone had either made a noise complaint or heard the band in the abandoned shop and called the cops. The band had to tell the police that they couldn't easily come out because they lost the key to the padlock. They then overheard an officer say something like "I have a .38 special. I'll just shoot the thing off." When the band went to do their first show, they still weren't set on a name. Remembering the incident, they decided to use .38 Special. It ended up sticking.


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