Sunday, July 7, 2019

"Love Always" by El DeBarge

Song#:  2822
Date:  08/09/1986
Debut:  88
Peak:  43
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The tune "Who's Johnny" from the film Short Circuit would officially launch DeBarge's solo career. The dance-pop track would be a winner getting to #3 at Pop and #1 R&B. It was included on DeBarge's self-titled debut solo album as was this follow-up single. The song did quite well at R&B (#7) and AC (#8), but it just couldn't break wide at Pop and it stalled outside of the Top 40. Still, the two songs would help DeBarge's debut album reach gold level sales.

ReduxReview:  It seemed Motown desperately wanted to make El DeBarge a superstar. So much so that they didn't allow him to do anything on the album except sing. No songwriting and no production. Both of which he accomplished successfully on the DeBarge family albums. The LP is chock full of songwriting heavyweights along with top notch producers Peter Wolf and Jay Graydon, but what came out was a mish mash of meh and what made El DeBarge special was completely missing. He lucked out with the jam "Who's Johnny," but this next single was just so bland. Burt Bacharach (see below) is one of my songwriting heroes, but not every tune can be a winner and this was certainly one of his lesser compositions. It's forgettable and had no business being a single. Even DeBarge sounds bored. It's musical Sominex. Frankly, DeBarge deserved better than this. Actually, he deserved better than this whole album.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager with Bruce Roberts. Bacharach and Bayer Sager were at their peak as a writing team during this time. Their best moments were two big #1 hits: "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne & Friends and "On My Own" by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald. They racked up a few other chart entries including this one by El DeBarge. Bacharach and Bayer Sager were married from 1982 to 1991. Their songwriting partnership pretty much dissolved after their divorce ending a fruitful period for the writers. Their last charting song as a writing team seems to have been the 1991 tune "Ever Changing Times" by Aretha Franklin and Michael McDonald. The duet got to #19 at R&B.


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