Friday, September 13, 2019

"C'est la Vie" by Robbie Nevil

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2890
Date:  10/11/1986
Debut:  93
Peak:  2
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  This singer/songwriter/guitarist honed his skills in his teens and early twenties and did well enough to secure a publishing deal in 1983. Nevil then built up his resume having his songs recorded by artists like The Pointer Sisters, Sheena Easton, and Melissa Manchester. By 1986, Nevil was ready to launch his own solo career and signed on with Manhattan Records. He prepped a self-titled debut album and this first single was issued out. It took a slow climb up the chart before finally topping out in the #2 position for a couple of weeks. The song also hit #1 at Dance, #7 R&B, and #37 AC. It was a major hit that got Nevil's career going.

ReduxReview:  It took a little time for this track to catch on, but once it did it was all over the place. It's a catchy, groovy tune that had excellent 80s production and a terrific lead vocal from Nevil. It was delightful ear candy that was hard to resist. Nevil was smart to breathe life into this track and was fortunate that it didn't already become a hit (see below). Nevil would go on to have four more Top 40 entries including a second Top 10, but the party appeal of this one kept it around for many years after its initial release.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Although this song became a hit for Nevil and was co-written by him (along with Duncan Pain and Mark Holding), this can be considered a cover tune as it had already been recorded by another artist. This song was originally picked up and recorded by R&B singer Beau Williams in 1984. It appeared on his album Bodacious!. It was not issued out as a single. At the time, Williams was trying to make his way into the R&B market. He had signed on with Capitol Records in 1982 and recorded three albums for them including Bodacious! Unfortunately, his singles failed to chart and the albums came and went quickly. Williams then went on to record gospel music for Light Records. Apparently Nevil sensed that "C'est la Vie" had hit potential and when he got an opportunity to record his own album, he revived the track. It ended up being smart move.


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