Friday, September 20, 2019

"Nail It to the Wall" by Stacy Lattisaw

Song#:  2897
Date:  10/18/1986
Debut: 90
Peak:  49
Weeks:  13
Genre:  R&B, Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Lattisaw had a good career going. Between 1980 and 1984, she scored five R&B Top 10s with three of them reaching the Pop Top 40. Following a duet album, Perfect Combination with Johnny Gill, Lattisaw returned with a solo effort in 1985 titled I'm Not the Same Girl. Unfortunately, the album performed poorly and failed to reach either the R&B or Pop chart. She need to do something different to boost her career so she signed on with Motown for her next LP, Take Me All the Way. Being on Motown gave her a chance to update her image and allowed her to work with various hot-at-the-time producers like Narada Michael Walden, Kashif, and John "Jellybean" Benitez, who produced this first single. The song returned her to the Top 10 at R&B (#4) while getting to #2 at Dance. It crossed over to the Pop chart, but it stopped scaling chart after crossing over the halfway point. While it was a good return for the singer, it would end up being her final song to reach the Pop chart. She would do two more albums for Motown and score two more R&B Top 10's, including a #1 duet with Johnny Gill, "Where Do We Go from Here."

ReduxReview:  Motown tried to turn Lattisaw into an R&B/Dance-Pop diva and for the most part it worked. This tune showed a more mature side of Lattisaw that brought her into Janet Jackson/Madonna territory. She scored with this tune at R&B and Dance, but for some reason it didn't catch on as well at Pop. It had a hooky chorus with a good verse and screechy 80s production, so I'm a little surprised it missed out on the Top 40. Lattisaw certainly grew into her voice and she sounds very confident on this track. It's certainly not the same teenager who had been crooning tunes like "Love on a Two Way Street."

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  As the 90s started, Lattisaw did what few successful performers would ever do. She walked away from the music business. After a decade of hits, touring, and navigating the industry, she had had enough. She was suffering from bouts of depression and she wanted to start a family. So Lattisaw decided to quit the music biz and start her life anew. She married Kevin Jackson and became involved in the ministry. She still sings, but now it is gospel music. She spends time speaking in churches or at conferences and has developed several community programs including one for abused women.


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