Sunday, September 22, 2019

"Shake You Down" by Gregory Abbott

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  2899
Date:  10/18/1986
Debut:  76
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  22
Genre:  R&B, Quiet Storm, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Although he learned music at a young age, NYC-born Abbott didn't really start honing his skills as a professional musician until his college years. To help pay his tuition, Abbott developed and performed with his own band. After college, Abbott got a job teaching English at the University of California, Berkeley, yet his love for music drove him to pursue a career in music. He built his own studio and began writing, producing, and recording his own music. In 1976, Abbott married soul singer Freda Payne ("Band of Gold," #3 Pop, 1970) and that led to him co-writing a few songs for two of her late 70s albums. The pair split in 1979, but the connection helped Abbott get some other work and by 1986 he signed his own recording contract with Columbia Records. Unusually, Columbia allowed the new artist to fully write and produce his own debut album, Shake You Down. The title track would be issued out as the first single and it would be a major hit at R&B reaching #1. A week prior to the track getting to the top of the R&B chart, the song crossed over and debuted on the Pop chart. It slowly caught fire and eventually topped the chart. It also hit #2 at AC. With the song remaining on the various charts for months, sales stayed strong and the single would eventually become a platinum seller. The album would also do well getting to #5 at R&B and #22 Pop. It would reach gold level sales early in '87.

ReduxReview:  This silky smooth jam was quite irresistible. It was well-crafted by Abbott with an indelible chorus and production that didn't overwhelm the tune. I always thought that the song sounded like a more innocent version of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" (#3 Pop, 1982). Abbott had a nice voice that fit the song perfectly. It seemed he was on his way to a long, successful career, but then it didn't happen. This debut single would end up being the peak moment of his career. If it wasn't for a couple more R&B Top 10's, Abbott could have easily been considered a one-hit wonder. Even if he was, this was certainly a great song to have as your lone hit.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Abbott had another Hollywood connection early on through his cousin. Diahnne Abbott was a single, divorced mother who decided to try and break into acting. She snagged a small role in the film Taxi Driver, which was shot in the summer of '75. She met the film's star Robert De Niro and the following year they were married. She would go on to have roles in two more De Niro films, New York, New York and The King of Comedy. The pair would have a son and De Niro would adopt Abbott's daughter Drena. The couple would end up divorced in 1988. Abbott would grab a few more film roles and appear in the TV series Crime Story, but her acting career never fully caught fire. Drena De Niro would later catch the acting bug and would begin to take small roles in films starting with 1996's Grace of My Heart. Along the way she would appear in a few of her father's films. She also had a small role in the hit 2018 Lady Gaga remake of A Star Is Born.


No comments:

Post a Comment