Saturday, November 30, 2019

"Can't Help Falling in Love" by Corey Hart

Song#:  2968
Date:  12/13/1986
Debut:  79
Peak:  24
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Hart's third album Fields of Fire got off to an okay start with its first single, "I Am By Your Side," topping out at #18. That was a bit of decline from his first two albums, which were both introduced by Top 10 hits. Hoping to keep album sales going, this second single was pushed out. It made progress and got into the Top 30, but it couldn't make it any further. It would also get to #24 on the AC chart. While it wasn't a major hit, it did do well enough to keep the album selling and by the end of the year it would be certified gold. The single would be Hart's third #1 at home in Canada.

ReduxReview:  Hart's earnest and fairly faithful reading breathed new life into the old tune. A new generation latched onto the song and it became popular at weddings again (I had to sing it at one). The sparse, new-agey arrangement was a bit subdued for 80s synth-heavy pop radio, but folks connected with the track and the nostalgia factor helped it gain favor with a more adult crowd. I thought it was fine. Hart is more of a rock vocalist, so a quiet standard like this wasn't necessarily in his wheelhouse, but he does a pretty good job. The thing that bothers me a bit with Hart's voice, which is very prominent in this track, is that his S's are quite hard and pronounced. It's almost like a lisp of some kind. In bigger rock tunes it's not as noticeable, but when fully exposed like on this song it is very evident. It's just part of his voice and I guess helps to make him unique (almost in a pouty way), but it becomes a distraction for me here.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally released by Elvis Presley in 1961. He recorded the song for his movie Blue Hawaii. It would be issued out as a single and would go on to reach #2 (#1 AC). Many artists would cover the tune, but only three others besides Presley and Hart would reach the Pop chart with a version. Crooner Al Martino would get to #51 (#5 AC) in 1970. That same year, Andy Williams would take an uptempo version of the song to #88 (#28 AC). Although Williams' single wasn't a hit in the US, it was a #3 hit in the UK. Later in 1993, UK band UB40 would record a reggae-style version that would be a major hit. It would reach #1 in the US, the UK, and several other countries. A few other artists would reach various charts with a version of the song including The Stylistics' disco take (#4 UK, 1976), a country version by Slim Whitman (#54 Country, 1981), and a more straight-forward reading by singer Engelbert Humperdinck (#44 AC, 1979). Even a former American Idol contestant had success with the song. Haley Reinhart (3rd place, season 10) recorded a version for her 2016 album Better. The song was released late in 2015 as a promotional single after being featured in a commercial for Extra gum. It would get to #16 at AC and would receive a platinum certification.   2) Although credited as being written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss, this song's roots go way deep to an early French love song. "Plaisir d'amour" was written in 1784 by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini, who basically wrote music to an existing poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian. The song was very successful and it would live on even centuries later. In more modern times, the song would be recorded by artists like Judy Collins, Joan Baez, The Seekers, and Nick Drake. Melodies from the tune would be updated and used in "Can't Help Falling in Love."


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