Monday, November 18, 2019

"Jimmy Lee" by Aretha Franklin

Song#:  2956
Date:  12/06/1986
Debut:  94
Peak:  28
Weeks:  13
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Franklin's 1986 self-titled album was initially introduced by the single "Jumpin' Jack Flash," a remake of the Rolling Stones hit. It did fairly well reaching #20 R&B and #21 Pop thanks in part to it being used the Whoopi Goldberg comedy of  the same name. For a follow-up, this album-opening track was selected. It would do much better at R&B getting to the #2 spot. It also went Top 20 at AC (#17) and Dance (#19). However, the song wasn't as well received at Pop and it stalled just inside the Top 30. Luckily, Franklin had an ace up her sleeve and her next single from the LP would be a big winner.

ReduxReview:  This tune had a more retro R&B feel to it and I don't think that played as well on pop radio as her more mainstream hits from her previous album. It was a nice track and I liked the addition of the horns. Plus Franklin killed the vocals per usual and made the song more interesting that it really was. I guess I was just a bit confused as to why this one got released as the second single. With a much stronger pop contender in the wings, it seemed like this would have made a better third single. They probably wanted to reel in her R&B audience after the rockin' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and this song certainly did accomplish that with it nearly topping the chart. But it wasn't a good crossover contender.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Franklin's 1986 Aretha was actually the third album of her career to be released with that title. Her first Aretha album was her 1961 debut. She was signed to Columbia Records and the LP featured Franklin singing jazz and pop standards. It didn't chart, but it did feature her first two R&B Top 10s, "Today I Sing the Blues" (#10) and "Won't Be Long" (#7). Later in 1980, Franklin left Atlantic Records, where she became a superstar, for Arista. It seemed like a new, fresh start for her so her first release for the label was simply titled Aretha. It would be a #6 R&B album thanks to the #3 R&B hit "United Together" (#56 Pop).


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