Thursday, November 14, 2019

"Love You Down" by Ready for the World

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2952
Date:  11/29/1986
Debut:  76
Peak:  9
Weeks:  19
Genre:  R&B, Quiet Storm

Pop Bits:  This Flint, Michigan, band scored a #1 Pop/R&B/Dance hit with "Oh Sheila," a track from their self-titled debut album. The LP would turn platinum thanks to three other R&B Top 10's. As soon as they could, they went back into the studio to record a follow-up. It would be titled Long Time Coming and this first single, written by lead singer Melvin Riley, got issued out. It would easily top the R&B chart becoming their second to do so. It crossed over to the Pop chart and became their second Top 10. It also got on the AC chart at #24. The band seemed to be poised to match the success of their debut, but further singles from their second LP didn't crack the R&B Top 10 and failed to reach the Pop chart. Still, this song helped push the album to #5 R&B/#32 Pop and it would be a gold seller. Unfortunately, this would be the band's last single to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  This was an unusual move for a band whose two biggest charting songs were uptempo workouts. A ballad as a first single wasn't necessarily risky, but it wasn't all that common either. I'm guessing that the label thought this was the strongest single contender on the LP and went ahead and released it. Indeed, it got them the hit they needed and further singles didn't perform well so they were fortunate this one got out the gate first. The ballad sounds less like their Prince-ish tracks from their debut album and more like they were taking notes from Jam & Lewis. It worked out well with this slinky quiet storm ballad heating up the airwaves. The lyrics deal with a May-December romance, but with a small twist - the guy is the younger one. It was kind of refreshing since most songs around this time focused on young, hot women (especially in hard rock and R&B). A solid outing for the band, but unfortunately, they just couldn't grab another crossover hit.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The band returned in '88 with their third album Ruff N' Ready. It featured the #6 R&B single "My Girly." A second single was a minor chart entry and further singles failed to chart. Without a significant crossover hit, the album didn't sell well.  They gave it one more try with 1991's Straight Down to Business, which did generate the #9 R&B "Can He Do It (Like This, Can He Do It Like That), but it didn't lead to album sales and that ended their days as a major label artist.  2) This song was later remade in 1997 by Pop/R&B/Dance vocalist INOJ. It was her debut single and it got to #25 on the Pop chart. Her next single would also be a remake. She covered Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" and pushed it out in 1998. It would get to #6 at Pop. This led to her recording a full album the following year for Columbia's So So Def label that included the two hits. It was weirdly titled Ready for the World. Further singles failed to chart and the album suffered the same fate.


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