Monday, December 9, 2019

"Someone" by El DeBarge

Song#:  2977
Date:  12/27/1986
Debut:  90
Peak:  70
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, R&B

Pop Bits:  DeBarge's second solo single, "Love Always," did well at R&B (#7) and AC (#8), but it stopped short of the Pop Top 40 at #43. Hoping to rekindle interest on Pop radio, this third single from his self-titled debut album was pushed out. It did best at AC getting to #20, but it halted at #32 at R&B while riding the bottom of the Pop chart for a couple of months. It didn't do much to help promote the album, which had already been certified gold in September '86. It would end up being DeBarge's last solo single to reach the Pop chart. Over the years he would have several more singles get on the R&B chart with 1989's "Real Love" doing the best at #8. He would record three albums before pausing his solo career in 1995. He would return in 2010 with Second Chance, an album that would garner him two Grammy nominations.

ReduxReview:  While this Stevie Wonder-ish song is mildly better than "Love Always," it still wasn't a tune that was going to be a hit. It made for a nice album track, but there was no way it was going to return DeBarge to the Top 10 on any chart. The tune just wasn't strong enough. It boasted excellent songwriters (Jay Graydon, Mark Mueller, and Robbie Nevil), but like other tracks on the album that featured solid composers, it sounded like their b-level material. I'm not sure what DeBarge and his label were thinking, but molding him into an AC crooner wasn't the brightest idea.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia: While DeBarge would be absent from the Pop chart as a solo artist, two singles on which he would be a featured artist would make the chart. In 1990, a track from Quincy Jones' Grammy-winning LP Back on the Block, "Secret Garden," would reach #31 on the Pop chart. It would go to #1 at R&B and #26 AC. DeBarge would share lead vocal duties on the tune along with Barry White, Al B. Sure!, and James Ingram. He would also be a featured vocalist on the 1991 single "All Through the Night" by rapper Tone Lōc. It would get to #80 at Pop and #16 R&B. DeBarge's last solo song to hit the AC chart came in 1987. He sang the title song to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Starlight Express for a 1987 concept-style album titled Music and Songs from Starlight Express. The show originally opened in London's West End in 1984 and finally crossed over over to Broadway in 1987. An original London cast album of the show had already been available, so to help promote the Broadway run, the concept album was developed and DeBarge was tapped for the project. His version of "Starlight Express" was issued out as a single and it got to #30 at AC.


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