Monday, January 13, 2020

"Hold Me" by Sheila E.

Song#:  3011
Date:  02/07/1987
Debut:  92
Peak:  68
Weeks:  10
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Sheila E.'s second album, Romance 1600, would be her second gold effort thanks mainly to her #11 Pop hit "A Love Bizarre," which featured Prince.  When it came time for her third LP, Sheila E. remained with Prince and his Paisley Park label. This time around, Prince loosened his grip a bit and only wrote five of the LP's ten songs. Sheila E. would co-write the remaining tracks without the help of Prince. Still, even though Sheila E. is listed as producer along with David Z., Prince pretty much handled the production duties along with playing most of the instruments. When it came time to issue out a lead single, this Sheila E. co-written ballad was surprisingly selected. It would end up being a hit at R&B getting to #3. It also got to #36 at AC. The tune didn't catch on as well at Pop and it stalled in the bottom third of the chart. A second single, the Prince-penned "Koo Koo," would only get to #36 R&B. Without a more significant crossover hit, the album stopped at #56 Pop/#24 R&B and failed to go gold. "Hold Me" would be Sheila E.'s last single to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  I like that Sheila E. went for a different sound with this song rather than rely on the Prince-infused tracks that kicked off her career. It was a solid, soulful track that she delivered well, but it did lean more towards an R&B audience and that didn't necessarily help it gain a mainstream acceptance. It was a well-deserved hit at R&B, but it just wasn't going to make it far on pop radio. The second single, "Koo Koo," was definitely guided by Prince. It was a fun track, but it just didn't have the same commercial appeal as her previous tunes with him and it faltered. Her days as a charting artist quickly faded after this, but in some ways it didn't really matter because she has since maintained a highly successful career as a well-respected musician.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  After some health issued sidelined her, Sheila E. left Prince's fold and struck out on her own. She signed on with Warner Bros. and recorded her 1991 album Sex Cymbal. A couple of singles did moderately well on the R&B and Dance charts, but the album didn't sell well and that ended her major label days. Over the years she would record a few more albums for smaller labels. She has been an in-demand side musician on percussion and a musical director as well. She has been featured in several films and TV shows including the CMT reality competition show Gone Country. Sheila E. was a contestant on the third and final season on the show, which attempted to turn non-country singers/entertainers into country artists. Sheila E. ended up being the third season winner and she released a single after the show titled "Glorious Train."


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