Wednesday, February 19, 2020

"(I Just) Died in Your Arms" by Cutting Crew

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3048
Date:  03/07/1987
Debut:  80
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The basis for this UK band actually started in Canada when Nick Van Eede was on tour in Nova Scotia with his band The Drivers. He met up with Canadian Kevin Macmichael whose band Fast Forward was doing some shows with The Drivers. The pair hit it off and by 1985 they were in London writing and recording demos. Those songs got them signed to Siren Records, an offshoot label of Virgin UK. They brought on board two more members and the first lineup of Cutting Crew began recording. This first single was released in the UK in the summer of '86. It became a hit reaching #4. Their debut album, Broadcast, was then issued out in the fall. Wanting a stronger foothold in the US, Virgin decided to open up their new Virgin Records America label and it was decided that the Cutting Crew's album would be its first release in the States. It was preceded by this single, which became both Virgin's and the band's first #1 hit on the US Pop chart. It also got to #4 at Rock, #24 AC, and #37 Dance. The album then became a gold seller reaching #16. It was a significant debut by the band and one that helped to earn them a Grammy nod for Best New Artist.

ReduxReview:  Back in the day, this was one of those songs you could identify within a few seconds after it started playing. That windy, tooting synth line was a dead giveaway. It was a bit cheezy too, but luckily it led to quality song with a memorable chorus. For a debut single in the 80s, this one was pretty spot-on. It was well-written, had good production, and sounded great on the radio. It would later be used in several films and TV shows. Just a week or so before I wrote this post, the tune got used in a high-profile commercial. The somewhat infamous ad where Mr. Peanut of Planters Peanuts died included the song. In the ad, Mr. Peanut, Wesley Snipes, and Matt Walsh are in a peanut-mobile driving on a mountain road. Snipes and Walsh are singing to this song, which is playing on the radio. Then they crash and Mr. Peanut dies. Frankly, it's a stupid commercial and ad campaign, but at least this song got some attention again.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Lead singer and songwriter Nick Van Eede basically began a professional career in music when he was still in his teens. He ended up getting a deal with Barn Records and released a few solo singles for them in '78 and '79. The tunes didn't get him anywhere, so a couple years later he formed a band called The Drivers. They ended up signed with a Canadian label and scored a Top 40 hit in 1983 with "Tears on Your Anorak." The associated debut album, Short Cuts, sold fairly well. A tour of Canada ensued and that is when Van Eede met his future Cutting Crew bandmate Kevin Macmichael.


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