Friday, February 7, 2020

"Keep Your Eye on Me" by Herb Alpert

Song#:  3036
Date:  02/28/1987
Debut:  94
Peak:  46
Weeks:  10
Genre:  R&B, Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Alpert was a trumpeter, band leader, and record label owner (A&M) who scored hits in the 60s with his Tijuana Brass. He became hip for a minute in the late 70s when his disco floor hit "Rise" reached #1 in 1979. After that, he tried to retain that mainstream audience with some pop and R&B leaning instrumentals, but the best he could do was 1982's #37 "Route 101." It went downhill from there with a couple of low-performing LPs. Then his 1985 LP Wild Romance featured no Pop chart singles and barely made a dent on the Album chart. Nothing was working for Alpert and he had pretty much lost his audience. But you know, it certainly helps when you own a successful label with high profile, hit making artists like Janet Jackson. So Alpert looked at the work Jackson was doing with the writing/production team of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and wanted in. For his next LP, Keep Your Eye on Me, Alpert brought in Jam & Lewis to help boost his sound for a modern 80s audience. The trio would work up four tracks including this lead single. It caught on at R&B and Dance with the song reaching #3 on both charts. It crossed over to Pop where it nearly cracked the Top 40. It was his best effort in five years. The news would get even better with the album's second single.

ReduxReview:  Jam & Lewis do a good job here pushing Alpert into the then-current 80s. They established a solid jam with great production while giving Alpert a hooky melody line to play. Later in the song, they seem to recognize or give a tip o' tha hat to Alpert's Tijuana Brass days with a double trumpet line over a (synth) marimba. It all worked together and the tune did very well at R&B and Dance. Pop lagged behind, which was a bit surprising. This seemed like an easy Top 40 entry based on the action from the other charts, but it stalled early. Still, it's a fun track that gave Jam & Lewis another opportunity to expand their horizons.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  In addition to production and songwriting on this track, Terry Lewis also supplied background vocals. Along with him were two of Jam & Lewis' cohorts, Jerome Benson and Lisa Keith. Both artists worked regularly with the duo. Benson was formerly with Jam & Lewis in The Time. Keith was an aspiring singer who began working with Jam & Lewis sometime in '85. She became a sort of go-to background singer for them and can be heard on many of their productions including her somewhat controversial appearance on Human League's #1 hit "Human." She would step into the spotlight a bit more providing lead vocals on the third single from Alpert's album, "Making Love in the Rain."



  1. Are you sure this song is rating as a 0/10?

  2. You're welcome, I was confused there because you seem to be giving this song a pretty good rating.