Tuesday, February 11, 2020

"Sexappeal" by Georgio

Song#:  3040
Date:  02/28/1987
Debut:  88
Peak:  58
Weeks:  9
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  This singer/songwriter was born in San Francisco as Georgio Allentini, but grew up in Minneapolis. He was heavily influenced by Prince and Minneapolis sound and eventually wrote and produced his own demo and submitted it to Prince hoping to get on his Paisley Park label. While it seems there was interest from the Prince camp, it ended up not working out. Georgio then took off to L.A. and while there took his demo tape to L.A.'s KJLH radio station in order to get it played on their local amateur music day lineup. His song "Sexappeal" got played and phones lit up. He then financed and properly recorded the song to be issued out as a 12" single. It got distributed by Macola Records and ended up selling well enough to capture the attention of Motown Records. They basically let Georgio write, produce, arrange, and pretty much play everything on his debut album titled Sexappeal. The title track was formally issued on Motown as the LP's first single. It did well enough to reach #16 at R&B. It crossed over to Pop where it got near the Top 50 mark. A remix of the song would make it to #8 on the Dance chart.

ReduxReview:  I guess back in the day folks thought this was a new Prince single. Indeed, it certainly did have a lot of Princely references, but I think it was a little too dance oriented to really be a total knock off of the Purple One. Still, the Minneapolis sound is apparent with even the "whaaatt!" yell in the song referencing The Time and Jam & Lewis. Overall it's not too bad of a tune. I think I'm more impressed that Georgio pretty much did everything on this track with the production sounding pretty good and detailed. There's not much depth to Georgio's voice, but it works just fine for this style of song. I'm not surprised it didn't do all that well at Pop. I'm sure the title along with all the female moans and such turned off a few radio programmers.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  It's not fully clear what happened with Georgio and Prince's Paisley Park label. The more common story is that the label was interested in Georgio, but only as a singer. That meant that he would probably be the face/voice for more music from Prince and wouldn't have the opportunity to record his own music. Since that wasn't what Georgio was looking for, he declined any invitations to join the label and remained on his own. Another little blurb stated that the label made an offer, but that Georgio wanted more money to sign on. When he didn't get it, he split. The first story is more likely, but it could also be a combo of the two. Whatever happened, it took a few years but Georgio was able to sign with a major label and secure a hit.


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