Sunday, March 15, 2020

"Always" by Atlantic Starr

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3073
Date:  03/28/1987
Debut:  79
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  22
Genre:  R&B, Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  This band's first five albums did well thanks to several hits on the R&B chart. Their 1982 album Brilliance was even a gold seller. However, success on the Pop chart eluded them. They finally broke through with the #3 hit (#4 R&B/#1 AC) "Secret Lovers," which was from their sixth LP As the Band Turns. It helped secure them a second gold album. With their profile significantly raised, the band got back in the studio to record their seventh album All in the Name of Love. For its first single, this ballad was selected. It ended up being the right choice with the song hitting #1 at Pop, R&B and AC. The mainstream appeal of the tune helped the album sell and it would become their first platinum disc reaching #4 R&B and #18 Pop.

ReduxReview:  You can practically hear the saccharine sap oozing out of this confection. Whether it was written to be a wedding/prom staple or not, it was certainly crafted to be one of those gooey love songs that would appeal to a very broad audience. The melody is easy to sing along with while the lyrics hit all the typical romantic phrases. The arrangement is simple and breezy with unadorned vocals that keep things easy and pleasant. They actually sound like a moon-eyed couple professing their undying love...for always. I'm not the biggest fan of sap like this, but I will say that this one was well-crafted and it was an excellent move for the band capitalizing on the success of "Secret Lovers."

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  For the As the Band Turns and All in the Name of Love albums, Barbara Weathers served as the lead female vocalist. Following the success of the LPs, Weathers decided to leave Atlantic Starr and try for a solo career. It took her a couple of years to get a contract, but she finally signed on with Reprise Records and then released a self-titled debut album in 1990. It was modestly successful reaching #79 R&B and spawning the #13 R&B single "The Master Key." However, it seems the results weren't what Reprise was looking for and Weathers didn't get the opportunity to record a follow up.


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