Friday, March 20, 2020

"One Simple Thing" by The Stabilizers

Spotlight Alert!

Song#:  3078
Date:  04/04/1987
Debut:  97
Peak:  93
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This band from Erie, Pennsylvania, mainly consisted of lead singer Dave Christenson and guitarist/keyboardist Rich Nevens. The pair met up in 1984 after their respective previous bands had broken up. They hit it off musically and began working on songs. A couple of tunes they had recorded as demos made the local airwaves and became popular. They then hired in some side musicians and began to play the clubs. A friend of theirs hawked their tape to labels in New York and it caught the ear of Denny Diante, a producer at CBS Records. Diante caught one of the band's shows and liked what he saw. Christenson and Nevens eventually got signed to CBS and work began on a debut album titled Tyranny with Diante producing. The title track served as the first single, but it got nowhere. However, this second single made some waves and it picked up enough airplay to reach #21 on the Rock chart. The song was then able to cross over to Pop, but it could only manage a few short weeks near the bottom of the chart. Further singles didn't do anything and the album failed to chart. When CBS was scooped up by Sony, the duo got released from their contract and moved over to MCA Records. They recorded an album that was to be titled "Teasing Enrico," but after the LP was finished, changes at the label left the LP shelved and the band without a contract. Only one track saw the light of day. "Maybe This Time" ended up on the soundtrack to the 1991 Richard Grieco action-comedy flick If Looks Could Kill. The duo dissolved not long after their association with MCA ended. Sadly, Christenson died in 2017 from lung cancer.

ReduxReview:  I really don't know how I found this song. It was a low charter and I doubt I heard it on a local radio station. My guess is that I might have caught the video (directed by David Fincher before his movie career kicked in) on MTV. Somehow somewhere this song made an impression on me and I bought the single. I just loved it. The production was meaty, Christenson's vocal take was excellent, and the chorus was just explosive. It was always one of my favorite lost tunes from the decade. I still can't believe this wasn't a hit. Top 40 at minimum. I just wonder if it didn't get the push it deserved by CBS. After one failed single, they probably didn't put their best effort towards this one even though it was getting attention on Rock radio. While the balance of their album doesn't necessarily reach the levels of this track, it was a good LP with some worthwhile moments. I have to spotlight this song because it is a lost gem from the time.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The band got its name from a previous band that Rich Nevens had been in. During his college years at Penn State, Nevens was in a band called The Stabilizers. That band was able to record and issue out an indie self-titled debut in 1982. The band broke up when Nevens graduated and moved to Erie for a job. It was while he was in Erie that he met and began hanging out with Dave Christenson. When the pair decided to form a band, Nevens was able to reuse his former band's name.


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