Sunday, March 8, 2020

"You Keep Me Hangin' On" by Kim Wilde

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3066
Date:  03/28/1987
Debut:  96
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  Wilde had a memorable hit in 1981 with the #25 "Kids in America," but then her follow-up efforts in the years following failed to chart with the lone exception of "Go for It" (#65), a track from her 1984 LP Teases & Dares. That album was her first to feature a few songs that she wrote (or co-wrote) and that gave her the confidence to dive in deeper for her next effort Another Step. Wilde would write/co-write eight of the album's twelve tracks, yet when it came time for a single, this cover tune was selected. The energetic track had already been a #2 hit in the UK by the time it debuted in the US. The song started out low on the chart, but steadily climbed until it hit the top spot. It would be Wilde's first and only US #1. It also got to #6 at Dance and #30 AC. The hit helped the album become her best effort in the US when it reached #40.

ReduxReview:  I really liked Wilde's Tease & Dares album, so I was looking forward to Another Step. When this song came out, I wasn't sure I liked it. The tune's synth pop combined with guitars was in line with her previous disc, but it turned a classic pleading Motown song full of emotion into something cold. It was like the soul was zapped from the tune. In turn, the album was not as good as I had hoped. While it had some highlights, it just didn't have that quirky Wilde family feel (her brother and father co-wrote and produced most of her previous albums). It felt like they were trying to rein it in and be more commercial. It worked in regards to this song, but it was a song familiar to many folks and the synthpop/dance spin helped to sell it. I just wasn't all that thrilled with it.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally recorded by The Supremes. Their 1966 version would become the trio's eighth to top the Pop chart and fifth to hit #1 at R&B. The classic Motown track, written by the incomparable Holland-Dozier-Holland team, would be covered by many artists over the years. In addition to The Supremes and Wilde, three other artists would reach the Pop chart with their versions. Psychedelic rock band Vanilla Fudge initially charted in '67 with the tune and it got to #67. But a reissue of the song the following year caught on and it topped out at #6. Soul singer Wilson Pickett's take got to #92 (#16 R&B) in 1969. Then in 1970, singer Jackie DeShannon used the song in a medley alongside "Hurts So Bad." That single got to #96.  2) This song is one of only nine to have reached #1 on the Pop chart by two different artists. Of those nine, three of them, including this tune, happened to accomplish the feat within months of each other. Bananarama's "Venus," a remake of Shocking Blue's 1970 #1, hit the top spot on September 6, 1986. Then Club Nouveau's "Lean on Me," a cover of the Bill Withers hit, reached #1 on March 21, 1987. Wilde's cover would get to the top on June 6, 1987, eight months after Bananarama's cover tune got to #1. This feat would not happen again until 1991 when Michael Bolton reached #1 with Percy Sledge's chart topper "When a Man Loves a Woman."


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