Thursday, April 23, 2020

"Soul City" by The Partland Brothers

Song#:  3112
Date:  05/02/1987
Debut:  77
Peak:  27
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This Canadian duo was made up of brothers Chris and G.P. Partland. In 1979, the pair made a move from their small town to Toronto in search of a career in music. Once they got set up, they formed the band Oliver Heavyside. The group quickly gained a following and became a popular attraction on the club circuit. In 1982, they entered the annual "Homegrown" music contest put on by Toronto rock station Q107. They eventually won with their song "Level Crossing." (Side note: the winners of the 1983 contest were Honeymoon Suite with "New Girl Now.") The win made the band even more popular, but it seemingly didn't parlay into a major label contract. After Oliver Heavyside fizzled out, the brothers decided it was time to be on their own. By 1985, a demo tape of theirs made it to Capitol Records and the duo was signed. Work began on a debut album that was eventually titled Electric Honey. This first single was released and it ended up in the Canadian Top 30. Manhattan Records would then pick up the album and push out this single in the US. It would also crack the Top 30, which allowed the album to make a minor appearance at #146. The duo would end up receiving a Juno nomination for Most Promising New Group. In the US, this would be the duo's only charting single.

ReduxReview:  This is a track that I had certainly forgotten. It took a minute for me to remember the song, but once the chorus came in and I heard the line "and we won't be back 'til the money's all gone," it clicked in my mind. It's a well-written tune with nice harmonies and pretty good production that featured some minor 80s flourishes tossed in to keep it (at the time) current. It's a little gem of a song that has gotten lost over the years.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Following their first album, the brothers began to have issues with their management. This happens to some artists when they experience a sudden burst of fame. Newfound popularity can bring up problems with the artist, label, management, etc. and it seems The Partland Brothers got caught up in some business wranglings that delayed the recording of their second album. When the dust settled, they released their second effort, Between Worlds, in 1990. It was only issued in Canada with one single, "Honest Man," making the Top 30. The results got them left off the Capitol roster. They returned with an indie album in 1993 that generated a minor Top 40 single. After that, the brothers more or less went their own ways. They would perform and record on occasion over the years.


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