Thursday, April 9, 2020

"Wild Horses" by Gino Vannelli

Song#:  3098
Date:  04/18/1987
Debut:  88
Peak:  55
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Vannelli's first album for Polydor, 1984's Black Cars, was a hit at home in Canada becoming a platinum seller, but it didn't do as well in the US where its #62 peak was his lowest since 1975. The title track was a #4 hit in Canada, but it faltered in the US and stopped shy of the Top 40 at #42. It would then take about two and a half years for him to come up with the follow-up album Big Dreamers Never Sleep. Like Black Cars, Vannelli co-produced the LP with his brothers Joe and Ross. This first single was issued out and it was another success at home reaching #7 on the Canadian chart. Unfortunately, that results wasn't replicated in the US where the song fizzled at #55 Pop and #33 AC. It would end up being Vannelli's last single to reach the US Pop chart. In turn, the album tanked at a low #160. His next LP, 1990's Inconsolable Man, wouldn't chart in the US and would be his last to chart in Canada. Three tracks would make the Canadian chart, but none would do anything in the US except for the #49 AC entry "If I Should Lose This Love." Vannelli would continue to record over the years in various styles including a pair of acoustic-jazz albums in the mid-90s.

ReduxReview:  I like the casual, sensual feel of this track. The minimal production is perfect for the song. Vannelli and his brothers were really good at crafting arrangements and productions that enhanced Vannelli's songs. The style reminds me of a less-rocky "To Be a Lover" by Billy Idol and the upcoming hit by Belinda Carlisle "Circle in the Sand." It's a shame this didn't do better. Vannelli had a knack for writing interesting pop tunes and this was another good one in his catalog.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In addition to his jazz outings, Vannelli also dabbled in contemporary classical music. In 2001, Vannelli produced the album Haitek Haiku for Danish jazz pianist Niels Lan Doky. For the disc, Vannelli co-wrote the Franz Schubert-influenced "Parole Per Mio Padre," a song he dedicated to his father. Vannelli sang the lead vocals on the track. Somehow, the song made waves at the Vatican and Vannelli was invited to sing the song for Pope John Paul II for a televised event. After the show aired, Vannelli got a call from BMG Records asking him to do a full disc of AC-classical songs. Vannelli signed on with the label and issued out 2003's Canto. The songs on the LP were all written or co-written by Vannelli and it was mainly released in Europe and Canada. After that he would return to pop music and would also write an autobiography titled Stardust in the Sand.


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