Wednesday, June 10, 2020

"Don't Mean Nothing" by Richard Marx

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3160
Date:  06/13/1987
Debut:  78
Peak:  3
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  In his late teens, Marx was already an accomplished musician and songwriter who had aspirations to be in the music business. By age 17, he already had a demo tape that he sent around to various people. Somehow, one of those tapes ended up with Lionel Richie. Richie was impressed with what he heard and actually called Marx. Richie encouraged Marx to move out to L.A. and offered to help him along, but with no guarantees that anything would happen for the young musician. Marx took off and soon found himself supplying background vocals on Lionel Richie's 1982 self-titled debut solo album. Two years later, two songs that he co-wrote ended up on Kenny Rogers' What About Me album including the #1 AC/#15 title track. More vocal work and songwriting credits came his way and it wasn't long before Marx was able to parlay all that into his own recording contract with EMI Manhattan Records. By the summer of '87, his self-titled debut album was ready to go. This first single was released and it became a big hit at Rock reaching #1. The tune also did well on the Pop chart hitting #3. The song would end up earning Marx and Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance. Marx's career was off and running.

ReduxReview:  This fun rocker came out at the right time. Besides Bryan Adams, Bob Seger, and a couple of other artists, there wasn't a lot of straight-forward commercial rock on the Pop chart and it seemed that there was a market for it. This tune fit the bill with its hooky guitar licks, bluesy feel, and a big chorus featuring a nice falsetto turn by Marx. It kind of has a late-70s Eagles feel to it, but updated for the late 80s. Having three members from the Eagles guest on the track certainly helped the song gain that feel. It was a nice radio-ready blast of rock that established Marx's career. The tune is still a fun listen.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Richard's father, Dick Marx, was a successful musician himself. He was a jazz pianist and arranger who worked with several jazz and pop stars over the years. He also had his own career as a recording artist and released a few albums for a couple of labels in the late 50s. But perhaps his biggest successes came in the 60s and 70s when he ran his own jingle company. His jingles were heard by millions of people and were done for high profile companies like Kellogg, Dial, and Wrigley. Anyone alive during those decades will probably remember Marx's jingle "Ask any mermaid you happen to see, what's the best Tuna? Chicken of the Sea!" He also did scoring and arranging for TV shows and films such as the 1992 hit A League of Their Own. Both Richard and his mother would occasionally help out in the family business by singing on some of the jingles. Richard would help out on kid-related commercials including a 1976 ad for Peter Pan peanut butter ("If you believe in peanut butter, clap your hands!").


No comments:

Post a Comment