Wednesday, June 17, 2020

"Still a Thrill" by Jody Watley

Song#:  3167
Date:  06/20/1987
Debut:  88
Peak:  56
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  The first single from Watley's self-titled solo album, "Looking for a New Love," turned into a major hit reaching #1 at R&B and Dance while getting to #2 at Pop. The former Shalamar member's star was on the rise and she tried to keep things going with this second single. While it was another hit at R&B (#3) and Dance (#8), the track wasn't able to break as well on the Pop chart and it ended up stalling in the bottom half of the chart. Luckily, her next two singles were strong enough to overcome this minor bump in the road and helped to get her album to platinum status.

ReduxReview:  This groovy tune had a distinct Prince smell to it, which came courtesy of AndrĂ© Cymone who had been in Prince's pre-Revolution band. It was a juicy jam that was enhanced by Watley's lower register monotone delivery. The tune was ripe enough to easily become a hit at R&B and Dance, but I think it just wasn't quite as mainstream hooky as "Looking for a New Love" and it just wasn't the song needed to retain a pop audience. I think it's a terrific song and was a good candidate for release, but it might have done better as the LP's fourth single.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Another artist getting their solo career going after leaving a group made a guest appearance on Watley's debut album. A song George Michael had co-written with Richard "Dimples" Fields, "Learn to Say No" was given to Watley. Michael not only co-wrote the song, but also appeared on the track as a duet partner. The track was produced by Bernard Edwards. The collaboration came about when Watley, who was living in London post-Shalamar, was a participant (along with Michael) on Bob Geldof's Band-Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" She and Michael struck up a conversation with both professing an admiration for each other's work. Watley smartly seized the moment and asked Michael if he would duet with her when she secured a record deal. He said yes and the pair kept in contact. True to his word, once Watley signed with MCA Records, Michael fulfilled his promise with "Learn to Say No." The only downside to it was that Michael's label wouldn't let it be released as a single, so it remained an album track only.


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