Sunday, June 7, 2020

"Under the Boardwalk" by Bruce Willis

Song#:  3157
Date:  06/13/1987
Debut:  89
Peak:  59
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  The Moonlighting actor capitalized on his sudden fame from the hit TV show by recording an album that mainly consisted of cover tunes. The LP, titled The Return of Bruno, got released by Motown Records and its first single, "Respect Yourself," became a surprise #5 Pop hit. Its follow-up, "Young Blood," didn't fare as well only reaching #68. Despite the lower result, this third single was issued out. It did only slightly better than "Young Blood" while making it to #72 at R&B. It did much better at AC where the tune topped out at #20. Over in the UK, the song fared far better and ended up being a significant hit reaching #2. Back in the US, the album would top out at #14 and would be a gold seller.

ReduxReview:  Oh my. This is like amateur night at the local beachside hotel tiki bar. It starts off bad with the beach noises and little setup dialog and gets worse from there. You'd think that perhaps a relaxed song like this might fit in with Willis' weak vocals, but he still gets swallowed up by the classic. Just like his other singles, he sucked the soul right out of it. The arrangement is quite bland and adds nothing to the tune. The whole thing is like a can of spray cheese - a poor substitute for the original.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally recorded by The Drifters in 1964. Their version would reach #4 at Pop and would be their last Top 10 hit on that chart. The song has been covered by many artists, but besides The Drifters and Willis, only one other artist has reached the Pop chart with a version. Billy Joe Royal took the song to #82 in 1978.  2) Since Willis' album proved to be a success, of course there had to be a follow up. He returned in 1989 with If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. Once again produced by Robert Kraft for Motown Records, the album still contained cover tunes, but this time around half the tracks were co-written by Willis. The first single was a remake of another Drifters song, their 1960 #1 "Save the Last Dance for Me." It did not chart. A second single, "Turn It Up (A Little Louder)," which was written by Willis and Kraft, also failed to chart. With little to promote it, the album quickly disappeared as did Willis' recording career. While he'd later sing a few songs for soundtracks, he basically kept to his day job as an actor and in 1988 became a major film star with the hit action flick Die Hard.



  1. It feels like it's been a long time since a song got less than a 3. This is most assuredly worthy of its score.

    1. It's true. Could be I've been a bit lenient lately, but more likely it could be that '87 just had a lot of average songs. I'll see how it plays out when I'm done with '87.