Sunday, July 26, 2020

"Back to Paradise" by 38 Special

Song#:  3206
Date:  07/25/1987
Debut:  81
Peak:  41
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Southern Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  After seven studio albums (three platinum, one gold) and seven Pop Top 40 entries, 38 Special and their label decided it was time to issue out a hits compilation. Titled Flashback: The Best of 38 Special, the album featured nine previously released songs, three live tracks, and two new tunes including this song, which had been used in the comedy film Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise. It was released as a single to help promote both the movie and the hits package. The tune easily made it to #4 on the Rock chart while just missing out on the Pop Top 40 at the dreaded #41. The compilation would end up reaching #35 and would go platinum. Following its release, there would be personnel changes in the band and the new lineup would return with an album in '88.

ReduxReview:  Here is another track from the Vallance/Adams assembly line (see below) and like many of their other collaborations for other artists, it wasn't a major hit. It did get to #4 at Rock, but the tune just wasn't in the same league as some of the band's earlier hits. There was also a certain smell that made it seem like a soundtrack song; a kind of hooky commercialism that made it sound like a promo tune and something that the band wouldn't necessarily have recorded for one of their albums. Still, the band rallied and made it into something palatable for their fans. Just not enough of them showed up to make it a bigger hit.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise was the sequel to the hit 1984 teen/frat comedy Revenge of the Nerds, which starred Anthony Andrews and Robert Carradine. That film wasn't necessarily a critical favorite, but audiences loved it and the flick ended up being a solid box office hit. Of course the smell of money resulted in the decision to do a sequel and Nerds in Paradise was made. Critics hated it, but audiences showed up and the film ended up making money. The original film had a soundtrack album, but none of the songs from the LP hit the charts. The sequel featured several new tunes, but a soundtrack was not officially culled and released. However, this 38 Special song was considered the film's theme and was released as a single. There would be two more Nerds movies to follow, but both were made for TV and not released theatrically.  2) With their 1986 album Strength in Numbers, 38 Special began working with Jim Vallance, the songwriting partner of Bryan Adams. The association began after the band recorded the Vallance/Adams tune "Teacher, Teacher" (#25 Pop/#4 Rock) for the movie Teachers. The collaboration seemed to work out well, so when a theme was needed for the Nerds sequel, Vallance and Adams had "Back to Paradise" ready for 38 Special to record.


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