Friday, July 17, 2020

"One Heartbeat" by Smokey Robinson

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3197
Date:  07/18/1987
Debut:  86
Peak:  10
Weeks:  19
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Robinson grabbed his third Top 10 on the Pop chart with "Just to See Her" (#8), the lead single from his LP One Heartbeat. The song would also get to #1 at AC and #2 R&B. For a follow-up, this title track would be released. It would easily become a hit at both AC (#2) and R&B (#3). At Pop, the tune would get to #10 making it the first time in his solo career that Robinson scored back-to-back Top 10s on that chart. The album would hit #1 at R&B and #27 Pop. It would be Robinson's second gold selling solo LP.

ReduxReview:  Robinson co-wrote all the songs on One Heartbeat except for "Just to See Her" and this title track. Whether he or someone else picked them, both were good choices that led to a career revival. While this song wasn't quite as good as the breezy "Just to See Her," it was still a solid track that had wide appeal. It kind of harked back to the sexier side of Robinson found in songs like "Cruisin'" and "Being with You." It fit him well and gave him one last Pop Top 10.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The b-side to this single was not a track from the album. Instead, an obscure theme to a 1986 movie was used. Robinson co-wrote and performed "Love Will Set You Free," a song that was used as the theme to the sci-fi flick Solarbabies. The movie was executive produced by Mel Brooks and directed by Alan Johnson, a choreographer who had worked with Brooks on several of his films. Johnson's directorial debut was the 1983 war-comedy To Be or Not to Be, which starred Brooks. It received mixed reviews and mediocre box office. Brooks was pitched the idea of Solarbabies and he thought it had a lot of potential. He decided that his Brooksfilms production company would finance the flick about a group of orphans trying to overthrow the organization that basically lorded over a post-apocalyptic Earth. The production was a mess from the get-go. As the film's budget and ambition grew, the original director, co-writer Douglas Metrov, was replaced by Johnson. The film's cast, which included fresh new faces like Jami Gertz, Peter DeLuise, and Jason Patrik, didn't get along with Johnson. Bad weather delayed filming. Scenes were shot that didn't really make sense. The budget kept increasing with Brooks having to put his own money into the film (it nearly bankrupted him). To top things off, it was decided to release the film on the same day as another sci-fi flick, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Critics savaged the film with Gene Siskel even calling it "trash." It ended up a box office bomb. Brooks would rebound the following year with the hit Spaceballs. For Johnson, it would be the last film he would direct. The Smokey Robinson tune was released as a single in Canada only, but it did not chart. It got a wider release when used as the b-side to "One Heartbeat."


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