Wednesday, July 15, 2020

"Show Me the Way" by Regina Belle

Song#:  3195
Date:  07/18/1987
Debut:  88
Peak:  68
Weeks:  9
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  New Jersey-born Belle began singing in church as a child and her love of music grew throughout her school years. After graduating high school, Belle decided to study opera for a while before attending Rutgers where she began singing jazz. It was while singing with the college's jazz ensemble that she impressed a local DJ who then got her in touch with the manager of the R&B group The Manhattans. It seems they were looking for a female vocalist and Belle fit the bill. She began to tour with them and that led to her being featured on two of the group's tracks on their 1986 album Back to Basics, including the #42 R&B single "Where Did We Go Wrong." Her own recording contract followed and in 1987 she released her debut album All By Myself. This song was the LP's first single and it became a big hit at R&B reaching #2. It did well enough to cross over to the pop chart where it hung around for a couple of months. A second single, "So Many Tears," would get to #11 R&B, but miss the Pop chart. The album would sell well getting to #14 R&B/#85 Pop. It was a solid start to Belle's career.

ReduxReview:  Belle came along at the right time. Anita Baker had broken through with her more sophisticated jazz/R&B/pop hybrid sound and I think it helped give Belle and this track a chance. Indeed it made its way up to #2 at R&B and Belle was tagged as a rising star. The song was quite good and Belle sold it well with her remarkable voice. I'm guessing it leaned a little to much towards R&B for pop radio, but those that were able to discover it certainly got a treat.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  By the time Belle hooked up with The Manhattans, their career on the charts was in decline. They hadn't scored a Top 10 at R&B since 1983's #4 "Crazy" and their last big crossover hit was 1980's "Shining Star" (#4 R&B/#5 Pop). Following their Back to Basics album, which featured Belle, lead singer Gerald Alston left for a solo career. The group then found themselves off the Columbia Records roster. They would stay together and return with a new lead singer and an indie album three years later, but it didn't make much of an impression. The Manhattans would continue to tour over the years in various forms and line-ups including one with Alston. Alston's solo career was brief, but successful. Over the course of four albums between '88 and '94, he scored three R&B Top 10 hits.


No comments:

Post a Comment