Sunday, July 5, 2020

"Shy Boys" by Ana

Song#:  3185
Date:  07/11/1987
Debut:  96
Peak:  94
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Cuban-born Ana Rodríguez began her singing career at a young age after her family moved to Miami. By the time she was ten years old, she had signed on with Parc Records, a new offshoot label of CBS. After three years of mentoring and developing Rodríguez's skills and career, she entered the studio with producers Frank Wildhorn and Karl Richardson (of Bee Gees fame). With her name reduced to the singular Ana, Rodríguez recorded her self-titled debut album. Wildhorn, who would later compose music for Broadway musicals like Jekyll & Hyde and The Civil War, co-wrote nearly all the songs including this first single. The tune made some strides on the Dance chart getting to #23, but it fizzled quickly at Pop after a few short weeks. The album would fail to chart.

ReduxReview:  I never heard of Ana or this song and I wasn't expecting much knowing that she was just 13 years old. Young teen singers usually get stuck with juvenile sounding pop tunes with little production value. So I was a little shocked when I listened to the tune. The first thing I noticed was that the production was really good. I should have known that since Karl Richardson was on board. Then there was Ana's voice, which sounded far better and more mature than I expected. The dance-pop tune was pretty catch as well. The whole thing sounded like a mashup of Janet Jackson and Teena Maria. I'm quite surprised this didn't do better. I'm not sure if it was a lack of promotion or something else, but folks dropped the ball and missed out on this one. Sadly she got the short shrift again with the lead single from her second album (see below). It also should have done much better. She had the voice and was working with great people behind the scenes, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be for her.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Despite the results of this song (although her album did well in Japan), Parc Records gave Ana a second shot and in 1990 she released her second album Body Language. Maurice Starr, who was having great success at the time with New Kids on the Block, stepped in as producer and wrote four songs. Thanks to his New Kids connection, he brought in Jordan Knight to perform on a duet track. Also on board was teenage sensation Debbie Gibson who wrote and produced two tracks. With all the star power on board, it seemed like the album was bound to do well. Unfortunately, the first single, "Got to Tell Me Something," stopped at #66 on the Pop chart and further singles failed to do anything. That left the album dangling at a very minor #191. With those results, Ana's teenage recording career came to an end. More than a decade later, Ana returned with a new album. This time it was a Spanish language effort titled Tentación. For the 2003 LP, she changed her name to Mia.


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