Saturday, July 18, 2020

"Twistin' the Night Away" by Rod Stewart

Song#:  3198
Date:  07/18/1987
Debut:  85
Peak:  80
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  The soundtrack for the sci-fi comedy flick Innerspace, starring Martin Short and Dennis Quaid, had already spawned a Pop Top 40 single with the #36 "Hypnotize Me" by Wang Chung. Even though that single was just a minor hit and the film not meeting expectations at the box office, it was decided that this second single from the soundtrack would be released. Rod Stewart's cover tune (see below) didn't make much of an impression and it fell off the Pop chart after a quick month. Stewart was in between albums in 1987 so the timing of the single was certainly good to keep his charting career going, but it just didn't catch on. Stewart would return in 1988 with an album that would become his biggest selling of the 80s.

ReduxReview:  Stewart doing a remake of his own remake was kind of odd in that he didn't do much to improve on his first version except to put it in a big 80s rock arrangement. While there was nothing really wrong with the track, it just seemed to be more glamorous and polished than his first version, which had a true organic rock feel. It was like his '72 version stemmed from a love of Cooke's music along with the song whereas the '87 soundtrack version came off as "you wanna pay me how much to do this?" Because of that, the tune came off as cheezy shtick meant to promote a movie  Even the associated video featured Martin Short. I'd stick with Stewart's '72 cover or, obviously, the classic original by Cooke.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally written and performed by soul singer Sam Cooke. His 1962 version became a #1 R&B/#9 Pop hit. The song would be performed by many artists, but the first one to make the Pop chart with a version was Rod Stewart. However, it wasn't this soundtrack version. Back in 1972, Stewart recorded the song for his album Never a Dull Moment. That LP was mainly famous for its #13 single "You Wear It Well." A second single, "Angel," just barely made the Top 40 at #40. Stewart's remake of the Cooke song was then issued out as the third single. It got to #59. Flash forward to 1987 where in the movie Innerspace there was a scene where Martin Short and Dennis Quaid get a bit drunk and Short does a goofy dance to Sam Cooke's "Twistin' the Night Away." It was a memorable scene so apparently someone thought it was a good idea to have an artist cover the track for the closing credits. Stewart, who had already recorded the tune, was then recruited to re-record it for the soundtrack.


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