Saturday, August 15, 2020

"Breakout" by Swing Out Sister

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3226
Date:  08/15/1987
Debut:  92
Peak:  6
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Sophisti-Pop

Pop Bits:  This British trio featuring Corinne Drewery on vocals signed with Mercury Records in 1985. Near the end of the year they released their first single in the UK, "Blue Mood." The track didn't make an impression and failed to chart. They were given another shot and chose to release "Breakout." That song did the trick and the band found themselves in the UK Top 10 at #4. It was followed up by another hit, the #7 "Surrender." Their debut album, It's Better to Travel, was finally released and it easily topped the UK chart. That success allowed for a distribution deal in the US with "Breakout" being released first. It would become a multi-chart hit reaching the Pop Top 10, #1 AC, and #12 Dance. The album would do fairly well reaching #40. Grammy folks took noticed and gave the band two nominations, one for Best New Artist and one for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Duo or Group, for this song.

ReduxReview:  This effervescent track was a fun listen. It was cool, breezy, easy, and hooky and even though it was a synthpop tune, it got jazzed up by actual horns. This track was perfect fodder for AC radio and it easily topped that chart. Yet the song's modern synthpop feel appealed to a younger pop radio audience as well. The track still has an 80s feel to it, but in a good way. It's just one of those tunes that can put a smile on your face and get you groovin'. It's also a great summer song for cocktails on the deck!

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The group was originally just the duo of Andrew Connell and Martin Jackson. The pair had been working with other bands and had been recording some dance tracks on their own that somehow got the attention of Mercury Records The label was interested in the duo's music, but wanted to hear something with vocals. The pair then got Diane Charlemagne to provide vocals for a few demo songs. That did the trick and Mercury signed them. However, Charlemagne was committed to another group at the time and that left the guys looking for a new lead vocalist, which they found in singer/fashion designer Corinne Drewery. Charlemagne was a member of the band 52nd Street. They had some success in the mid-80s on the US Dance and R&B charts. Their biggest hit came in 1985 with "Tell Me (How It Feels)," which got to #8 R&B and #14 Dance. Charlemagne later joined the band Urban Cookie Collective. That group's 1994 debut album High on a Happy Vibe did well in the UK with two of its tracks reaching the Top 10.


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