Monday, August 24, 2020

"Notorious" by Loverboy

Song#:  3236
Date:  08/22/1987
Debut:  91
Peak:  38
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After scoring a #12 hit with the Top Gun soundtrack single "Heaven in Your Eyes," the band prepped their fifth studio album Wildside. To introduce the new LP, this first single was pushed out. It would do well at Rock reaching #7. On the Pop chart, the tune unexpectedly fizzled once it reached the Top 40. It was a disappointment coming on the heels of "Heaven in Your Eyes" along with a pair of Top 10s from their previous album Lovin' Every Minute of It. The lack of a bigger lead-off hit played into the album's performance. It would become their lowest peaking to-date at #42 and only reach gold level sales, which was a big drop following four multi-platinum album.

ReduxReview:  While the idea of pairing Bon Jovi/Sambora with Reno/Dean was a good one (see below), the resulting track wasn't all that great. The first problem was the title. It is usually not a good idea to release a single with the same name as a recent hit and Duran Duran had just reached the Pop Top 10 with their "Notorious" early in the year. It seems to cause confusion with people thinking the newer song is a remake. Plus, it doesn't help that both songs feature a stuttering "notorious." A damn good song can overcome the issues and that leads to the second problem here. The song wasn't all that strong. The opening is the best part. After that it kind of lost me. It's like they were trying too hard to come up with a rockin' hit. Two of Loverboy's recent hits were pop-leaning ballads and I think this was their attempt to gain back some of their rock cred while still trying to keep mainstream (and keep up with bands like Bon Jovi). Unfortunately it didn't work out.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  For this song the band got a little bit of writing assistance from a couple of newly minted rock stars. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora co-wrote the song with Todd Cerney and Loverboy members Mike Reno and Paul Dean. It seems that around the time that Jon Bon Jovi was writing songs for his band's Slippery When Wet album, he thought it would be a good idea to start composing tracks for other artists, a al Bryan Adams and his partner Jim Vallance. Bon Jovi and Sambora had begun writing tunes with Desmond Child when they heard Loverboy was looking for new songs. The first one the trio came up with was "You Give Love a Bad Name," but it ended up being too good to give away. Later, Bon Jovi and Sambora met up with Loverboy and together hashed out this track. Unfortunately, like several songs sold by Adams/Vallance, the Bon Jovi/Sambora effort didn't result in a major hit.


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