Thursday, September 3, 2020

"I Don't Think Man Should Sleep Alone" by Ray Parker, Jr.

Song#:  3246
Date:  08/29/1987
Debut:  88
Peak:  68
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  After hitting #1 with his "Ghostbusters" theme song, Parker had difficulty trying to get back into the Top 10 at both R&B and Pop. A hits package, studio album, and another soundtrack song all failed in getting the job done. Parker then switched labels to Geffen and gave it another go with his fourth solo effort After Dark. This first single was released and the news was half 'n' half. The song was embraced by R&B and became Parker's fifth Top 10 getting to #5. Unfortunately, it didn't click as well at Pop and the song failed to even crack the Top 50. It was also a minor entry at AC at #42. A follow-up single, "Over You, a duet with Natalie Cole, was able to get to #10 at R&B and #38 AC, but it failed to chart at Pop. While the pair of R&B Top 10s helped to sell a few albums, After Dark couldn't get near the gold-level sales of his 1982 debut LP The Other Woman (#1 R&B/#11 Pop). This track would be Parker's last solo single to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  Signing up with Geffen seemed to have afforded Parker with the chance to record without having the commercial ghost of "Ghostbusters" haunting him. So for After Dark Parker attempted to get back to the adult-leaning soul of his Raydio days and it worked out pretty well with this track returning him to the R&B Top 10. However, the silky soul track didn't get much support from pop radio and it just wasn't able to catch on. The track was one of Parker's better post-"Ghostbusters" efforts and it probably should have at least cracked the Top 40. Since it didn't, then his duet with Natalie Cole, "Over You," was completely overlooked (Parker co-wrote that tune with Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager). What was nice about After Dark was that it didn't sound forced. I'm sure Parker was pressured for a while after "Ghostbusters" to make another hit and that resulted in some b-grade attempts that pretty much failed. With a new label and some of the pressure relieved, Parker proved here that he could still pen a pretty good soul track.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although he wouldn't have another solo song reach the Pop chart, Parker did get a final Top 40 entry in a "featuring" role. Parker would co-write, produce, and perform on the song "All I'm Missing Is You" for singer Glenn Medeiros. The song would appear on Medeiros' 1990 self-titled album and it would be released as the LP's second single. It would reach #32 on the Pop chart. Parker would get one more single on the R&B chart in 1991 and that closed out his charting career. He wouldn't record another album until 2006 when he issued out the indie effort I'm Free.


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