Friday, September 11, 2020

"I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3254
Date:  08/29/1987
Debut:  84
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Synthpop, Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Tiffany Darwish began singing when she was just four. Bitten by the music bug, she continued to work on her voice and by the time she was 10 she was out performing in shows and at clubs. Initially, Tiffany was singing country material and got to perform with stars like Ralph Emery and George Jones. In 1984, Tiffany was recording demo songs at a studio owned by producer George Tobin. After hearing her sing, Tobin decided to try and help out the young teen. She ended up on the hit talent show Star Search (under the name Tiffany Renee) and made it to the 1985 finals in the Teen Vocalist category where she lost to Melissa Moultrie. The following year, Tiffany (via her mother) signed a management/production contract with Tobin, who gets the teen signed to MCA Records. A self-titled debut album was recorded and an initial single, "Danny," was released earlier in '87. It failed to chart and the album began to languish with MCA paying little attention to it or Tiffany. Tobin then pushed the label to promote the young artist and so they got her booked on a tour of malls/shopping centers during the summer. Tiffany would sing to pre-recorded tracks, interact with the crowds, and then sign albums at whatever record store was at the mall. It ended up being quite successful with the teens who hung out at the malls taking notice. MCA did too and decided to give Tiffany's album another chance. They released this second single, which slowly caught on and eventually reached the top of the Pop chart. It also got to #23 Dance and #38 AC. The hit drew attention to the album and it also started to take off. Tiffany's mall tour would often be the butt of jokes, but in the end the ploy worked and it helped to make her a star.

ReduxReview:  Hoo-boy. This one is a bit hard for me to rate. On one hand, I have always disliked this remake. The arrangement was awful and it sounded tinny and cheap. It also didn't showcase Tiffany's vocals in any positive way. If Kidz Bop had existed back then, this is probably what it would have sounded like. On the other hand, the mall tour was a near-genius move and this song fit that promo perfectly. A song by a teen, for teens whose parents would fondly remember the original (see below). Still, it was marketing over content and I didn't buy into it. Tobin was a pretty good producer (Kim Carnes' "More Love" and Smokey Robinson's "Being with You"), but his expertise was not synthpop dance tunes and it definitely showed here. While I appreciate the "making of a star" marketing surrounding the song, it's remains a sub-par remake.  (Note: This entry is slightly out of order because of an erroneously set publish date. Ah well...things happen.)

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally recorded by Tommy James & the Shondells. Their classic version reached #4 in 1967. Besides Tiffany, only one other artist has thus far reached the Pop chart with a version of the song. In 1977, the California power pop band The Rubinoos got to #45 with their take on the tune. Over in the UK, the female vocal group Girls Aloud remade the song in 2006. Their single reached #4 on the UK chart.  2) The video for this song was shot by Tiffany's manager/producer George Tobin. It is basically just scenes of Tiffany performing the song at various malls on her tour. As the tour progressed, word about Tiffany spread and by the end of the tour, which is when most segments of the music video were shot, she was attracting sizable crowds. The success of the mall tour was on full display on MTV.



  1. 5/10 for me, this song while I enjoy it on occasions I find it to be more of a guilty pleasure than a good song, I bet Tommy James was happy to see this song and Billy Idol's live version of "Mony Mony" hitting the #1 charts in the Fall of 1987, Billy Idol's version of "Mony Mony" is IMO the better of the two of his cover versions

    1. Yes the back-to-back remakes at #1 was great for Tommy James. Too bad he didn't write both of them (he only co-wrote "Mony Mony"). But I'm sure both songs had people going back to his band's catalog and buying some records.