Wednesday, September 2, 2020

"Let's Dance" by Chris Rea

Song#:  3245
Date:  08/29/1987
Debut:  90
Peak:  81
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This English singer/songwriter's career started off well when his 1978 debut LP Whatever Happened to Benny Santini? went gold and generated the #1 AC/#12 Pop hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)." After that, his career cooled in the US, but despite not being able to score a major hit, Rea had a loyal following that kept his albums charting in the UK. He got an uptick in popularity with his 1985 album Shamrock Diaries, which was then followed by the platinum On the Beach. His ninth album, Dancing with Strangers, would become his first Top 10 in the UK (#2) and his second platinum seller thanks to this first single that ended up being his biggest non-Holiday hit in the UK getting to #12. While his career was soaring at home, not much happened for him in the US. This single was his fifth to reach the US Pop chart, but it just couldn't make it out of the basement. That result didn't help the album, which failed to chart.

ReduxReview:  This track with its retro-ish feel, subdued smooth groove, and relaxed vocal by Rea should have done better. It was a good listen and I'm surprised that it didn't get any attention at Rock and AC. In addition to his singing and songwriting, Rea is known for his guitar work, which is on display here. He's also a multi-instrumentalist and he played everything on this track except for drums and bass. He's even credited for doing the "brass instruments," but I can't quite tell if all or some are the real deal or from a synth/keyboard. Either way, I like the little brass lines in the song. I like the subtle nature of the track, but that could have been the reason it didn't do so well in the US. It just wasn't punchy enough to push by other songs on the chart. Still, it is too bad it didn't get more exposure.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Rea initially recorded a version of this song (which he wrote) during the sessions for his 1986 album On the Beach. The track didn't make it on the album, but that initial take was included on an EP version of that album's first single "It's All Gone" (subtitled Mini Album - Volume III). It seems that Rea thought the song had more potential and decided to re-record it for his next album Dancing with Strangers. It was a good decision as it became a hit for him in the UK and several other countries.  2) This was the fourth different song (and thus far last)  with the title "Let's Dance" to reach the Pop chart. Singer Chris Montez was the first to have a song titled "Let's Dance" make the chart. His 1962 track got to #4. Next up was 1981's "Let's Dance (Make Your Body Move)" by West Street Mob. Their single got to #88 in 1981. Then David Bowie's "Let's Dance" topped the chart in 1983. Finally, Chris Rea made the chart with his own "Let's Dance." One other artist did make the chart with a "Let's Dance," but it was a remake of the Chris Montez hit. Ola & the Janglers got to #92 in 1969 with their remake.


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