Saturday, October 3, 2020

"Catch Me (I'm Falling)" by Pretty Poison

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
One-Hit Wonder Alert!
Song#:  3276
Date:  09/26/1987
Debut:  84
Peak:  8
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Dance, Freestyle

Pop Bits:  This Philly group mainly consisted of lead singer Jade Starling and keyboardist/guitarist Whey Cooler. They got together early in the 80s and formed a band that had a more rock oriented sound, but soon changed over to the dance/synth sounds that were popular at the time. They released an indie EP and a few singles with their 1984 track "Nightime" getting enough attention to reach #14 on the Dance chart. Then they wrote and recorded "Catch Me (I'm Falling)." As an indie release, the song became a big success in Philly. Around that time a rep from Virgin Records happened to hear the song while in town and that led to the group signing with the label. Virgin then released the song nationally and it started to take off. The week that the song hit #1 on the Dance chart, it would debut on the Pop chart. Eventually it would break into the Top 10 and peak at #8. With an album yet to be released by the group, the single sold well enough to go gold. Despite a minor Top 40 follow-up single, this would be the group's only major hit and it would get them tagged as a one-hit wonder (#46 on VH1's list of Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s). Their full-length debut album would then be ready for release in May of '88, but by then the glow of this hit had waned and the LP could only get to #104. Pretty Poison would then leave Virgin Records and return to their independent roots.

ReduxReview:  Many of the freestyle hits around this time were by assembled female vocal groups formed by producers who usually wrote the songs. This is one that was done by a band who wrote their own material and because of that I think it had a more mature, cohesive sound. It was a catchy, well-written tune with terrific production. I especially like the dramatic opening. There was certainly talent behind this track and it's too bad that they couldn't go further than this on the Pop chart.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Although this song had already been released for months and had reached #1 at Dance, Virgin Records got the song placed on the soundtrack to the 1987 comedy-drama flick Hiding Out. The film starred Jon Cryer as a guy who poses as a high school student in order to avoid being killed by the mob. It received a lukewarm reception from critics and just barely made its budget back at the box office.  2) The band got its name after watching the 1968 black comedy film Pretty Poison. The movie starred Anthony Perkins as an ex-con and Tuesday Weld as a high school cheerleader who go on a crime spree that involved a couple of murders. While some critics loved it (Gene Siskel included it on his Top 10 list for the year) others didn't including the film's own studio, Fox, which didn't do much to support it. Not surprisingly, the movie didn't do well at the box office. However, it later became a cult film.


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