Sunday, October 25, 2020

"Crazy World" by Big Trouble

Song#:  3298
Date:  10/17/1987
Debut:  90
Peak:  71
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This all-female band was an assembled outfit created by TV mogul Fred Silverman. It seems that Silverman's plan was to create a Monkees-like band that would eventually be featured in their own show. Auditions were set up and four women were selected to become Big Trouble; Bobbie Eakes (lead singer), Julia Farey, Rebecca Ryan, and Suzy Zarow. After getting together, Silverman then cast them as the house band in his new 1985 late night variety sketch show Comedy Break. Eventually the band got a deal with Epic Records and thanks to Silverman's connections, they were hooked up with superstar composer/producer Giorgio Moroder. The band's first effort was the song "All I Need Is You," which appeared on the soundtrack to the Sylvester Stallone flick Over the Top. Next up was a full self-titled debut album and it featured this first single. It was able to make the Pop chart, but it didn't get far. A second single failed to make the chart and with those results Big Trouble called it a day.

ReduxReview:  This entry was quite interesting. I'd never heard of Big Trouble and I'm not sure how they escaped my radar. Although this wasn't a bit hit, the fact that they were an assembled band by Fred Silverman would have gotten my attention had I saw a story about them in Billboard. Yet I missed out. The timing for them was right. With the Go-Go's already split and the Bangles reaching their peak, another all-female outfit could have swooped in and done well. Even thought they were a manufactured group, if everything clicked they might have had a good shot at becoming stars. Unfortunately, I think they may have come off as a bit too slick with Moroder's heavy-handed 80s production not allowing the band to develop an identity of their own. The Go-Go's and the Bangles sounded like bands. Big Trouble didn't. Their tracks sounded like studio creations with sessions musician that featured a terrific vocalist (Eakes). The album had some good material, but nothing that had big hit potential, including this single. It was a nicely written pop tune that was well crafted by Moroder, but it just didn't have that extra oomph needed to get noticed on pop radio. Still, it was a fascinating project that I kind of wished I'd known about back in the day. (Note: for any Burt Bacharach/Hal David fan, the album contains an interesting remake of "Trains and Boats and Planes. The band also weirdly covers "Cool Jerk," which the Go-Go's did on their second album Vacation. Probably not the smartest move...)

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Fred Silverman ran each of the three major networks (CBS, ABC, and NBC) at some point in time, but by 1981 he was done working with them. He started his own production company and began creating shows to sell to the networks or be used in syndication. The company created hits like Jake and the Fatman and Matlock. There were ventures into other types of shows including sketch comedy. The show Comedy Break was developed for late night viewing and starred the comedy duo of Mack and Jamie. The program first aired in 1985 and lasted for 125 episodes. Big Trouble would get their initial break as a regular act on the show. It also featured a few people who would go on to much bigger success including Jan Hooks (SNL) and Kevin Pollak.  2) Lead singer Bobbie Eakes would become better known for her acting. After leaving Big Trouble, she made guest appearances on several of Fred Silverman's shows, but then got a major break when landing a role on the TV soap The Bold and the Beautiful. Her run as Macy Alexander would begin in 1989 and she would stay until 2000. Eakes would return to the show for short periods in the few years following. She continued to sing over the years and even released two duet albums with her Bold co-star Jeff Trachta.


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