Saturday, October 24, 2020

"Motortown" by The Kane Gang

Song#:  3297
Date:  10/17/1987
Debut:  93
Peak:  36
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Sophisti-Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  This English trio first got together in 1982 and quickly developed a sophisti-pop sound that eventually led to them signing with London Records. Their 1985 debut album, The Bad and Lowdown World of the Kane Gang did well in the UK reaching #21 thanks to the #12 hit "Closest Thing to Heaven." The LP got a Stateside release, but it went unnoticed. Their second album, Miracle, did better thanks to this first single. The song would end up cracking the Pop Top 40 while making it to #12 at AC. The minor hit allowed the album to reach the chart, but it stalled at a minor #115. In their UK homeland, the single wouldn't do as well topping out at #45, however, the album sold a few copies and got to #41.

ReduxReview:  I adored this song when it came out. It was a relaxed, slick, jazzy slice of sophisti-pop with a terrific chorus. It had a lovely synthpop production as well. I figured it would be an easy Top 20 hit, but it stopped short. The tune is definitely a lost gem of the decade. I bought the 45 single back in the day, but then when I began to make the switch to CDs, I couldn't find the song. I finally found it on an 80s compilation and was filled with bliss when I got to hear it again. The song gives off such a good vibe, but if you read the lyrics, they get less rosy as the song progresses. It was deceptively happy, much like the industry it talks about. I wish someone would revive this song. It deserves to be rediscovered.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  With the exception of a couple remakes, all the Kane Gang songs were written by members Martin Brammer and Dave Brewis, including this single. After the band dissolved later in '91, Brammer set his sights on writing music for other artists. His first major hit came in 1995 when he co-wrote "Lifted" for the British duo Lighthouse Family. It was the first single from their debut album, Ocean Drive, and it would reach #4 in the UK. The LP would be a #3 multi-platinum seller at home. The single and album would be released in the US, but neither made an impact. Brammer would co-write another Top 10 for the due with 1997's "Raincloud" (#6 UK). Brammer would go on to write songs for artists like Nick Carter, Tina Turner, Sheena Easton, and James Morrison.



  1. I give this song a 10/10, it gets my vote as one of the most underappreciated Top 40 hit songs of the 1980's, I'm really happy you think highly of this song and that you give it a very high rating, I agree this song does need to be rediscovered, I used to hear it on the Satellite Feed at Kmart many years ago.

    1. Definitely and underrated gem. Maybe someday it will get its due.