Saturday, October 10, 2020

"Satellite" by The Hooters

Song#:  3283
Date:  10/03/1987
Debut:  78
Peak:  61
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Rock, Folk-Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's third album, One Way Home, was not on track to replicate the double-platinum success of their previous album Nervous Night with the LP's first single, "Johnny B," halting at a low #61 on the Pop chart (#3 Rock). They needed something better to draw in the mainstream audience and this album opening track was selected to do that. Unfortunately, all it did was match the peak of the previous single while missing out on the Rock Top 10 (#13). With that result, the album topped out at #27. Luckily they retained a large enough fan base to make the album a gold seller just prior to the release of this single, but that was quite a dip from the sales of their breakthrough.

ReduxReview:  This song might have done better if it had been released first. It was catchier and more upbeat than the darker "Johnny B." Still, it wasn't going to burn up the chart. The band always had a bit of a roots rock feel to their tunes, but the new LP pushed it further incorporated elements of British/Irish folk. Then it was all wrapped up in a big, sonic production via U2 or Simple Minds. It just didn't work. It's like they took everything that made Nervous Night appealing and tossed it out the window. None of it was bad and even this song had a bit of charm, but they came off like a different band and it wasn't what folks were expecting or wanting.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song, written by band members Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman along with producer Rick Chertoff, was a commentary on televangelism (or teleministry). While controversy surrounding the people that run and preach on religious television programs had been around for a while, it was in the 80s that a bigger spotlight was put on it all with some of the biggest names in the business taking major falls from grace. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker were among the first to really come under scrutiny. Their PTL Club show generated millions for the couple who lived a lavish lifestyle. They were investigated by the FCC and IRS for misuse of funds they raised via the show. Then in early '87, it came to light that Bakker had paid off Jessica Hahn to silence her on rape allegations concerning the show's co-host and also Bakker's own tryst with Hahn. Fraud charges came next and Bakker ended up in prison. Jimmy Swaggart would have his own troubles in '88 with a sex scandal. Yet despite the falls of these church leaders and questions surrounding others, people still flocked to megachurches and continued to tune in and donate money to televangelists.


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