Monday, November 16, 2020

"The Real Thing" by Jellybean featuring Steven Dante

Song#:  3320
Date:  11/07/1987
Debut:  92
Peak:  82
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Dance, Freestyle, House

Pop Bits:  Jellybean scored his second Pop Top 20 hit with "Who Found Who," the lead single from his second album Just Visiting This Planet. That song featured Elisa Fiorillo on vocals. Up next for release was this follow-up single. This time around, the vocals were handled by Steven Dante. It would be a hit in clubs and become Jellybean's third effort to hit #1 on the Dance chart. The tune would then cross over to both Pop and R&B, but it didn't perform all that well getting to #82 and #49, respectively. Two more tracks from the album would make the Dance Top 10, but failed to make the other charts. Jellybean would record two more albums that spawned three more Dance Top 10s, but only 1991's "What's It Gonna Be" with vocals by Niki Haris would be able to scrape the Pop chart at #90. After that, Jellybean mainly focused on remixing hits for other artists.

ReduxReview:  While I liked Jellybean's remix/production work with other artists, I wasn't a fan of his solo works. For the most part, the songs he chose were not that great. A few of them got people on the club dance floors, but I found them bland and not very memorable. This song, however, was better. The base material was solid and Jellybean's production was more sophisticated and looked towards the 90s. Dante's vocals were excellent and soulful, which added more depth to the tune. For me it was easily Jellybean's best solo effort ("solo" being relative as he didn't write it or sing it). The more club-heavy track wasn't the best fit for pop radio at the time, so it didn't get far, however it should have done better than a couple months at the bottom of the chart.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  British soul singer/songwriter Steven Dante provided the vocals for this song. It seems the singer got some recognition when he joined up with the UK acid jazz group Incognito and that led to a solo deal with Chrysalis Records. He released a single titled "So Long" in 1985 under the singular name Dante, but it failed to chart. He then moved over to the Chrysalis imprint label Cooltempo and released the 1986 single "Give It Up for Love." The song was able to reach #78 in the UK. His Chrysalis label mate, Jellybean, then came calling and got Dante to provide vocals on two track including this single, which got to #13 in the UK. The boost provided by the dance hit allowed Dante to record his debut solo effort Find Out. Three singles would be released in the UK, but only one cracked the Top 40, the #34 "I'm Too Scared." It seems the results weren't enough to keep Dante with Cooltempo and his major label days came to an end. He would continue on as a songwriter and would release an occasional indie single.


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