Thursday, December 3, 2020

"Don't Tell Me the Time" by Martha Davis

Song#:  3337
Date:  11/21/1987
Debut:  93
Peak:  80
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  The fifth album by The Motels, 1985's Shock, was a modest success getting to #36 and spawning the #21 Pop hit "Shame." After everything for the album was wrapped up, the band reconvened in the studio to begin work on a sixth album. However, it seems things were not necessarily going in the direction that lead singer/songwriter Martha Davis wanted so she decided to dissolve the band and go it alone. Working with producer Richie Zito, who had helmed Shock, Davis recorded her first solo album titled Policy. This first single was issued out and it didn't do so well peaking low on the Pop chart and disappearing after a couple of months. A follow-up single, "Tell It to the Moon" (written by Diane Warren), failed to chart, but the album track "Just Like You" made a brief appearance on the Rock chart at #47. With those results, the album could only reach #128. It was a disappointment following the success of The Motels.

ReduxReview:  I was a big fan of The Motels so when I learned that Martha Davis was doing a solo album, I was quite excited. I immediately bought the album when it came out. I have to admit that back then I was a little underwhelmed by it. Davis' tunes didn't reel me in as well as her work under The Motels name. However, years later I rediscovered the LP and began to hook into it. While the album is far from perfect, there are some well-done tracks that I've grown to love, such as this single. Written by Davis, it is a lovely pop tune with a memorable chorus that has shades of Roy Orbison, especially at the end. It was an underrated single that should have made the Top 40. In retrospect, I do wonder if the sweet Diane Warren-penned "Tell It to the Moon" might have made a better lead single. Richie Zito tossed in a few production touches on that tune that were reminiscent of the work he did on Shock, so it had more of a Motels feel. I love both songs and the album is certainly worth a listen.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  After her solo album, Davis sought to separate from her long time label Capitol. Over the next decade she did different projects in music and theater including a couple of songs for movie soundtracks. She would also put together a new version of The Motels for performances. Davis wouldn't record another solo album until 2004's ...So the Story Goes. Two other solo efforts would follow. In 2017, Davis would release an album under The Motels moniker titled The Last Few Beautiful Days. It was the first album of all new material credited to The Motels since 1985's Shock. Some of the songs on the LP were inspired by Davis' daughter Maria, who had died in 2016 from an opioid addiction.


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