Wednesday, January 27, 2021

"Rocket 2 You" by The Jets

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3387
Date:  01/23/1988
Debut:  68
Peak:  6
Weeks:  22
Genre:  R&B, Electro-Funk


Pop Bits:  The family band's second regular studio album, Magic, hit a slight snag when its second single, "I Do You," stalled at #20. Hoping for something better, this third single was issued out. It ended up doing the trick by becoming the band's fourth Pop Top 10. It also got to #5 at R&B and #3 Dance. Just prior to the release of this single, the album would go gold. This hit certainly helped sell a few more albums, but it wasn't enough to get it to the platinum level of their 1985 debut. This hit would earn The Jets a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Duo or Group.

ReduxReview:  This was a much needed change of pace for the band. It helped them move from dance-pop into more funky territory and it suited them well. Framed in a classic 80s production, the track had shades of Rick James combined with Jam & Lewis. It wasn't quite as uptight as their previous dance-pop hits and even the vocals felt more loose and free. This song has kind of disappeared over the years in favor of the band's other hits, mainly the ballads, and that is too bad. I think just by a nose this was their best single.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This track was written and produced by Bobby Nunn. Nunn had worked with Rick James and Earth, Wind & Fire in the late70s/early 80s and those connections helped him to secure a recording contract with Motown. In 1982, Nunn released his debut album Second to Nunn. It's first single, "She's Just a Groupie," got to #15 R&B/#28 Dance. A follow-up cracked the R&B Top 40. A second album followed in 1983, but it didn't do as well. A third album was recorded, but then Motown shelved it and Nunn was back out on his own. A couple of years later, Nunn was seeking another contract and through connections got to play a demo of his songs for the head of MCA Records. The demo also found its way over to Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White. Both parties were struck by the song "Rocket 2 U." White wanted the tune for the next EWF album, while MCA wanted it for The Jets. Nunn's instinct was to probably give it to White due to Nunn's connection to EWF. But then MCA offered Nunn the chance to produce the song for The Jets and that won him over. The track then went on to be a Grammy-nominated hit.

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