Thursday, February 11, 2021

"Hot Thing" by Prince

Song#:  3402
Date:  02/06/1988
Debut:  80
Peak:  63
Weeks:  9
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Prince's double-LP Sign 'O' the Times would be another platinum seller for him thanks to three Pop Top 10 hits including the #10 "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man." That song was the fourth official single released from the LP. While there wouldn't be an official fifth single pushed out, this track ended up on the charts anyway (see below). Airplay would help the tune get to #14 at R&B while over on the Pop chart it would circle around the bottom third for a couple of months.

ReduxReview:  While this is was a tasty groove from Prince that performed well as an album track, it wasn't a very good single even in its remix/edited form. Besides the title getting repeated constantly throughout the track, it really didn't have a hook or chorus, which is something that was nearly a requirement for pop radio. The jam was great for dance floor action, but it didn't need to be a single and indeed it really wasn't (see below). As an album track, it was great. As a single, it didn't work.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  This is an odd charting entry for Prince in that there was never an official single of the song issued out. Promo discs were created to float to radio stations and indeed it seems like some did spin the tune. So without an official single release, how did the song get on the Pop chart, which at the time required that a song had to be commercially available as a single? Simple - it was the b-side to a previous single. The album track got the remix treatment from Shep Pettibone, which itself was interesting as it was the first time an outside producer/remixer was allowed to remix a Prince song. Three versions were created. An extended mix, an edited mix, and a dub mix. All three were included on the 12" vinyl single of "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man." Both songs got spun in the clubs and it ended up being a double-sided hit on the Dance chart getting to #4. The edit version of the song was then used as the b-side of the 45 single of "I Could Never..." Since the song was then commercially available on a single, it was then allowed to enter the Pop chart after it started to pick up airplay via the promos. Prince and his label could have easily created a new single of the song and promoted it more heavily, but I'm guess that the timing was wrong as Prince was nearly ready to release his next album, Lovesexy, and it's first single, "Alphabet St." was prepped for an April release. There needed to be a bit of a break to create anticipation for the new material and not have the singles step on each other. Therefore, the label just kind of let "Hot Thing" do its own thing with not a lot of promotion. A short month after "Hot Thing" left the Pop chart, "Alphabet St." made its debut.


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