Friday, March 12, 2021

"Two Occasions" by The Deele

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3430
Date:  02/27/1988
Debut:  86
Peak:  10
Weeks:  21
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  This group's 1983 debut album Street Beat performed well thanks to the #3 R&B hit "Body Talk" (#77 Pop). It set them up well for their next album, 1985's Material Thangz, but it was less successful with only the title track able to do anything (#14 R&B). Still, it was enough to call for a third album and the band recorded Eyes of a Stranger. Its first single, "Can U-Dance," nearly dealt a crippling blow to the LP by stalling at a minor #48 on the R&B chart. Luckily, this second single was strong enough to overcome that result with the song getting to #4 at R&B. It then crossed over to the Pop chart and became the band's first and only Top 10 hit. The tune also got to #21 AC. Overall, it would end up being The Deele's biggest hit and would help their album get to #5 R&B/#54 Pop. In June of '88 it would be certified gold. A follow-up single, "Shoot 'Em Up Movies," would be their third and final R&B Top 10 (#10), however, it would fail to make the Pop chart. Following the success of the album, two members of the band would leave (see below) and that would bring an end to The Deele. A different lineup of the band would attempt a comeback in 1993, but their lone album, An Invitation to Love, wouldn't generate any hits and would fail to chart.

ReduxReview:  The band changed things up with this single and it paid off. Prior to this, all of their singles were upbeat affairs. A couple did well, most did not. So after "Can U-Dance" (which had a section that sounded like Prince's "Kiss") failed, they tried out this ballad. It made all the difference in the world. It was a good, memorable composition with solid production from Reid and Babyface. The more retro-soul follow-up "Shoot 'Em Up Movies" was a good track as well, but is wasn't as good of a fit at pop radio as "Two Occasions." The two hits could have set the band off in a different direction that might have made them even more popular, but then Reid and Babyface decided to do their own thing (see below). With the band essentially done, it left this song as their only significant hit on the Pop chart.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  After the release of the band's second album, two of its members, Kenny "Babyface" Edmunds and Antonio "L.A." Reid, began to branch out and work with other artists. One of their first ventures was writing and producing a couple of tracks for The Whispers' 1987 album Just Gets Better with Time. One of those track, "Rock Steady," became a major hit (#1 R&B/#7 Pop). They then worked on the debut album of Reid's girlfriend, Pebbles, which resulted in the hit "Girlfriend" (#1 R&B/#5 Pop). The pair also produced and co-wrote the majority of Babyface's debut album, 1986's Lover, which spawned the #8 R&B hit "I Love You Babe." With these successes under their belts, the pair decided it was time that they formed their own label, LaFace Records, which would be in association with Arista Records. Due to their new venture, the pair decided to depart from The Deele. They would be highly successful throughout the '90 introducing top acts like TLC, Toni Braxton, P!nk, and Outkast. By 2001, the label would be dissolved due to Babyface focusing on his own music career and Reid being appointed CEO of Arista following the departure of Clive Davis.


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