Saturday, April 3, 2021

"Say It Again" by Jermaine Stewart

Song#:  3452
Date:  03/19/1988
Debut:  72
Peak:  27
Weeks:  12
Genre:  R&B, Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Stewart grabbed a Pop Top 10 hit in 1986 with "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" (#5), a track from his second album Frantic Romantic. The LP sold a few copies (#34 Pop/#31 R&B) and it set him up well for his third effort Say It Again. To kick things off, this title-track single was issued out. It wasn't a major hit, but it did fairly well getting to #15 R&B and cracking the Pop Top 30. Unfortunately, a pair of follow-up singles didn't fare well. Both were Top 20 entries on the Dance chart, but only one made the lower reaches of the R&B chart while both failed to make the Pop chart. The results left the album stalling at #98 Pop/#45 R&B.

ReduxReview:  I didn't remember this song just by title, but it came back to mind once I heard it. The easy-going track seemed like an unusual choice for Stewart, but it worked fine. His voice was a good fit for the tune and the production was modern, yet wasn't overwhelming. Would I peg it for a hit single? Not really, but it was a good track that had a light, summery feel. It might have done better as a second single. Stewart's album contained tracks written by his friend (and newly minted star) Jody Watley and her collaborator Andre Cymone, probably leftovers from her LP, but you'd think one of those might have had hit potential and kicked off the album in a better way. Then this carefree track could have come along to change things up.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Stewart was given another shot by his label Arista and in 1989 he released What Becomes a Legend Most. Neither of its singles charted and the LP disappeared quickly as did his contract with Arista. It seems he moved over to Reprise Records in '92 and recorded the album Set Me Free, but the set got shelved by the label after the initial title-track first single tanked. It still remains unreleased. Later in the 90s, Stewart started to independently work on a new album, but it was never completed due to his death from AIDS-related liver cancer in '97.  2) This is a remake of a song that was first recorded by singer Shawn Christopher (sister of R&B singer Gavin Christopher) in 1983. Written by Bunny Sigler and Carol Davis, Christopher released her version as an indie single and it got to #44 on the R&B chart. The next year, Lou Rawls covered the track for an album. In 1985, soul singer Rege Burrell recorded the tune and released it as a single, but it failed to chart. A year later, the R&B vocal trio Sinnamon put out their own version as a single. It did not chart. The song finally found its way back to the charts in '88 with Stewart's take.


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