Thursday, May 13, 2021

"Dreamin' of Love" by Stevie B

Song#:  3492
Date:  04/23/1988
Debut:  91
Peak:  80
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Freestyle, Dance

Pop Bits:  Florida-born Steven Bernard Hill, aka Stevie B, dreamed of being a singer. He played in various bands and even owned his own disco nightclub in Tallahassee while pursuing a record deal. Unable to catch a break, he eventually decided to open his own recording studio. He would work on his own music and also write/produce for other artists. In 1984, he released the single "Sending Out for Love" on his new indie label Mid-Town Records (later just Midtown). The next year he wrote/produced "Boy Toy," which was issued out under the moniker Friday Friday featuring Stevie B. He worked on more releases by other artists for Midtown while also pursuing his own career. In 1987, Stevie B released the song "Party Your Body." The freestyle track became a hit in Miami and it got the attention of the New York-based freestyle/hip-hop label LMR (Lefrak-Moelis Records), who offered a national distribution deal. The song was pushed out and it ended up getting to #40 Dance/#67 R&B. Stevie B then quickly assembled a debut album titled Party Your Body and released this second single. The track did well enough to reach #21 at Dance. It crossed over to the Pop chart where it hung on for over two months, but just couldn't break out of the bottom quarter. Still, the results were encouraging and Stevie B's star began to rise.

ReduxReview:  Around this time it was the women who were the leaders of freestyle on the Pop chart with Exposé, The Cover Girls, Company B, and Pretty Poison leading the way. A couple of guys made the chart like Noel and Jellybean, but none were truly owning the genre. Stevie B would eventually break through as the leading male freestyle artist and it started with this track. It didn't get very far, but its ten weeks circling the bottom of the chart means it slowly caught on in some markets. I think if it had better financial backing and promotion from a larger indie or major label, this would have cracked the Top 40. I hadn't heard the song before and I figured it would sound like some cheap, amateurish ditty. I was surprised that it was actually quite good. The song itself was nicely written and the production was fairly robust. Was it a knockout? No, but it was certainly steps above a lot of local, self-written/recorded dance tracks. It showed Stevie B had a handle on things and had potential. I'm a bit surprised a major label didn't latch on to him. I think they missed out.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Early in 1987, the horror flick A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was released. It was the latest installment in the franchise and at the time was the most successful of the three films. Following its success, MC A.D.E. (Adrian Hines), who was a pioneer in the hip-hop offshoot genre of Miami bass, released a track titled "Nightmare on A.D.E. St." The track imagined what might have happened if MC A.D.E. were challenged in a rap battle by Freddy Krueger. With the track being popular around Miami, Stevie B decided to do an answer (or dis) song. He came up with "Nightmare on Freddy Krueger Street," which was then told from the point of view of Freddy Krueger and what he'd do to MC A.D.E. Both were fun tracks that played on a pop culture moment, but while this was going on, Stevie B's "Party Your Body" was growing in popularity and would take him beyond the local Miami music scene.


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