Sunday, May 16, 2021

"Foolish Beat" by Debbie Gibson

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3495
Date:  04/23/1988
Debut:  57
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Gibson's debut album, Out of the Blue, was already a platinum success when this fourth single was issued out. Expectations were high that the song would follow her three previous singles into the Top 10, but it ended up exceeding that goal by going all the way to #1. It also did well at AC getting to #8. The hit boosted albums sales and in May it would go double-platinum. By the end of the year, it would be certified triple-platinum.

ReduxReview:  Apparently Gibson's favorite artist around the time she was recording her debut album was George Michael and it shows with this song. Gibson wrote and produced this track on her own (see below) and there's no mistaking that she used Michael's "Careless Whisper" as inspiration. It had a similar feel to that Wham! hit and even included a sax solo. What's also a little unusual about this song is that the title is not in the chorus and is only mentioned once in the entire song. While not necessarily a rare occurrence, it wasn't very common for a #1 Pop hit. Gibson did a fine job with this track. The lyrics, while not sophisticated, were just right for her teen audience and her production work was good and quite detailed. She had been arranging and recording her own songs for years before this, so I'm sure she took advantage of having all the bells and whistles afforded to her via a major label. It was the right single at the right time for her and I think it garnered her some respect from industry pros.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Overall, the youngest artist to reach #1 on the Pop chart was Michael Jackson. He was eleven years old when The Jackson 5 reached the top spot with their 1970 single "I Want You Back." For solo artists, Stevie Wonder was the youngest male to reach #1 (1963, "Fingertips, Pt. 2"). He was thirteen. Little Peggy March was the youngest female at fifteen (1963, "I Will Follow Him"). Although Debbie Gibson was seventeen when "Foolish Beat" reached #1, she also set an age record. She became the youngest artist to solely write, perform, and produce a #1 song. While the majority of her debut album was produced by Gibson along with Fred Zarr, Gibson fought for the chance to produce "Foolish Beat" by herself. It paid off in a #1 hit. Gibson's age record would stand for over nineteen years. It was finally beaten in 2007 by rap artist Soulja Boy. His debut single "Crank That (Soulja Boy)," credited to Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, reached #1 and stayed there for seven weeks. It would become the first single to be certified triple platinum for digital sales and would earn Soulja Boy a Grammy nomination. When Gibson's song hit #1, she was seventeen years, nine months old. When Soulja Boy hit #1, he was seventeen years and one month old. Although Soulja Boy claimed the overall record, Gibson still holds the title for female artists.


No comments:

Post a Comment