Wednesday, May 19, 2021

"Most of All" by Jody Watley

Song#:  3498
Date:  04/30/1988
Debut:  92
Peak:  60
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Dance-Pop, R&B

Pop Bits:  By this point in time, Jody Watley's self-titled debut album had peaked at #10, gone platinum, and spawned three Top 10 hits including the #2 "Looking for a New Love." Watley had also collected up a Grammy for Best New Artist. Following the #10 success of the LP's fourth single, "Some Kind of Lover," it was decided that this fifth single would be issued out. While it did well at Dance (#8) and R&B (#11), it wasn't as successful on the Pop chart where it peaked in the bottom half. It didn't do much to boost album sales, but it didn't really matter. Watley had certainly made a splash and expectations were high for her next LP, which would arrive in the spring of '89.

ReduxReview:  After getting a third Top 10 and the Grammy win, I think the label was scrambling to get another single out from the LP, which had been exhausted of potential crossover hits. Really, who knew that the album would do so well and that a fifth single would be necessary? They chose this track which had a distinct Madonna-ish smell to it thanks to its writers Gardner Cole and Patrick Leonard. The pair had worked on Madonna's True Blue LP and this song nearly sounded like a leftover from those sessions. The song was just okay. The fluffy tune paled in comparison to her previous hits. It worked as an album track, but there was no reason to push this out as a single. It played surprisingly well at Dance and R&B, but it wasn't nearly strong enough to make it at Pop.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Jody Watley was associated with an R&B star long before her days in the spotlight. Her godfather was legendary singer Jackie Wilson. Watley's father was the Rev. John E. Watley, Jr. who presided over the Miracle Temple church in Chicago. He was also a gospel music radio personality on a local station. Occasionally, music stars and other celebs would attend services at the church and at one point Jackie Wilson showed up. Given the nickname "Mr. Excitement" due to his energetic shows, Wilson would have a string of hits throughout the late 50s and 60s. He would collect up six Pop Top 10s and twelve R&B Top 10s including six #1s. Among his most popular songs was 1958's "Lonely Teardrops" (#1 R&B/#7 Pop) and 1967's "(You're Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" (#1 R&B/#6 Pop). Wilson and the Rev. Watley quickly became close friends. So much so that a young Jody Watley would call Wilson "Uncle Jackie." Wilson was considered part of the family and would later be dubbed as Jody's godfather. An eight-year-old Jody ended up on stage for the first time thanks to Wilson. After the family made a move to North Carolina, they attended one of Wilson's performances and at one point he brought Jody up on stage. Together they performed "Baby Workout," a 1963 #1 R&B/#5 hit for Wilson. It wasn't long before the young Watley got the bug to be a performer. Ten years later, she would have her first chart single with Shalamar ("Uptown Festival (Part 1)," 1977, #10 R&B/#25 Pop). Wilson would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 three years after he passed away. In 2019, he would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jody Watley would be the guest of honor at the ceremony.


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