Friday, May 28, 2021

"Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3507
Date:  05/07/1988
Debut:  90
Peak:  9
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Pop


Pop Bits:  The former Go-Go's 1985 self-titled debut album didn't make much of an impression. It peaked at a minor #127 with its first single, "Blue Kiss," stalling at #77. After a short break from music, she signed on with EMI Manhattan and began work on a second album with producer Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, Erasure). Titled Fur, the LP got kicked off with this first single. It took a while for it to catch on, but it made its way up the Pop chart and finally cracked the Top 10. It made Wiedlin the second Go-Go after Belinda Carlisle to have a Pop Top 10 hit. While the song performed well, it didn't help sales of the album, which peaked at #105.

ReduxReview:  It is just a guess, but I think EMI was looking for Wiedlin to be their Belinda Carlisle; a former Go-Go turning out pop hits. Fur was certainly more of a current, radio-friendly effort when compared to her quirky, new wave debut album. Having Hague on as producer helped shape things as well. However, the main difference between Wiedlin and Carlisle is that Wiedlin wrote her own songs whereas Carlisle relied on outside writers. In some ways, that gave Carlisle the edge because she could shop for hit songs. Wiedlin had to write them and luckily she hit the mark with this single. It was a catchy, fun pop track that was well-produced and featured Wiedlin's unique voice. It's a shame she didn't have one more surefire hit on the LP, but it did have some good tracks including the urgent synthpop jam "Song of the Factory." Still, nothing on it was quite as good or honest as the songs she wrote for the Go-Go's. It was like she was having trouble finding her solo career voice. Still, along the way she tossed of some solid pop gems like this hit.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song was co-written by Jane Wiedlin and Peter Rafelson. Rafelson had recently just had his first major Pop chart success as co-writer of Madonna's #1 hit "Open Your Heart." He composed the song with Gardner Cole. Cole also helped out on Wiedlin's album by co-writing "Inside a Dream," which would end up being the LP's second single (#57). Rafelson would work with Wiedelin on three other tracks for the album as well. While Rafelson wouldn't have another major hit on the Pop chart, he did have four songs reach #1 on the Dance chart. One with Singaporean singer Sun (2004's "One with You") and three with Erika Jayne. Between 2007 and 2016, Jayne would have nine songs reach #1 on the Dance chart. She would only release one album, 2009's Pretty Mess, which included all her #1's written by Rafelson. Jayne would later go on to join the cast of the reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She would appear under her married name Erika Girardi and would debut on the show in its sixth season (2015).

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