Sunday, August 1, 2021

"Cecilia" by Times Two

Song#:  3569
Date:  07/09/1988
Debut:  93
Peak:  79
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  This quirky duo's debut single "Strange But True" performed well making it to #21 on the Pop chart. The bubbly track was from their album X2 as was this follow-up. Unfortunately, the cover tune didn't fare as well and it stayed in the bottom quarter of the Pop chart for only a few weeks. It didn't do much to help sales of the album, which had already stalled at a minor #137. The results apparently were not good enough for Reprise Records and soon the duo were left off of the label's roster. They got the opportunity to move over to EMI, but something was needed quickly to try and still capitalize on any momentum they had with their initial hit. An EP titled Danger Is My Business was assembled and the single "Set Me Free" pushed out in the summer of 1990. The song failed to make the pop chart but made brief appearances at Dance (#26) and R&B (#97). It seems a full album was then put together, but it ended up getting shelved. Following that disappointment, the duo split up.

ReduxReview:  I liked the duo's previous tune "Strange But True." It was a fun bubblepop track. However, I almost want to deduct points from my rating on that after hearing this goofy remake. Somehow I have a feeling that the duo didn't pick this song to cover. Probably someone at the label did. I mean...really?  "Cecilia?" Done in a weird synthpop-reggae version? Yeesh. If you are thinking "that sounds awful," then you'd be correct. I think they took the song and tried to copy what Club Nouveau did with "Lean on Me." I was definitely not a fan of that tune and this one ranks the same. The associated video is just as weird and inane. Somehow, "Lean on Me" went to #1, but by the time this cover came out, folks said no and sent it to the cutout bin. Thankfully.

ReduxRating:  1/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally written by Paul Simon and recorded by Simon & Garfunkel. It was released as the third single from their 1970 #1 album Bridge Over Troubled Water. It would reach #4 and go gold. The song has been covered by many artists, but thus far the only other act to reach the US Pop chart with the it has been Times Two. However, the song did become a hit in the UK for another artist. Graham McPherson, aka Suggs, was the lead singer of the UK ska band Madness, who had a major international hit in 1983 with "Our House" (#7 US Pop). In 1995, Suggs released his first solo album titled The Lone Ranger. The LP featured two UK Top 10 hits including a remake of "Cecilia." Suggs' version became his biggest solo hit reaching #4. Guesting on the track were the UK ragga duo of Louchie Lou & Michie One who a couple years earlier reached the UK Top 10 with a cover tune. "Shout (It Out)" (#7) was their take on The Isley Brothers' 1962 classic "Shout."


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