Tuesday, August 31, 2021

"Skin Deep" by Cher

Song#:  3599
Date:  06/30/1988
Debut:  90
Peak:  79
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Dance-Pop


Pop Bits:  Cher's self-titled 1987 album was a major comeback effort that would become her first gold album since 1979. It reached #32 thanks to a pair of Pop Top 20 hits including the #10 "I Found Someone." A third single was called for and this track was selected. Apparently it wasn't quite what pop radio was looking for and the tune stalled low on the chart after only a month. It also made a brief appearance on the Dance chart at #41. It would be the final single released from the LP. The success of the album reestablished Cher as a viable hit maker and it gave her the opportunity to do even better with her next effort.

ReduxReview:  Obviously, this wasn't the right choice for a single as it pretty much tanked. I think that was because the LP's first two singles were more rock oriented and expectations were that a third track would follow suit. Instead, this dance-pop confection was released and it just didn't fit in with the sound that got Cher back on the chart. Was it a bad song? Not at all. It was a pretty good dance-pop tune that perhaps for another artist might have served them well. For Cher, it just wasn't the right track for a single. I thought for sure the label would issue out "Bang-Bang," Cher's remake of her own 1966 #2 hit "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." Produced by Desmond Child along with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, the track was given a huge late-80s rock production and it was pretty great. If it had been paired with a cool MTV video, I think it would have gotten near the Pop Top 10. But for some reason, the label screwed up and picked this weaker track and the results spoke for themselves. A missed opportunity.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Mark Goldenberg and Jon Lind with Lind producing. The song was first recorded by a Japanese singer/songwriter that, like Cher, used a mononym. Mayumi Yamamoto would write and record under the singular name of Cindy. She spent time in the early 80s writing and doing background vocals for other artists before being courted by the Japanese label Kitty Records. It seems the label had some connections and was able to get Cindy hooked up with Stevie Wonder, who would write one song for her 1986 debut LP Love Life and perform on two. The album had an eye towards a more global release with all tracks being sung in English. In addition to the Wonder-penned song, two by Jon Lind were selected. One that he wrote himself and then "Skin Deep," his co-write with Goldenberg. The Wonder song, "Think Your Love Away," was issued out as a single. It seems the single and album got nowhere in Japan and that halted Cindy's time at Kitty Records. She would go on to record two more albums in '90 and '91, but her biggest success came as a songwriter. She wrote several songs for Japanese singer/actress Miho Nakayama. Three songs that Cindy had a hand in writing would be released as singles. Two would make it to #1 while the other reached #3. Cindy passed away from cancer in 2001.

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1 comment:

  1. “Main Man” was also released after “Skin Deep” and went nowhere. For some reason, Wikipedia doesn’t mention it and I have the single. https://www.discogs.com/Cher-Main-Man/release/6975291

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