Tuesday, August 17, 2021

"Time and Tide" by Basia

Song#:  3585
Date:  07/23/1988
Debut:  96
Peak:  26
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Jazz-Pop, Sophisti-Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Poland-born Barbara Trzetrzelewska, aka Basia, started singing at a young age. While attending university, she got an offer to sing with a popular all-female band. It was too much of a temptation and Basia left behind her classes and began performing and touring with the band. In the late 70s, she sang with another Polish pop band, but it seems that she had bigger ambitions and decided to move to the UK. A group called Bronze was looking for a new singer and happened upon Basia. She soon joined up with the group, but things fell apart quickly. Yet connections brought Basia and her bandmate Danny White together with Mark Reilly and as a trio called Matt Bianco signed on with WEA. They issued out a debut album in 1984 that was highly successful (see below). During that time, Basia and White started a personal relationship and they decided to leave Matt Bianco in '85 to focus on breaking Basia as a solo artist. The following year she signed with Epic Records and work began on a debut album. Titled Time and Tide, it was released in the summer of '87 in various European countries, but the only place it really clicked was in France where it reached #16. Then in '88, smooth jazz and AC stations in the US began to spin this track. It started to get some attention so the label pushed it out as a single. It caught on in a more mainstream way and the tune ended up on both the Pop and AC charts where it topped out at #26 and #19, respectively. The song pushed the album to #36 at Pop while topping the Contemporary Jazz chart. By November of '88, it would be a certified gold seller.

ReduxReview:  This was an unusual candidate for a single. There was nothing like it at the time and it certainly stood out. The song, the arrangement, and Basia's voice were all unique and in some ways it even felt a little exotic. I'm pretty sure the first time I heard this song was on American Top 40. It got my attention right away and I went out and got the CD. I played it for other folks and then they went to get it. I also remember making a mix tape for my boss at the time who was into music and we had similar tastes. I included a couple of Basia songs and she flipped out and immediately when to get the album. Basia had the right sound for the exact right moment. She provided a cool, sophisticated palate cleanser in between the hair metal, freestyle, and Whitney/Michael Jackson hits of the day. I still love the album. Also, the first Matt Bianco is pretty cool so check it out.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The trio of Matt Bianco (Basia, Danny White, and Mark Reilly) issued out their debut album, Whose Side Are You On, in 1984. Its first single, "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed," became a good sized hit in several countries including the UK where it got to #15. The album would top out at #35 in the UK while hitting the Top 10 in places like Austria (#1) and Germany (#3). The trio was suddenly hot, but it seems that Basia and her new beau White decided to use the success of Matt Bianco as a launching pad for Basia's solo career and left Reilly on his own. Reilly decided to carry on and hired in replacements Jenni Evans and Mark Fisher. Two successful albums would follow that included a pair of UK Top 20 hits. Reilly and Fisher would carry on with Matt Bianco until they split following an album in 2002. The following year, Reilly would reunite with Basia and White. The original trio would get together and record the 2004 LP Matt's Mood. It would do fairly well and even reach #15 on the US Jazz chart. After a successful tour, Basia and White took off once again to capitalize on the moment for Basia's solo career. Reilly and Fisher would then reunite and remain together until Fisher's death in 2016. Reilly carried on himself with the Matt Bianco name. And so, what is with that name? It seems the original trio had a penchant for themes from spy films and TV shows. They decided to create their own secret agent that would influence the group's sound and look. The trio would settle on the fictitious name of Matt Bianco.


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