Tuesday, August 3, 2021

"Too Much Ain't Enough Love" by Jimmy Barnes

Song#:  3571
Date:  07/09/1988
Debut:  91
Peak:  91
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This rocker's first two albums were major #1 hits in his homeland of Australia. His label tried to break him in the US, but only one of his solo singles, 1986's "Working Class Man," made it on the Pop chart at a low #74 (#22 Rock). A soundtrack duet with INXS in '87, the cover tune "Good Times," did better getting to #47 (#3 Rock), but it still didn't get Barnes established in the US. Near the end of '87, Barnes was ready to release his third album, Freight Train Heart, and to kick it off this first single was released. It would become Barnes' first song to top the Aussie chart. The album then instantly became his third consecutive #1. Once again, an attempt was made to establish Barnes in the US and the track was issued out in the summer of '88. The track did well at Rock reaching #3, but it failed to catch on in a more mainstream way and therefore could only eke out a two-week stay at the bottom of the Pop chart. A follow-up single, "Driving Wheels," would make the Rock chart at #38. It would be Barnes' last time on any US chart. Back home in Australia, Barnes would become a superstar. Over the years he would amass 12 Top 10 singles and 19 Top 10 studio/live albums including 11 #1s. That was just for his solo output. From '78 to '84, Barnes was the lead singer of Cold Chisel. That band would earn 2 Top 10 singles and 5 Top 10 studio/live albums including three #1s.

ReduxReview:  This slick mid-tempo rock track had a definite Journey stamp to it thanks to the tune's writers (see below) and guitar work from Neal Schon. Had it been recorded by that superstar band, I think the single might have done better on the chart, but since it was done by a relatively unknown (for the US) artist, it just didn't get the attention it deserved. It seemed to have been promoted enough at Rock to make the Top 10, but it just didn't get pushed to pop radio as well and it fizzled. It was too bad because the song was quite good. Its slinky, midnight rock groove set a nice tone and Barnes' soulful, gravelly voice fit it well. The track was certainly different from the Springsteen-esque "Working Class Man" and I think that was a good thing. Sadly, Barnes was never able to gain a big audience in the US. He was in the same boat as another Aussie superstar from the 80s, John Farnham, who also couldn't get a break in the US.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) For his second album, 1985's For the Working Class Man (aka Jimmy Barnes in the US), Barnes worked with Journey's Jonathan Cain on a couple of tracks including "Working Class Man," which was written and produced by Cain. The pairing seemed to go well, so for Freight Train Heart they got back together and co-wrote the majority of the album, including this single. Cain produced the tracks as well. On a couple of tracks, he brought along his Journey bandmates Neal Schon and Randy Jackson (yes, of American Idol), both of whom were co-writers on this single along with Tony Brock. Two other tracks on the album were co-written and produced by hitmaker Desmond Child. With all that star power on board, it seemed like the album was primed to be a hit. It was in Australia, but the LP just didn't fully catch fire in the US.  2) This wasn't the first Jimmy Barnes to reach the US charts. In 1959, New Jersey-born gospel/soul singer Jimmy Barnes got to #14 R&B/#90 Pop with the ballad "No Regrets," which was written by Otis Blackwell (of "All Shook Up" and "Don't Be Cruel" fame). At the time, Barnes was fronting a vocal group called the Gilbraltars, however the single was only credited to Barnes. Follow-up singles didn't get anywhere and the tune became Barnes' only one to make the charts.


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