Sunday, October 10, 2021

"Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby)" by Will to Power

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3639
Date:  09/10/1988
Debut:  97
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Soft Rock, Pop

Pop Bits:  Will to Power's first two singles were both middling entries peaking around the halfway mark on the Pop chart. However, the second one, "Say It's Gonna Rain," would be a hit in clubs and would reach #1 on the Dance chart. As that song was wrapping up its run, the group's self-titled debut album was ready and this third single coincided with its release. The ballad medley was completely different from the group's previous two dance-oriented hits and that allowed it to have a bit more mainstream appeal. The track debuted low on the Pop chart, but steadily ascended until it finally reached #1 in its thirteenth week. It would also do well at AC getting to #2. Sales of the single were strong and it would become a gold seller. Unfortunately, it seemed like more folks were interested in the single than the album, which only managed to reach a minor #68. 

ReduxReview:  Not long before this song came up for the blog, I saw an episode of the TV show Evil where girls started stabbing themselves in the ear due to subliminal messages they heard in a song that they couldn't get out of their heads. This hit didn't contain secret messages, but anytime I heard it I felt like the girls from the show; I just wanted to jab a pencil in my ear to make it stop. The concept of tossing these two classics together wasn't necessarily a bad one, but the fact that they were thrown into a vat and tossed around with sugary goo to get them thickly candy coated with late 80s synthpop was an awful idea. To add to the mess, the production was not great and Bob Rosenberg's voice was barely passable. I could see how some Frampton fans might have looked nostalgically at this track, but I would have expected fans of Lynyrd Skynyrd to cry foul. To take such a classic Southern rock song and turn it into pop fluff is nearly sacrilege. I just didn't get it. I thought the track was pretty awful and I avoided it at all costs. Still do. It is definitely one of the worst #1 songs of the 80s if not one of the worst songs of the decade in general.

ReduxRating:  1/10

Trivia:  This track was a medley of two classic rock songs from the 70s. "Baby, I Love Your Way" was originally written and recorded by Peter Frampton for his 1975 fourth album Frampton. It would be the LP's second single, but it failed to chart as did its first single "Show Me the Way." Both songs would appear on his next LP Frampton Come Alive!, which would become one of the best selling live albums of all time (8 million in the US). "Show Me the Way" and "Baby, I Love Your Way" would both be issued out again as singles in their live versions and would reach #6 and #12, respectively on the Pop chart. A third single, "Do You Feel Like I Do," would get to #10. Will to Power would not be the only artist to take Frampton's song into the Pop Top 10. In 1994, the pop/reggae band Big Mountain would cover "Baby, I Love Your Way" and take it to #6. The second song in the medley was "Free Bird," a classic track original recorded by the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was the closing track on their 1973 debut album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd). The following year after the success of "Sweet Home Alabama" (#8 Pop) off of their second album Second Helping, the song was released as a single due to its gaining popularity. Edited down from the 9 minute album version to just over 4 minutes, the song would make it to #19 Pop. Two years later, a live version would be issued out and get to #38. Will to Power's mastermind Bob Rosenberg came up with the idea to combine the songs. He didn't have enough tracks for the group's debut album and was searching for ideas. He happened to hear "Baby, I Love Your Way" on the radio, which made him thing of the song "Free Bird." Rosenberg then had an "a-ha!" moment and decided to create a medley of the two. Rosenberg sang the male vocal while Suzi Carr sang the female part. The unusual medley appealed to a wide range of folks many who were riding a nostalgia wave from knowing the original songs.


No comments:

Post a Comment