Saturday, October 23, 2021

"I Can't Wait" by Deniece Williams

Song#:  3652
Date:  09/24/1988
Debut:  98
Peak:  66
Weeks:  8
Genre:  R&B, Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Williams was last on the Pop chart in the late summer of '84 with "Next Love" (#81). It was the follow up to her #1 smash hit from the Footloose soundtrack "Let's Hear It for the Boy." Following those singles, Williams would release a gospel album followed by a pair of R&B/pop efforts. None of the albums or associated singles would reach the Pop chart, but she did grab a #6 R&B hit in '87 with "Never Say Never." She would also win three Grammys for her gospel music work. Williams had been with Columbia Records since her career began in '76, but with dwindling returns her spot on their roster was coming into question. She got the opportunity to give it another go and recorded her twelfth album As Good As It Gets. She would work on tracks with three different producers; Brad Westering, Monte Moir (of The Time), and famed jazz/R&B star George Duke, who helmed this first single. The song would do well at R&B where it became Williams' last to make the Top 10 at #8. It then crossed over to Pop where it spent a couple of months in the bottom half of the chart. It would end up being her last single to reach the Pop chart. A second single, "This Is As Good As It Gets," would get to #29 R&B, but fail to make the Pop chart. The results left the album peaking at #48 R&B and unable to make the Pop chart, which in turn had Williams leaving Columbia for MCA. Her next LP, 1989's Special Love, was a mix of gospel, R&B, and pop and it featured her final R&B charting single, the #55 "Every Moment." She would then mainly stay within the gospel market and record three albums for various labels. Her 1998 album This Is My Song would earn her a fourth Grammy in a gospel category. It would be nearly a decade before she would record again. In 2007, she would return to R&B with Love, Niecy Style. It would get to #41 on the R&B chart.

ReduxReview:  This effervescent tune had a retro feel and sounded like it should have been part of a soundtrack like from Beverly Hills Cop. Perhaps if it had been, it might have done better on the Pop chart. I think the song missed its opportunity as it might have done much better if it had been released a few years earlier. By the late 80s, a bubbly confection like this was going to have a tough time going against the other more modern sounds of the day. It was too bad because this song was a bright, upbeat, fun tune with a typical solid vocal performance from Williams. She was working with terrific folks on the album, but they may not have been the right people as they didn't push her forward enough to compete with hit makers of the day. Still, this tune is one worth looking up and enjoying.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Also on the As Good As It Gets Album is Williams' remake of "We Are Here to Change the World," a song originally recorded and co-written by Michael Jackson (with John Barnes). The tune was written and recorded for the 1986 short film Captain EO, which starred Jackson. Not long after Michael Eisner took over at Disney, the idea came up to do a 3D film that starred one of the world's biggest stars and frequent Disney park attendee, Michael Jackson. To help lure him in, they secured a hero of Jackson's, George Lucas, to head up the project. Lucas, in turn, signed Francis Ford Coppola to direct. Jackson bit at the chance to work with Lucas and Coppola and by the fall of '86 the 17-minute sci-fi saga Captain EO was presented at Disney's Epcot park. Touted as being in "4D," the film was done in 3D, but the theater was outfitted with other effects such as lasers to enhance the experience. Jackson would write and perform two songs for the film; "We Are Here to Change the World" and "Another Part of Me," which would later be on the Bad album and released as a single. Captain EO would run through 1998 and be featured at several Disney parks. The mini film would return for a time in 2010 following Jackson's death.


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