Wednesday, November 17, 2021

"Put This Love to the Test" by Jon Astley

Song#:  3677
Date:  10/15/1988
Debut:  95
Peak:  74
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Alternative Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Astley's offbeat 1987 single "Jane's Getting Serious" became a #7 Rock hit that was able to reach #77 at Pop. It got a boost from its quirky video that got a lot of airplay on MTV. The song was taken from Astley's debut album Everyone Loves the Pilot (Except the Crew). Although the LP halted at #135, it was enough for his label, Atlantic, to request a second effort. Astley came back with The Compleat Angler and this first single was issued out. The tune would do well on the new Modern Rock chart reaching #3. However, at Pop it fared about the same as his previous single stopping near the bottom quarter of the chart. The album failed to chart. With that result, Astley's time at Atlantic as a recording artist was done.

ReduxReview:  This quietly groovy tune has new wave feel that seems more early 80s that near 90s. The verse kind of reminds me a bit of SinĂ©ad O'Connor's "The Emperor's New Clothes." Astley's voice is certainly unique and perhaps for some folks an acquired taste, but I like it and it suits the song well. Like "Jane's Getting Serious" this is another little buried gem from the 80s. The album is also quite good. It's a shame that neither of his albums have been reissued.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Although it may have been disappointing, Astley was probably not all that sad about his solo career ending. He had been growing a career behind the scenes as a producer and did not have his eye on being a recording artist. But then a fluke opportunity came his way so he gave it a shot. After his solo career ended, Astley went back to work behind the scenes mainly as a producer. Then in 1996, another opportunity came his way. Pete Townshend, who happened to be Astley's brother-in-law, asked Astley to oversee the remastering/reissuing of The Who's catalog. Astley took a leap of faith and began to learn the art of remastering. After working on The Who's catalog, other mastering work came his way. Eventually he opened up his own mastering studio called Close to the Edge. There he has done mastering work for a wide variety of artists including Tori Amos, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, ABBA, and many others.


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