Friday, January 7, 2022

"(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" by Paula Abdul

Song#:  3719
Date:  11/12/1988
Debut:  88
Peak:  88
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Abdul's first single, "Knocked Out," did well at R&B (#8) and Dance (#14), but it didn't make much of an impression on the Pop chart where it stalled just shy of the Top 40 at #41. Still, it did well enough for her to finish off her debut album Forever Your Girl. Hoping for a better mainstream result, this second single was issued out. It was a remixed version of the album track and for the single release the "(It's Just)" was added to the title to help avoid confusion with the similarly titled Karyn White song "The Way You Love Me," which was already riding the charts. Once again the song was a winner at R&B reaching #10 while getting to #18 Dance. Unfortunately at Pop the song was virtually a non-starter. It peaked where it debuted on the chart and floated around the bottom for a few weeks. With those results, Abdul's album hit an initial peak of #43 R&B and #155 Pop. That easily could have been the end of the story for the album and even for Abdul's singing career, but then a third single would turn things around in a way that perhaps no one, not even Abdul, could have imagined.

ReduxReview:  If you are thinking - hey, wasn't this a Top 10 hit? - you'd be right. But not at this point. It would be reissued in 1989 after Abdul had scored three consecutive #1 hits. It deserved to be a hit when first issued out, but I think there may have been some obstacles at the time. "Knocked Out" scored at R&B, but it really wasn't that great of a single and it faltered at Pop. Since she broke through at R&B first, then I think this next single was pushed out to keep that audience, which it did. However, pop radio might have then ignored it because she may not have been as strongly marketed there. Regardless as to what happened, this should have been a hit from the get-go. It was well written and produced by Oliver Leiber and he does his best to get a good vocal from Abdul who could carry a tune, but was not a strong singer. Obviously, Abdul's next single was the one to really break her through, but this one should have gotten the job done first.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song was written and produced by Oliver Leiber. He is the son of Jerry Leiber, who with writing partner Mike Stoller were one of the most successful songwriting teams in the early days of rock ("Hound Dog," "Yakety Yak," "Stand By Me," "Jailhouse Rock"). Oliver Leiber had moved from New York to Minneapolis and while there started to work on music. He met up with former Time/The Family member Paul Peterson, who was making a solo album at the time. The pair wrote "Rich Man," which ended up being Peterson's only solo entry on the R&B chart in 1987 (#32). When Peterson went to L.A. to do a video for the song, Leiber gave him a demo of a song he was working on. As it happened, Paula Abdul was at the video shoot and started talking about how she was signed to Virgin Records and was looking for songs in a Janet Jackson/Minneapolis style. Peterson then played her Leiber's demo song and Abdul flipped for it. That song was "The Way You Love Me" and it wasn't long before Leiber had his first major job as a songwriter/producer working with Abdul. Leiber would end up writing and producing three songs for Abdul's album. All three would be singles with two of them hitting #1 and this one (later) getting to #3.


No comments:

Post a Comment