Thursday, January 20, 2022

"When I'm with You" by Sheriff

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
One-Hit Wonder Alert!
Song#:  3731
Date:  11/26/1988
Debut:  84
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This Canadian band recorded their debut album in 1982. It spawned their only Top 10 hit at home with the #8 "When I'm with You." It was the third single from the LP and in 1983 it was able to crack the US Pop chart, but could only manage to reach #61. With that result, the album failed to chart. Afterwards, the band ended up having internal issues and decided to part ways in '85. That seemed to be the end of the story with band members going on to other projects and "When I'm with You" relegated to the forgotten dust bin of minor US Pop chart entries. Yet one person who didn't forget the song was local Las Vegas radio DJ Jay Taylor. On a whim, Taylor began to spin "When I'm with You" on his radio show in '88. The audience reaction was strong and immediate. It wasn't long before the song was getting picked up by other stations. With the song's popularity quickly growing, a problem arose. In addition to the band being split, their album and the single were long out of print. No one could get a copy. Word of the song's revival finally reached the band's former label Capitol who decided to reissue the single. Once made available, the song was eligible for the Pop chart and it wasn't long before the song made a re-entry and began to climb. Eventually it would claim the top spot at Pop while also hitting #1 at AC. Capitol then went ahead and reissued Sheriff's self-titled debut album. It would reach #60. Of course the unexpected hit revival of the song caught members of Sheriff off guard. It could have been a new launching pad for a second chance at stardom, but a couple of the members had no interest in reuniting and Sheriff was unable to reform and capitalize on their surprise hit. With it being their only chart entry and hitting #1 in a double run, it made Sheriff a unique one-hit wonder.

ReduxReview:  Many songs don't get their due upon first release, but a very lucky few end up getting a second chance and finally become hits. Here is one of them. It really should have been a hit back in '83, but for some reason it just didn't catch fire. Despite being a seven-year-old track, it actually didn't sound dated and fit in well with other newer hits on the radio. It was a good, sentimental song with a nice arrangement and killer vocal. I'm glad it got a second shot.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Up until this point in '88, there were only a handful of Canadian artists who hit #1 on the US Pop chart. Most were solo artist including Paul Anka, Anne Murray, Nick Gilder, Bryan Adams, and Neil Young. Prior to Sheriff getting their late #1 hit, only two other Canadian bands had topped the chart. The Guess Who were the first in 1970 with their double-sided hit "American Woman/No Sugar Tonight." The in 1974, Bachman-Turner Overdrive made it to #1 with "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet." It would be 14 years before Sheriff would be the next Canadian band at #1. It would take another 10 years before another Canadian band would make it back to the top spot. Barenaked Ladies would reach #1 in 1988 with "One Week." As of this posting date, only two other Canadian bands have topped the Pop chart. Nickelback in 2001 ("How You Remind Me") and Magic! ("Rude").


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