Tuesday, February 1, 2022

"A Little Respect" by Erasure

Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  3743
Date:  12/10/1988
Debut:  84
Peak:  14
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  This UK duo had major success on the US Dance chart with songs from their first two albums. They would earn six Top 10 hits on the chart including the #1 "Victims of Love." But the tunes didn't translate to the mainstream and as a result the albums failed to sell. That changed with their third album The Innocents. Its first single, "Chains of Love," would nearly crack the Pop Top 10 at #12 while reaching #4 Dance. Next up was this single that did just as well getting to #14 Pop and #2 Dance. The one-two punch of hits helped album sales and even though it would only peak at #49, sales were steady and eventually it would go platinum. By this point in time, the duo had already issued out a new EP in the UK and a track from it was gaining a lot of attention. Therefore, instead of releasing a third single in the US from The Innocents (as the US was slow to catch on to the LP), the label decided to wait and follow it up with the EP track in early '89.

ReduxReview:  The build of the whole front part of this song was just so brilliant. The instantly memorable synth line got things kicked off and then came the beats followed by the vocals with other sounds being added to the driving rhythm. It finally culminated in Andy Bell's glorious chorus ending falsetto. It was such a great way to start a song and it continued from there with background vocals and a bridge section with a synth piano riff. I also loved how the song reached a fever pitch release and then softens back in a "whew!" relief way with the main synth riff quietly taking the song out. While the song wasn't about sex, the arrangement certainly leaned that way...build, climax, relax. Perfect! It was another big winner from the duo that should have easily made the Top 10.


Trivia:  In 2001, this song became a hit again in the UK by an unlikely artist. The American alt rock band Wheatus covered the song for their 2000 self-titled debut album. That LP contained the song "Teenage Dirtbag," which was released as the first single. It would reach #2 in the UK. They followed it up with their remake of Erausre's "A Little Respect." It would do nearly as well reaching #3. The two hits would send their album to #7 and it would go platinum. Their subsequent LPs would not chart in the UK, but at least they made a mark with their debut album. In the US, the Long Island, New York, band didn't get the same attention. "Teenage Dirtbag" would peak at #7 on the Modern Rock chart with the album stalling at #76. As in Britain, their follow-up LP's would not chart. Despite not having major success in the US, Wheatus, headed up by vocalist/songwriter Brendan B. Brown, has maintained a solid following and has continued to record and tour over the years.


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