Sunday, February 20, 2022

"Dreamin'" by Vanessa Williams

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3758
Date:  01/07/1989
Debut:  98
Peak:  8
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Williams kicked off her singing career with a 1988 debut album titled The Right Stuff. The title track would be the first single and it did well at R&B (#4) and Dance (#1). However, it didn't do as well at Pop where it stalled outside of the Top 40. A second single would also make the R&B Top 10, but fail to reach the Pop chart. Still looking for a bigger mainstream hit, Williams pushed out this ballad from the album. It was exactly the right choice with the tune hitting #1 R&B and #2 AC while becoming her first to make the Pop Top 10. With that result, the album sold enough to go gold and reach #36 Pop/#18 R&B. It was a good start for the former Miss America.

ReduxReview:  Williams was lucky to get this tune. The original version (see below) was certainly hit-worthy, but it seems that it just didn't get promotional push from Motown and therefore it didn't get anywhere. That was an advantage for Williams who got the tune through the original's producer. With him also producing it for Williams, her version was not all that different from the original. It was perhaps a little slicker thanks to what I would assume was a bigger budget, but in general the productions are similar. However, the main difference was that Williams' debut album got a lot of attention right off the bat and her first single was a solid R&B/Dance hit. That momentum helped when this tune was issued out. I thought it was a really nice track and I even bought the single. It holds up well and it did a lot towards establishing a music career for Williams.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally recorded by the family vocal group Guinn. Their version appeared on a 1986 self-titled debut album. It was released as a single, but it failed to chart. Guinn was made up of six Philadelphia siblings (Bonnie, Earl, Margie, Michael, Randy, and Skip) along with singer Lori Fulton. Some of the siblings had been performing in groups since the 70s, but they came together early in the 80s and released a 1984 single titled "Prove It to Me" for the local indie Philly World label. It seems the tune got the attention of Motown Records who ended up signing the group. Their self-titled debut album was ready in 1986, but it went nowhere upon release. A couple years later, one of the producers on the Guinn album, Donald Robinson, found himself working with Vanessa Williams on her debut album. Having co-produced "Dreamin'," Robinson brought the song (written by Lisa Montgomery and Geneva Paschal) to Williams. Robinson and Williams recorded the tune and it would go on to become Williams' first Pop Top 10 hit. One of the singers to provide background vocals for Williams' hit was former Guinn member Lori Fulton. She had been the lead singer for the original Guinn recording.



  1. Were there any new releases for 12/31/1988? I don't see any songs released that were released during that week.

    1. The last chart of every year is always "frozen," which means one is not published. Therefore, each song will remain in the same position for two weeks in a row and there are no new debuts.

  2. I did not know that the last week of every year is always frozen, very interesting how that works.