Saturday, March 19, 2022

"Superwoman" by Karyn White

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3782
Date:  01/28/1989
Debut:  87
Peak:  8
Weeks:  18
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  White kicked off her self-titled debut solo album in a big way with the gold selling first single "The Way You Love Me." That song got to #7 Pop while topping the R&B chart and getting to #5 Dance. It would also earn her a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. As a follow up to that major hit, this ballad was issued out. It would nearly replicate the success of her first single by hitting #1 R&B, #8 Pop, #12 AC, going gold, and also earning White a second Grammy nod. The hit would extend sales of the album and by April of '89 it would go platinum (#1 R&B/#19 Pop).

ReduxReview:  Songwriters L.A. Reid and Babyface (with Daryl Simmons) had mainly been having success on the charts with uptempo, groovy tracks. I believe this was their first ballad that had the goods to really make it as a single and indeed it became a gold seller. It was a big, empowering tune that had a memorable chorus and a star vocal turn from White. It's weird to say, but the remake by a powerhouse trio (see below) just wasn't as good. Listening to White you feel that she put every ounce of her being in delivering the lyrics. She wasn't your superwoman, but she was a super singer.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  In 1989, Gladys Knight & the Pips would part ways after 37 years in the business. Knight had opted to close the Pips era of her career and head out as a solo act. She had previously released two solo side projects in '78 and '79 to mild sales, but she didn't choose to fully seek a solo career until '89. By 1991, Knight was ready to release her third solo effort. Titled Good Woman, its first single, "Men," would get to #2 on the R&B chart. For the LP, Knight would choose to do a cover version of Karyn White's "Superwoman," which had been written by Babyface, L.A. Reid, and Daryl Simmons. Yet instead of doing her own solo version, Gladys decided to get a couple of her contemporaries to lend their vocal talents. She chose to record the song as a trio alongside Dionne Warwick and Patti LaBelle. Released as the second single from the album, the track would make it to #19 R&B. Unfortunately, like "Men" it didn't make the Pop chart. Still, the album would get to #1 R&B and #45 Pop.


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