Tuesday, April 12, 2022

"Halleluiah Man" by Love and Money

Song#:  3804
Date:  02/18/1989
Debut:  93
Peak:  75
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Pop, Jazz-Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This Scottish quartet rose from the ashes of another band, Friends Again. Singer/songwriter for the group James Grant decided to form another band with two of his former band mates along with a new bassist. Love and Money was born and thanks to their connection with Mercury Records via Friends Again, they were able to quickly sign with the label in '85. A first single, "Candybar Express," was issued out in '86. It was a minor entry on the UK chart at #56, but it did well on the US Dance chart getting to #10. A debut album titled All You Need Is... would follow, but it failed to chart despite spawning two more lower charting singles in the UK. The results seemed fine for Mercury and the band was allowed to record a second album. Late in '88, Strange Kind of Love would be ready and this first single issued out. It would be a minor hit in several countries (#63 UK) before getting some attention in the US in the spring of '89. The song would nearly crack the AC Top 40 at #44 while spending a few weeks in the bottom quarter of the Pop chart. In turn, the album would get to #175. Further singles failed to chart in the US, however the title track would become the band's biggest hit in the UK reaching #45.

ReduxReview:  This song sounded like a leftover track from the Tears for Fears album The Seeds of Love. There was an air of sophistication around the track with its jazzy chord progressions and precise production. Part of that came courtesy of Gary Katz, who famously produced the first seven albums by Steely Dan. It was a change from their new wave early days with Friends Again and even from the INXS rock-soul sound of their first single "Candybar Express." The song was a slick, easy listen that could easily appeal to fans of late 80s sophisti-pop. It had some nice guitar work as well. Was it the most catchy, memorable single? No, but it was definitely a nice tune.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Friends Again was a Scottish New Wave band that formed in 1981. They would sign on with Mercury Records and in '83 would release three singles. The only one to chart in the UK was "State of Art," which was a minor blip at #93. An EP with that same title would be issued out in '84 and it would do better getting to #59. Mercury then let the band assemble a debut album titled Trapped and Unwrapped, but neither it nor a single released would chart. Not long after, the band would break up. Three of its member would then go on to form Love and Money.  2) After Strange Kind of Love did fairly well, the band was given the opportunity to record a third album. They prepped one titled The Mother's Boy, but it was not well received by the label. Surprisingly, the band was given another chance and in 1991 they were able to push out Dogs in the Traffic. Only one single from the LP, "Winter," would make the UK chart (#52). That along with positive reviews sent the album to #41. The band would run into more label issues when they began their fourth album, so they left and chose to complete and release it on an indie label. Love and Money would then part was in 1994.