Thursday, April 28, 2022

"It's Only Love" by Simply Red

Song#:  3818
Date:  02/25/1989
Debut:  77
Peak:  57
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  The UK band made a splash with their 1985 debut album Picture Book. It would be a platinum seller thanks to the #1 hit "Holding Back the Years." Their second LP, 1987's Men and Women, would be another success in the UK and other countries, but in the US it didn't get the same attention. The LP wouldn't produce a significant hit single and failed to even reach gold level sales. As '89 began, the band was ready to release their third album, A New Flame. This first single was pushed out and in the UK it did fine reaching #13. However, in the US the tune got a little action at AC (#19) and R&B (#22), but at Pop it couldn't find an audience and stopped in the bottom half of the chart. With that result, the album hit an initial peak of #55. It seemed like the album was going to continue the band's downward trend, but then a second single would turn things around in a big way.

ReduxReview:  The band does an admirable job with this soul track, but it wasn't one that was going to burn up the chart. It was a bit of an obscure album track remake that perhaps the band thought they could turn into a hit. While it may not have been as sexy or sultry as the original, Simply Red set a nice groove and gave the song a second life. The problem was that it didn't have the strength to cut through the other clutter on pop radio and it got lost in the cacophony of hooky glam rock, freestyle, dance-pop, new jack swing, etc., that was crowding the chart.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally recorded by soul superstar Barry White. His 1978 version recorded under the title "It's Only Love Doing Its Thing" was included on the #1 R&B/#36 Pop platinum album The Man. Written by brother/sister duo Jimmie and Vella Camron, the track was not issued out as a single. However, it did serve as the b-side to the album's biggest single, the #1 R&B/#60 Pop hit "You're Sweetness Is My Weakness." Simply Red's version would cut the title in half. Elements of White's recording would be used in the 2003 50 Cent hit "21 Questions," which got to #1 Pop/#1 R&B.


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