Friday, April 1, 2022

"Thinking of You" by Sa-Fire

Song#:  3794
Date:  02/04/1989
Debut:  80
Peak:  12
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Singer Wilma Cosmé, aka Sa-Fire, got her first Pop chart entry with the Latin freestyle track "Boy, I've Been Told," the first single lifted from her self-titled debut album. It performed fairly well reaching #48 Pop and #13 Dance. A second freestyle single failed to chart at Pop, so the label took a different tactic and decided to push out this ballad as the third single. It ended up being a good decision with the song nearly cracking the Pop Top 10 while getting to #4 AC. It would prove to be Sa-Fire's biggest hit on the Pop chart. The single would then help the album get to #79 Pop/#84 R&B.

ReduxReview:  The inspiration for this song came from the death of Sa-Fire's uncle Mario Santiago from AIDS in 1984. The Spanish adaptation of the song (see below) was used in AIDS awareness PSAs in the US and throughout Latin America. It was a lovely way to honor her uncle and it was effective in getting information across about HIV. I had totally forgotten about this song and at first it didn't sound familiar, but when the chorus kicked in I knew it right away. It was a heartfelt tune and you could tell from Sa-Fire's performance that it was personal. It should have gone Top 10, but I think since it was slow in catching on in certain markets, by the time it got near the Top 10 it had already peaked in key areas and the lost of momentum slowed its climb. She may have been more known for her freestyle sounds, but this song was really when she had her moment.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  While originally written (by Sa-Fire, Russ DeSalvo, and Bob Steele) and performed in English, for the Latin market along with AIDS PSAs a Spanish translation was commissioned. Actor/musician Ruben Blades would handle the work for the Spanish version of the song title "El Recuerdo De Ti." It would appear on the 12" vinyl version of the "Thinking of You" single. Originally from Panama, Blades moved to Miami after college and ended up working for the Fania label as a songwriter. He was then able to start a solo recording career in 1970. By 1983, his works began garnering Grammy nominations and he started to branch out into acting. Through to 2020, Blades would win nine Grammys over eighteen nominations along with winning ten Latin Grammys. He has appeared in many films and TV shows over the years including being a regular cast member on the zombie-themed show Fear of the Walking Dead. He also starred in the ill-fated 1998 Paul Simon Broadway musical Capeman. In 2020, Blades would be honored at the Latin Grammys as their Person of the Year.


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