Monday, April 18, 2022

"Tribute (Right On)" by The Pasadenas

Song#:  3809
Date:  02/25/1989
Debut:  97
Peak:  52
Weeks:  10
Genre:  R&B, Soul

Pop Bits:  This Brit-soul quintet was made up of twins David and Michael Milliner along with Aaron Brown, Andrew Banfield, and Hamish Seelochan. Originally named Finesse, the group perfected their live shows and wrote retro-leaning songs that got the attention of CBS Records. They signed on with the label and in the spring of '88 they issued out this first single. It became a hit in the UK reaching #5 and that result had CBS asking for a full album. By the end of the summer, To Whom It May Concern was ready for release. A second single, "Riding on a Train," was released and it got to #13. Both songs gave a boost to the album, which ended up getting to #3 and going platinum. After a third single just missed the Top 30 in the UK, a deal was struck to push the group over to the States. "Tribute" was released and it would do well at R&B getting to #8 while getting to #27 Dance. On the Pop chart, the song would stop shy of the Top 50. "Riding on a Train" would then be issued, but it could only make the R&B chart at #73. The album would perform fairly well getting to #49 R&B/#89 Pop.

ReduxReview:  This retro styled soul single was interesting and well done. I liked the track's groove and the theme of the lyrics. The only thing I was missing here was a more substantial hooky chorus. After listening to it a few times and then walking away for a while, the song slipped out of my brain and I couldn't remember it. Still, it was a nice listen.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) As indicated by its title, this was a tribute song of sorts. The lyrics salute soul and R&B artists from previous eras and how their music has influenced others and has continued to stay alive. Several artists from the 50s, 60s, and 70s are mentioned including Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, James Brown, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and even Elvis Presley. The song was co-written by the band with producer/singer/songwriter Pete Wingfield. Wingfield was himself a one-hit wonder in the US. In 1975, he wrote and recorded "Eighteen with a Bullet," a song where the lyrics were a play on words that referenced a position on a pop chart. While the song would end up peaking at #15, just prior to that it did oddly hit #18 with a bullet (a chart "bullet" meant that airplay and sales were at a high level that week and was usually an indicator the song was still on the rise). It would be Wingfield's only Pop chart single as an artist.  2) The Pasadenas' second album, 1990's Elevate, didn't chart and only produced a couple minor chart singles in the UK. However, their third LP, 1992's Yours Sincerely, would put them back in the spotlight. The album of remakes would get to #6 and spawn their biggest UK hit, the #4 "I'm Doing Fine Now," which was a cover of the 1973 #8 AC/#14 R&B/#18 Pop/#20 UK hit by the US R&B vocal group New York City. Three other singles from Yours Sincerely would also make the UK Top 40. After that success, things went sour. For some reason the band lost their contract with CBS and were left floundering. Their last album came out in 1995 as a Japan-only release for the Pony Canyon label.


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