Wednesday, May 4, 2022

"Good Life" by Inner City

Song#:  3822
Date:  03/04/1989
Debut:  90
Peak:  73
Weeks:  11
Genre:  House, Techno, Dance

Pop Bits:  This Detroit-based group was headed up by electronic music producer/songwriter Kevin Saunderson. Sanderson had been working on some tunes, but needed some lyrics and a vocalist. Through a friend he met Chicago singer/songwriter Paris Grey and got her to provide the vocals for tracks he had recorded. She would also help supply lyrics. One of the songs, "Big Fun," got picked up and featured on a Virgin Records compilation of Detroit techno music and not long after the track started to shape up into a hit in the UK. It to got #8 and then found in audience in the US where it got to #1 on the Dance chart in the fall of '88 (#50 Dance). With those results, Virgin wanted more and Inner City supplied this next single. It would also be a big hit at Dance reaching #1. It wouldn't make the R&B chart, but it got enough attention to spend nearly three months in the bottom half of the Pop chart. By the time summer came along, a debut album titled Big Fun was released (outside of North America the LP was titled Paradise). Two more singles would be released from the album and both went to #1 Dance making them four-for-four on that chart. Neither would reach the Pop or R&B charts. Despite the success on the Dance chart, the album would only be able to reach #162. However, the group continued their mainstream success in the UK with two more singles making the Top 10 and the album hitting #3 and going platinum.

ReduxReview:  Here is another track I haven't heard in ages. I'm not the biggest fan of house music, but this one caught my attention. I liked the staccato, syncopated chorus and the production was crisp and uncluttered. I think this song and the album would influence a lot of other house/dance tracks to come. With four Dance #1s in a row, Inner City was definitely the real deal when it came to house music and Detroit techno.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Following their four straight #1s on the US Dance chart, the group then released the one-off single "Whatcha Gonna Do with My Lovin'." It was a remake of a song originally recorded by Stephanie Mills. Her 1979 version was released as a single and got to #8 R&B/#22 Pop. The Inner City version would stop their streak of #1s on the Dance chart, but it still made it to #8. It was also able to cross over to R&B (#30) and Pop (#76). The track would then be added to a new pressing of the Big Fun album replacing another song, but the adjustment didn't do much to boost sales of the LP. Their next effort, 1990's Fire did not do well. It could only manage to spawn a #15 Dance single and the LP failed to chart. However, their third album, 1992's Praise, did contain two Dance hits including the #1 "Pennies from Heaven" (not a remake of the old standard). Unfortunately, the hits didn't do much for the album, which failed to chart. It seems after that Inner City was left off of the Virgin roster. Since then, the group has released several indie singles with one, 1994's "Do Ya," becoming their final Dance Top 10 (#5).


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