Wednesday, June 29, 2022

"Closer Than Friends" by Surface

Song#:  3864
Date:  04/15/1989
Debut:  95
Peak:  57
Weeks:  13
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  This trio's self-titled '86 debut album did well (#11 R&B/#55 Pop) thanks to a pair of R&B Top 10s including the #2 "Happy," which also got to #20 Pop/#24 AC. By the fall of '88, Surface had prepared their second album 2nd Wave. To kick things off, the track "I Missed" was issued out as the first single. It would become their third R&B Top 10 reaching #3, but it would not make the Pop chart. Then this next single was pushed out. The tune would become the trio's first R&B #1. This time around, the song would get on the Pop chart, but it couldn't quite get inside the Top 50. However, a third single would help break the band much wider.

ReduxReview:  After "Happy" made the Pop Top 20, it seemed like the trio was on the brink of bigger mainstream success, but they had a slight setback in that when the new jack swing "I Missed" failed to gain pop support. This mid-tempo second single was a bit more appealing to a pop audience and it at least got on the chart. It was a nice tune that was sort if in the vein of Freddie Jackson. The easy groovin' track had highlights like Bernard Jackson's vocals, but then it also had another unfortunate spoken word part, which for whatever reason the trio like to do. I don't think it did them any favors.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  David Townsend was a member of Surface and co-writer of this song. Townsend developed an interest in music at a young age and was most likely influenced by his dad, who had a career in music. Ed Townsend was a musician/singer/songwriter that started to get some of his songs published and recorded by other artists around 1956. Along the way he was able to record a few singles of his own, but they didn't get anywhere. He still continued to hawk his tunes to others and he had one in particular that he was trying to get to Nat King Cole via Columbia Records. After listening to Townsend and his song, Columbia like both enough to sign Townsend and have him record the tune. "For Your Love" was released in '58 and it would go on to reach #7 R&B/#13 Pop. Unfortunately, it would end up being Townsend's only major hit. He would continue to record singles for various labels over the years, but nothing stuck. However, he continued to supply song to many artists over the years including for the soul group The Impressions. Townsend would write and produce three R&B Top 3 hits for the group including the 1974 #1 (#17 Pop) "Finally Got Myself Together (I'm a Changed Man)." Yet it was a collaboration in 1973 that perhaps earned Townsend his biggest accolades. He would co-write and co-produce songs with superstar Marvin Gaye for Gaye's classic Grammy-nominated LP Let's Get It On. Their title track collaboration would end up becoming a major #1 hit on both the R&B an Pop charts.


No comments:

Post a Comment