Saturday, June 25, 2022

"Cry" by Waterfront

Top 10 Alert!
One-Hit Wonder Alert!
Song#:  3861
Date:  04/08/1989
Debut:  78
Peak:  10
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Sophisti-Pop

Pop Bits:  This duo from Wales consisted of Phil Cilia and Chris Duffy. The pair had been childhood friends and in their teens began to work together on music. They spent time performing around their hometown Cardiff area first with the band The Official Secrets and then as the duo Waterfront. It was fine for a while, but they knew if they wanted to seriously pursue a music career they needed to branch out. They took a chance and made the move to London. After doing gigs around the city and honing their songwriting skills, the pair first signed a publishing deal with SBK and then a record deal with Polydor. A self-titled debut album was recorded and this first single issued out late in '88. Unfortunately, it got nowhere. A second single, "Nature of Love," caught a little action in the UK and got to #78. Then a third single, "Broken Arrow," made it to #63. It seemed like their debut album might never get off the ground, but then "Cry" started to gain traction in the US in the spring of '89. It began to climb the US Pop and AC charts finally peaking at #10 and #2, respectively. The action in the US led to the song being reissued in the UK where it got to #17. The hit then helped the album get to #45 UK/#103 US. Although the duo would have one more minor charting single in the US, this lone Top 10 got them tagged as a one-hit wonder.

ReduxReview:  I remember when this first came out some folks thought it was a new George Michael single. Chris Duffy's lead vocal certainly had shades of Michael's voice and even the tune sounded like it could have been a leftover Michael track, but for some reason the comparison didn't occur to me. I didn't know who it was, but I liked the tune and ended up finding it at the record store. It was in the same vein as Breathe and Johnny Hates Jazz and since I had records by both of those artists, it seemed natural to latch onto this tune as well. The song has kind of been forgotten over the years, which is too bad. It's still a nice slice of 80s sophisti-pop.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  As mentioned, Chris Duffy's vocals on this track made some folks think it was a new George Michael tune. Oddly, the song does have a George Michael connection. One of the track's background vocalists was UK singer Shirley Lewis. Lewis had provided some background vocals for Michael's Faith album. Along with Shirley, her sister Dee also sang on the Waterfront song. Around the time "Cry" was shaping up to be a hit, Shirley acquired her own solo deal with A&M Records. Her debut album Passion would be released later in '89 and it would featured the minor chart entry "Realistic" (#84 Pop/#84 R&B). Shirley's other sister Linda Lewis had a successful recording career in the 70s. She would score a pair of UK Top 20s including the #6 "It's in His Kiss," her disco remake of Betty Everett's #6 US Pop hit "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)." Lewis' version of the song would be her only chart entry in the US getting to #11 Dance/#96 R&B.


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