Wednesday, June 8, 2022

"Downtown" by One 2 Many

Song#:  3846
Date:  03/25/1989
Debut:  88
Peak:  37
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Europop, Sythpop

Pop Bits:  This trio consisting of members from Norway and Sweden got together in 1987. Keyboardist Dag Kolsrug would write or co-write and co-produce the band's songs while Camilla Griehsel would handle the vocals. Guitarist Jan Gisel Ytterdal would round out the trio. They got the attention of A&M Records and after signing with the label, the band got to work on a debut album titled Mirror. This first single was released in the fall of '88 around Europe and it would hit #1 in Norway while charting in a few other countries. A&M decided to give the single a shot in the US and pushed it out in March of '89. It got a little attention getting to #18 AC and #30 Dance while cracking the Pop Top 40 for a few weeks. Although no official follow up single was released, the album track "Writing on the Wall" became a minor blip on the AC chart at #49. With those results, the album failed to chart. However, it didn't really matter because not long after "Downtown" made the US charts, the band split and so there was no reason for A&M to promote the trio any further.

ReduxReview:  As a follower of the Pop chart, I saw that this single cracked the Top 40. I hadn't heard the song yet and probably wasn't going to get to anytime soon on the local radio station, so I did like I had a few times previously and just bought the single to see what it sounded like. The dramatic piano opening kind of reminded me of something Bruce Hornsby would do, but then it transitioned into a chugging Europop tune. I liked the song, but remember thinking that it didn't quite have enough steam to break in a bigger way, especially with rival Swedish duo Roxette storming the chart at the same time. Indeed I was right as it stalled just inside the Top 40. The album had a few other solid tunes and I think the trio had good potential, but they gave up before giving it another go. What they left behind was this pleasant little Europop gem that has sadly been forgotten.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  While One 2 Many were on the A&M label, so was English singer/songwriter Black (aka Colin Vearncombe. After releasing a few singles trying to get a solo career off the ground, Black wrote and independently released the song "Wonderful Life." A&M discovered the tune and signed Black. A debut album titled Wonderful Life would be issued out and its first single, "Everything's Coming Up Roses," would get to a minor #76 in the UK. However, the next single "Sweetest Smile" would crack the UK Top 10 at #8. To follow it up, "Wonderful Life" was then issued out. It would become a big hit reaching #6 in the UK and making the Top 10 in several European countries. The album would then be a #3 platinum hit in the UK. Black's follow up albums would fare less well, but he made an indelible impression with "Wonderful Life" in the UK with several artists like Kylie Minogue covering the tune. Black would meet One 2 Many's lead singer Camilla Griehsel along the way and in 1990 they would marry. Each would continue on with their music career with Griehsel switching her focus to opera. The pair would have three sons. Sadly, Black died following injuries sustained in a car crash in 2016.


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