Tuesday, June 7, 2022

"Working on It" by Chris Rea

Song#:  3845
Date:  03/25/1989
Debut: 89
Peak:  73
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After scoring a major hit in 1978 with "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," a #12 Pop hit from his gold selling debut album Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?, Rea's career quickly dried up in the US. He'd maintain a loyal following in his native UK, but his singles were mostly all mid-charters. His career perked up in '85 with a pair of solid selling albums at home and then in '87 he'd get back in the Top 10 with the album Dancing with Strangers (#2 UK). Its first single, "Let's Dance," would be his biggest hit in years getting to #12. In the US, the song became his first to reach the Pop chart in five years getting to #81. With his career reignited in the UK, it seemed like a good time to get new fans acquainted with Rea's older material, so a compilation album was put together. However, instead of using the original versions of his previous songs, Rea selected a bunch to re-record and came up with the LP New Light Through Old Windows. In addition to the old material, Rea recorded one new song for the collection, "Working on It." Issued out as a single, it would do very well on the US Rock chart reaching #1. The action there allowed it to cross over to the Pop chart, but it would only stick around for a few weeks. The album would make it to #92.

ReduxReview:  This style of rock wasn't really in at Pop radio at the time, but at least Rea got a #1 Rock hit out of it. I'm sure it played well at that format. The mysterious opening will grab your attention and then once the jam kicks in you'll want to stay around. Although it rocks a bit harder than what Don Henley was doing at the time, I could easily hear him doing this song. It was another underrated track from Rea that should have done better at Pop.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Rea's next studio album, '89's The Road to Hell would reach #107 in the US. The title track would get to #11 Rock. It would be Rea's last single to reach any chart in the US. His 1991 album Auberge would peak at a minor #176. It would be his last album to chart in the US. Meanwhile, over in the UK Rea was at a new career peak. Both The Road to Hell and Auberge would be #1 multi-platinum successes. His next three studio albums plus a second compilation would all reach the Top 10. Over the years, Rea would continue to record and tour despite several health issues including pancreatic cancer.


1 comment:

  1. I know Chris Rea also had a #9 AC hit in 1988 with "On The Beach" which I think is a great song, I remember it took me years to figure out the artist and title of that song, I originally thought it came out in the late 70's/early 80's.