Tuesday, August 2, 2022

"(Between A) Rock and a Hard Place" by Cutting Crew

Song#:  3892
Date:  05/13/1989
Debut:  96
Peak:  77
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This English band's debut album, 1986's Broadcast, ended up being a #16 gold seller thanks to a pair of Pop Top 10 hits including the #1 "(I Just) Died in Your Arms." They would also earn a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. That set them up quite well for their second album, which normally follows quickly after a major success, but then...crickets. It seems the band had done their job and recorded tracks, but for whatever reason the label and its A&R department kept stalling on working up the album and getting it released. By the time the label decided to push out their new album The Scattering, nearly two and a half years had gone by since "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" became a hit. This first single would be pushed out from The Scattering, but it failed to catch on. It would stall at #41 Rock while not able to get out of the basement of the Pop chart. A second single, "Everything but My Pride," would do well at AC getting to #4, but it failed to make the Pop chart. The track "The Last Thing" would make it to #17 AC and become the band's last song to make a US chart. The results left the album halting at a disappointing #150. The band would push a third album in '92 titled Compus Mentus, but it failed to do anything and quickly disappeared along with their recording contract. Cutting Crew would call it a day in '93.

ReduxReview:  Much of the blame for Cutting Crew's demise is placed squarely on the shoulders of the label and their lack of support and decision to keep delaying the release of the album causing a loss of momentum for the band. While that was definitely valid, I don't think it was the only reason. For me the biggest issue was that the band just didn't have a surefire hit like "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" on the LP. There were some good tracks, but none that were pop radio ready. Whether it was two years or two days between albums, I think the results would have been the same. This single, while a good song, just didn't grab your attention like "Died" or even their overlooked single "One for the Mockingbird" (#38) and it pretty much brought the band's progress to a screeching halt. 

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  In 1996, Cutting Crew's lead singer and songwriter Nick Van Eede got an opportunity to possibly front a legendary band. Van Eede auditioned to be the lead singer for Genesis following the departure of Phil Collins. A handful of vocalists were giving a shot and Eede was one of them. Ultimately, the remaining two members of Genesis selected Ray Wilson for the spot. The new trio would make one album, 1997's Calling All Stations. It would do well in the UK getting to #2, but in the US it was a flop stopping at #54 with no singles making the Pop chart. It would end up being the last studio album put out under the Genesis name.


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