Wednesday, August 17, 2022

"Moonlight on Water" by Kevin Raleigh

Song#:  3904
Date:  05/20/1989
Debut:  85
Peak:  60
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  This Cleveland-born singer/songwriter began playing in bands at an early age and before he was out of his teens had recorded and album with a local band called Freeport. Their 1970 self-titled album would be issued out in the indie Mainstream Records label, who had released first albums by Janis Jopin (under the Big Brother & the Holding Company name) and Ted Nugent (w/Amboy Dukes). The album didn't get anywhere and Raleigh spent most of the 70s hopping between bands. Then in '78, he got the opportunity to work with Cleveland's popular Michael Stanley Band. He quickly became a permanent member as vocalist, songwriter, and keyboardist. It would be during Raleigh's tenure with MSB that the band would grab their biggest Pop chart hit with the 1980 #33 "He Can't Love You," which was written by Raleigh. MSB would split up in '87 and at that point Raleigh decided to go solo. He would get signed to Atlantic Records and record a debut album titled Delusions of Grandeur. This first single, which was one of two cuts on the LP not written by Raleigh, got issued out. While there was certainly interest in the single via MSB fans, the song couldn't find a larger audience and it failed to get inside the top half of the Pop chart. A second single failed to chart. With those results, the album didn't chart and that brought an end to Raleigh's recording career. He would eventually move to a position behind the scenes working in artist management.

ReduxReview:  I have a sneaky feeling that Atlantic didn't hear a hit among the songs Raleigh wrote for the album and assigned this track to him. Not surprisingly, the LPs second single was also composed by outside writers. Raleigh's own songs were good, but not outstanding. His sound was somewhat similar to that of Richard Marx. Actually, Raleigh's voice even sounded a bit like Marx. I remember buying this single on a whim. I was intrigued by the title. I ended up liking the track and thought it had a chance to at least make the Pop Top 40. It didn't, but then it had another opportunity with a bigger name (see below), yet it failed to do well again. I guess folks just didn't get into the tune, which was a bummer. I thought it was a sleek, sexy track with solid production. Raleigh had the talent, he just didn't have the right song to kick start his solo career.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Steve Kipner (of Olivia Newton-John "Physical" fame) and Andy Goldmark. With the song not becoming a major hit with Raleigh, it seems the tune kept getting shopped around the Atlantic Records offices and it ended up getting picked up by Raleigh's labelmate Laura Branigan. She would record it for her 1990 self-titled album. It would be issued out as the LP's first single. It ended up peaking one notch higher than Raleigh's version at #59 (#44 Dance). The song would be Branigan's final one to make the Pop chart.


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