Thursday, September 1, 2022

"Darlin' I" by Vanessa Williams

Song#:  3917
Date:  06/03/1989
Debut:  97
Peak:  88
Weeks:  4
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The former Miss America scored her first Pop Top 10 hit with "Dreamin'," the third single from her debut album The Right Stuff. That single would get to #8 Pop and #2 AC while topping the R&B chart. The hit prompted Williams' label to push out a fourth single from the LP and this track was selected. While it would reach the #10 spot at both R&B and AC, the tune couldn't catch on at Pop and it fizzled near the bottom of the chart after a short month. Regardless of that result, the album did well by getting to #18 R&B/#38 Pop and going gold.

ReduxReview:  Instead of answering "Dreamin'" with an uptempo tune, the label chose to capitalize on the AC-leaning audience and issued out a second ballad. While it would work out well at R&B and AC, it just wasn't the right song for Pop radio. The track was a bit of a slog to wade through and, I hate to say it, came to a sort of a pageant-y ending. Williams sounded good, but overall it just wasn't very memorable.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Williams would return with her second album in 1991. The Comfort Zone would nearly replicate the way her debut album kicked off with its first two singles doing okay, but not becoming major crossover hits. Like before, it would be the third single that would shift things into high gear. The ballad "Save the Best for Last" would become Williams' biggest hit reaching #1 at Pop, AC, and R&B. The single would also become a gold seller. That success would propel the album to #1 R&B/#18 Pop. Eventually it would go triple platinum. It would be Williams' peak moment in music. While she would score two more Pop Top 10 hits, neither were from one of her albums. She would record the #3 "Love Is" with singer Brian McKnight for the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack in '93. Then in '95, she would be selected as the vocalist for the studio version of "Colors of the Wind," the Oscar-winning song from the Disney film Pocahontas. That single would reach #4 Pop/#2 AC and go gold. Her recording career would result in 11 Grammy nominations. While Williams would continue to record over the years, she made a shift to acting along the way. She would have significant roles on Broadway, on TV, and in films. Most notably she would receive three Emmy nominations for her role in the hit TV sitcom Ugly Betty and a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for the 2002 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.


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