Friday, September 2, 2022

"Waiting Game" by Swing Out Sister

Song#:  3918
Date:  06/03/1989
Debut:  96
Peak:  86
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Sophisti-Pop

Pop Bits:  This British trio cracked the US Pop Top 10 with their single "Breakout" (#6). The hit would help send their debut album It's Better to Travel to #40 and earn them a pair of Grammy nominations. As they began to record their second album, Kaleidoscope World, the group's drummer decided to leave and that left Swing Out Sister as a duo (Corrine Drewery and Andy Connell). The first single from the LP, "You on My Mind," would do fairly well back home in the UK getting to #28. In the States, it would do slightly better on the AC chart getting to #23, but it would fail to make the Pop chart. For a second single in the US, this next track was selected. It found a home at AC making the Top 10 at #6, but fizzled at Pop while only getting to #33 Dance. Further singles failed to impress and that left the album peaking at #61.

ReduxReview:  On their debut album, the group had a contemporary pop sound that had some retro influences. On Kaleidoscope World, they amped up those influences with the songs sounding akin to 60s/early 70s easy listening tracks by artists like Burt Bacharach. Famed songwriter Jimmy Webb even showed up to provide vintage orchestra arrangements on a couple of tracks. This single was only released in the US and Canada and I think that was because it was more reminiscent of "Breakout" and the label was hoping it would catch fire since the LP's first single faltered. While it was a good song, the tactic didn't really work. The tune wasn't strong enough to emerge from the shadow of "Breakout" on pop radio. Luckily, it did find a home on AC radio.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although Swing Out Sister was striking out on the Pop chart, their sound was just right for AC radio. Their third album, 1992's Get in Touch with Yourself, featured the single "Am I the Same Girl?," a cover of the 1968 #3 hit by Barbara Acklin. The song would miss the Pop Top 40 (#45), but it would become a #1 hit at AC. A second single, "Notgonnachange," would get to #22 AC. The duo's final US charting single would come in 1997 with "Somewhere in the World," which got to #30 AC. While their chart fortunes dwindled, the duo continued to record and remained quite successful in Japan.


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