Monday, October 3, 2022

"Gonna Make It" by Sa-Fire

Song#:  3943
Date:  06/24/1989
Debut:  90
Peak:  71
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Latin Freestyle

Pop Bits:  The third single from Sa-Fire's self-titled debut album, "Thinking of You," would become her biggest hit topping out at #12 Pop and #4 AC. The ballad was different from the Latin freestyle of her previous singles and it ended up clicking with audiences. Of course a follow up was needed and so this fourth single was issued out. It was another freestyle track and like her previous ones it didn't make a big impression on the Pop chart. It even faltered a little bit at Dance only getting to #31. By this point in time the album had already peaked at #79 Pop/#84 R&B. It wasn't a bad outcome and afterwards Sa-Fire had the task of trying to follow it up.

ReduxReview:  This track was another fairly good freestyle track from Sa-Fire. It was in the same league as her other charting freestyle single "Boy, I've Been Told." The production was solid with Sa-Fire kind of sounding like Paula Abdul. But just like "Boy," it didn't have the hooks necessary to become a big crossover single. For fans of Latin freestyle, the Sa-Fire album was probably pure ear candy. For everyone else, it just wasn't all that memorable with the exception of the hit ballad "Thinking of You."

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Sa-Fire's second album, I Wasn't Born Yesterday, would arrive in 1991, but this time under the adjusted moniker of Safire. Its first single, "Made Up My Mind," wouldn't get much attention getting to #36 Dance and #82 Pop. A follow up single "Taste the Bass" would fare better at Dance reaching #6. The results didn't spark album sales and it failed to chart. However, the album did contain one track of note. It had the first released instance of "I Never Heard," a song written by Michael Jackson and Paul Anka. While some of the dates and circumstances around the collaboration vary, the gist of it was that Anka and Jackson wrote three songs together in the early 80s and recorded demos of them at Anka's studio. The story goes that when Anka went to get the tapes they were gone. It was reported that Jackson had taken them. By this point it seemed that Thriller was taking off and Jackson no longer wanted to work on the songs or release them. Anka took legal action to get the tapes back, which did happen. One of the songs, "Love Never Felt So Good," was given to Johnny Mathis. He recorded in for his 1984 album A Special Part of Me. Then another song, "I Never Heard," was shuffled over to Safire for her 1991 album. That seemed to be the end of the story, but then after Jackson's passing in 2009, his brothers found a box of demo tapes and discovered "I Never Heard" in a version that was just piano and Jackson's vocal. Apparently, Jackson did return tapes to Anka, but had copied them beforehand. The brothers were looking for something new and unreleased to help promote an upcoming concert documentary on Jackson. The track title was change to "This Is It" and it also became the title of the documentary and the accompanying album. Apparently, the tape had no notations as to authorship so it was assumed that Jackson wrote it. Of course when Anka heard the tune red lights went off. He quickly got in contact with the Jackson estate to claim 50% ownership of the song. Everything was settled and all was well. For Jackson's last posthumous album of "new" material, 2014's Xscape, the Anka/Jackson song "Love Never Felt So Good" was redone as both a solo for Jackson (using the demo tape) and as a duet with Justin Timberlake. It would be released as a single and get to #9 Pop/#5 R&B/#7 AC). The third song from the Anka/Jackson demos, "It Don't Matter to Me," would later get used by Drake. He would take Jackson's vocal from the demo and use it in his 2018 track "Don't Matter to Me." That single would get to #9 Pop/#8 R&B. 


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