Monday, November 28, 2022

"And the Night Stood Still" by Dion

Song#:  3987
Date:  08/05/1989
Debut:  86
Peak:  75
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This rock and roll legend (born Dion DiMucci) has had a long and varied career that influenced many other artists. He first came to prominence when he fronted the vocal trio Dion & the Belmonts. After they signed on with Laurie Records in 1958, they had a string of charting singles including a pair of Pop Top 10s. Due to personal and professional conflicts, Dion would opt for a solo career in 1960. It would get off to a shaky start, but then in the fall of '61 Dion would release the single "Runaround Sue." It became a #1 smash that made Dion a certified star. His next hit, the #2 "The Wanderer," solidified his status. Over the next year, four more Top 10s would follow. The success led him to sign with Columbia Records becoming the label's first rock 'n' roll act. Three more Top 10s would follow including 1962's #2 "Ruby Baby." However, his career began to wane in 1964. He would reunite with the Belmonts for a 1967 album, but it didn't get anywhere. He went back to Laurie Records in 1968 and they agreed to take him back on if he recorded a tune titled "Abraham, Martin and John." He did and the song became a #4 gold record. Dion would move over to Warner Bros. for a few albums that did little to boost his career. In the late 70s he became a born again Christian and started to record contemporary Christian albums. He had some success in the market and even earned a Grammy nomination along the way. Then in early 1989, Dion would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That honor brought attention back to the early rock pioneer and it prompted Dion to record his first secular album since 1979. Signed to Arista Records, Dion recorded Yo Frankie with Dave Edmunds producing. Dion would write or co-write the majority of the tracks, but there were a few outside contributions including this first single that was written by Diane Warren. The song would do fairly well at AC getting to #16, but it couldn't quite make it out of the basement of the Pop chart. Further singles failed to chart and that left the LP peaking at #130.

ReduxReview:  Signed to Arista, I'm sure Clive Davis had his hands in the pie and probably forced this Diane Warren song on the LP. In general, it wasn't a bad tune. It sounded like Warren was trying to channel Springsteen, however it probably would have been much better if Davis had just secured an actual Springsteen song instead of a pale imitation. Springsteen was a big fan of Dion so it seemed like the route to go, but since Springsteen's label was Columbia and Davis had been ousted from there, it was probably something Davis wanted to avoid. He did however get Bryan Adams to write and produced a tune for the LP, "Drive All Night" (featuring k.d. lang on background vocals), but it wasn't release as a single. Warren's tune got a nice slick production from Edmunds and Dion sounded good, but it was something that might have gone over better a few years earlier.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Dion's career floundered a bit in the 90s and early 2000s, but then in 2007 he would record an album of blues and country standards titled Bronx in Blue. The album became a surprise success on the Blues chart getting to #2. It would also earn Dion a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album. Since then, Dion had recorded several more blues albums with two of them reaching #1 on the Blues chart including 2021's Stomping Ground, which featured several guest artists including Bruce Springsteen, Peter Frampton, Eric Clapton, Rickie Lee Jones, and Mark Knopfler.


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