Tuesday, November 22, 2022

"Oh Daddy" by Adrian Belew

Song#:  3985
Date:  08/05/1989
Debut:  95
Peak:  58
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This Kentucky-born musician has had a long a varied career. Mainly known for his guitar skills, Belew got his big break when he was hired by Frank Zappa in 1977 to be in his touring band. From that point, Belew would work as a session and touring musician with David Bowie and Talking Heads. Along the way he also found time to start his own band called Ga Ga. He became a member of King Crimson in 1981 and then in the mid 80s started another band called The Bears, with whom he would record albums with in '87 and '88. While all this was going on, Belew still found time to start a solo career. He was signed to Island Records and would release three albums for them. As '89 came along, The Bears decided to split up, King Crimson was on hiatus, and Belew had lost his contract with Island. Undeterred, Belew signed a new solo deal with Atlantic Records. He would write, produce, and perform all the instruments (save for the bass part on two tracks) for his '89 album Mr. Music Head. This first single was issued out and it became an unexpected hit at Modern Rock getting to #5. The tune crossed over to the Pop chart and got near the Top 50 mark. It would be Belew's only solo single to make the Pop chart. The album would top out at #114.

ReduxReview:  This is a fun little tune about a daughter asking when her dad is going to make it big in the music business. Having a kid perform on a song is tricky. It could come off as too cutesy or like those horrible commercials where some business owner uses their kids to hawk cars or furniture. However, Belew wrote a solid, smart pop track that didn't come off as pandering or manipulative to the audience. I wouldn't have pegged this for a hit, but it did fairly well and it would have been nice if it had gotten inside the Top 40.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The female vocal on this track was supplied by Belew's 11-year-old daughter Audie Belew. It was the second time Belew would feature his daughter on a track. When she was 4, Belew recorded Audie improvising something on the piano. He add a guitar line to her tinkering and the result was the instrumental "The Final Rhino" that appeared as the last track on Belew's 1982 solo debut album Lone Rhino.  2) Belew's next album, 1990's Young Lions, would featured the single "Pretty Pink Rose." the song was written by David Bowie and it featured Bowie on vocals as well. The track would be a hit at Modern Rock getting to #2 while also reaching #24 Rock. It would not make the Pop chart. The album would reach #118. After that, Belew would continue to record solo albums while working with other artists such as Paul Simon and Nine Inch Nails. He would also continue on with King Crimson during their reformation periods. Along the way he would earn three Grammy nominations. Two as a member of King Crimson and one as a solo artist. He has also designed instruments and also created a couple of iOS apps titled FLUX.


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