Friday, November 4, 2022

"That's the Way" by Katrina & the Waves

Song#:  3971
Date:  07/22/1989
Debut:  86
Peak:  16
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  After scoring a Top 10 single in 1985 with "Walking on Sunshine," this part British/part American band had trouble following up their indelible hit. Other singles from their self-titled album didn't get far and their next album, '86's Waves, featured only one minor chart single. Their label, Capitol Records, wasn't happy with the results and dropped the band. However, they got picked up by SBK Records (who was oddly distributed by EMI/Capitol) and got a chance to right the ship. They recorded the more rock leaning LP Break of Hearts. This first single was issued out and although it wasn't a major hit, it became their second biggest charting song topping out in the Pop Top 20. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to really kick off sales of the album and it stalled at a minor #122. SBK wasn't thrilled with the results either, so like Capitol they dropped the band.

ReduxReview:  While this song wasn't as good as the classic "Walking on Sunshine," it was an upbeat, happy, hooky track that was able to gain enough of an audience to send it into the Pop Top 20. In the days of hair metal, freestyle, and new jack, I didn't think this song had a chance on the chart, but the tune's retro organ-driven soul/rock/blues feel drew in listeners. The band gave a great performance as did lead singer Katrina Leskanich. It was an infectious track that supplied the band with one last US hit.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Throughout the first half of the 90s, Katrina & the Waves kept busy touring and would release three albums in Europe for a couple of major labels. However, none sold well or produced any hits. Then in 1996, group member and guitarist Kimberly Rew wrote a song titled "Love Shine a Light." While there are a few stories about the writing of this song, in an interview Rew said it came about because of the dynamics in the band at the time. Three of the members had written songs for the band over the years with Rew being the most prolific. However, it got to the point where they were not seeing eye to eye during writing sessions or deciding on which songs to record. Therefore, Rew set out to write something that would please everyone in the band and he came up with "Love Shine a Light." A demo of the song was done by Rew and lead singer Katrina Leskanich. Then dummer Alex Cooper got the idea to send the song to BBC DJ Terry Wogan, who would often play demo songs from artists on his radio show. For years, Wogan also served as the UK's commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest. He played the "Love Shine a Light" demo tape and it got a great response. From there, the tune ended up competing in the UK's Eurovision selection contest (the Great British Song Contest). It ended up winning and the song along with the band were sent off to compete at 1997's Eurovision. The song would win the competition by the widest margin in the contest's history at the time. The win helped secure a record deal for the band and they were able to record the album Walk on Water. Prior to its release, "Love Shine a Light" would become a hit all over Europe and would become their biggest hit at home in the UK reaching #3 (it was not released in the US). However, as they had experienced before, the band was unable to follow up the hit. Disagreement in the band finally came to a head in '98 and they would break up.


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