Wednesday, November 23, 2022

"Gypsy Road" by Cinderella

Song#:  3986
Date:  08/05/1989
Debut:  88
Peak:  51
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  The band's second album Long Cold Winter became a #10 double-platinum seller thanks mainly to a pair of power ballads including the #20 "Coming Home." That song was the fourth single from the album and since it did well, the band's label decided to push out a fifth single. Yet instead of picking a new unreleased track, the label chose to reissue the LP's original first single "Gypsy Road." On its original run, the tune was able to make it to #20 at Rock, but it failed to crack the Pop chart. Since the band was on a roll, the label decided to try and push the song to pop radio again. On its second release, it would do better nearly making the Pop Top 50, but it really didn't do much to spur further sales of the album. Over the years the album would continue to sell and in 1997 it would finally go triple-platinum.

ReduxReview:  I'm guessing the label didn't hear another single in the remaining unreleased tracks on the album and decided to trot this one out again. While that can work in rare cases, it didn't do much for the band in this instance. It probably cost more to release and promote the song than what revenue it might have generated. Sometimes it is better to cut n' run than try to drag things out for the sake of an extra buck or two. The song really wasn't a good single selection for crossover success. While it was a solid glam rock tune, it didn't have enough mainstream appeal to gain a pop audience.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Cinderella would return in 1990 with their third album Heartbreak Station. The LP would find the band moving further into blues rock territory. The first single, "Shelter Me," would get to #5 Rock (their biggest hit on that chart) and #36 Pop. Then the title track would reach #10 Rock/#44 Pop. The album would peak at #19 and go platinum. The following year, lead singer Tom Keifer had voice issues that led to him having surgery, which then delayed the recording and release of the band's fourth album. They would finally get it done and in '94 would release Still Climbing. The extended break came along at a bad time as tastes changed from glam metal to grunge. By the time the LP was released, it seemed very few people were interested in Cinderella and it tanked at a minor #178. With that result, the band lost their contract with Mercury Records. They would later sign with Sony, but it seems the label lost interest in the band and dropped them before anything was released. From that point on, Cinderella mainly just toured. They would eventually call it a day in 2014.


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.


Monday, November 21, 2022

"My First Night Without You" by Cyndi Lauper

Song#:  3984
Date:  08/05/1989
Debut:  96
Peak:  62
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Lauper's third album A Night to Remember got kicked off with the #6 hit "I Drove All Night." It was her eighth Top 10 on the Pop chart. However, despite the single doing well it wasn't quite translating to album sales. As it faltered on the chart, it was hoped that this next single would help turn things around. Unfortunate, the ballad didn't catch on and it failed to make the top half of the Pop chart. The album's title track would be the third single, but it failed to chart. In turn, the album stopped at #37 and missed the gold level sales mark. This single and the album would close out the 80s for Lapuer.

ReduxReview:  I was so disappointed when this song flopped. I adored it and was really pulling for it to crack the Top 10. The tune, co-written by Lauper with Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, had a Roy Orbison feel and it was a perfect vehicle for Lauper. Her performance was completely captivating and she sold it to the back rows with her powerful voice. It was such a bummer that folks missed out on this gem. I remained a fan of Lauper over the years as she continued to push out terrific albums like the criminally ignored Hat Full of Stars and her dance LP Bring Ya to the Brink. While her commercial fortunes diminished after the 80s, her talent continued to shine and I'm on board with whatever her next venture might be.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  After the disappointment of A Night to Remember, Lauper took some time to write and record her next album, 1993's Hat Full of Stars. The LP was a more mature effort that shed her kooky persona. The songs were more topical and more alternative sounding. Critics praised the LP and the change, but record buyers stayed away. No singles made the Pop chart and the album stalled at #112. Lauper would get one last single on the Pop chart with a revision of her first hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Done in a reggae style, "Hey Now (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)," would get to #87. Her 1996 album Sisters of Avalon (#188) failed to gain attention, but a cover's album, 2003's At Last, would fare better getting to #38. Then Lauper's club oriented LP Brink Ya to the Brink would get to #41 and feature a pair of Dance chart #1s. It would also earn her a Grammy nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album. Another covers album, 2010's Memphis Blues (#26) would get her another Grammy nod this time for Best Traditional Blues Album. Yet her biggest success after her 80s heydays was when she wrote the music and lyrics for the 2013 Broadway musical Kinky Boots. It would be a big success and receive 13 Tony nominations. It would win six including for Best Musical and one for Lauper for Best Original Score. The cast album would also win a Grammy. Over the years Lauper would also appear in several films and TV shows. She would appear four times on the hit TV show Mad About You as the character Marianne Lugasso. In 1995, the role would earn her an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. With an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy, Lauper is just an Oscar away from the famous EGOT club.