Saturday, March 11, 2023

"Baby Come to Me" by Regina Belle

Song#:  4072
Date:  10/14/1989
Debut:  80
Peak:  60
Weeks:  9
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Belle's '87 debut album All By Myself was a modest success getting to #14 R&B and #85 Pop. It contained the #2 R&B/#68 Pop hit "Show Me the Way" along with two other R&B Top 20 singles. The results were encouraging so Belle's label, Columbia, hooked her up with some top tier producers and songwriters for a few tracks on her second album Stay with Me. The first single released from the album was Diane Warren-penned "All I Want Is Forever," which featured Kool & the Gang lead vocalist J.T. Taylor. The song would become a hit at R&B getting to #2 while reaching #34 AC. Unfortunately, it did not make the Pop chart. However, this second single that was co-written and produced by Narada Michael Walden would do the trick. Although it would do mildly well on the Pop chart, the tune would become Belle's first to top the R&B chart. A second single, "Make It Like It Was," would do better on the Pop chart getting to #43. That single would become Belle's second R&B #1. The LP would generate two more R&B Top 10s. The streak of singles helped the album reach #1 R&B/#63 Pop and go gold.

ReduxReview:  Since this was written by Narada Michael Walden and Jeffery Cohen, it should not be confused with the same titled 1982 #1 hit by Patti Austin and James Ingram. However, Belle's track does have a similar, sleek soul sound to the Austin single. Unfortunately, it didn't work out quite as well for Belle. Although the song got to #1 at R&B, its more soulful sound didn't quite catch fire at pop radio and it stalled shy of the halfway mark. The sophisticated tune leaned towards Anita Baker territory and it featured a terrific vocal turn from Belle. She definitely had the goods and it was a shame she didn't break into the mainstream more. However, I don't think she got hooked up with a couple of surefire crossover hits and that left her lingering in the middle area of the Pop chart. Despite that, Belle was still able to earn seven R&B Top 10s (including two #1s), and a pair of gold albums along with one major Grammy/Oscar winning Disney hit (see below).

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In 1992, Belle would score the biggest hit of her career. She got the opportunity to record the duet "A Whole New World" with Peabo Bryson. The song was featured in Disney's animated version of Aladdin. In the film, the tune was sung by vocalists Brad Kane and Lea Salonga. However, for the soundtrack album and to help promote the movie/song, a single version was recorded with Belle and Bryson. Thanks to the film being a big success, the single took off and would get to #1 Pop/#1 AC/#21 R&B. It would become a gold seller. The song was the first from a Disney animated film to reach #1 on the Pop chart. It would also go on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song and the Grammy for Song of the Year. Belle would include the song on her third album, '93's Passion. The first official single from that LP, "If I Could," would get to #9 R&B/#12 AC/#52 Pop. The album would top out at #13 R&B/#63 Pop and go gold. Belle's career would quickly taper off after her fourth LP, a covers effort, couldn't match the success of her previous two gold sellers. Belle would continue to record and perform over the years and along the way grab a few mid-charting R&B singles.


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