Friday, May 19, 2023

"Lullaby" by The Cure

Song#:  4127
Date:  12/02/1989
Debut:  85
Peak:  74
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  The Cure secured their biggest hit in the US with "Lovesong," the second single from their album Disintegration. It would reach #2 Pop/#2 Modern Rock. The hit would help send the LP to #12. Up next for release was this third single. Over in the UK, the song was the first single released from the album and it would become their biggest hit there getting to #5. However, it didn't quite catch on in the US and it would stall low on the Pop chart while only reaching #23 Modern Rock and #31 Dance. The album had already gone platinum in October of '89 and it would remain at that level until 2004 when it got bumped up to double platinum status. Two further singles from the album would be released with both peaking around the same position as this one.

ReduxReview:  This creepy track from the band had an equally creepy video, which won British Video of the Year at the Brit Awards. Its cool groove wasn't the stuff Top 10 dreams were made of, but the haunting track was certainly memorable in its own way.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Thanks to their breakthrough hit "Lovesong" and platinum sales of Disintegration, anticipation was high for the next album. However, before that would happen, a remix album titled Mixed Up would be issued out in late 1990. It would reach #14 and go gold (later platinum). The Cure would then work on their next studio album. Upon the release, 1992's Wish would debut at #2 and within a couple of months it would go platinum. It got a boost thanks to a pair of Modern Rock #1s including "Friday I'm in Love," which became the band's second biggest US hit reaching #18. The band would continue over the years in various iterations with Robert Smith always at the forefront. All their studio albums from 1996 through to 2008, would make the Top 20. In 2019, The Cure would be induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Thursday, May 18, 2023

"Don't Take It Personal" by Jermaine Jackson

Song#:  4126
Date:  12/02/1989
Debut:  88
Peak:   64
Weeks:  11
Genre:  R&B, Soul, Quiet Storm

Pop Bits:  Jackson earned his second solo career gold album with his '84 self titled effort. His '86 follow up Precious Moments couldn't do that well, but was still able to reach #46 Pop/#28 R&B. He would then work with a variety with songwriters and producers for his twelfth studio album Don't Take It Personal. This title track single would be issued out and it would go on to become Jackson's second (and final) solo #1 on the R&B chart. The song didn't catch on as well at Pop stalling in the bottom half of the chart. Two further singles from the LP would make the R&B Top 20, but would fail to make the Pop chart. With those results, the album peaked at #18 R&B/#115 Pop.

ReduxReview:  This was a sleek and sexy track that featured a nice performance from Jackson. These days the production sounds dated, but it was appropriate for the late 80s. I think a more classic, timeless arrangement might have elevated the track. It may not have been a good crossover prospect, but it did give Jackson one last big hit at R&B.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  For his next album, '91's You Said, Jackson would move over to the newly established Arista offshoot label LaFace, which was developed by songwriting/production L.A. Reid and Babyface. The LP would be mostly written by Reid and Babyface along with Russell Simmons. With that team's successful run of hits, it seems like Jackson's new effort would provide a comeback. Unfortunately, none of the LP's singles became major hits and that left it peaking at #39 R&B. It would be over ten years before Jackson would issue out another solo album. In between time he would appear on a few reality TV shows/competitions and co-produce the 1992 mini series The Jacksons: An American Dream.


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

"Nothin' to Hide" by Poco

Song#:  4125
Date:  12/02/1989
Debut:  89
Peak:  39
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Country Rock

Pop Bits:  Thanks to a push from Richard Marx, the original Poco band got back together and would record the album Legacy. Its first single, "Call It Love," would become an unexpected hit getting to #18 Pop/#2 AC/#3 Rock. To follow it up, this next track, which was co-written and produced by Marx, was selected for single release. It wouldn't perform as well, but was still able to crack the Pop Top 40 while getting to #10 AC. The singles helped sell the LP and it would eventually go gold (#40).

ReduxReview:  This waltz-ish tune was a pretty good follow up, but it wasn't enough for lightning to strike twice for the band. Still, the single was able to crack the Top 40 alongside the glam metal and freestyle hits of the day so in general it performed pretty well. I think Marx did a good job writing a tune that dialed into the band's sound. His production was restrained and that allowed the band to shine. It's not a song I'd gravitate towards, but it was nicely done.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:   The success of the Legacy album should have pushed the band to do a follow up. While they did intend to do that and it seems even started recording some songs, the supporting tour for Legacy encountered issues, which in turn brought in little money for the band or their label RCA. As a result, the band was dropped from the RCA roster. With little in the way of prospects, most band members departed and went on to do other projects. Original member Rusty Young decided to try and keep the band alive as a touring unit and with a new lineup performed throughout the 90s. Later in 2002, an iteration of the band was able to release the indie album Running Horses. In 2013, another LP would be release. As the years ticked by, Young would keep a version of the band going and touring. Unfortunately, it all came to a halt in 2021 when he died. Poco would officially come to an end.


Monday, May 15, 2023

"Woman in Chains" by Tears for Fears

Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  4124
Date:  12/02/1989
Debut:  93
Peak:  36
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This duo's third album, The Seeds of Love, would get kicked off in a positive way with the first single "Sowing the Seeds of Love" making its way to #2 Pop/#1 Modern Rock/#4 Rock. For a follow up, this album opening ballad would be issued out. Unfortunately, the tune couldn't quite gain an audience and it stalled inside the Pop Top 40 while topping out at #27 Modern Rock and #37 AC. A third single, "Advice for the Young at Heart," would fare less well only getting to #89 Pop/#24 AC. The lone Pop Top 10 single helped the LP reach #8 and get to platinum status, but that was a significant drop from their previous breakthrough effort, '85's Songs from the Big Chair, which hit #1 and sold over 5 million copies.

ReduxReview:  I totally fell head over heels (pun intended) for this song upon first listen. I thought it was just a stunning track with a beautiful arrangement that built to a freeing climax (pushed along by drums provided by Phil Collins). Oleta Adams' vocal was so haunting and fit well next to Orzabal's unique voice. I figured it might have a tough time breaking through on pop radio as it was not your typical commercial fare, but was so hoping it would go Top 10. The song gives me chills every time I hear it. Just brilliant. Curt Smith would leave the duo after a hits package and so Orzabal would continue on under the TforF moniker for a couple of album in '93 and '95 that didn't do all that well. The pair would reunite for 2004's Everybody Loves a Happy Ending.


Trivia:  This song became a duet between Roland Orzabal and Oleta Adams. The duo discovered Adams during a tour stop over in Kansas City, Missouri. She was singing at a hotel restaurant and the duo happened to catch her show. They were taken with her voice and heartfelt performance. Orzabal has mentioned in interviews that watching her made him rethink the approach to their next album. When it came time to record, they called up Adams to sing on the LP. She would provide backing vocals on a couple of tracks along with some lead work on another and then on this duet. Adams would also accompany the duo on their supporting tour performing on her own and with the duo. The exposure led to Adams getting signed by the duo's label, Fontana. Orzabal would co-produce her 1990 album Circle of One. Two singles would be issued out from the LP, but neither got attention. However, a third single, a remake of the Brenda Russell tune "Get Here" (1988, #37 R&B), would catch fire and become a hit getting to #5 Pop, #3 AC, and #8 R&B. In turn, the album would then get to #20 Pop/#11 R&B and go gold. Adams would do a couple more albums for the Fontana label that were less successful, but that one hit and her TforF association gave the unknown KC lounge singer a long lasting career.