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EVERY Billboard #1 rhythm & blues hit discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by tomstockman, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I have it in several parts. The current one is:
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit discussion thread 1985-1989 | Steve Hoffman Music Forums

    I can see why you'd think it'd withered away on the vine . . . but in any case, even though I had a neighbor who was into country, I'm not that familiar with at least half of 'em.
     
  2. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Ok, here is the first #1 single of 1986:

    Say You, Say Me - Lionel Ritchie Week ending January 11, 1986, two weeks

     
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  3. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    The film this was written for - White Nights - had already spawned a #1 pop hit, the Phil Collins / Marilyn Martin duet "Separate Lives", and now here it was spinning a #1 single up the R&B charts. For a relatively minor drama, the film struck chart gold. Whoever handled the soundtrack for this one certainly earned their paycheck.

    I'm not big on ballads or especially on Lionel Richie ballads, but this one is OK. It seems less-syrupy than his normal ballads, and although it was huge at the time, you don't hear it often today. It feels a bit dated for '85 to be honest.

    This would also hit #1 on the pop charts, and would be the last of Richie's string of pop #1s stretching back to '81's "Endless Love" (and to the Commodore's "Three Times A Lady" from '78). He'd dominated the first half of the decade, but stepped away after parent album Dancing On The Ceiling for several years, and by the time he returned in '92 his pop chart magic had evaporated. His R&B chart magic vanished shortly thereafter, although he still remained a force on Adult Contemporary radio into the 2010's.
     
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  4. leshafunk

    leshafunk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    This is a good one Number 1!
     
    Grant likes this.
  5. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I was hoping on this, to hear a bass line similar to what was heard in the verses of his "My Love" from some years back. This - his most synthetic sounding to date, based on the instrumental arrangement - alas, would not have such touches.

    And didn't Mr. Richie's voice, in spots, sound like it was recorded in a dark cavern, or something? He did sound a bit far away in such periods . . .
     
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  6. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    This was a good start to 1986.
     
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  7. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    The recording wasn't the best. Who engineered this thing? Maybe it was a quick one-off for the film soundtrack. Producer James Anthony Carmichael did better-quality sounding recordings that this.
     
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  8. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Three of the subsequent hits from Mr. Richie's coming album which also featured this, had a somewhat better sound. But yeah, "sonically challenged" does seem to describe "Say You, Say Me" compared to his other hits. I couldn't, on that LP, find who in the world engineered or "assistant engineered" this (though they did have who worked on the other tracks), let alone where it was recorded (that too, they mentioned where other songs were recorded and overdubbed and everything). And the White Nights soundtrack LP was no help either, as this wasn't on it.

    I'd disagree with @sunspot42, though, about this one hardly being heard today. WCBS-FM 101.1 in New York plays this every now and then.
     
  9. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    I think what makes this Richie ballad palatable is that the tempo picks up in the middle.
     
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  10. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Yeah, that was a touch, wasn't it?
     
    Grant likes this.
  11. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Looks like no one here gives a crap about "Say You, Say me". So, on to the next #1:

    That's What Friends Are For - Dionne & Friends Week ending January 25, 1986 3 weeks



    Zzzzzzzzzz.........
     
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  12. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter

    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Funny that Dionne’s become quite the Twitter sensation of late. 3rd act? 4th?
     
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  13. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Rod Stewart had originally recorded this Bacharach / Sager tune for the film Night Shift.



    It's not the greatest take to be honest - a bit start and stop. His phrasing is usually impeccable, but I think the assembled talent for Warwick's version improves on this recording 100%. They seem to be following her lead which is wise, since apart from Dusty I don't think anybody else even comes close to singing Bacharach as well as Warwick.

    Pop chart spoilers below, for those who are following the Pop #1's thread:

    Ultimately, it's one of Bacharach's pleasant, loping '80s ballads. It was the charity nature of the single - in the era of big music charity - that pushed this one to the top of several charts, including the AC chart and the pop chart. In total it raised $3 million for AIDS research and prevention efforts, so not a bad haul for an evening's work. Warwick was losing friends to AIDS and wanted to do something to try to help. She did it!

    [​IMG]

    The last trip to #1 on the pop charts for Warwick, Wonder, Knight (who's in particularly fine voice here) and I think Bacharach. Not one of Elton's better performances - he's not quite in the ladies' league as a singer - but he'd be back at the top of the pop charts. Wonder's harmonica work is lovely, as usual. Per Wikipedia:

    Due to Stevie Wonder's involvement, it also holds the distinction of being the last number-one song for anyone who had topped the charts before the British Invasion (Stevie Wonder's first number 1 hit, "Fingertips", came in 1963).
     
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  14. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Her Twitter feed is hilarious. I don't know what she's smoking but I hope she saved me some for when I turn 80...
     
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  15. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Frankly, the "That's What Friends Are For" I much prefer, is this one from way back when:

    I have this on a 45, the B side of one of the Staples' Top 10 R&B hits from 1974, "City In The Sky" (#4 R&B). Here's the label, in all its glory:
    [​IMG]
    As for the one currently occupying #1 here, interesting that the movie it originally came from was not the source for the Commodores' last-ever hit.
     
  16. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I'd've thought it was more a "start-stop" process myself (speaking of Rod Stewart) . . . initial buzz, followed by the kind of silence that's deafening . . .
     
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  17. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And it seems "That's What Friends Are For" is a pretty popular title in some spots. Besides this one and the Staples', here's this by B.J. Thomas from 1972:

    Written by Paul Williams (the "An Old Fashioned Love Song" guy, not the ex-Temptation.)
    [​IMG]
    The question is, which of those three would be more favored? I know @Grant opined on the "Dionne And Friends" one. . . .
     
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  18. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And even on the country charts, from Barbara Mandrell in 1976:

    [​IMG]

    And that's not bringing up the 1977 Deniece Williams single . . .
     
  19. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Also, has anyone noticed that the only Number Ones Ms. Warwick had were always in a group context, never solo? This one, and her duet with the Spinners in 1974, "Then Came You."
     
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  20. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Unfortunate, since I think she cut some of the finest singles of all time, including "Do You Know The Way To San Jose", "Don't Make Me Over", "Walk On By", "I Say A Little Prayer", "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", "Deja Vu", "Heartbreaker" and "I'll Never Love This Way Again", which sorta set the stage for the big ballads of the '80s. Every one of those deserved to be a #1 hit.
     
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  21. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Let's not forget "(Theme From) Valley Of The Dolls," now . . .
     
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  22. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    My Favorite "That's What Friends Are For" is by Johnny Mathis & Denice Williams.

     
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  23. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I left half a dozen off that list, at least.
     
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  24. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I wouldn't blame ya' on that . . . I've opined my favorite being The Staple Singers'. Slice of life advice from "Sir" Mack Rice.
     
  25. John22

    John22 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northern Germany
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