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EVERY Billboard #1 rhythm & blues hit discussion thread

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

  1. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    No memory of this at all. Someone got their new digital synth - I assume a Yamaha DX-7 - and was goin' to town with it.

    Love Mills, but this feels completely mid-'80s generic, although her vocal is more Patti LaBelle-esque here than I recall hearing on her other hits. So, there's that.
     
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  2. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    I enjoy Stephanie Mills late 70s/early 80s music compared to this MOR crap.
     
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  3. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I was trying to be diplomatic . . . :winkgrin: this did seem to be geared towards approval by Don Cornelius and Frankie Crocker, no?
     
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  4. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Even they were losing their influence by then. By the spring of 1986, I had completely stopped watching Soul Train for good.

    R&B wasn't over, far from it. A new crop of very talented R&B artists were coming up, and we will start to hear them soon. For me, the new stuff coming up is more exciting. Some are by 80s icons that aren't anywhere near done.
     
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  5. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Next #1:

    Michael McDonald rears his voice again. Good song, but it bores me.

    On My Own - Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald
    Week ending May 17, 1986 4 weeks

     
  6. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    But, I was more interested in this late spring single and album from another Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis production because it had way more energy:

    Cherrelle - You Look Good To Me



    Cherrelle is the one who had the original "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" back in 1984.

    The video is blurry because of the compression, but if you look close at :07 seconds, it looks like that's label-mate Alexander Oneal gettin' down in the audience. Apparently, the two were a bit of an item back then. And, don't spoil it,:tsk: but Cherrelle is also related to another upcoming singer with a #1 single we will be discussing in a couple of years.
     
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  7. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Loved this one. Yeah it's targeted straight for the mom market, but so what? A last gasp of Yacht Rock - was this the last big Yacht Rock hit? It was cut as an R&B number I suppose, but everything about the production is as YR as it is R&B, and then you tack on Mr. Yacht Rock himself Michael McDonald and, well...

    Written by Burt Bacharach & wife Carole Bayer Sager - I think we kind of forget now but after a fallow '70s Bacharach re-established himself as a truly massive hitmaker again in the '80s. This material isn't as fondly-recalled by critics, but it sure bought Burt a lot of swimming pools. While we think of Burt as a '60s act, he only had two #1 singles that decade, by Herb Alpert and by B.J. Thomas. He actually had more #1 hits in the '80s (three total, by Christopher Cross, Dionne and Friends and this monster).

    Speaking of Dionne, Warwick had cut the original version of this for her '85 Bacharach-produced album Friends, home to massive hit "That's What Friends Are For", but it wasn't included on the finished release. Whoops!

    LaBelle had cut a solo version of the song herself but didn't think it worked and had shelved it. She was chatting with her producers about which of her songs she'd like to do as a duet, and with who, when she realized "On My Own' would be perfect with Michael McDonald. And she was absolutely right - their voices blended spectacularly. McDonald was still warm if not hot on the pop charts, and LaBelle was in the midst of a big career boom, which opened all of the doors on radio and MTV for the duo - pop, R&B, adult contemporary, all of it. So beyond the wonderful vocals, it was genius pairing from a commercial standpoint as well. The biracial aspect of the "couple" as depicted in the video was also still slightly edgy for 1986. Thanks to the performances - both on the record and in the wonderfully shot, split-screen bi-coastal video - you can totally buy them as brooding, separated lovers.

    Surprisingly, this would be LaBelle's last trip into the pop Top 20 and her next to last trip into the Top 40. She'd remain a force on the R&B charts tho thru most of the '90s, and an occasional presence on the dance charts, where she'd score a #1 in '97. McDonald's Top 40 career also came to an end in '86, so a bit like the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton duet "Islands In The Stream" from a few years earlier, this represented something of the end of an era for a pair who'd been charting pop Top 20 for over a decade (in LaBelle's case, over two decades - her first hit came pre-Beatles in '62 with a cover of "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman" that made it to #15, and of course she'd been to #1 before on the pop charts in '74 with "Lady Marmalade"). This is also Bacharach's last pop #1 as well.

    A sweet note to go out on.
     
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  8. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    In Britain, this made #1 on the Melody Maker chart; but was kept at #2 on both the Gallup "official" and NME charts. Evidently there was a market for things like this, "boring" may it be . . .

    As for McDonald, his voice always sounded to me like he was singing with his mouth full, eating in-between passages he was to sing.
     
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  9. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Well, this thread doesn't much care about the pop charts. But, I know, you're just sayin' as a matter of conversation...

    The song is good, the performance is excellent, but it bores me to tears, and it's very depressing. And, Patti Labelle's voice annoys me. Some people are annoyed by Michael McDonald's voice, i'm annoyed by Labelle's voice. Two great voices that annoy together.
     
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  10. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    For several years there in the early '80s not that many hits topped both the pop and R&B charts, especially ones that were this adult contemporary, although after Thriller there was a considerable increase in dual-chart toppers. So it still feels a little noteworthy when a song is a huge hit on both charts - amazingly, this was the biggest R&B hit of the year, #1 for 4 weeks.

    You would have thought this would have topped the adult contemporary chart as well, but it was stalled for I think 3 weeks on that chart behind another even more iconic monster '80s AC hit.
     
  11. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    It's no surprise to me. But, I don't hear it as, as you call it [On My Own], Yacht Rock, at all. It sounds like standard-issue R&B to me.

    But, not to worry, I think we're in for a better class of R&B real soon. Introducing:

    Anita Baker - Sweet Love



    Released on May 27, i'm shocked that this didn't reach the #1 position! It's very classy and mature, and was a sensation when it came out.
     
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  12. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Loved "Sweet Love", it's a touch sophistipop as well. Also shocked it didn't hit #1, it was an enormous presence on radio and MTV for months. Iconic cut.

    The album is a stunning recording. Audiophiles salivated all over this one.
     
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  13. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    There's my favorite Sade song that I think will be more suited to the pop thread.
     
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  14. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I actually have that 45. A styrene pressing by Allied on the West Coast. I agree about the "classy and mature" part.

    There was another milestone involving Soul Train in this year of 1986 which, because of the timeline, I am holding off until the proper time. Y'know, can't have any "jumpin' ahead" now. :winkgrin:
     
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  15. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Disappointed other members have nothing to say about "Sweet Love".

    Next #1:
    On My Own - Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald Week ending May 17, 1986 4 weeks

     
  16. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Wait, didn't we just do that one?
     
  17. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter

    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Somehow I managed to miss this post in real time. Yes ‘Sweet Love’ is exquisite. I was working on a daytime am AC station back then with 8 “Power” cuts that got rotated 4 times an hour, insuring that each one would get played in the exact same quarter hour. Even at 16 I knew that was a bad idea but I was happy to have the gig so my mouth stayed shut. We ‘carted’ them to avoid cue burn. Ah the 80’s!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
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  18. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I seem to think so . . .
    Gawd, I hope Groundhog Day has not descended on this thread . . .
     
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  19. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Punxsutawney Phil has seen Patti LaBelle's shadow and there will be six more weeks of shade thrown at Diana Ross...

     
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  20. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Oh, I don't know. It was discussed on the other thread...I think....you know what happens where is such overlap between the two charts, and they aren't always at the same time.
     
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  21. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    There is a lot of overlap this year.
     
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  22. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Next #1: (album version)

    Nasty - Janet Jackson Week ending June 14, 1986 2 weeks



     
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  23. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Dumb but hella fun. Now two Jacksons were massive pop stars. This is where it became obvious Janet's hit wasn't a one-off success and she was gonna be around for awhile. And while Prince was abandoning the Minneapolis sound, Janet and her producers had doubled-down on and expanded it. It had taken on a life of its own, in large part thanks to the massive success of Control.

    Janet was about to join Whitney and Madonna as one of the giants of the decade.

    And remember, her first name ain't baby, it's Janet - Miss Jackson if you're nasty!
     
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  24. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    Janet was about to join Whitney and Madonna as one of the giants of the decade.

    And remember, her first name ain't baby, it's Janet - Miss Jackson if you're nasty![/QUOTE]

    Janet explained on a night TV talk show (don't remember which one, but it's on YT) the history behind the song. She said that when she and a girlfriend were leaving a nightclub that a bunch of old men were catcalling them. She calls these types of men "nasty". Now the song doesn't sound so dumb. The line

    "My first name ain't "baby"! It's Janet, or Ms. Jackson if you're nasty."


    Is her favorite line. So, the word "nasty" sounds a lot like her brother using the word "smelly" instead of "funky", and reflects the type of religious upbringing they had.

    Seeing that she had been on the singles charts since 1982, it was apparent that she wasn't going anywhere.

    When did he do that? Prince was the Minneapolis sound! He started that sh!t!:D Jam & Lewis, Jesse Johnson, Andre Cymone, and Morris Day, were all in the Prince stable until they left or got fired by Prince. That's why everything those guys touched sounded like Prince. Sheila E. was still part of it. Vanity still had one foot in that sound when she left for Motown.

    Remember that Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis was kicked out of The Time by Prince. Prince was the one who recorded those first two The Time albums. And, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis worked with The S.O.S. Band and Change before they worked with Janet. They both had that Prince/Minneapolis sound, and had pop and R&B chart singles.
     
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  25. IMMusicRulz

    IMMusicRulz The Fifth Bangle

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I really love the song I Can't Stop Loving You by Ray Charles. His work on the Wurlitzer Electric Piano is smooth.

    It was also the only song to top the R&B charts for the longest time until Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye reached that spot.
     

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