Some entries call for a more connected narrative, some entries call for bulletpoints. This entry will be the latter.
-Just about any non-R&B or dance song I discovered in the early ‘80s came to me via American Top 40 (or its television equivalent, “America’s Top 10″ or Solid Gold. I’m pretty sure Casey Kasem was responsible for “Always Something There To Remind Me”.
-I’m sure that at some point during “Remind”’s chart run, Casey brought up Burt Bacharach and Hal David, who wrote the song. I wouldn’t have known them from a can of paint back then. With 35 years retrospect, what a catalog of songs those two put together, huh?
-I’m also sure that Casey brought up the fact that this song was a remake. I’d never heard the versions of “Always Something There To Remind Me” by Sandie Shaw or Dionne Warwick before this past weekend. Warwick’s version serves as a solid reminder that she wasn’t always in poised, supper-club mode. Her version isn’t Aretha-esque, but Dionne does her fair share of belting. Sandie Shaw’s is a bit more subdued, and also a bit more boring. I’ll listen to the former version again. The latter version, not so much.
-Weird juxtaposition of bouncy arrangement and downcast lyric, in this version especially.
-Naked Eyes, huh? Two fantastic songs and then they fell off the face of the Earth. Pop music is so fickle. I also just learned (courtesy of Wikipedia) that Naked Eyes had four Top 40 hits in the U.S. I am very curious to hear those other two songs now.
-Also, the lead singer of Naked Eyes looks like Rob Sheffield.
NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…
“Always Be My Baby (Mr. Dupri Remix)” by Mariah Carey feat. Da Brat & Xscape (1995): Mimi taking back her Blackness from Tommy Mottola is kind of an amazing story. Eternal kudos to her for redefining her career on her terms. It didn’t start with “Always Be My Baby”, but this slammin’ remix certainly intensified her street cred. A tasty sample of the S.O.S. Band’s “Tell Me If You Still Care” provides the bedrock for this re-rub, while the ladies of Xscape provide understated harmonies and Da Brat delivers a ferocious 16 (name dropping damn near every Mariah-related album and song title in her verse). If anyone thought her collaboration with Puffy and ODB was a stunt or fluke, “Always” proved them wrong.