Discussion in 'A Small Circle of Friends: The Music Forum' started by David S, Aug 3, 2017.
They likely weren't released with the expectations that they would be hit records.
Based on the push we'd see from A&M on every last one of them---and the Jazz Times piece on Lani, which contains this line, I'd argue that there was an expectation:
Between 1979 and 1982, she took an abrupt left turn with Double or Nothing, Blush, and Albany Park, three disco-fied albums, co-produced by Alpert, that sound like strained attempts to boost sales.
And sadly radio airplay for them was very limited mostly on MOR/Easy listening stations and even on them they didn't last very long
Our easy listening stations locally wouldn't touch it. They were only into the really mushy "all violins, all the time" format.
I was programming an AM Adult Contemporary station at the time of BLUSH. My approach was really probably more accurately "Adult Top 40". I played whatever the Top 40 station was playing, minus their five hardest records. Those five slots, I'd usually go for a song that wasn't on Top 40's radar yet, but that I thought would sound good and might cross over. Given that ballad duets (Billy Preston & Syreeta "With You I'm Born Again") were crossing over, I thought "Come What May" could fly.
It probably would have Had there been the necessary promotion and other factors This could have propelled Lani to greater heights and Herb would have benefited more from his participation "Oh What might Have Been".
It's not that they didn't try for a hit with "Come What May". They actually re-recorded it with the COLLECTIBLES album release and again put out a single of it.
And if that weren't enough, they also shopped it to the Latin market with the Spanish version, "Lo Que Siento Hoy Por Ti", again, redoing the vocals.
I remember Come what may being played on an adult contemporary radio station in 84 ( The collectibles version) but I wasn't aware of the Spanish version until much much later. Again it should have been a hit but Radio was being fickle in the 80s and where I lived at the time automation and bean counters and other things were taking over and even though I knew it was getting worse for my favorite music getting forgotten and abandoned I held onto my hopes of being in radio and in 96 I
Onward I been able to keep playing songs like come what may and others to show everyone that there are many great songs that aren't Top 40 but worth listening to
Here's what makes NO sense: "Come What May" was on the heels of "Rise". Herb was hot again. But nothing. I just checked my chart books. "Come What May" didn't even make the Adult Contemporary charts in Billboard---and that's a low bar. Plus---and if I knew this before, I'd forgotten it---NONE of Lani's albums ever made the Billboard 200 album charts---not even a week at #200.
Uh, oh -- maybe the stress killed her!
(I shouldn't be cheeky about that -- sorry.)
Thanks again for all of your knowledge, tidbits and insights, Michael.
Speaking of Jan Basham (I wasn't sure, at first, that was the male "Jan" name) -- but I found this old post from Michael about Ms. Basham:
+ tribute thread that Michael created for her on her passing:
You DO know that if you think better of something, you can edit it, right? I see this all the time online---make the joke, then the person says they shouldn't have said it, but goes ahead and posts it anyway.
Jan Basham died of cancer.
It's too late for me to edit it now. It's been 18 min. (Rudy sets the limit on this forum to 15 min., it seems.)
Paul Williams -- sure.
But, based on what I am familiar with hearing by Mr. Colombier --
I would say that he was a movie score composer (of incidental music) and not a Pop songwriter, at least not a hit songwriter, I.M.O.
(Unless he wrote a hit song that I am not aware of … ? )
Hit song, no---but he wrote this with Paul Williams:
Might have been interesting to hear more from them and others in the A&M/Almo world who could have written original material for Lani.
Very true and I think that would have made a bigger difference more original material would have helped
In the recent Jazz Times article, Lani is quoted stating that she didn't like the songs on the dance-Pop albums like Blush.
I wonder, then, whose idea was that -- who choose those songs - Herb?
That's usually the producer. In this case, Allee Willis. And since Allee wrote or co-wrote every track on that album, I'd say that's a good bet. The question then is who chose Allee.
For reference, and preservation in case it disappears, here's the text of the Jazz Times article:
I've relayed this here before, but the station I listened to (and ultimately worked for) played "We Could Be Flying". It was on the playlist when I was still working in a drug store and the older lady who worked there couldn't stand the wild organ part in the middle. I'd hear it come on and work my way to the radio to turn it down at that point so she wouldn't change the station. That part is known as an irritant in soft-music circles.
There are of course two different iterations of Lani's "We Could Be Flying". The first happened on the WINGS album with a lot of orchestral flourishes from Mr. Colombier. The stripped-down version came on SUN DOWN LADY, and I believe that was what was on the single that was sent to radio.
Allee would have been fresh off her work with Maurice White and Earth Wind & Fire. (She co-wrote the hits "September," "In The Stone" and "Boogie Wonderland" with Maurice White and others including Al McKay, John Lind and David Foster.) Could be someone was trying to capture that same magic with Lani's album...?