Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dionne Warwick - How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye (1983)/Friends In Love (1982)

UK Import

In the early '80s, Warwick went through various producers and sounds, but was still able to find her way to the charts. Four of those producers were Barry Manilow, Jay Graydon, Barry Gibb, and Luther Vandross. Her "BeeGees" album, Heartbreaker, was the most successful of those. These are the two albums that came before and after that one (her 22nd and 24th studio albums, if you're keeping score).

I purchased this compilation to hear the Jay Graydon produced Friends in Love album, because I'm a fan of his stuff, but I'm always happy to get a two-fer.

8 tracks, 36 minutes

Vandross is a much better singer than songwriter, so there's a few lackluster generic R&B tracks on this uneven album, but oh the ballads.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #57
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #19
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #77

Tracks: Highlights for me are So Amazing, What Can A Miracle Do, and the fantastic title track. a duet with Vandross. The Shirelles return to make a fully orchestrated ballad version of their 1960 hit, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, and it almost works. Almost.

10 tracks, 43 minutes

This album was released before the How Many Times... album but appears second on this CD. Go figure. Nonetheless, this album is so smooth stuff throughout. In addition to Graydon, there's lots of "yacht rock" artists on this one: David Foster, Steve Gadd, Richard Page, Steve, Jeff, & Mike Porcaro, Jerry Hey, Bill Champlin, Steve Lukather, and Michael Omartian. I like it, it should have been a bigger hit, and if I ever again attempt to rank my top 82 albums from 1982, this will make the cut.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #83
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #33
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #95

Tracks: The lead track, For You, sounds more than a little than Mornin' which would later appear on Jarreau.  But if you're gonna plagiarize from yourself, that's a heckuva a smooth groove to steal. In addition to that one, I like the title duet between Warwick and Johnny Mathis (#38 pop, #22 R&B, #5 AC), Never Gonna Let You Go (with which Sergio Mendes would hit the following year), and a cover of Earth, Wind & Fire's Can't Hide Love. The only skippable track is More Than Fascination

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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