Sunday, July 24, 2016

Songoftheday 7/24/16 - So you heard that I'm a rebel with a heart made of stone, I got a restless spirit that nobody can own...

"Soldier Of Love" - Donny Osmond
from the album Donny Osmond (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from Donny Osmond, who started out with his brothers in a family pop act that emulated the Jackson Five, The Osmonds. With a song rejected by the Motown kings, "One Bad Apple", they reached #1 on their first trip on the pop chart in 1970. Even as they continued to score more hit singles, their record company, MGM, wasted no time in rolling out Donny as a separate and concurrent solo act, with his first single by himself, "Sweet And Innocent", reaching #7 less than a year later. He followed that with a cover of Steve Lawrence's easy-listening nugget "Go Away Little Girl", which became his second total and sole solo #1 pop single. He had three more top-ten pop hits with his brothers, and three more on his own, in the early 70s. As disco and funk became more prominent, and Donny's angelic voice deepened, he ventured into TV with his sister Marie, and their first top ten together, "I'm Leaving It Up To You", came the same year as his last with the Osmonds. The pair hosted a variety show on television from 1976 to 1978, and he occasionally had some radio success, such as the disco-fied "C'mon Marianne" (#38, 1976). They even starred in a movie, Goin' Coconuts, which also let him hit the top-40 with the sublime dancefloor cheese of "On The Shelf" (#38). But hitching their wagon to disco, they suffered the consequences when the genre kicked the can in popularity in the early 80s.

Fast forward ten years, with Donny attempting a pop "comeback" after years on the stage (most notably as the star in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). He recorded a new album with producers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, who had helmed many R&B artists in the mid-80s, and would become hitmakers themselves under the moniker Rythm Syndicate ("P.A.S.S.I.O.N."). Donny had a minor hit in the UK, "If It's Love That You Want" (a clone of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel"), which hit #70 on the British singles chart. The follow-up track was one that got noticed by a radio DJ, who sneakily got the record airplay without divulging the artist, causing speculation on who could be singing. George Michael? A departed New Kid? No, it was Donny, who eventually landed his first hit in a decade with "Soldier Of Love"...

"Soldier Of Love" almost made it all the way to the top, peaking at the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in June of 1989. The song also climbed to #20 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the record went to #29 in the UK.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Here's Donny performing live on Rick Dees' late-night show to promote the album...

...and still going strong in 2007 live in concert...

Up tomorrow: Teen queen expels some energy.

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