"Second Chance" - Thirty-Eight Special
from the album Rock & Roll Strategy (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14
Today's song of the day comes from the rock band .38 Special, who had a string of pop and rock hits in the early 80s, like 1986's top-20 pop/top-5 rock single "Like No Other Night". However, after their contribution to the Revenge Of The Nerds 2 movie, "Back To Paradise", failed by a notch to make the top-40, lead singer Don Barnes departed on what would be a non-existent solo career. Meanwhile, the band hired on singer and keyboardist Max Carl to replace him for their eighth studio album Rock & Roll Strategy, and decided to spell out the "38" in their name. The uptempo title track was released as the first single, and while it did well on rock radio, reaching #5 on the Mainstream Rock chart in Billboard, the song stalled out down at #67 on the pop Hot 100. Its follow-up, "Little Sheba", didn't do much better, landing at #15 on the rock list and missing the pop chart altogether. Neither of the two sounded much like their older material other than the occasional guitar chord crunch, with Carl enunciating "dixie" a little too clearly. But taking cues from fellow vet rockers like Cheap Trick and Chicago, took a deep left turn with the third release, the adult pop ballad "Second Chance". Written by band guitarist Jeff Carlisi along with Cal Curtis with some input from Max, the Richard Marx-esque break-up track did the trick with the ladies and got them back on pop radio, becoming their highest-charting single in their career on the Hot 100...
"Second Chance" became Thirty-Eight Special's second and so-far final top-10 pop hit in May of 1989. The song topped Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart (their first time on it), and still did well enough to peak at #2 on their Mainstream Rock tally. Internationally, the single made it to #2 in Canada and #14 in Australia.
Up tomorrow: An Irishwoman vacations on a trip around the world, starting in Venezuela.