"Through The Storm" - Aretha Franklin & Elton John
from the album Through The Storm (Aretha Franklin) (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7
Today's song of the day comes from two of the biggest hitmakers of all time on the American pop charts, Aretha Franklin and Elton John. Both had continued success in the 80s, with Aretha landing a #1 hit in the spring of 1987 with "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" with George Michael, while Elton peaked at #2 in the summer of 1988 with "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That". Each was the highest-charting hit for the singer in that decade. So when it came time to record Aretha's next studio set, Through The Storm, A-list stars like Whitney Houston, James Brown, Kenny G, and the Four Tops were enlisted to make cameos. But the first single, the title track, seemed a "ringer" with Elton on board, singing a duet co-written by master song doctor Diane Warren along with Albert Hammond...
Despite the star power of the two, and the typical late-80s keyboard-pop production. "Through The Storm" only made it to the top 20 on the American pop chart in May of 1989. The song also climbed to #17 on Billboard's R&B chart, but it was a big success on adult contemporary (or "easy listening") radio, topping out at #3 (her second-biggest hit on that format). The album was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal, losing out to Anita Baker's Giving You The Best That I Got record. Internationally, while the track reached #18 in Canada, in Elton's native Britain it stalled right beneath the top-40 at #41.
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And since I must to rep the late 80s, here's the Kids Incorporated TV show gang (including a young Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson and Jennifer Love Hewitt) covering the song...
Up tomorrow: British sports-rockers speak in Mesopotamian, perhaps?