Monday, November 28, 2016

Songoftheday 11/28/16 - Don't pick on the things I say the things I do, just love me with all my faults...

"Don't Make Me Over" - Sybil
from the album Sybil (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from R&B/dance singer Sybil (Lynch), a native of the northern New Jersey city of Paterson, who released her debut album Let Yourself Go in 1987. It contained her first single "Falling In Love", which was a minor club hit at #29 and even popped on to the British pop chart at #68. The title track did even better overseas, reaching #32 in the UK (and #23 on the American dance list). A third single from the album, the house music jam "My Love Is Guaranteed", scored Sybil her first top ten club hit in America at #4. However, none of these songs touched the pop list in the U.S., with a sound more suited to strict R&B stations and dance clubs with freestyle and soul inclinations. But for her next self-titled release, Sybil would be the first to have mainstream success with a beat brought to the pop stage by British act Soul II Soul, whose "Keep On Movin'" just missed American top ten in September of 1989. It was on a cover of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic "Don't Make Me Over" that caught radio's ears this time. First made popular by Dionne Warwick, it was originally put as a "B-side" to a single, but became her first hit at #21 pop/#5 soul in 1962...


Using the mid-tempo Soul II Soul-style beat, it substituted Dionne's vocal strength with Sybil's softer cooing letting the groove dictate the listen...


Sybil's take on "Don't Make Me Over" was her sole top-40 pop hit in America in December of 1989. The song also was her biggest R&B hit in the U.S., spending a week at #2. The 12" remixed version of the track peaked at #4 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the cover went to #1 in New Zealand, got to #19 in the UK, and slipped into the top-40 in Germany. She would use the same treatment for her next single, another Warwick/Bacharach/David cover, this time "Walk On By". It stopped down at #74 on the Hot 100 in the U.S., but got into the top ten on the R&B (#3) and Dance (#7) charts, and was his first top ten effort in Britain at #6. The third release from Sybil, a collaboration with female rappers Salt-N-Pepa on the new jack swing-style "Crazy 4 U", got to #19 R&B, but missed the pop list, as well as the fourth single, a cover of the Jacksons' "I Wanna Be Where You Are" (#86 R&B).

The following year, Sybil hooked up with British star producers Stock, Aitken, and Waterman for help with her next record, Sybilization, but even approximating the Soul II Soul groove with original material for first single "Make It Easy On Me" didn't cause it to reach the R&B top-40 (although it truly is a worthy effort), and it only spent a week at #99 in the UK despite the PWL production team's cred. In 1993, Sybil released Doin' It Now, a US/Canada only record, and was a more successful set with radio, with the midtempo soul of "You're The Love Of My Life" reaching #37 on the American R&B chart, and her biggest British hit, a HI-NRG cover of Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes' disco classic "The Love I Lost" (#3 UK) with DJ/producer West End aka Eddie Gordon (the two songs got on the American pop chart together as a double-sided single at #90). Those two were included on the British/international version of the album, Good N' Ready, which also had another top-5 British hit with "When I'm Good and Ready". Another song from that set not included on Doin' It Now, "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams", was Sybil's most recent American R&B hit at #90. She continued to have modest success in the UK for a handful more singles, with "Why" in 1997 her last lead-artist hit at #81. In 2002, she guested on a single from dance act Blaze on "When I Fall In Love", which spent a week at #91 in Britain. She more recently spent her time teaching.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the "KING-dom come mix" from Tony King of PWL from the 12" single that helped take the song to #4 on the dance chart...


Other artists have also had success with the song. Its first success in the UK came in 1966 with a cover from the Merseybeat act the Swinging Blue Jeans that went to #31 there...


American jazz/pop singer Nancy Holloway had a top-40 hit in France with a translated version of the song as "T'en Vas Pas Comme Ça" (#11)...


Milanese pop singer Ornella Vanoni got to the top-40 in Italy with her take as "Non Dirmi Niente"...


Brenda and the Tabulations took the song to #15 on the R&B list and #77 pop in 1970...


Pop songstress Jennifer Warnes closed the 1970's out with a version that went to #36 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart and #67 on the Hot 100...


Ironically, Caron Wheeler, the lead singer of Soul II Soul, sampled Sybil's "Don't Make Me Over" record for her solo single "I Adore You", which went to #12 on the American R&B chart and #59 in the UK...


The musical TV show Glee used "Don't Make Me Over", sung by cast member Amber Riley, in its first season...


In 2013, American Idol's twelfth-season winner Candice Glover performed the song on week 6...


Lastly, here's Sybil performing the song on Live At The Apollo...


 Up tomorrow: New Wave duo aren't taking questions right now.




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