Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Songoftheday 3/22/17 - Don't waste your time fighting blind minded thoughts of dispair...

"Hold On" - En Vogue
from the album Born To Sing (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 17

The song of the day for this "humpday" comes from the vocal group En Vogue, who were put together by the production/songwriting team of Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy. Foster & McElroy, who had been original members of Club Nouveau, who had scored a #1 hit with their remake of "Lean On Me" in 1987, and even released an album of their own in 1989. But their biggest success was behind the scenes, becoming one of the biggest forces in the new jack swing genre (along with the Teddy Riley/Guy crew). Assembling the four female singers about that same time, Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones could have been strong solo singers in their own right, but put together they were miles above any of the current "girl-groups" of the time. Releasing their debut album, Born To Sing, at the start of the new decade, their slinky first single, "Hold On", was pretty understated for that time but belies a fun mid-tempo club jam that out-classed anything young kids were listening to. And it was the stunning acappella intro of the Jacksons' "Who's Lovin' You" by Terry Ellis that got everyone's ears and eyes pricked up watching MTV, before Herron took over on lead for the song itself...


"Hold On" became the group's first top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1990. The single not only spent two weeks atop Billboard's R&B chart, but ended up as their #1 song of the year on that list. The 12" remix single also went to #1 for a week on their Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the record reached the top ten in the UK (#5), New Zealand (#5), Germany (#6), and the Netherlands (#10), got to #12 in Austria, and peaked at #18 in Ireland. The Born To Sing album would be nominated for a Grammy Award for R&B Duo/Group Performance, losing out to Quincy Jones/Chaka Khan/Ray Charles' remake of "I'll Be Good To You".

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


First off, here's their television debut on the Arsenio Hall show in 1990...


...and the extended mix that topped the dance chart in 1990...


Here's the four of them at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1991 just killin' it, before they won for best single from a duo/group...


In 1998, a new set of remixes caused the song to reappear on the British charts, peaking at #53...


...and finally, from the quartet appearing on A&E...


Up tomorrow: Pop singer/songwriter is asking: it's 10pm. Do you know where you're kids are?

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