Monday, May 08, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 5/8/17 - Anita Baker's "Talk To Me"...

"Talk To Me" - Anita Baker
from the album Compositions (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #44

This week's "robbed hit" comes from quiet storm soul singer Anita Baker, whose combination of jazz vocal styling and lush urban contemporary production had landed her a #1 album in 1988 with Giving You The Best That I Got. The title track ended up being her highest-charting pop hit, and the follow-up single "Just Because" did a respectable showing at #14, with both songs topping Billboard's R&B chart. A third offering, "Lead Me Into Love", missed the pop Hot 100 altogether but did climb to #4 on the R&B chart and #32 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio list. In 1990, Baker released her fourth solo album Compositions, which delved even more into adult love moods, especially present on her conversational first single "Talk To Me". Written by Anita with her long-time producer Michael Powell along with Vernon Fails, the understated relationship rumination continued her vision of classy soul music without giving in to the current new jack swing mainstream fads...

While "Talk To Me" climbed all the way to #3 on Billboard's R&B chart, and peaked just a notch lower at #4 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list, the single stopped just short of the pop Top-40 in July of 1990. In Canada, it did about the same, going to #50, and over the ocean in the UK it was a minor hit at #68. Her next single, "Soul Inspiration", again did well on R&B (#16) and Adult Contemporary (#11) radio, but stalled down at #72 on the pop Hot 100. A third release from Compositions, "Fairy Tales", got her into the R&B top ten again at #8, and stopped at #27 AC, but didn't make the pop chart at all. Nonetheless, the Compositions album would go on to grab a Grammy award for Best Female R&B performance the following year. And by her next album, she would make a return to the pop chart.

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