Saturday, June 17, 2017

Songoftheday 06/17/17 - I know you've heard it all before so I don't say it anymore, I just stand by and let you fight your secret war...

"Joey" - Concrete Blonde
from the album Bloodletting (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #19 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from the alternative rock band Concrete Blonde, which started out in Los Angeles with singer/songwriter Johnette Napolitano and James Mankey as the Dream 6. Adding drummer Rushakoff, they renamed themselves with the moniker given by Michael Stipe from R.E.M. (a labelmate at the time), for their self-titled debut album. A song from it, "True", became a minor rock radio hit at #42 in 1987. A year later, their sophomore effort Free was released, with drummer Al Bloch coming aboard, and from it "God Is A Bullet" changed their sound a little bit to a lighter version of the Cult and landed them at #15 on Billboard's new Modern Rock radio list. Roxy Music's Paul Thompson changed out for drums for their third release, Bloodletting, which saw the band have their biggest success. "Joey", the sad, first single about a man falling into a bad addiction, was written primarily for Wall Of Voodoo's Marc Moreland, who Johnette also played with, but also touching on Rushakoff, who was in rehab at that time...


"Joey" became Concrete's only pop hit, reaching the top-20 on the American pop chart in November of 1990. The single spent four weeks at #1 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while crossing over to #20 on their Mainstream Rock list as well. It even popped on to the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart at #42. Internationally, the single was a top ten hit in Australia (#2) and Canada (#6), and hit the top 40 in Belgium (#35) and the Netherlands (#17) in Europe.

A second single from the set, "Caroline", got to #23 on the Modern Rock chart, while another track from Bloodletting, "Tomorrow Wendy", was a minor hit in Canada at #66, where "Caroline" peaked at #22. Rushakoff came back for the band's next album, Walking In London, which spun off two top ten Modern Rock hits with "Ghost Of Texas Ladies' Man" (#2) and "Someday?" (#8). The revolving door swung again as Thompson re-replaced Rushakoff for the act's Mexican Moon set in 1993, which had their most recent American chart appearance with "Heal It Up" (Modern Rock #16). After splitting for four years, Napolitano and Mankey had regrouped the band a few times with three studio albums coming out since.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the band promoting the single on Dutch television in 1990...


and again on the Dennis Miller show in 1992...


Here's a live gig from that same year in Germany...


Napolitano and Mankey stripped it down for MTV...


Finally, Johnette reprises the song in 2011 for a Texas TV spot...


Up tomorrow: A sweet-talkin' rapper is into footwear.

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