Friday, August 25, 2017

Songoftheday 8/25/17 - You can reach me by railway you can reach me by trailway, you can reach me by aeroplane you can reach me with your mind...

"Get Here" - Oleta Adams
from the album Circle Of One (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from soul/jazz singer Oleta Adams, who came from Washington State to Kansas City, Missouri, where she was discovered by the British new wave band Tears For Fears, who took her on as an opening act and back-up vocalist. A major contributor to their album The Seeds Of Love, Adams sang lead vocals with Roland Orzabal on their top-40 pop hit "Woman In Chains" in the winter of 1990. That following spring, Adams released her first nationally-distributed album Circle Of One on Tears For Fears' label imprint Fontana. The first single from the set, the jazzy "Rhythm Of Life", was a big hit on R&B radio in America, climbing to #9 on Billboard's genre chart, as well as crossing over to #21 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. But even though it made it to #38 on the British Singles chart, it missed the pop Hot 100 altogether in the States. But the next release would end up eclipsing anything she did with the band that aided her. "Get Here" was written and first released by another American jazz-R&B artist, Brenda Russell (who had a top 10 pop hit with "Piano In The Dark") as the second single and title track from her 1988 album. Brenda's original would climb to #37 on the R&B chart in America...


Oleta took the version and strengthened the delivery, which aided the power the song had in the time of the first Gulf War in 1991....


Oleta Adams' version of "Get Here" made it all the way to the top five on the American pop top-40 in March of 1991. The single also climbed to #8 on Billboard's R&B chart, while spending two weeks at #3 on their Adult Contemporary radio list. Internationally, the record went to #4 in the UK, and reached the top-40 in Canada (#26) and the Netherlands (#28). The Circle Of One album would end up topping the album chart in Britain.

A re-release of the title track from the album as a lite-house dance jam made the R&B (#27) and Adult Contemporary (#17) charts, but missed the pop Hot 100. Another track from the set, "You've Got To Give Me Room", was a minor British hit at #49. She finished the year with another UK top-40 hit with her stellar cover of Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (#33).

In 1993, Adams followed up with another studio album, Evolution, but lead single "I Just Had To Hear Your Voice" barely slipped into the American R&B chart at #97 and just missed the British Top-40 at #42. Two years later, her third Fontana album Moving On emerged, with the song "Never Knew Love" returning Oleta to the British Top-40 at #22, while nicking the American R&B chart at #60. She's continued to release music including more religious work, and her albums do better than her radio success these days.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's Adams performing live on British TV to promote the single in 1991...


In 1993, British dance act Q and singer Tracey Ackerman hit the top-40 in the UK with a club cover of the song...


The single did pretty well in the Netherlands; here she performs with the Dutch Metropole Orkest orchestra...


Also, Dutch singer Edsilia Romblay had a minor hit in that country with another dance version of the song...


Lastly, here's Oleta live in 2014...


Up tomorrow: Metal band goes acoustic had takes a 70s hippie anthem to hairy heights.

No comments: