Monday, October 5, 2020

Musical Monday - Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: The week of July 9, 1983.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: Never.

In 1983, Eddy Grant seemed poised to become a huge star. He had been a successful performer for quite a while by the time the early 1980s rolled around, but with a big hit in 1982 in I Don't Wanna Dance, and a massive hit in 1983 with this song, Grant seemed like he was due to break through and become the kind of superstar that would soar acorss the sky and leave a lasting mark. Instead, this was the high-water mark of his career. He released a couple more albums, and even had a modest hit in the early 1990s, but more or less faded from the pop music scene after 1983.

The real shame of Eddy's fade is that he was doing music that was really unlike most everything else that was being put out at the time. This song, for example, is a funky, Carribbean dance song that has bitter, biting lyrics about the troubles of and unrest in a primarily Caribbean neighborhood in London. Although the musical style is very different, from a tonal perspective, Grant's song is a successor to the angry disaffected voices of punk rock from the late1970s and very early 1980s, a tone that became progressively muted in pop music as the 1980s went on.

It seems to me that something was lost when Grant didn't become a bigger star. Maybe if the U.S. hadn't been being swept into a false sense of euphoria by Reagan, people might have paid attention to people like him more and there might have been a chance to address some issues in the world. It didn't happen, and there's nothing that can be done about that now.

Previous Musical Monday: Baby Jane by Rod Stewart
Subsequent Musical Monday: Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) by Paul Young

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Flashdance . . . What a Feeling by Irene Cara
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Every Breath You Take by the Police

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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