Monday, July 5, 2021

Musical Monday - Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run) by Billy Ocean

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: November 3, 1984 through November 10, 1984.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: Never.

Peppy and poppy, Caribbean Queen tells the story of a man who was just playing around but found himself falling hopelessly in love with a beautiful woman. In a mildly interesting twist, Caribbean Queen was renamed for a variety of worldwide markets, bearing titles such as European Queen and African Queen, which definitely recalibrates the song quite a bit. Ocean himself is British and was born in Trinidad, which makes the Caribbean tag for the song seem like the most authentic one, but the use of localized names is a kind of clever marketing trick.

I suppose the most notable thing about this song is that it pushed a black rhythm and blues pop star who wasn't named Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, or Prince into the forefront of the public eye. Not only that, it pushed a non-American rhythm and blues star into prominence, which was mildly unusual. This was just the first of Billy Ocean's hits, although none of the others were really quite as good as this one. In some ways, the closest comparison to Ocean would be Eddie Grant, but their styles and tones were quite different, with Grant having a harder more political edge to his music and Ocean offering more commercially-friendly fare.

Previous Musical Monday: Freedom by Wham!
Subsequent Musical Monday: Purple Rain by Prince

Previous #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder
Subsequent #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!

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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