Monday, May 30, 2011

Eddy Grant - "I Don't Wanna Dance"

I Don't Wanna Dance - The Very Best of Eddy Grant - Road to Reparation

(Debuted August 13, 1983, Peaked #53, 7 Weeks on the Chart)  

In the United States, Eddy Grant is best known for "Electric Avenue" and "I Don't Wanna Dance" was released as the follow-up single. Here in the U.S., things were done backwards. Grant actually released "I Don't Wanna Dance" first (late 1982), and it was a bigger hit than "Electric Avenue" every place it charted...except in America.

"I Don't Wanna Dance" really deserved to be a bigger hit than it was here. Ironically, the song about not feeling like dancing because a relationship was about to end was infused with a beat that made it damn near impossible to not dance. It was a #1 single in the U.K., Grant's first since 1968, when he was a member of The Equals.Perhaps its poor showing on the U.S. pop charts was due to a hint of a reggae beat, since even Bob Marley wasn't able to get more than one record ("Roots, Rock, Reggae," not even one of his best songs) on Billboard's pop chart.

At the time, I had a friend who had the cassette of Grant's LP Killer on the Rampage and played it fairly constantly during the summer of '83. I even remember a weekend outing where we set up a tent in his back yard and stayed overnight. There was a moment where one of the guys with us mentioned how the words to the song "Killer on the Rampage" were weird for us in a tent like that. For the longest time, hearing "Electric Avenue" or "I Don't Wanna Dance" made me think back on that weekend.

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