Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chaka Khan - "Through the Fire"

Through the Fire - I Feel for You

(Debuted April 27, 1985, Peaked #60, 19 Weeks on the Chart)

Thanks to the smash hit "I Feel For You," Chaka Khan was all over the radio in 1985. Her followup seemed to be an effort to branch out to a more adult audience, since "Through the Fire" was a much softer sound than the rap/hip hop of the earlier hit. Frankly, I'm surprised it wasn't a bigger hit, since it had several elements that made should have helped it into the Top 40.

It wasn't the first foray by Chaka Khan into an "easy listening" sound. When she was the voice of Rufus in the 1970s, she had proven with "Sweet Thing" that she could carry a torch with the best of them. However, for those of us who never heard of Chaka before "I Feel For You," it was a very different sound.

"Through the Fire" was written by David Foster as an instrumental. He then had Cynthia Weil and Tom Keane come in to help with the lyrics. At the time, it set a record for the song that spent the longest time on the Hot 100 without getting into the Top 40. It was, however, a bigger hit on the R&B (#15) and adult contemporary (#16) charts.

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