Friday, August 22, 2014

Sergio Mendes - Alibis (1984)

b/w Confetti

Released: June 1984 (A&M)
Written by: Tom Snow & Tony Macaulay
Produced by: Sergio Mendes & Robbie Buchanan
Album: Confetti

 U. S. Billboard Charts:
 Hot 100 29
 Adult Contemporary 5

A song I like to play for friends and say, "Hey, remember this one?"

Trying to follow up on the chart success of 1982's self-titled album and its single "Never Gonna Let You Go" (#4 pop, #1 AC, #28 R&B),  Mendes and company hurried back to the studio to try to recapture the adult contemporary magic with the Confetti album.  Alas, it was not to be, but the album did produce one gem of a single with "Alibis" - one of those singles that's so good you buy the album in hopes of it all being that good (that's exactly what I did and [spoiler alert] the rest of the album doesn't come close to this song).

To be honest, most of Mendes' early '80s output is fairly anonymous soft pop; this slick song could have been released by any number of artists.  What sets it apart for me is the fine songwriting and strong vocals from Joe Pizzulo.  The opening bass line is catchy as all get out, there's hooks galore in the melodies and chord progressions, then Ernie Watts kicks in a saxophone solo to take it up a notch.  So good even the terribly dated synth sounds don't bother me a bit.

As the title suggests, this is a song about cheating and the lyrics capture the technology of the period with the reference "your telephone service says you're out again."  The moral of the story is Maury-esque: once a cheater, always a cheater ("you think you're in clear but don't forget that's exactly the way we met").  I can speak from experience that isn't true: not my finest point, but I didn't start my cheating ways until the year after this single was released and, for the record, was done with that foolishness long before I got married.  I can't remember if this song went through my head in 1985 as I spun my web of lies for the ladies, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit.


  1. Its the same bassline as Mel McDaniels "baby's got her blue jeans on"

  2. Its the same bassline as Mel McDaniels "baby's got her blue jeans on"

  3. I love the song Real Life. It's a great song & stands the test of time. I also think other songs are not that bad. In fact, this LP is very underrated.