Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ray Parker, Jr. - Bad Boy (1982)

Bad Boy
b/w Let's Get Off

Released: November, 1982 (Arista)
Written by: Ray Parker, Jr.
Produced by: Ray Parker, Jr.
Album: Greatest Hits

Note: when I label a song a "Lost AT40 Single," I'm only speaking for myself.  Your mileage may vary.

So I'm listening to a rerun of the American Top 40 broadcast from January 15, 1983 and the countdown begins with the debut of this song in the 40 spot.  I either never heard the song in '83 or I'd forgotten all about it.  The groove reminds me more than a little bit of the Brothers Johnson's song "Stomp!" but it's a decent song even if lacks a strong hook.  Casey doesn't say much about the song's content and for good reason: the lyrics were definitely not family-friendly.  In fact, I can't believe this got on the radio back in '83.  S&M lyrics wouldn't bother anybody these days, but back in the early '80s, incense, wine, and candles could make for a freaky scene.  Here's a sample from "Bad Boy":
Bad boy
I'll do the dishes, baby
Bad boy
Now I got to be punished

Spank me, whoop me
Let me come back home
Break out the leather, baby
Granted, doing the dishes is punishment enough, but then things escalate rather quickly, don't they?  Like I said, not much to fret about these days, but those lyrics would have definitively caught my attention as a 16 year old.  In any case, this is one of the rare cases where the lyrics have made more of an impression on me than the music.  On the January 15 AT40 show, the song was at position 40; it would peak at 35 two weeks later.  It spent a total of 4 weeks in the Top 40. 

On a somewhat related note, Parker is a fantastic guitarist and did more session work, songwriting, and production than he's usually given credit for.  Unfortunately, his legacy will be his derivative #1 single, "Ghostbusters."  How do I know this?  I saw Parker perform during halftime of a 2010 Memphis Grizzlies basketball game (it was "'80s Night") and the only song he performed was "Ghostbusters."  And he brought down the freakin' house.

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