1981 Lee Ritenour – Is It You

1981 Lee Ritenour – Is It You 

There are times when I see the title of an oldie and simply don’t remember it. If I go look up the song and listen to it, suddenly it might sound very familiar. Today’s oldie is a case in point.

Lee Ritenour was only eight when he started playing the guitar. Within a few years, he had decided that he would pursue a career in music. At the ripe old age of 16, he played on a recording session for the Mamas and the Papas. He quickly developed a love for jazz, and within a year he also played on sessions with  Lena Horne and Tony Bennett. He began releasing his own records in 1976.

He kept at it, and in 1979, Pink Floyd hired him to improve the guitar sounds on a cut from The Wall.

Lee drifted closer into pop music, and his 1981 album Rit included the single Is It You? Bill Champlin and Eric Tagg co-wrote the song with Lee, and Eric sang the lead vocals on the record.

Although the title of the song and the singer didn’t stir up any memories, the music sounded to me familiar from the very first notes. It’s not surprising that the single reached #15 on the Hot 100.

Lee never reached the top forty on the Hot 100 again, but did score a number one single and placed seven other records on the Smooth Jazz chart beginning in 2007.

He also earned 16 Grammy nominations and won for Best Arrangement on an Instrumental with the song Early A.M. Attitudein 1985.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Ritenour
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is_It_You_(Lee_Ritenour_song)

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1980 The Vapors – Turning Japanese

1980 The Vapors – Turning Japanese 

Four musicians who started playing together in 1978 in a pub in Guildford, Surrey, England, got noticed by Bruce Foxton. Bruce was the bass player for the Jam, and he offered to line the band up with a few jobs and became their co-manager. He even arranged for the band to play as part of the Jam’s tour in 1979.

The new band initially called themselves The Vapours, but they felt the British spelling might be inconvenient in the US. They changed the spelling of their name to The Vapors. They signed with United Artists and began releasing singles in late 1979.

Their second single became their most successful recording. The band’s lead singer, David Fenton, wrote the song Turning Japanese after a breakup with his girlfriend. He intended the lyrics to reflect the way the break-up made him feel like he suddenly didn’t fit in anymore. The new wave single jumped up to #3 in the UK and went all the way to the top of the Australian charts, but peaked at only #36 on the US Hot 100. It seems like the video got some airplay in the US a year later when MTV showed up.

The Vapors recorded two albums that did not sell well and disbanded in 1982. Thirty-nine years after they recorded their second album, the band reunited and began recording again.

An unexpected artist covered the group’s big hit in 2009: Kirsten Dunst. She appeared as the princess Majokko in the video Akihabara Majokko Princess. They filmed a video in Tokyo and used it for more than a year as part of a pop life exhibition in a London museum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vapors
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turning_Japanese

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!