Great lost hit: Paul Carrack, “Don’t Shed a Tear” (1987)

carrack

(Above: The One Good Reason LP)

One of the things that gold-based formats consistently get wrong is an over-reliance on the same songs over and over. I know I’ve ranted about the “decades” channels on Sirius XM before, but they serve as a perfect example of “not going deep enough.” Deeper lists equal low cumulative audiences, according to those who deal in ratings, and by playing a short list you build the size of your audience. My argument? If you’re not concerned with high ratings – like, say, the decades channels, which don’t run ads – go deep.

But is it going deep to play a song that was a #9 hit in the US? One that made #5 on the Rock charts and the Adult Hits top 40?  I wouldn’t think so, but damned if I can remember the last time I heard Paul Carrack’s “Don’t Shed a Tear” on the radio, satellite or otherwise.

Paul Carrack isn’t a name that is immediately recognized by casual music fans, but they undoubtedly know his singing. He’s been the lead singer of Ace (“How Long“), Mike and the Mechanics (“The Living Years” and “Taken In“), Squeeze (“Tempted“), and has also worked with Roxy Music, Elton John, Nick Lowe, The Pretenders… I mean, this is a resume that should warrant inclusion on any gold playlist.

Besides, this is a damned good record.  The One Good Reason LP came in to WLRA right about the same time that I did in the fall of 1987. I included “Don’t Shed a Tear” on one of my first radio shows, and a number of others after that. (I’m sure that some level of collegiate-relationship-angst had at least a little do to with that.) This track, and the title track from the LP, both made the Billboard Top 40, and yet you don’t hear either one of them much anymore. Not that I need another project at this point, but were I, say, programming an 80s station online, I’d be working these in there more than once every few years.

See what you think.  You can hear “Don’t Shed a Tear” – in its full-length album version –  by clicking here.

 

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