I’ll readily admit that some of what inspires me to call out specific songs is the appearance of the artist (or a member of the group) in the news. Once already this year, unfortunately, I have done so because of the news of a divorce after a long marriage. Sadly, this is the case a second time, this time the dissolution of the 25-year marriage of Richard Marx (who has been mentioned on this blog before for reasons not related to his own hit music) and actress/singer Cynthia Rhodes.
In 1988 or so, Cynthia Rhodes joined the established group Animotion (best known for 1984’s “Obsession”, which hit #6 and is still heard on radio today) during the recording of the group’s third album. Ms. Rhodes replaced Astrid Plane, whose voice was heard on “Obsession”; Ms. Plane and two others departed the group in about the same timeframe, in effect making Animotion almost a totally different group from the one that had formed in 1983.
Perhaps because the group was so different when this third album was released in 1989, the album was self-titled, just as Animotion’s first album had been. To help distinguish the two eponymous albums, the 1989 album was informally known by the title of its first single (but only informally; the title of the single does not appear on the album cover, as seen below).
(Animotion (1989) peaked at #110 on Billboard’s Top Pop Albums Chart. Album ℗1989 Polydor Records. Photo courtesy Amazon.com.)
The first single, “Room to Move” (a remake of a song recorded a year earlier by another 80s group, Climie Fisher), received plenty of airplay in early 1989 and spent a healthy 18 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100. (Per the always-reliable Wikipedia, the song was helped by an appearance on the soundtrack for the movie My Stepmother Is an Alien.) The single peaked at #9 the week ending May 6, 1989 (chart). Surprisingly (at least to me), its success in early 1989 was not enough for the song to make the year-end chart.
After “Room to Move”, one further single, “Calling It Love”, was released from Animotion; it only made it to #53. The group broke up soon afterward.
As I said earlier, the only song from Animotion that seems to get any airplay whatsoever now is “Obsession”. The last time I recall hearing “Room to Move” on the radio was, in fact, during its original chart run. In my opinion, it’s worth giving this song a few more spins.