First Hit #1: February 19, 1983
Soul never goes away. The production might change, but it’s the way soul songs are sung that is one of the most constant figures in pop music. One can see the thread continuing from the origin of the charts to today’s top selling pop performers. The popularity fades in and out, but it’s always there, because it’s always got that raw appeal to it. Baby Come to Me is a pretty good example of what soul became in the ’80s, with a couple of strong voices singing powerfully over a lightly funky bug mostly unremarkable arrangement. This is a vocalist showcase, and everything else is just there to keep the voice in focus – not much matters outside of what’s being sung. It isn’t the most distinct of songs, but it’s a good one, and the lightly funky sound keeps it from fading into the background.
Which probably explains why it was a hit, since it happened to be the theme song for a character on a soap opera. The soaps haven’t exactly aged well, people seem to have forgotten their never ending stories of intrigue and infidelity, but in the ’80s they were a sensation, and actually influenced the tide of pop culture. We’re never going to get another Luke and Laura moment, but personally that’s probably for the best.