Back in 2011, Cherry Red’s Cherry Pop label gave the deluxe treatment to the two albums that established Billy Ocean’s chart supremacy in the 1980s: the Jive Records releases of Suddenly (1984) and Love Zone (1986). Now, the label has returned to the Trinidad-born, U.K.-raised singer’s catalogue with an expanded edition of 1988’s Tear Down These Walls.
Ocean had been recording since 1972, and scored memorable hits in his home of England with the No. 2s “Love Really Hurts Without You” and “Red Light Spells Danger.” But his true commercial breakthrough on the worldwide level didn’t come until 1984 and Suddenly. If his rise was far from sudden, the album’s success certainly was. It spawned three Top 5 U.S. hits via the title track, “Loverboy” and the No. 1 “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run).” He followed up the double platinum LP two years later with Love Zone, switching producers from Keith Diamond to the team of Barry J. Eastmond and Wayne Braithwaite. The title song reached the Top 10 of the Hot 100, and “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)” did even better, hitting the peak position on the chart. Love Zone also featured “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” from the film Jewel of the Nile; it rewarded Ocean with a No. 2 smash. The album would become Ocean’s second to achieve double platinum certification. Both LPs went Gold in the U.K., as well, with the U.K. charts also favoring “Caribbean Queen,” “Suddenly” and “When the Going Gets Tough.”
Naturally, anticipation was high for Ocean’s third album with Jive. Producers Eastmond and Braithwaite returned, to be joined by Robert “Mutt” Lange and Teddy Riley. Lange had worked on both previous LPs and co-wrote “When the Going Gets Tough.” For the album entitled Tear Down These Walls, Lange co-wrote and produced three tracks (two with Riley) including the title song. One of his productions would become a signature song for Billy Ocean.
Ocean and Lange’s “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” (reportedly inspired by a lyric from The Sherman Brothers’ “You’re Sixteen,” a Top 10 hit for Johnny Burnette in 1960 and a No. 1 for Ringo Starr in 1974) was released on 45 in January 1988. Bolstered by a video in heavy rotation on MTV, the track ascended to No. 3 in the U.K. and No. 1 in seven countries including the U.S., of course.
Seven songs on Tear Down These Walls were produced and co-written by Barry J. Eastmond and his team including the ballad “The Colour of Love,” another U.S. Top 20 hit. Lange and Ocean had paid tribute to Ocean’s roots with “Calypso Crazy;” Eastmond and co. did the same with the calypso-flavored “Pleasure.” Other songs touched on bass-driven grooves (“Gun for Hire”), modern-day Motown (“Stand and Deliver”), and contemporary R&B (“Because of You”).
Hit the jump for more details including the full track listing and order links!
Tear Down These Walls, released in early 1988, reached No. 3 in the U.K. (earning Platinum certification) and No. 18 in the U.S. (achieving Gold status). Cherry Pop’s deluxe edition adds five bonus tracks. Two included B-sides were also co-writes with Eastmond. “Showdown” was originally recorded for Love Zone but ended up as the flip of “Get Outta My Dreams,” and “Let’s Get Back Together” was the non-LP flip of “Calypso Crazy.” The set also includes Extended Versions of “Calypso Crazy,” “Stand and Deliver,” and “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.”
This reissue of Tear Down These Walls concludes the most successful period of Ocean’s career. Today, his studio releases are far and few between, but in 2013, he reunited with Eastmond for his most recent collection, Here You Are. The producer has contributed his recollections to Michael Silvester’s liner notes, and the package also includes an impressive six-page U.K. discography for the artist. No remastering credits are provided in the booklet.
Cherry Pop’s expanded reissue of Tear Down These Walls is available now at the links below!
- Tear Down These Walls
- Gun for Hire
- Stand and Deliver
- The Colour of Love
- Calypso Crazy
- Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car
- Soon as You’re Ready
- Because of You
- Here’s to You
- Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car (Extended Version) (Jive 12-inch single BOS T 1, 1988)
- Showdown (Jive 7-inch single BOS 1, 1988)
- Calypso Crazy – Extended Version (Jive 12-inch single BOS T 2, 1988)
- Let’s Get Back Together (Jive 7-inch single BOS 2, 1988)
- Stand and Deliver – Extended Version (Jive 12-inch single BOS T 4, 1988)