Thursday, October 17, 2013

Billy Vera & The Beaters: At This Moment

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I took a well needed rest from the blog for the first part of this week. Now, I am raring to go with a Thursday Repeats and Threepeats selection. Many folks will remember Billy and Beaters’ live recording of “At this Moment” appearing twice on the scene, but only the discerning record collectors will know about three releases of the single.

“At this Moment” was issued originally on the Japanese owned Alfa Records label in 1981 as the follow-up to Billy and the Beaters’ “I Can Take Care of Myself,” which narrowly made the Top 40 charts at the #39 slot. The ballad “At this Moment” wasn’t nearly successful and it tanked at #79. Both singles had been recorded live earlier in the same year at The Roxy in Los Angeles.

While I played both songs at WCIR-FM in 1981, the fact that Alfa Records did not have a strong presence in the US probably kept the singles from doing any better than their respective positions. Billy Vera and his 10 piece band wandered off of the charts until – until, that is, the TV show “Family Ties” started playing “At This Moment” on several episodes during its 1985-86 season.

The television airplay rekindled immediate interest in the song and Rhino Records licensed the masters for re-release as a single in October 1986. It’s originally flip side was “Peanut Butter”; however, within a month, Rhino replaced the flip side with “I Can Take of Myself” and issued the third single of “At this Moment” under the same catalog number as the second.

The cross media exposure had a profound effect, as “At this Moment” charted at the #1 slots on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. It stayed at the #1 position for two weeks on the Hot 100 in late 1986. The song was produced by Jeff Baxter of Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers' fame.

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