Dec 072003
 

From RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT
Written by David Foster, Jay Graydon & Randy Goodrum

Debarge were a good, r&b group formed in the early eighties by four brothers and one sister. They had a string of hits with mellow songs like “All This Love”, “Time Will Reveal” and “I Like It” . They took the place on the pop/r&b charts that once belonged to the Jackson 5 and their leader and most talented singer/songwriter, Eldra, shared some very strong vocal similarities with Michael Jackson. In 1985 they surely had their best year ever, reaching the top ten twice and recording their most successful album, “Rhythm Of The Night”. The title track, with its Caribbean rhythms, was a #1 r&b and #3 pop hit, and it is a nice dance number but the best moments on the album were those produced by Jay Graydon and “Who’s Holding Donna Now” is the best of the bunch.

It is a delicious midtempo track, with some smooth vocals sung by Eldra and the usual, fantastic rhythm arrangements by Graydon and Foster. The tune is completely dominated by keyboards and synths played by Foster with the help of Steve Porcaro, Jay Graydon and Robbie Buchanan with a cute synth solo that echoes the one played on Jarreau’s “Mornin’” a couple of years before.

The song reached #2 on the r&b chart and #6 on the pop chart. After the great success of this record, Eldra left the group and released a solo cd simply entitled “El De Barge” with Graydon back producing and many other big names involved like Foster and Burt Bacharach, it is a good work and sure worth a listen.

There are a couple of interesting covers of “Who’s Holding Donna Now” made by two of its co-writers. David Foster did an instrumental version, in 1991, on his “Rechordings” cd, while singer/songwriter Randy Goodrum sang his own lyrics on his “Words And Music” cd back in 1994.


Listen

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Lead Vocals : El DeBarge
Synthesizers: Steve Porcaro, Jay Graydon & Robbie Buchanan
Synthesizer and Piano: David Foster
Drums: Carlos Vega
Bass: Abraham Laboriel
Background vocals: Richard Page & Steve George
Arranged by David Foster & Jay Graydon
Produced by Jay Graydon


Lyrics

Sometimes a love won’t let go
Hard as I try I know it shows
Everybody’s telling me
You’ll be over her eventually
But how am I supposed to feel so secure?

When I keep wondering who’s holding Donna now
And I keep wondering who’s heart she’s knocking around
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
To be in his shoes somehow
And I keep wondering who’s holding Donna now
And I keep wondering what magic can be found
To turn me back to the one who’s holding Donna now

The letter started with good-bye
I’ve read it half a million times
Tell me this is just a dream
When I wake up she’ll be here next to me
Tell me it will be just the way it was

Well, I keep wondering who’s holding Donna now
And I keep wondering who’s heart she’s knocking around
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
To be in his shoes right now
And I keep wondering who’s holding Donna now
And I keep wondering what magic can be found
To turn me back to the one who’s holding Donna now

[break]

Who’s holding Donna now?
I keep wondering who’s heart she’s knocking around
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
To be in his shoes right now

And I keep wondering who’s holding Donna now
Oh, Donna, what magic can be found?
To make me be the one who’s holding Donna now
I can’t get Donna off my mind