#989: Give It Up ~ Colin James & Bonnie Rait

Peak Month: February 1991
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #18
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Colin James Munn was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1964. He is a neo-swing artist who mixes swing, jump blues, rockabilly, ska and contemporary rock ‘n roll into his performances and recordings. In 1984 he was playing with a Regina. As luck would have it American rocker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, was in town to appear in concert. Vaughan was fresh from the releases of his 1983 album, Texas Flood, and his 1984 album, Couldn’t Stand The Weather. Vaughan had also been given a spotlight as a guitarist playing numbers of songs on David Bowie’s 1983 Let’s Dance album. The opening act for Stevie Ray Vaughan was unable to perform, and with just a few hours to prepare, Colin James Munn was asked to be the opener for the Regina concert with members of a local band called Flying Colours. James knocked it out of the ballpark and was asked by Stevie Ray Vaughan to join him for the rest of the tour as the opening act. James played the rest of the tour with his backing band, the Hoodoo Men. But it was Stevie Ray Vaughan who suggested that Munn drop his last name and just go by Colin James. Munn sounded too much like “mud” over the distortion from the loudspeakers at the concert venues.

By 1988 James released his own self-titled album, Colin James. The album featured the hit single “Why’d You Lie,” and won him a Juno Award for Most Promising Artist. Another track, “Voodoo Thing,” made the Top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100. His second album, Sudden Stop, was released in 1990. It contained the Top Ten single, “Just Came Back,” which won a Juno Award for Single of the Year. A second single “Keep On Loving Me Baby,” also sold well in Canada. His third single from Sudden Stop featured Bonnie Rait on “Give It Up.” The song peaked in Vancouver at #18 during a ten week chart run in February 1991. That same year Bonnie Rait would have a Top Ten hit called “Something To Talk About.”

Give It Up ~ Colin James & Bonnie Rait

Sing it baby:
Now this is how I first heard the story,
honey, I think it goes something like this.
You came here, I held you tight, suddenly our lips kissed.
Don’t know how I fell so, how I fell so deep,
into a love I’d always want.
It’s got me on my knees.

Give it up.
Give me all the loving you got.
Give it to me baby while it’s still hot.
Come on baby give it, give it up.

Now I said nail it down honey,
you took everything and you told me what was true (told me was true).
Now I came to play the game, knew exactly what to do.
Don’t know it makes me feel so, strange in every way.
Don’t ever leave, I’ll find me another way.
And I got to make you stay.

Give it up.
Give me all the loving you got.
Give it to me honey while it’s still hot.
Come on baby give it give it up.

Give it up.

I don’t know if I’ll ever, ever be the same.
But I got nobody but myself to blame.
Girl, I’ve got to make you stay.

Give it up, give it up.
Give me all the loving you got.
Give it to me while it’s still hot.
Come on baby give it give it up.

Give it up, give it up.
Give me all the loving you got.
Give it to me honey while it’s still hot.
Come on baby, give it, give it up….

In the English language there is a saying that goes “strike while the iron is still hot.” The saying comes from the wisdom of blacksmiths to strike a hot piece of metal, especially iron, with a mallet or other tool before it cools, while it is still hot enough to be shaped. As a saying, “strike while the iron is still hot,” has come to mean to act on an opportunity promptly while favorable conditions exist; to avoid waiting. Colin James song, “Give It Up,” is a song about striking while the iron is still hot. Noticing that there is a hot spark when two lovers kiss is an auspicious signal of desire strong enough to kindle a lasting fire between them. And while there are other qualities that are important to discern before one ties the knot, such as trustworthiness and respect, without some noticeable expression of desire most people who start dating will decide it is better to “just be friends.” For the tracks on Sudden Stop, Colin James won the 1991 Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year. (A feat he would repeat in 1996 for his blues album, Bad Habits).

Since Sudden Stop, Colin James has released four neo-swing albums between 1993 and 2007 by Colin James and the Little Big Band. Of these, James won a 1998 Juno Award for Best Producer for a number of tracks on Colin James and the Little Big Band II. That year he also won a Juno Award for Best Blues Album for National Steel. James backing band has included several members of the Vancouver indie-rock band The Odds. As of 2017, Colin James has released fifteen studio albums. He has also made a guest appearance in 2005 in the Canadian TV sitcom Corner Gas.

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