80’s Flashback

Chaka Khan, I Feel For You, 1984. Lots of folks covered this track from Prince’s 1979 debut second album, including Rebbie Jackson, the Timberlake-Spears edition of the Mouseketeers, and the Pointer Sisters, whose limp 1982 version was particularly forgettable. But it was Chaka Khan who used the track to rocket out of her post-Rufus doldrums and return to the pop Top Ten for the first time since 1975’s classic Sweet Thing, reaching #3 Pop, #1 UK, #1 Dance, and #1 R&B. The opening rap by Melle Mel was famously a studio mistake by producer Arif Mardin, who meant for it to appear at the break. But that mistake provided (what I’ve read, but cannot document for this post) the only instance of a #1 song on any major chart that begins with the name of the artist. I Feel For You also triggered a years-long run of chart-topping Prince covers by other female artists such as Sheila E, the Bangles, Sheena Easton, and Sinead O’Connor.