Too much, too little, too late – Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams

1978 y por extensión, el año siguiente, fueron testigos del dominio de la música disco en las listas norteamericanas. Liderados por Bee Gees o Donna Summer, y por bandas sonoras de Fiebre del sábado noche o de Grease, toda una generación bailaba y compraba casi compulsivamente este tipo de música.

En medio de esta “fiebre” también hubo un pequeño hueco para un dueto delicioso, titulado Too much, too little, too late, interpretado por el veterano Johnny Mathis y por la artista de R&B, Deniece Williams.

Mathis, de origen tejano,pero afincado desde jovencito en San Francisco,  había vivido sus mejores momentos en los 50 y 60. Con grandes aptitudes para el deporte (estuvo a punto de ir a las Olimpiadas de Melbourne, en 1956), se decantó finalmente por proseguir con su carrera musical.

Su presencia en televisión (en aquel famoso Ed Sullivan Show) en 1957 fue el comienzo de una brillante andadura musical en la que consiguió, pese a que el dato no sea conocido por muchos, ser el tercer artista más vendedor de álbumes en EEUU, tras Elvis Presley y Frank Sinatra.


La primavera de 1978 fue testigo del lanzamiento del álbum de Johnny Mathis, titulado You light up my life. En él se incluía el tema Too much, too little, too late, interpretado a dúo con la artista de Gary, Indiana, Deniece Williams, y que sirvió como adelanto del trabajo de Johnny Mathis.

El single debutó en el Hot 100 la semana del 1 de abril, y en prácticamente dos meses, se aupaba al número 1 de los éxitos más importantes en EEUU, en la semana del 3 de junio de 1978, arrebatándole el puesto de honor a la hermosa With a little luck, del proyecto Wings, liderado por el ex-beatle Paul McCartney.

mathis williams too much

Además, la repercusión fue más allá, pues dominó los distintos géneros: el 1 en la antigua Easy Listening (después, Adult Contemporary), la semana del 20 de mayo, y el 1, por cuatro semanas, de la R&B Singles, a partir de mediados de abril de 1978.

En UK el éxito fue similar, pues alcanzó un estupendo número 3 de la UK Singles en la semana del 13 de mayo, sólo superados por Rivers of Babylon, de Boney M, en el 1, y por Night fever, de Bee Gees (intratables, por entonces), en el 2.

Además, el álbum You light up my life, que acabó siendo platino, llegó al 3 en la lista de álbumes británica, en la que, por mayo, aún triunfaban Bee Gees con la banda sonora “de la fiebre”.

Para Deniece Williams, este tema fue su primer número 1 en el Hot 100, y para Mathis, además del primero en más de 20 años (Chances are, en 1957), fue el inicio de una serie de duetos con grandes artistas, como Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight o Natalie Cole, además del comienzo de una verdadera y longeva amistad con Deniece,  demostrando, como dice el tango, que “veinte años no es nada”.


Too much, too little, too late – Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams




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