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Can't We Try

by

Dan Hill



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Ten years after achieving Easy Listening domination with his hit "Sometimes When We Touch," Dan Hill struck back with "Can't We Try," which Billboard named the #1 Adult Contemporary song of 1987. Unlike "Sometimes When We Touch," which is a love song written for a girl, "Can't We Try" is about a couple going through problems in their relationship as the passion dwindles away and the intimacy dries up. Hill was an established songwriter at this point, but his solo career was waning in the '80s before he released this song. It turned out to be the first of four Adult Contemporary hits for Hill in that period, as he also scored with "Never Thought (That I Could Love)," "Carmelia" and Unborn Heart."
Dan Hill's wife, Beverly, got a songwriting credit on this one. She is also credited on the song "(Can This Be) Real Love."
This was a duet with Vonda Shepard, who would go on to fame as the musical voice of the hit TV show Ally McBeal. She was 23 years old and working as a backup singer when she got the opportunity to record the song in 1986. In our interview with Vonda, she explained: "Dan Hill was recording at a place 5 blocks from my house in Los Angeles, and I used to go there and work sometimes. The studio manager was a woman who knew me. They were auditioning singers and he wasn't happy with any of them, and she said, 'You should check out this girl, Vonda. She's really good. She always plays at this little club here.' She had my number, so she called me. I literally walked to the studio that day, auditioned, sang with him, and he said, 'That's great. Come back tomorrow.' And that was the 4th of July. I just have such a visual of that. The 4th of July, went up to the studio again and recorded the song. Totally fun and easy and he was great to work with. We really only met once or twice, that's the irony of it.

I was on the road with Al Jarreau, and the bus driver was playing the radio. And all of a sudden, there my voice comes - there's Dan Hill and then my voice coming over the radio. It became a huge hit and I was on the road, so I had to fly home and do a video on an off day. We shot the video, and I flew back out on the road with Al. And then eventually I got my record deal on Warner Brothers."
Dan Hill
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