Can't We Try

Album: Dan Hill (1987)
Charted: 6
  • 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 five 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."
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Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1987 {September 19th} Dan Hill performed "Can't We Try"* on the nationally syndicated Saturday-afternoon television program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time "Can't We Try" was at position #7 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, the week before it had peaked at #6 and it spent twenty four weeks on the Top 100...
    And on July 5th, 1987 it peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, the first two weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston, and for it's third week at #2, "Moonlighting (Theme)" by Al Jarreau was in the top spot...
    Between 1975 and 1987 the Toronto, Canada native had six records on the Top 100 chart, two made the Top 10, the above " Can't We Try" and "Sometimes When We Touch" {#3 for 2 weeks in 1978}...
    Dan Hill, born Daniel Grafton Hill IV, celebrated his 65th birthday three months ago on June 3rd, 2019...
    * As noted above, "Can't We Try" was a duet Vonda Shepard...
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