Dead Giveaway – Shalamar | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#22) & R&B (#10); 1983

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

In 1977 Shalamar racked up two R&B chart singles; Uptown Festival and Ooh Baby, Baby. There was just one problem: there was no Shalamar. The hits had been recorded by anonymous studio musicians.

By the group’s second album – Disco Gardens – the singers behind the name were Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniels, and Gerald Brown. That incarnation of Shalamar produced Take That To The Bank (#11 R&B; 1979). One more change was in order before the group’s breakthrough; Howard Hewett replaced Brown.

With the classic line-up in place, Shalamar immediately scored with The Second Time Around (#1 R&B/#8 Pop/#1 Dance; 1980). Three of their next four albums went gold although intra-band strife was rampant.

Shalamar’s last big success came in 1983 with The Look and its #10 R&B single, Dead Giveaway. Written by keyboardist/arrangers Marquis Dair and Joey Gallo, and long-time producer Leon Sylvers III, Giveaway was Shalamar’s last Top 10 single and Watley and Daniels’ swan song with the band.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Leon Sylvers III

Lyrics Written by:

  • Joey Gallo
  • Leon Sylvers III
  • Marquis Dair