The short-lived 80s Alt-Rock band Bourgeois Tagg (led by Brent Bourgeois and Larry Tagg, hence the name) formed in Sacramento, CA in 1984, along with guitarist Lyle Workman, drummer Michael Urbano and keyboardist Scott Moon. Brent Bourgeois also played keyboards and Larry Tagg played bass, while both Bourgeois and Tagg shared the lead vocals.
The band released 2 albums, starting with 1986’s self-titled effort, which featured a favorite of mine, “Mutual Surrender (What A Wonderful World),” which spent a week at No. 62 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in May 1986 and 10 total weeks on the chart. Their second album, 1987’s YOYO, was produced by Todd Rundgren, who had just worked with XTC on their brilliant 1986 album, SKYLARKING. And it was Todd Rundgren who helped get Bourgeois Tagg their first Top 40 hit.
The band’s second BILLBOARD Hot 100 hit, “I Don’t Mind At All” (from the album, YOYO), debuted at No. 89 in October 1987, the same week of some other major debuting singles, like “Learning To Fly” by Pink Floyd, the remix of “Valerie” by Steve Winwood, The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” (which would go on to become their first U.S. Top 40 hit), Def Leppard’s “Animal,” and the highest debut of the week, Sting’s “We’ll Be Together.”
Like their first hit, “Mutual Surrender,” “I Don’t Mind At All” didn’t mind making the slow but steady climb up the Hot 100, and in 5 weeks, surpassed the peak of “Mutual Surrender.” A few weeks before Christmas 1987, “I Don’t Mind At All” spent a week at its peak position of No. 38, and stuck around until the end of January 1988, for a total of 17 weeks, which isn’t bad considering some No. 1 songs don’t stick around for that long. It also reached the Top 40 in Canada.
The following year, the band worked with Todd Rundgren again, this time on Todd’s album, NEARLY HUMAN. But that was it for Bourgeois Tagg. Everyone in the band went their separate ways, while Brent Bourgeois managed to score a Top 40 hit of his own in June 1990, “Dare To Fall In Love,” which stopped at No. 32 on the Hot 100.
These days, Brent Bourgeois is involved with the Contemporary Christian Music scene, and released an album a couple of years ago, titled DON’T LOOK BACK, his first album in 20 years, and featured people he had worked with in the past, like Todd Rundgren, Julian Lennon, Charlie Peacock and the other members of his old band.
When I think of Bourgeois Tagg, though, I think of the Alt-Rock gem “Mutual Surrender” and “I Don’t Mind At All,” that gorgeous, 2-and-a-half minute acoustic and string-driven Top 40 oddity that doesn’t happen very often. But, when it does happen, I don’t mind at all…