That’s because the chorus consists entirely of that single phrase: “I’m breaking away. Hoo-ooo.”
Twenty-three times if my ear doesn’t deceive me in a song that is only 3-minutes and 14-seconds long.
But “Breaking Away” has so many trademark 1980s sounds, it sounds like it was made in the 1980s Pop Hits Factory somewhere outside Los Angeles, California (even though Balance formed in New York City).
Big drums. Check.
Punchy analog keyboard flourishes. Check.
Piano and keyboard dueling for prominence in the mix. Double check.
Three-part harmonies in the chorus. Triple check.
And a passionate vocal performance by lead singer, Peppy Castro. With a name like Peppy, it’s probably impossible to sing without passion.
It was 1980s gold as “Breaking Away” hit number 22 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1980, making Balance a one-hit wonder.
Listen to Breaking Away by Balance
Balance soon broke away from the radio, concert halls and memories of top 40 radio listeners. That’s the one-hit wonder story. A hit today, then you’re breaking away into oblivion. But hey, at least they had one hit.
Bonus trivia: guitarist Bob Kulick went on to play guitar on several studio albums with Kiss and his younger brother, Bruce Kulick, became lead guitarist for Kiss for 12 years in the mid-1980s. Balance drummer, Chuck Burgi, has enjoyed a long, successful career as a studio musician and has played in Billy Joel’s band since 2005.