The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) today inducted the 1978 hit song “I Just Wanna Stop” a co-operative effort of three Italian-Canadian brothers from Montreal. Written by Ross Vannelli, sung by older brother Gino, and produced and arranged by Ross, Gino and brother Joe, the song made it to No. 1 in Canada. The induction is celebrated with a tribute performance by Beyries for the Hall of Fame’s Covered Classics series.
Gino and Joe moved to Los Angeles, where they recorded Ross’s I Just Wanna Stop for their appropriately-named 1978 “Brother to Brother” album for A&M. Gino declared that the first time he heard Ross play it, “It just sounded like a hit to me and I started working it with the band.”
I Just Wanna Stop is about a man reflecting longingly upon a past love. Backing singers and a plaintive saxophone break lend a bluesy feel; Gino told an interviewer, “When the back vocals were done…everyone realized that it could be a big hit, because it had that vibe to it, that spark to it.”
The Vannelli’s hit single I Just Wanna Stop was well received in both the United States and Canada in the late seventies. Having been included in the brothers’ album “Brother to Brother”, the hit single assisted in selling over one million copies by 1979 and dominating the North American charts. In the United States, I Just Wanna Stop reached No. 4 on the Adult Contemporary chart and Hot 100 Singles, whilst in Canada, the hit reached the No. 1 spot on the RPM Top 100 singles and N. 6 on the CHUM chart. The song earned Gino the male vocalist of the year Juno award, and a Grammy nomination for best pop male vocalist (which he lost to Barry Manilow). “Brother to Brother” won Gino, Ross and Joe the Juno for producer of the year.
Ross Vannelli, born in Montreal in March 1956, is a successful songwriter and music producer with almost 300 songs to his credit. In addition to his Juno award, he holds an ASCAP Film and Television Music Award and a Grammy nomination. His Surrender to Me, from the motion picture “Tequila Sunrise,” earned a BMI award. Ross Vannelli’s music has been recorded by top artists including Kim Carnes; Céline Dion; Earth, Wind and Fire; Lara Fabian; and Kanye West.
In the video below, watch Beyries perform her interpretation of I Just Wanna Stop, as part of the song’s induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame!