Lots of hits and lots of memories, in no particular order
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
1985: How sorry you were
The Eighties: natural home of the power ballad.
You can bellow all you like over a film's end credits today, it won't be a patch on what we were hearing back then. Love them or hate them, however, there's no ignoring them.
Though I openly despised everything from Berlin's Take My Breath Away (never off the radio), to Patti Labelle & Michael McDonald's On My Own ('we were already talking divorce - and we weren't even married!') to Up Where We Belong (odd hands on Top Of The Pops), I had a surprise soft spot for this number.
To Smiths-loving, Sixties-obsessed, chart pop fan me, Phil Collins was the total anti-Christ, especially after the year he'd just had, dominating the charts with his nasty bubbling pop monstrosities, and I'd never even heard of Marilyn Martin. Needless to say, it was a big ballad with a big production tacked onto a big film, in this case, the very silly but Mrs P fave White Nights, starring Gregory Hines and ballet boy Mikhail Baryshnikov - and to my utter horror, I loved it. Still do. I love the beginning, it's so unusual, and then it builds to this tragic sing-off in which no one wins. I'm filling up here.
I have to say, as time goes by, I now have lots of time for all this shit. I never thought I'd see the day when I was belting out Roxette's It Must Have Been Love in the car, but frankly it moves me almost to tears it's so beautiful. Same for Take My Breath Away. I'm no longer a music snob of course, which helps, so Bon Jovi's Blaze Of Glory is on my karaoke most-wanted list and - gulp! - it was even refreshing to hear Whitney's I Will Always Love You after her death. But let's not go mad. Sorry Celine, you're barred.
We all have room in our life for a power ballad, don't we, especially if it's from a cheesy film from the Eighties. Singing along at the top of your voice, knowing the words despite never owning the damn record is not only a briliant wave of nostalgia, it's also quite uplifting. If you stick your head out of the window right now, you'll just me hitting the top notes on Heart's Alone.
So what's your favourite?