Saturday, February 27, 2016

"How Can I Refuse" by Heart

Song#:  1564
Date:  08/13/1983
Debut:  84
Peak:  44
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After finding major success in the late 70s, Heart's career was in a slump as the 80s marched on. Their album Private Audition couldn't produce a significant hit with only "This Man Is Mine" (#33 Pop, #16 Rock) getting any attention. It doomed the self-produced album which became their first studio recording to miss the gold mark. Their label, Epic, was not happy with the results and pushed them back into the studio under the guidance of producer Keith Olsen. Passionworks was meant to right the ship and indeed it seemed on course with this first single hitting #1 at Rock (it would be their only song to ever do so). But a tepid response at Pop for the tune and lackluster critical reviews of the album began to sink it. Epic seemed to lose interest as well with the band stating that little was done to promote the album. It would end up being the band's lowest peaking LP up to that point reaching #39.

ReduxReview:  The band was not producing their best material around this time, but there were exceptions like this song. It definitely had fans as Rock radio sent it to #1, but why it failed at Pop is a mystery. I wouldn't say it was Top 10 material, but it's a terrific song that deserved to do better. I think this tune also shows they were moving towards more mainstream rock and certain flourishes gave hints as to the direction their next LP would successfully take.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Earlier in the 80s, Heart's Nancy Wilson was introduced to an up-and-coming screenwriter named Cameron Crowe. While they were dating, Crowe's debut screenplay effort, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, was being filmed. He got Wilson a teeny part in the movie as the "beautiful girl in a car." The pair continued their relationship and were eventually married in 1986. Wilson gave birth to twins in 2000, but then the couple separated in 2008. Two years later, their divorce was final.


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