Monday, October 3, 2016

"Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler

Song#:  1807
Date:  02/25/1984
Debut:  84
Peak:  34
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  For his music-based film Footloose, screenwriter Dean Pitchford worked with several songwriters to co-write the tunes for the soundtrack. One of those songwriters was Jim Steinman, who had written and produced epic singles for Bonnie Tyler, Air Supply, and others. After the pair came up with "Holding Out for a Hero," a vocalist was needed so Steinman suggested Tyler might be a good fit. With Steinman producing, Tyler tore through this anxious tune and it made it to the film and its soundtrack. While Kenny Loggins' title-track hit was still climbing its way to #1, this song was issued as the second single from the soundtrack. It got as far as the Top 40, but then sputtered out. However, it would later become a big hit in the UK reaching #2.

ReduxReview:  I loved this massively overproduced tune when it came out and thought for sure it would be a big hit. Pitchford seemed to think the same thing since it became the second single issued from the soundtrack. Unfortunately it fell short of expectations. It's just a guess, but I'm thinking that folks were tiring of Steinman's bombastic compositions and this one was just way over the top. Steinman used everything but the kitchen sink for this one. It was a loud, dense workout that practically made listeners tired by the end. Surprisingly, this song has gained a bigger audience over the years thanks to its use in TV shows, films, and commercials. I think it ended up being more popular over time than when it first came out. It's still an exciting, yet exhausting song.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  As Jim Steinman often did, a portion of this song is recycled from another one of his compositions. The instrumental sections (mainly the keyboard riff with the "do-do-do" vocals) were lifted from Steinman's 1981 tune "Stark Raving Love." Originally written for a Meat Loaf that didn't happen, Steinman recorded "Stark Raving Love" for his solo disc Bad for Good. That LP featured Steinman's only solo charting single, "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" (#32).


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