Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"Almost Paradise...Love Theme from Footloose" by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1900
Date:  05/12/1984
Debut:  65
Peak:  7
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, Soundtrack, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  For the movie Footloose, screenwriter Dean Pitchford co-wrote all the songs for the soundtrack and enlisted various artists to perform them. For this ballad, Pitchford reached out to the lead singers of two highly successful rock bands and got them together for a duet. Neither Mike Reno (of Loverboy) or Ann Wilson (of Heart) had ever gone solo or done other projects outside of their respective bands, but the combination of their voices seemed to be ideal for the tune. It would end up being the fifth single released from the Footloose soundtrack. The film was a long-lasting hit and that helped this single get into the Pop Top 10. It did even better at AC where it topped the chart for a week. Over time, the soundtrack would eventually sell nine million copies in the US.

ReduxReview:  I have to say that back in the day, I really liked this song. It was a very pretty, well-written tune that was destined to be a hit - and a potential wedding staple. I still appreciate it, especially the vocal work by Reno and Wilson, but it doesn't grab my ears anymore. Perhaps I just got worn out on it after a bazillion plays on the radio. Regardless, it's still a lovely tune. I'd just rather hear the singers fronting their bands instead of doing a googly-eyed 80s love theme.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  There are many cases where the lead singers of popular bands parlay the success into solo careers. That certainly could have been the case with Reno and Wilson following this hit. Neither artist had really strayed from their respective bands, especially for solo stardom, so this hit could have served as the launching pad for either of them to do so. But they did not. After the hit faded, both Reno and Wilson returned to their bands and continued on. It would be years before either artist would step out on their own for a solo recording. Reno initially did a solo album in 1992, but it got shelved by the label. It would officially see the light of day in 2002. Wilson released a solo covers disc in 2007 titled Hope & Glory. It featured guest appearances by several artists including Elton John, k.d. lang, Wynonna Judd, and Alison Krauss.


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