Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"What About Love" by Heart

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2349
Date:  06/01/1985
Debut:  73
Peak:  10
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After a string of multi-platinum albums in the 70s, the future didn't look all that bright for Heart as the 80s began. Although a combo hits/live disc produced their second Pop Top 10 with "Tell It Like It Is," their next two studio albums did poorly in comparison with the rest of their catalog and couldn't even reach gold-level sales. The band and their label, Epic, were at odds as well which didn't help matters. They knew they had to make changes if they were going to be relevant again, so Heart jumped ship and went over to Capitol Records in order to flesh out a new path. Their resulting self-titled first album for the label was a significant change for the band. Taking the place of their typical hard rock sound with folk edges were mainstream AOR tracks with several of them written by outside writers. Their look also got glammed up and made them ready for MTV. When this big ballad first single came out, the song and the video certainly turned heads. This wasn't the Heart of the 70s. Some older fans balked, but a younger generation latched on to the tune and it wasn't long before the single became their third to hit the Pop Top 10 while getting to #3 Rock. It was a major comeback for the band and showed that they were ready to take on the 80s.

ReduxReview:  I had been up-n-down with Heart for a while when this song came out. While I loved some of their 70s hits, their 80s material was just lacking and like many folks I had pretty much written off the band. Then this tune hit the airwaves. It was a big blast of mainstream rock that revived the band from their near-death status. Yeah, it wasn't the Heart of old and it was a total stab at MTV/pop radio commercialism, but it fit the band quite well. It was a reinvention that completely worked. I jumped right back on the Heart train and enjoyed the ride. Although I'd step back off in a few years, I would later revisit their catalog and became a huge fan. Although I love their early albums like Little Queen and Dog and Butterfly, their 2010 LP Red Velvet Car became a big favorite of mine.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Technically, this is not a remake, but the song was originally recorded by the Canadian band Toronto. Written by band members Brian Allen and Sheron Alton with Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams' writing partner), the song was recorded during sessions for their third album, 1982's Get It on Credit. When it came time to select the tracks that would appear on the LP, this one was left in the dust, much to the dismay of Allen and Alton. However, the album did include the band's biggest hit, the Canadian #5 "Your Daddy Don't Know," which would end up being their lone entry on the US Pop chart getting to #77. Allen and Alton would leave the band later in '84. They still believed in this song and got a publishing company to hawk the song. It ended up in Heart's lap and they scored a comeback hit. Toronto's original version would later see the light of day as a bonus track on reissues of their albums.


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