Sunday, July 22, 2018

"Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister

#1 Alert!
Song#:  2472
Date:  09/21/1985
Debut:  84
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's debut album I Wear the Face wasn't a hit, but it did get them noticed and the #57 showing of their single "Hunters of the Night" was enough to keep their label interested for a second album. The band, led by Richard Page, then came up with Welcome to the Real World and this track was issued out as the first single. It made a steady climb up the Pop chart until finally reaching the #1 spot for a couple of weeks. The song would also get to #3 at AC and #4 Pop. Grammy folks took notice of the hit and the band was given a nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.

ReduxReview:  This moody song has a mystical aura about it that hits just the right tone thanks to strongly written verses and a hooky chorus. The production is top-notch and it still sounds excellent even today. It was a bit risky to push this dark tune out as the first single. It seems like it would have been safer to make it single #2, which is what the label wanted, but apparently the band lobbied hard for it to go out first and the gamble paid off. The song stood out on radio and it got people's attention, as did the MTV video with all of its bird imagery. It certainly caught my ear back then and I still love to hear this every now and then.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The lyrics for this song were inspired by a novel by Lebanese-American poet/writer Khalil Gibran. His 1912 work Broken Wings was a tragic love story set it Beirut. It was written eleven years before his most famous work, 1923's The Prophet. It's been said that Paul McCartney also used Khalil's Broken Wings as inspiration for his song "Blackbird" from The Beatles' self-titled 1968 album (aka The White Album). While the themes in McCartney's song could also apply to Khalil's work and "broken wings" is in the song lyrics, it seems plausible that McCartney could have had the book in mind at the time, but he has never confirmed the rumor. However, both "Blackbird" and Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings" do contain the same lyric line of "take these broken wings and learn to fly."


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