Monday, October 29, 2018

"Kyrie" by Mr. Mister

#1 Alert!
Song#:  2573
Date:  12/21/1985
Debut:  61
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  The band got their first #1 with "Broken Wings," the lead single from their second album Welcome to the Real World. This next track would give them their second chart topper. It would also reach #1 at Rock and #11 AC. Based on the strength of this song, their album would finally make it to the #1 spot in March of '86 the week before Whitney Houston's debut LP would start it's run at the top. The album would soon be certified platinum.

ReduxReview:  With this song, Mr. Mister cranked out two outstanding back-to-back #1's, which was a pretty rare feat for band whose first album was barely a blip on the chart. It was quite impressive and seemed to signal that they had the goods to make it. Yet the band virtually imploded with their next album. At least they had these two iconic songs from the 80s. I just remember picking up the single of this song and pissed to find out that it had an edited fade-out ending instead of the original a cappella ending. I then had to buy the album. Besides the two #1's, not much on the LP interested me and it quickly got set aside. I loved the opening of this song. It really set a tone just as the opening of "Broken Wings" did. The chorus is terrific and gets even better after a "whoa-whoa" bridge and key change into a big arena rock hand clap moment. The song was spot-on and I still enjoy hearing it.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Music for this song was written by band members Richart Page and Steve George while the lyrics were done by John Lang. Lang, who is Page's cousin, co-wrote all but one of the songs on Welcome to the Real World and all of the songs on their debut LP I Wear the Face. The phrase that starts the chorus, "kyrie eleison," is Greek for "Lord, have mercy." Although Mr. Mister were not considered a Christian band, the lyrics to a few of their songs had spiritual elements. At the time this song came out, many listeners didn't know what "kyrie eleison" meant and even though the song was titled "Kyrie," they had trouble figuring out the chorus lyrics. This led to the song have a lot of "misheard lyrics" associated with it. A common one was that the chorus was "carry a laser down the road that I must travel." Others heard "carry an angel" while some thought it was the name Carrie. Whatever they heard, they all made it a #1 song. What's funny is that many folks who sang along to the song had no idea they were really singing "Lord, have mercy"... including atheists.


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