Sunday, January 6, 2019

"Heart's on Fire" by John Cafferty

Song#:  2640
Date:  03/01/1986
Debut:  88
Peak:  76
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  The soundtrack to Sylvester Stallone's Rocky IV had three hits still in the Pop Top 40 when this fourth track from the album was issued out. Survivor's "Burning Heart" and James Brown's "Living in America" were already Top 10'ers (#2 and #4, respectively) and Robert Tepper's "No Easy Way Out" was on its way to #22. Hopes were high that this song would join those three in the upper reaches of the Pop chart. Unfortunately, it couldn't gain an audience and the tune dropped off the chart after a short month and a half. Oddly, the track didn't make it on to the Rock chart where Cafferty and his Beaver Brown Band had previously scored four Top 10 hits. Although performed by Cafferty and his band, the song was credited as a Cafferty solo song.

ReduxReview:  I imagine the reason this ended up a solo Cafferty credit instead of with his band is because it sounds nothing like the heartland retro-rock they had been pushing out the previous few years. This was a pumped up 80s rock number with screaming synths, big production, and an arena-ready hook. I thought it was a pretty good track, but it may have been just a bit over the top for pop radio. At least it worked well in the film being played over a training session.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was co-written by Vince DiCola, Joe Esposito, and Ed FrugĂ©, and was produced by DiCola and FrugĂ©. DiCola got involved with the Stallone family when he was chosen to co-write songs with Frank Stallone for the soundtrack to the Sylvester Stallone-directed Staying Alive. One of the tracks from the album, "Far From Over," which was co-written by DiCola and Frank Stallone, would be a #10 hit for Stallone in 1983. DiCola would get a Grammy nomination for his work on the score and a Golden Globe nomination for the song. DiCola then went on to co-write a couple of songs and compose the instrumental score to Rocky IV. This time around he would win an award, but probably not one he wanted. He received a Golden Raspberry award for Worst Musical Score for Rocky IV.


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