Saturday, February 16, 2019

"If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)" by Bonnie Tyler

Song#:  2681
Date:  04/12/1986
Debut:  96
Peak:  77
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  With the help of songwriter/producer Jim Steinman, Tyler roared to the top of the Pop chart with her 1983 classic "Total Eclipse of the Heart." The hit helped her album, Faster Than the Speed of Night, reach platinum sales. Tyler and Steinman then began working on a follow-up album and what was to be the first single, "Holding Out for a Hero," became part of the Footloose soundtrack in 1984 (#34 Pop). But then no album was issued. It took nearly two years for Steinman and Tyler to finally assemble and record Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire. It contained "Holding Out for a Hero" and although the song had been release two years prior, it was still considered the LP's first single. The next song to be pushed out as a single was a duet with Todd Rundgren titled "Loving You's a Dirty Job But Somebody's Gotta Do It." The tune would scrape the UK chart at #73, but it was a total non-starter in the US getting nowhere. Then this third single got issued. This time it did make the US Pop chart, but stayed mainly in the basement. It did nearly the equivalent in the UK (#78). With little to promote the album, it stalled at a low #106 in the US and disappeared quickly. The single and album would be Tyler's last to reach a US chart. She would continue to record over the years and have some success in various countries, but she was never able to replicate the results of "Total" or her 1977 #10 hit "It's a Heartache" in the US again.

ReduxReview:  By this point in time, folks were kind of done with the big Steinman epics. The lengthy tunes were getting to sound the same; just more overblown. Once in a while his theatrics were kind of fun. (He'd have another successful period from '93-'96 with Celine Dion's #2 "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" and Meat Loaf's #1 "I Would Do Anything for Love.") So it wasn't a big shock that "Loving You's a Dirty Job" tanked. It just wasn't in the same league as his other epics. In fact, it was quite forgettable - and that is saying something for a Steinman tune. He didn't write this song (see below), but what he did was put his own production spin on it to make it sound nearly as grand as one of his own compositions. It kind of works. It's a strong song with a good arena-ready chorus, but I think it would have been better with a more straight-ahead hard rock arrangement. Also going against Tyler was the lost time between her two albums. This one should have been released right when "Hero" was issued out. It came down to timing and material and Tyler just didn't have either for this album.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Steinman would write four songs for the album. He reached out to others to help fill out the album including Desmond Child, who wrote this song. Child had some minor success with his group Rouge in the late 70s ("Our Love Is Insane," 1979, #51), but it was his songwriting abilities that started to get attention. He wrote key tracks for Kiss ("I Was Made for Lovin' You," 1979, #11) and for Cher's 1982 album I Paralyze. His real breakout year would be 1986 when he would co-write huge hits for Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet album. He would continue to work with all these artists over the years including Tyler. Child would produce her 1988 album Hide Your Heart (released as Notes from America in the US). It would include two songs that would end up being hits for other artists. The Desmond Child/Diane Warren-penned "Save Up All Your Tears" was a non-charting single for Tyler that ended up being a #37 Pop/#16 AC hit for Cher in 1991. Also on Tyler's album was the Mike Chapman/Holly Knight tune "The Best." Tyler's original version would barely scrape the UK chart (#95), but in 1989 Tina Turner would cover the tune and take it to #5 in the UK and #15 in the US.



  1. I guess I wasn't tired of epic Steinman songs, 'cos I love it! But I agree it wasn't a great pop single. Funny what Child did when the song tanked, just reworked it a bit for Bon Jovi.

    1. Yeah, I think he learned that trick from Steinman. He was a master at recycling tunes.