Sunday, April 7, 2019

"Divided Hearts" by Kim Carnes

Song#:  2731
Date:  05/24/1986
Debut:  93
Peak:  79
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Carnes' 1985 LP Barking at Airplanes contained the #15 Pop entry "Crazy in the Night (Barking at Airplanes)." It was her biggest hit since her massive 1981 #1 "Bette Davis Eyes." With that favorable return to the chart, Carnes set out to capitalize on that momentum with her tenth album, Light House. For the LP, Carnes reunited with Val Garay, who had produced her #1 album Mistaken Identity, which featured "Bette Davis Eyes," and its 1982 follow-up Voyeur. Hopes were high for this first single, but it was unable to gain an audience and the record stalled near the bottom of the chart. A follow-up single failed to do anything and that doomed the album to a low #116 peak - Carnes' worst result since 1979. The song would be her last to chart at Pop and the album would be as well. Over the next couple of years, Carnes would change labels to MCA Records and deliver the more country-oriented LP View from the House in 1988. The album reunited her with Jimmy Bowen, who produced Carnes' 1971 self-titled debut. The disc would be a mild hit at Country reaching #35 and the its first single, "Crazy in Love," would reach #13 AC and #68 Country. Carnes would record a couple more solo albums over the years, but it would be her songwriting that would become her bread-n-butter after her 80's solo days (see below).

ReduxReview:  The production by Garay is notable on this single and the rest of the album as it's not too far off from the work he had previously done with Carnes. It's a bit denser than some of Carnes' previous outings and her rock side gets boosted on a few tracks. The problem is that Carnes got herself tagged as a synthpop diva so this first single is a continued reflection of that. Unfortunately, it's not the catchiest thing she's ever done. I like the tune just fine, but it was not something that was going to race up the Pop chart. Sadly, her more rock-country side that was apparent in tunes on Mistaken Identity never got pushed out as singles due to "Bette Davis Eyes" and so potential hits on Light House like "I'd Lie to You for Your Love" never got a fair shake. The album was more rock-oriented, but this first single wasn't a good representation of that. I think it was meant as a sort of bridge tune between synthpop and a fuller rock sound, but it just wasn't the right song. Carnes has been and will always be one of my favorite artists and I wish she would have been able to score a couple of more hits and stuck around on the charts longer as a solo artist.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) After her View from the House album, Carnes started to make a transition from hit maker to songwriter. Her first major songwriting success outside of her own recordings and other artists doing covers was the 1993 #1 hit "The Heart Won't Lie" by Reba McEntire with Vince Gill. Carnes co-wrote the song with Donna Weiss (who had co-written "Bette Davis Eyes" with Jackie DeShannon). With that success, other artists came calling and Carnes would help to supply songs to stars like Pam Tillis, Deana Carter, Matraca Berg, Tim McGraw, Mindy McCready, Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis, Kenny Rogers, and others.  2) The second single from Light House was "I'd Lie to You for Your Love (And That's the Truth)." This was a remake of a song originally recorded by the Toronto-based rock band Champion in 1984. Their self-titled debut album contained the song, which was written by Frankie Miller and Jeff Berry, and it was issued out as a single. Neither the album or single made an impression. Michigan rocker Danny Spanos recorded the song and his 1985 version was a minor Rock chart entry at #42. The song was then picked up by star country duo The Bellamy Brothers. The brothers (David and Howard) added their own touches to the song, picked up songwriting credits, pushed it out as a single and it reached #2 on the Country chart in 1985. Carnes' version of the tune was unable to chart.


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