Friday, May 8, 2020

"Alone" by Heart

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3127
Date:  05/16/1987
Debut:  53
Peak:  1 (3 weeks)
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Heart made a massive, surprise comeback to the charts with their 1985 self-titled album. It became their biggest studio effort hitting #1 and selling over five million copies thanks to four Pop Top 10 hits including the #1 "These Dream." The LP's success was due in part to a glam rock makeover, a new producer, and material by outside writers that moved the band in a more mainstream pop/rock direction. For a follow-up, the band stuck with the same formula retaining Nevison and securing some songs from A-list writers. The first single out of the gate with this big power ballad written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg. It crashed onto the Pop chart near the halfway mark and then made a beeline for the top where it spent three weeks. The tune also got to #2 at AC and #3 Rock. It would end up being the band's biggest hit and the second biggest charting single of 1987 (surpassed only by The Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian").

ReduxReview:  The band could have made the safe choice and released an uptempo rock tune to introduce the album, but instead they went for the jugular right out of the gate and pushed out this giant. It was a big, bold ballad that featured a massive production and huge vocals from Ann Wilson. It was a perfect single for the late 80s and the band was rewarded with a #1 hit. After a couple of false starts (see below) and some minor rewrites, the tune finally got a chance to shine with Heart and it has been a radio staple ever since.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Heart was actually the third artist to record this song. Writers Steinberg and Kelly first recorded the song themselves in 1983. Under the name I-Ten, the pair recorded the song for their one and only album titled Taking a Cold Look. The tune was not released as a single and the album quickly came and went to little notice. The song was then picked up for use in the 1984 CBS sitcom Dreams that starred John Stamos and Jamie Gertz. The show was about a fictional band who were trying to secure a recording contract. "Alone" was used in the show and sung by Stamos and Valerie Stevenson. It was included on a soundtrack album that featured songs from the show. Twelve episodes of Dreams were filmed, but the show was cancelled after only five were aired. The song then got to Heart who made it a #1 hit. In 2004, American Idol contestant Carrie Underwood would give new life to the song when she sang it for the Top 11 show. Underwood had been doing well, but her performance of the song made Simon Cowell predict she would win the competition and sell more records than any other winner. He was right on both parts. Underwood did win that season of the show and she would eventually outsell the show's first winner Kelly Clarkson. In 2007, superstar Celine Dion would cover the tune for her album Taking Chances. She would release the tune as a single, but it would fail to make the US Pop chart.


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