Thursday, August 4, 2022

"Now You're in Heaven" by Julian Lennon

Song#:  3894
Date:  05/13/1989
Debut:  93
Peak:  93
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Lennon made a mark for himself with his 1984 debut album Valotte. It would be a #17 platinum seller thanks to a pair of Pop Top 10 hits including the #5 "Too Late for Goodbyes." His second album, '86's The Secret Value of Daydreaming, wouldn't do as well, but it was able to reach #32 and go gold. It would take Lennon three years to release his third album Mr. Jordan. The effort would be produced by Patrick Leonard (Madonna) and this first single would be issued out. The track would do well at Rock becoming his second #1 on that chart. It also got to #12 Dance and #27 Modern Rock. However, the tune just couldn't catch a break at Pop and it fizzled at the same position that it debuted. A second single, "Listen," would only get to #31 Rock. With those results, the album would halt at #87 and fail to reach the gold mark. The album and singles would mark the last time that Lennon would be on the US charts.

ReduxReview:  On Lennon's first album, his voice bore a striking resemblance to his father's and some of the songwriting leaned that way as well. Lennon sort of continued that on his second album, but I guess by the time he was ready to do the third he wanted to make an effort to step away from those comparisons. So instead of sounding like his dad, Lennon oddly chose to pattern his voice after David Bowie. He sang in a lower register, added inflections, and altered his delivery. The change is very evident on this first single. Right from the opening phrase, Lennon's new adapted voice sounded like a Bowie imitation. The song itself was very Bowie-esque. I actually don't mind the song, but my question is...why? Lennon it seems wasn't all that happy being constantly compared to his father, so instead of finding his own style/voice, he chooses to imitate another artist. That doesn't make sense to me. He just traded one comparison for another. It was a very strange change of direction and besides this song hitting #1 at Rock, it didn't really work. I completely understand that it is very difficult to crawl out from the shadows of a legendary parent, but others found their own voice and did it. Even Lennon's half-brother Sean did well in establishing his own sound in solo works and bands like Cibo Matto. Julian, however, just couldn't fully find the sun.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song contains a vocal snippet taken from a classic film. The voice of actor Robert Montgomery can be heard saying "I've never seen anything as beautiful as that, even in heaven." The dialog was from the 1941 fantasy rom-com Here Comes Mr. Jordan and the item of beauty he was describing was actress Evelyn Keyes. The film was a success and would receive seven Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture. It would win two awards for Best Screenplay and Best Original Story. The script was based on the 1938 play Heaven Can Wait. That play would also serve as the basis for another Oscar nominated film of the same name. Warren Beatty and Elaine May would adapt the story for 1978's Heaven Can Wait. That film was also a hit and would be nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture. It would only win won for Best Art Direction. Obviously, Lennon's album was named after the 1941 film.  2) Lennon's next album, 1991's Help Yourself, would flop in the US. However, it would be Lennon's biggest success in Australia. It would be a #5 gold seller thanks to the #1 platinum selling hit "Saltwater." That single would also do well in the UK reaching #6 with the album topping out at #42. To-date, Lennon has only released two other solo albums neither of which sold well. In between time Lennon has kept himself busy working on films, photography, and books. He has had success in each medium including a trio of children's books that were all New York Times best-sellers.


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