Saturday, September 3, 2022

"Headed for a Heartbreak" by Winger

Song#:  3919
Date:  06/03/1989
Debut:  94
Peak:  19
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  This band led by Kip Winger got their first Pop chart entry with "Seventeen," a track from their self-titled debut album. It would make the Pop Top 30 while getting to #19 Rock. For a follow up, this power ballad was selected for release. It would perform even better getting inside the Pop Top 20 while becoming the band's first Rock Top 10 (#8). By the time this debuted on the Pop chart, the album had already peaked at #21. It would go platinum mid-June.

ReduxReview:  Straddling the line between glam metal, radio-ready rock, and prog rock, Winger had its share of fans and plenty of detractors. Somehow, they kind of became the poster child for bad hair metal and I think that was unfair. The band was quite talented and Kip Winger had some good compositional chops. They may not have come up with a big 80s classic song, but I thought they had some solid tracks and for me this Top 20 entry was probably their best. At its base, it was just a good musical composition. Add in the band's performance, the big production, and Kip Winger's vocals and you get a pretty grand glam metal track. My one quibble with the band is that they could have written lyrics that were as mature as the music. They sometimes went down that standard metal rabbit hole of girls and sex, which didn't really fit the band. Winger may not have been to everyone's liking, but I think they were underrated in certain areas.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Kip Winger would become a Grammy nominee, but not for the work with his band. He would earn one in...classical music? Yup. Winger studied classical music as a teen and he would even apply compositional techniques he had learned in songs for Winger. After the band initially split, Kip Winger went back to studying classical composition and eventually wrote his first symphonic piece, the 30-minute Ghosts. The Tuscon Symphony Orchestra would premiere the work in 2009. Then through a connection, the piece was picked up and used as the music for a ballet, which would be performed by the San Francisco Ballet in 2010. Encouraged by the success, Winger then went on to compose a four-part work based upon the famed ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. Conversations with Nijinsky would be recorded by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and be released in 2016. The LP would reach #1 on the Traditional Classical Albums chart while the work would receive a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. For his classical works, Winger would go by the name C.F. Kip Winger. The C.F. stands for his first two birth names Charles Frederick. In addition to his classical works, Winger would also branch out into musical theater. He would compose the music for Get Jack, a musical based around the victims of Jack the Ripper. A concept album of the musical, with lyrics and book by Damien Gray, was recorded and released in 2019. It would get to #7 on the Cast Albums chart.


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