Monday, October 24, 2022

"If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  3961
Date:  07/08/1989
Debut:  89
Peak:  3
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  After being absent from the Pop chart since 1979, Cher made a comeback with her 1987 self-titled album that featured the #10 hit "I Found Someone." The LP would get to #32 and go gold (later platinum). During that time she also won the Best Actress Oscar for Moonstruck. Cher's popularity was at a new high and so to keep things going she moved forward in recording a follow up album. Using some of the same folks who helped on her previous album, such as Diane Warren, Michael Bolton, and Desmond Child, Cher came out of the studio with her nineteenth solo studio album Heart of Stone. Although the album included a previous movie soundtrack duet hit, "After All" with Peter Cetera," the first official single from the album was this tune penned by Warren and produced by Warren and Guy Roche. The song had a bit of a tepid start, but it soon gained momentum and finally made it to the Pop Top 3 while hitting #1 at AC. It sold well enough to go gold. Just a few weeks after the song reached its peak on the Pop chart, the album would hit its highest mark at #10. It became Cher's first solo album to make the Top 10. By November it would reach the platinum sales mark.

ReduxReview:  Of course "everyone" is a broad term, but a ton of people hear and/or reference this song at least twice a year - during the Daylight Saving Time changes. That Cher meme gets sent around and it's not long before this song is spinning somewhere. The track turned into an instant Cher classic. Of course the video helped it along (see below), but even without that, the song was good enough to stand on its own. Warren came up with a doozie of a pop tune and the production was excellent for the time period. There were hooks a-plenty in the tune including a huge arena-ready sing-a-long chorus and a big key change. It really should have hit #1. I think folks thought this would be the peak of her musical comeback and it kind of was - for a while. However, Cher was always full of surprises and she pulled off an even bigger comeback late in the 90s with the #1 platinum "Believe."


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) According to Diane Warren, Cher hated this song when it was presented to her. Warren had assembled the demo and sang on it and when Cher heard it she immediately passed. However, Warren wasn't going to take no for an answer. She fully believed in the song and that is was perfect for Cher. In an interview, Warren said that she basically pinned down Cher's leg in the studio and begged her to give the song a try. Cher finally relented and gave it a try. Warren says that after singing the tune in the studio, Cher gave a knowing look that Warren was right.  2) There were so many iconic music videos from the 80s and among those was the one shot for this track. Directed by Marty Callner, the shoot took place on the USS Missouri while it was stationed at Long Beach. The Department of the Navy granted permission for the shoot thinking it could help as a recruitment tool. It seems the Navy reps had the impression that Cher was going to perform onboard the ship in some sort of jump suit. When filming started, Cher emerged in a revealing fishnet/one-piece swimsuit outfit. Navy reps on board were not happy and wanted Cher to change, but it was too late and the shoot went on. The video, which included Cher straddling a cannon, proved to be controversial. It seemed to have caused some issues within the naval ranks about how/why it happened and other folks, like Navy veterans, were definitely up in arms. Even MTV thought it was a little much and after initially banning the video, later chose to show it after 9 pm. Of course the controversy only gave more publicity to Cher and the song and both came out winners.


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