Heart of Stone (Remix)


Geffen GEF75CD, 1990
1. Heart of Stone (Remix) **
2. All Because of You **
3. Working Girl ***

1) music: Andy Hill; lyrics: Pete Sinfield. Produced by Peter Asher; additional production by Richie Sambora. 1989
2) by Jon Lind/Sue Schifrin. Produced by Jon Lind. 1989
3) by Desmond Child/Michael Bolton. Produced by Desmond Child. 1987

This review was written from a prog rock perspective...

Despite enormous commercial success, I find "Heart of Stone" one of the less successful Hill/Sinfield pieces. Pete Sinfield has been working as a freelance lyricist since ELP's close in the late seventies, usually working with Andy Hill on solidly mainstream material like this. Hill is perhaps best known as part of the team behind Bucks Fizz, but Hill/Sinfield songs have been sung by many MOR familiars, Celine Dion currently the most famed. Sinfield's lyric for "Heart of Stone" are straightforward for this kind of material, as usual; nothing interesting, but nothing ghastly. It is the lackadaisical rhythm and muddy instrumentation that spoil the song. They do nothing to support Cher's lead vocals—not that these are even some of her better; such music depends on an emotive performance, but Cher does little here. Rather fun, echo-y backing vocals are the one saving grace.

Sue Schifrin, co-writer of "All Because of You", was involved with an abortive Asia line up, one song co-written by her appearing on Then & Now. She too has a long freelance songwriting history. The simpler arrangement for "All Because of You" does allow Cher's vocals to come through better, but I just do not like the result, although I cannot decide whether the song is too saccharine or too plaintive!

With no prog connection and the infamous Michael Bolton co-writing, I found "Working Girl" the most successful piece. A chugging melody and slightly witty lyrics kept my interest. Despite the title, the song is not about prostitution, but it implies the average secretary suffers comparable indignities. Cher's vocals manage to portray a tearful but we-will-overcome sort of message: an old mainstay of rock, but producing a passable result. There are some slightly interesting arrangements for the middle eight and coda. Perhaps only a mediocre result, but better than the other two tracks.

Henry Potts, 23 Jun 97; revised 6 Jun 98

Originally posted to rec.music.progressive.

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