There's an ad campaign over here at the moment featuring a lot of famous people who've changed their names to promote the change of name of insurance company Norwich Union to Aviva. I can't help but think that the day Leslie Wunderman became Taylor Dayne is in fact a far greater moment in history, or at least it should've been...
Yes, Tat Parade is going all out, well using up a few paragraphs at least, to celeberate the brilliance of 80's pop diva Taylor Dayne who had massive hits in the UK with Tell It To My Heart, and not much else! Despite my homeland treating Taylor like a grotty club singer after her third single I'll Always Love You was brutally ignored, she had a slew of fabulous glossy pop/rock hits in the US from her second album, Can't Fight Fate!
With names like Diane Warren, Arthur Baker, Ric Wake, Eliott Wolf and executive producer Clive Davis all behind it there's no wonder it was a big hit over there, how could it not? While her first album was all but pressed within weeks of her laying down the first vocals, this album had a lot more time and effort put into it, and it was so worth it.
Fantastic dance/pop gems like With Every Beat of My Heart and Up All Night sit perfectly amongst top notch rock/pop anthems like I'll Be Your Shelter, Heart of Stone, You Can't Fight Fate, and Ain't No Good. It even has ballads, including the classic Love Will Lead You Back, and Wait For Me. For me its just a perfect pop album, and Taylor's rough and ready powerhouse vocals raise a good set of tracks up to the level of pop perfection. You can just tell Taylor doesn't have to try either, she just feels this kind of music, and pulls it off with ease and inimitable gusto, something followers like Anastacia could never pull off without sounding strained and slightly unwell...
Although the singles from this album were mostly AOR/pop releases, With Every Beat Of My Heart had a remix by Richie Jones that was pretty popular, there are also some mixes of Up All Night, and I'll Be Your Shelter. But Taylor had moved on from the disposable pop and club sound of her easiler singles in favour of something a bit more mainstream and it paid off. Sales of this album surpassed her debut - passing the 3 million mark in the US alone. With Every Beat Of My Heart, I'll Be Your Shelter, and Love Will Lead You Back were Top 5 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, while Heart Of Stone made a respectable final single peaking at #12 in 1990. None of them even entered the UK Top 40, and the album barely sold a few thousand copies here! A video collection, Twists of Fate, featuring interviews and music videos was released in 1990.
The UK got it so wrong on this one, Taylor Dayne should've been a huge star. Almost three years passed between Can't Fight Fate and its follow up Soul Dancing which saw Taylor team up with Shep Pettibone, and then fade into obscurity. No such thing will happen on this blog though, Taylor's latest releases are as important here as any new Kylie album or crappy horror movie.
Her latest singles have been brilliant, especially 2007's I'm Not Featuring You, a collaboration wth DJ Manny Lehman. Unfortunatley her 2008 CD, Satisfied, wasn't really good enough for her, from the bland songs to the over-airbrushed artwork - the voice was there, but the songs just weren't worthy for the most part. The Hex Hector mixes of the lead single, Beautiful, were quite good, but standard fare and after 10 years of waiting, I think she could've tried a bit harder with it. But who cares? When you have gems like Can't Fight Fate and hits like Tell It To My Heart in your catalogue, a boring album is neither here nor there!
Get some retro Taylor mixes inc the rare Up All Night single from Burning The Ground, which is just one of the best blogs you'll find for this kind of music!
Watch - I'll Be Your Shelter (Live)
Watch - It seems Ms Dayne will do anything for money