Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Amy Holland -- "How Do I Survive"
(Debuted August 9, 1980, Peaked #22, 16 Weeks on the Chart)
Michael McDonald was all over the radio dial in 1980. Not only was he singing with The Doobie Brothers, he was writing songs, singing backup on a lot of hit singles and even producing artists. One of those artists was Amy Holland, whose debut LP contained "How Do I Survive." In the case of Holland, the partnership went on well beyond the sound board, as the two married a few years later.
Amy Holland was born into a musical family. Her mother was a country singer and her father sang in the opera. Although "How Do I Survive" was the only Top 40 hit of her career, she managed to get her voice onto several film soundtracks including Scarface, St. Elmo's Fire and Teen Wolf. Not surprisingly, she also handled background vocals on Michael McDonald's solo records as well.
Beginning with a funky bass line, the song ends up sounding like a well-oiled MOR machine. The song is typical of 1980 production-wise, which is really good if you happen to like that era's pop music (and not so good if you're more of a New Wave fan). Check out the great saxophone solo nearly three minutes into the song. It may be due to the clean production given to it, but the song still sounds pretty good more than 30 years after it was released.