Friday, June 24, 2011

John Cafferty - "Heart's On Fire"

Hearts On Fire - Rocky IV (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

(Debuted March 1, 1986, Peaked #76, 6 Weeks on the Chart)

Last time this blog swung through the year 1986 in April, Robert Tepper's "No Easy Way Out" was one of the featured songs. At the time, I made a quick reference to a scene in Rocky IV where Sylvester Stallone ran to the top of a mountain in Russia. In fact, "Heart's On Fire" was the song that accompanied that sequence.

I have absolutely no idea how this song only reached #76 when it came out. It was a perfect soundtrack song at a time where those were certain hits. Interestingly, it was a soundtrack that propelled John Cafferty (and his Beaver Brown Band) to national prominence; his vocals used in Eddie & the Cruisers became a belated hit after that movie began playing on cable stations.

Before that, Cafferty and his band were a Rhode island-based bar band with a loyal local following. However, the hits that followed up their breakthrough "On the Dark Side" pretty much stuck to teh formula and they soon wore out their welcome on the pop charts. When Cafferty recorded "Heart's On Fire" as a solo artist, he traded in the raw guitar sound with a very 1980s-themed synthesizer. Although many synth-based songs from the era haven't dated well, "Heart's On Fire" has held up pretty well over the years.

Perhaps there's a benefit to having your song forever linked with the sight of Sylvester Stallone running up to the top of a mountain range after giving his Commie escorts the slip.

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