Flashback: “It’s A Heartache” by Bonnie Tyler

This is one of the first songs I could remember word for word when I was 6, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of its first release in late 1977.

The one thing that drew me back to the song many years later is the drum track, performed by the late Mike Gibbins of the group Badfinger. Try and listen to that “boomp, boomp, boomp, ba-boomp” sound as Bonnie lays down the vocal.

While this song put Bonnie (born Gaynor Hopkins) on the global radar (she already had two hits in Europe in late ’76 and early ’77: Lost In France and More Than A Lover), her voice is much more huskier than it was on her debut album, The World Starts Tonight. That was due to damaged vocal cords, requiring surgery to remove nodules in the cords. It gave her that vocal delivery that often reminded me of a left-handed baseball pitcher that just so happens to throw knuckleballs.

In the US, the song went to #3 on the pop charts and #10 on the country charts in the spring of 1978. The song has been covered scores of times, from everyone to David Johansen (anyone have that track?) to Gene Pitney to the country group Trick Pony, and still holds up well today. In the here and now, Bonnie is still at it at 66 years of age come June, with an album slated for release late in 2017 produced by John Carter Cash. Yep, June Carter and Johnny Cash’s son.

Looking forward to how that one sounds…

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