Sing Me a Classic Song Sunday highlights two songs with similar themes. Today’s comparison is Alone by Heart and Hello by Lionel Richie. Both songs express the angst of unrequited love. The lyrics are rife with the longing for the person who doesn’t know your feelings compounded by the hopelessness of wanting to tell, but fear of rejection holds you back. These songs reveal the circle of perpetual hope, self-denial, wishing for a life with the person, and the agony of suffering-in-silence. There’s a low-key hint of stalking-in-the-name-of love running through both songs.
Heart’s version of Alone is a “power ballad”, which is characterized by the slow-tempo beginning with emotional singing that builds to a crescendo of loud, hard-hitting music meant to hit the listener right in the ‘feels’. Alone proved to be Heart’s biggest hit. Heart recorded the song in 1987 and released it as the first single from their album Bad Animals*.
Hello by Lionel Richie is the third single from his album Can’t Slow Down (1984). Hello achieved great success and reached the Number One spot on pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts. Anecdotally, the story goes that Richie objected to the part in the official music video in which the blind student for whom he harbors the secret affection creates a bust of him that Richie didn’t think looked like him. Supposedly the video director responded, ‘Lionel, she’s blind…’**.
Until next time,
Writing through history one romance upon a time
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