Thursday, July 21, 2022

Song of the Day: 'What About Love?' (Double Play)


The '80s were a wonderful time for women in music, with the rebirth of Heart and the introduction of Aimee Mann being two high points. In the mid '80s, each scored a hit with the title "What About Love?" 

Heart, of course, launched a comeback with theirs, a song that was originally recorded -- and written -- by Toronto, which was kind of the Canadian version of Heart. (You may vaguely recall they had a video in heavy rotation on MTV called "Your Daddy Don't Know," which New Pornographers later covered.) The members of Toronto who didn't write "What About Love?" hated it so much that it was shelved, which led to Heart's taking a crack at it. The result was monumental, giving Ann and Nancy Wilson their first Top 10 hit in five years -- launching them into the MTV ages -- which wound up being the first of seven Top 10 singles, including the band's first (and second) No. 1. 

For 'Til Tuesday, "What About Love?" was the lead single off the band's sophomore album, always a fraught time for new bands. After hitting No. 8 with their "Voices Carry" debut, the followup single, "Looking Over My Shoulder," failed to repeat its success, peaking at No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100. So when the album "Welcome Home" was released the following year, expectations were high for another big hit, only to see "What About Love?" stall at No. 26. 

'Til Tuesday reportedly wanted "Coming Up Close" to be the first single, with Mann telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1986, "I really love 'Coming Up Close' and we did want it to be the first single. But we sort of realized that 'What About Love?' was more immediate," describing it as a "radio song." (I remember "What About Love?" got a lot of air and video play, which definitely made it seem like a bigger hit than No. 26. A quick look at Wikipedia shows it did reach No. 9 on the Mainstream Rock chart, which confirms my recollections.) "Coming Up Close" was released second, peaking at No. 59 on the Hot 100. And though the album was certified gold, it did not live up to the expectations of Epic Records or the band, which broke up after the third album proved even less successful, thus paving the way for Mann's offbeat solo career. 


eadsfreak said...

I loved both groups. Heart has been a favorite of mine forever. I always thought Til Tuesday was highly under appreciated.

AB said...

Every one of til tuesday"s albums were brilliant. Stunning songs that were way under rated