Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sheena Easton's 1984 Shoulda-Been Hit 'Back In The City'

With the release of Sheena Easton's 1984 A Private Heaven, her sixth and biggest-selling album ever, four dime-store video clips were simultaneously lensed for a TV special (on HBO or Cinemax??), which were later packaged on VHS. Included: "Strut," "Sugar Walls," "Swear" and "Back in the City."

The first two, of course, became back-to-back top 10 hits, peaking at No. 7 and 9, respectively, while third single "Swear," a wacko choice with its start-and-stop jagged new wave arrangement, sadly brought an end to the momentum, halting on the singles chart at a dismal No. 80. To my furor, EMI lost interest in releasing what should have been among Sheena's signature hits: "Back in the City" (not to mention the LP's consummate power ballad "Hard To Say It's Over").

Written by Greg Mathieson (who produced) and Trevor Veitch, with renowned jazz act Lee Ritenour, the midtempo jazz-tinged "City" was packed with elegant and creatively arranged percussion, horns and an easy, breezy groove that would have made an ideal summer song... had EMI decided that the platinum-selling No. 15 Heaven was worth pursuing. Alas, another misfire among so many in the storied career of Sheena Easton. *