Sunday, July 31, 2016

Songoftheday 7/31/16 - Baby I get so scared inside and I don't really understand, is it love that's on my mind or is it fantasy?

"Close My Eyes Forever" - Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne
from the album Lita (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the heavy metal goddess Lita Ford, who had put her Runaways punk past behind her and delved into the nasty recesses of heavy metal, landing Sharon Osbourne as her manager and signing to a new label, with the result of her Lita album producing her first pop breakthrough hit "Kiss Me Deadly" in the summer of 1988. A second radio single, "Back To The Cave", had a pop-metal sheen, but while it went to #22 on the rock radio chart (higher than "Deadly"), it missed the pop list entirely. For the third release Lita put out the ringer power-ballad on the album, "Close My Eyes Forever". It was written and performed by Lita with Sharon's husband, Ozzy Osbourne, who had been the lead singer for the iconic goth metal act Black Sabbath from 1969 to 1978. While the band sold millions of records and was a critical success, the closest they got to pop radio success was with their second album Paranoid, with the title track reaching #61 (and #1 in Germany and top ten all over Europe) and "Iron Man" stopping at #52. Starting a solo career at the start of the eighties, his first single "Crazy Train" went top ten in much of Europe and #9 on Billboard's newly-minted Mainstream Rock radio chart. The lead track from his second album, "Flying High Again", soared to #2 on that list the following year. In 1986, Ozzy landed his first solo hit on the pop chart in America with the infectious "Shot In The Dark", which stopped at #68 (and his third top-ten rock hit at #10). But enough pop stations played the song to give the mainstream American public a more sanitized version of his brand, and with this duet, radio gave in totally to the two gruff voices as a good counterpoint to the flood of dance-pop dominating the airwaves in those days...

"Close My Eyes Forever" became the biggest pop hit for either artist, reaching the top ten on the Hot 100 in June of 1989. The single also made it to #25 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the song peaked in the Top-20 in Sweden (#14) and New Zealand (#16), and stopped at #47 in Ozzy's homeland of the UK.

A fourth single from the Lita album, "Falling In And Out Of Love" (co-written with Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx), went to #37 on the rock chart. In 1990, Lita teamed up with producer Mike Chapman again for her Stiletto album, and while the lead track "Hungry" became her biggest rock radio hit at #14, it only slipped into the pop Hot 100 at #98. A year later, she almost returned to the pop top 40 with "Shot Of Poison" from her Dangerous Curves album (#45), but as grunge and alt-rock took over from traditional heavy metal, she faded from the charts after that, though she continues to record and tour.

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And here's Lita performing the duet live with Geoff Tate from Queensryche in 2009...

Up tomorrow: Some boys promise eternal romance. Ah, kids.

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