On this Music Monday, we’re making our voices loud and clear….and sounding empowered along the way!
Ok, not really, but that’s the story within today’s song of choice. When I first heard it in 2012, it was on the customized David Foster iHeartRadio station. I later found out (in 2013), that the song was on Foster’s 1990 album River of Love, and bought it for my mom for Mother’s Day.
However, what I didn’t know was that this was not the original version of the song, nor did David Foster have anything to do with the original version. In fact, I skimmed through the original artist’s biography, and nothing about David Foster comes up.
I guess Foster liked the song?
In 1985, Australian singer John Farnham, several years past a successful teen idol career (as Johnny Farnham), and recently of Little River Band (he was their lead singer from 1982 until 1985), had compiled a list of songs he intended to record once he went into a solo career. This effort came in 1986, with the album “Whispering Jack,” and the first release from the album was a song about using your voice, and making it heard. The title, you ask? “You’re the Voice.”
“You’re the Voice” was released in September 1986, one of the biggest hits of that year in Australia. Conversely, it did not chart at all in the United States upon release. It would later chart at #82 in 1990 with Farnham’s release “Two Strong Hearts,” but it was a 1991 cover by the sister act Heart that American audiences would respond to, charting at #20 on the US Mainstream Rock Chart.
But before that, in 1990, David Foster included the song as part of his album River of Love, as performed by Jeff Pescetto. This is the version I knew first, and it’s the one I like the best. The saying is “you never forget your first,” right?
“You’re the Voice” has an anti-war vibe to it, but mainly is about using your voice, and finding your own power. In the Farnham video, a young girl watches as her parents fight, as well as clips of bombs dropping. It’s pretty heavy….until it devolves into bagpipe players and Farnham singing with a band. I was expecting deep, not a live performance. I won’t tell you it is my favorite version, but for posterity, I must include it here. It’s only right, guys!
And of course, here’s the version Ann and Nancy Wilson recorded:
It’s ok. The video definitely fits the theme of the song, and has an “anti-war” message.
But I prefer this version. As I said, it was the first one I knew. So when I heard the John Farnham version, I was like, “oh.”
I just feel the power behind this one.
However you slice it, one song, three versions. There’s more covers, but these are the three I’m familiar with. Which voice has more impact on you?
That does it for Music Monday. Next time, I promise something not so heavy. I mean that, I work on my ideas weeks in advance.
Until then, enjoy the music!