Over the next year Terje Fjelde has agreed to listen to nothing but David Foster on his iPod. He’s loaded the thing with over 1,200 songs produced, arranged, composed, and/or played by the man. A deal with the devil? He keeps wondering.
Jeff, Popdose’s editor-in-chief, has a crush on Jack Wagner. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that (actually, there is, but it’s generally not a good idea to throw rocks from a glass house). But I do fear that my future here at Popdose would be in danger if I failed to mention David Foster’s collaborations with Wagner, so here we go. For those of you who don’t know the man, Jack Wagner is an American singer and television actor who’s graced such classic soap operas as General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful as well as the prime-time soap Melrose Place. On occasion he’s even managed to combine his two careers, sculpting magical moments like this, and if that doesn’t bring tears to your eyes I honestly don’t know what will. Wagner is also respected amongst his Hollywood peers for his golfing ability.
“All I Need,” released in 1984, is his only Top 40 hit. It was written and produced by Clif Magness and Glen Ballard, a prolific songwriting team in the ’80s. This post, however, isn’t dedicated to “All I Need” at all, but rather to the follow-up single, “Lady of My Heart,” a blank ballad written by Foster, Ballard, and Jay Graydon that, to my surprise, actually managed to climb all the way up to #76 on the Billboard chart in the spring of ’85.
“Lady of My Heart,” by Jack Wagner, from All I Need (1984)
It’s incredibly bland — I can’t listen to it without conjuring an image of a snotty high school senior with a Clark Kent hairdo singing his heartfelt rendition in front of his teachers and fellow students toward the end of an episode of Fame after learning a lesson or two about the hard realities of showbiz. Cut to Bruno and Coco smiling knowingly at each other as the end credits appear over the lame freeze-frame.
Well, at least that’s how I used to feel until I saw this video.
Jack Wagner is the Jack Jones of the ’80s, only with weirder hair. Jones was an actor, too, you know.
Wagner has recorded five albums. “Lady of My Heart” is from his debut, All I Need, and 2005’s Dancing With the Moonlight is his most recent effort. As a result of Wagner’s personal friendship with Sony Music CEO Andrew Lack, Dancing was released on Sony, and the leadoff single was a Timbaland production, a wonderful duet with Kelly Clarkson that quickly started climbing the charts in the spring of … okay, I’m only kidding. Dancing was actually released on BB & J Records, and Lack, Timbaland, and Kelly Clarkson probably don’t even know who Jack Wagner is. It’s a crazy world, huh?
Foster cowrote “Too Young” with Jay Graydon, Steve Kipner, and Donny Osmond for Wagner’s Lighting Up the Night (1985). A lot of writers, to be sure, but, alas, very little substance. There has been no trace of Foster on Wagner’s records since then; Foster may have a God-given Midas touch when it comes to spotting and developing star material, but he also has a flair for knowing when he’s got a stinker on his hands. And he was the first one out the door here, I’m sure.
I’m sorry, Jeff. He does have a good voice, though.