Friday, July 23, 2010

Why I Loved Sheena Easton

For the record, this entry is about a subject I hadn't thought about in a long, long time until my memory was jogged by a discussion over at Witless Prattle. If you're thinking that's an endorsement of the Prattle, it totally is.

Sheena Easton's A Private Heaven just happened to be released when I was 12 years old. That little bit of serendipity meant that as soon as I laid eyes on that album cover, Sheena shot up to number one on my mental list of hottest female celebrities. She stayed there for awhile, too. I didn't know much of anything about Sheena Easton prior to 1984, but I knew that in addition to being in love with her picture on A Private Heaven, I was crazy about the song "Strut".

You should listen to (and watch) "Strut" if you never have. The video isn't much, Sheena's moves aren't much, but I really didn't care. She was gorgeous, her voice was killer, and the song was assertive and yet sexually-charged. It's not deep, but I was 12 and didn't know that. To me, at that time, "Strut" was really daring. And then, the next single was "Sugar Walls".

Yes, "Sugar Walls", the Prince-penned ode to subtlety. Well, that one did it. I had to buy the cassette of A Private Heaven for myself. And I really liked it! It wasn't brilliant or life-changing, but it was fun pop music.

After "Sugar Walls" ran its course, "Swear" was the next single from this pivotal album in my life. You will notice that the video quality is noticeably poorer than the previous two linked videos. That is because the first two singles are available on the official EMI Music channel, but "Swear" is not. That is because "Swear" stalled big time on the charts, and vanished after some minor radio airplay.

I guess that is what happened with my infatuation with Sheena Easton, too. It burned brightly, and then it quietly went away. I still liked her, and even picked up some of her later material. But somehow, it just wasn't quite the same. Maybe it was the ridiculous (and old) TV special starring her that I remember anticipating so much and finding so disappointing. But for whatever reason, Sheena went from being number one to one of numbers.

Still, old habits die hard sometimes. What was one of the very first CDs I bought for myself? This one. And I did it without a shred of irony.

I still get the urge to listen to it sometimes, too.

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