Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out For A Hero
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure, and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life
In mid-April 1984 a song came out that in some way was already well known, because it was part of the soundtrack of a film that we had all seen. In fact, in the first months of the year Footloose came out, one of the great films of the 80s that talked about music and dance, just like Flashdance, and later Dirty Dancing. It was the first great film of Kevin Bacon’s career, whom from here on we will see again in many movies, and I mention Apollo 13 for all. Kevin played Ren McCormack, a boy from Chicago who moves with his family to a small village in the American countryside where, among other things, music and dance are prohibited by local authorities following the accident in which some local guys had lost their lives. Personally, Footloose was the first movie (and one of the very few) that I saw twice in cinemas.
The soundtrack of the film was coordinated by author Dean Pitchford, who was also the screenwriter of the film, and he contributed to write all the songs, but he got the help of at least one different author for each song, for example for Footloose he obviously got help by Kenny Loggins. Among the authors that Pitchford wanted to involve was Jim Steinman, not only for his qualities, but also because through him Pitchford hoped to reach a singer who in the United States was not yet very famous, but was having enormous success in his Europe and Australia with a song written by Jim Steinman.
Steinman was the author of many Meat Loaf songs, and he was the author that Bonnie Tyler sought to create the beautiful Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie’s greatest masterpiece. But as we said Bonnie was not yet very famous in the United States, and reaching her through the record companies was practically impossible, and so Pitchford addressed Steinman directly.
For Bonnie Tyler, Steinman wrote a song with intense tones and with very solemn sounds, given the context of the film, but which nevertheless had great success and remained among the main songs of the great Welsh singer. The song is Holding Out For a Hero, a song full of energy consistent with the rest of the film, where the song is the background to a memorable scene in which Ren is challenged by a local boy in a courage test.
Driving two vehicles halfway between tractors and excavators, the two boys play chicken setting off towards a head-on collision, and the first who for fear of the collision will throw himself from the tractor, will be the loser. At the end, Ren is naturally scared and tries to jump, but his shoe string gets caught in the pedal, so he can’t physically jump. When the vehicles are close to each other, his incredulous opponent is forced to throw himself, and Ren therefore wins the challenge.
The video is one of the few excerpts from the soundtrack that does not show scenes from the film, and perhaps for this reason it highlights some of the kitsch points of the song, which however is absolutely consistent with Bonnie Tyler’s style. Perhaps the most curious element is the choir, which is also fine for the song, but perhaps in the video the scenes of the girls in white dresses is a bit excessive.
In this video we find again a Bonnie divided into two settings, as it was in Total Eclipse of the Heart. In particular, we find Bonnie at night on the ground in despair as the house where she lives is on fire, surrounded and threatened by the three cowboys dressed in total black, except for their neon whips. Of course, even in such a dramatic moment Bonnie Tyler flaunts a perfect makeup and hairstyle over her green dress in a Gone with the Wind style. This part of the video was shot in California.
Bonnie, is finally saved by the hero of the song, the white cowboy who obviously puts the black cowboys on the run, and then shows up to Bonnie. In the middle of these scenes, however, there is the second part of the setting, shot in Arizona on the Grand Canyon, where Bonnie is alone and free in this immense and magnificent scenery, wearing a completely white dress and can finally release all her energy
Holding Out For a Hero was less successful than Total Eclipse of the Heart, but decades later it remains one of those songs that are often chosen as soundtracks for movies or ads, thanks to the incredible energy that Bonnie Tyler’s incredible voice has always unleashed.
Bonnie Tyler on Wikipedia