Listen, over on the radio there! Is it Rod Stewart? Is it Dusty Springfield, No, it's... Bonnie Tyler! Faster Than The Speed Of Night, able to do decent covers of CCR ("Have You Ever Seen The Rain") and Bryan Adams songs ("Straight From The Heart"), and with a scratchy and silky voice that needs to be appreciated more!
This is a change from the country and soul she used to do on her first four albums. With Jim Steinway wearing the producer's helmet, Bonnie definitely went into another direction, especially as evidenced by the title track. It's a seven minute plus opus that opens with a quick keyboard, a rock beat, and includes operatic backing vocals. The pace is cranked up at an exciting and excited pace in the last minutes of the song. Okay, the song sounds at home on a Meat Loaf album, but Jim Steinway produced this album, so that's hardly surprising. Right? Right.
"Total Eclipse Of The Heart", which spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard singles chart, has probably netted most of Bonnie's royalties with its countless appearance on 80's compilations and radio airplay, is another classic of that era. Even its near 7:00 running time does not hurt the song's loveliness at all. It's that opening piano, Bonnie and Rory Dodd's vocals, that repeated refrain, "Turnaround...", its split chorus, one heavy with emotion, the other subdued, and the heavy keyboard synthesizers that Heart would later do during their 80's period that really makes this song worth playing over and over.
Trivia note: Bonnie beats Meat Loaf in saying the lines "I'll do anything for love, but I won't do that" by eight years. She says the line in "Getting So Excited".
"Tears" is a worthy ballad that is only overshadowed by "Total Eclipse" and "Take Me Back" ends with the same operatic chorus present in "Faster Than The Speed Of Night".
The album ends with a version of Bryan Adams' "Straight From The Heart", which is comparable to the original. It gives Bonnie yet another chance to exercise those scratchy vocals of hers.
There's quality talent in her band. Drummer Max Weinberg and keyboardist "Professor" Roy Bittan gained fame being in Bruce Springsteen's band during his Born In The U.S.A. days, and Rick Derringer gives Bonnie his own rock and roll hootchie-koo support as her guitarist.
It's a shame that Faster Than The Speed Of The Night is the one-hit album for her. She has followed through with other decent albums like Free Spirit, Bitterblue, and Silhouette In Red.