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Mike Reno and Ann Wilson talk about "Almost Paradise"


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JUST FOR FUN: The recording of "Almost Paradise (Love Theme From 'Footloose')" by Ann Wilson (Heart) and Mike Reno (Loverboy) peaked at #7 (for two weeks) in Billboard's Top Pop chart and also hit #7 (also for two weeks) in Cash Box in 1984. It peaked at hit #1 on Billboard's AC chart.

Here's the fun part:

Mike Reno's memory of the recording are at Rockforever.Com - http://www.rockforever.com/features/collaborations/collab-08082000.html - and Mike Reno says that his manager called him and asked him who he'd like to do the duet with. His quotes on the site are that he said, "Ann Wilson."

Ann Wilson's memories of the same event, as recalled in Wesley Hyatt's book "The Billboard Book Of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits" (1999 edition), are that she was asked by the producers of the film soundtrack album for "Footloose" who she wanted to sing the duet with. She says, "And I said Lou Gramm, Paul Rodgers; I gave them this whole list of names." Then the producers told her she was singing with Mike Reno, who wasn't on her list of names, and she said, "Oh, okay."

There is a neat comment from Ann Wilson about hearing Eric's demo (sung with a studio session singer) of the song: She says, "The demo was real amazing, Eric Carmen singing with just a piano. It was really gospelly." She added, "I thought it was a great song."

Don smile

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Don, there is another hidden story that isn't told here......Ann Wilson was interviewed here on the radio in Seattle......the vocals were recorded in Chicago(if I recall correctly) as it would coincide with both Wilson's and Reno's schedule, as they were both touring.

Ann mentioned that she broke a rib not too long before the session, but managed to make it to the session, all taped up and on pain killers.

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Hi Billy,

In the book I mentioned above, it does mention that Ann Wilson fell and broke her wrist in Chicago. According to the book, it was the only time the bands Heart and Loverboy weren't both touring, so the recording session needed to go on.

The book says, "Ann Wilson, worried that drugs given to ease her pain could affect her singing, did the song with no painkillers whatsoever."

Whichever story is true, it sounds like Ann Wilson is a real trooper in "the show must go on" tradition.

Don smile

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Don, it's about five years ago that I heard the story.....plus I was in the car driving in traffic while hearing it....so I might be wrong...I may have just have remembered a few words and kind of pieced it together(wrongly).

But either way, it tells what kind of dedication Ann has to her craft....

Incidentally, Ann is going to have a special deal going on at EMP in Seattle next Saturday. She's actually going to do more talking than singing, and give more of an insight to what she does.

Regular seats are about $25 and backstage is $145. However, I can get a discount since I am an EMP member....if anyone is going to be here in Seattle at this time.

If I don't go to Texas next week(still don't have Sun 3/19 off work, and without it, it's kind of useless to make the SXSW trek)....so I may end up at the Wilson show anyway....

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Man, i need to be there. I'm an EMP member, but Saturday I have Little League, Select Soccer Try outs, and a party for all the parents at my house, not a team party but a parent party if you get my drift.

BTW, anyone that knows Ann Wilson , drop the name brandt berry, who i've known and grew up with forever, and he has stories.

Seattle Steve

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