Saturday, January 25, 2014
Cher - Take Me Home
Today (January 25th) marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Take Me Home, the first album from Cher in 1979 and her first on the Casablanca Records label. It was her fifteenth album overall. Produced by Ron Dante and Bob Esty, with most songs written by Michele Aller and Esty, it went to number 42 in Norway, number 32 on the US Billboard R&B chart, number 25 on the US Billboard Album chart, and number 24 in Canada.
Side one opens with the title track. “Take Me Home” was released as the first single, where it hit number 49 in New Zealand, number 21 on the US Billboard R&B chart, number 19 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, number 10 in Canada, number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 2 on the US Billboard Dance chart. The album cut is six-minutes-forty-five-seconds of disco dancing goodness. I actually had a seven-and-a-half-minute version off of The Casablanca Records Story box set.
“Wasn’t It Good”, the second single, went to number 65 in Canada and number 49 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It opens with a sexy saxophone solo and is carried along on a steady, rocking beat.
The mid-tempo “Say the Word” leaves plenty of room for Cher's vocals to soar above a solid dance beat.
“Happy Was the Day We Met” closes out the first side on a similar, up-beat rhythm.
Side two begins with “Git Down (Guitar Groupie)”. KISS’ Gene Simmons, Cher’s then current boyfriend, provided background vocals on this track which tells the rocking tale of a woman known for her attraction to guitarists.
“Love & Pain (Pain in my Heart)” slows things down with a piano-based ballad. The backing chorus is a nice touch too.
“Let This Be a Lesson to You” is a bouncy rock-gospel number about heartbreak.
“It’s Too Late (To Love Me Now)” is a cover of the 1977 country song by Charly McClain. Released as the third single, Cher’s version went to number 87 on the US Billboard Country chart. She again shows her versatility as a singer and performer. That was one of the reasons I always enjoyed watching her variety shows and specials when I was growing up in the 70's. To her, music was music no matter the genre.
“My Song (Too Far Gone)” closes the album. Co-penned with Mark and Brett Hudson, here Cher wrote about her failed marriage to Gregg Allman. From the lyrics, you can tell the song is a very personal one for her. It almost seems a little too personal, like the listeners are flies on the wall during a difficult time in her life.
Many would label Take Me Home as Cher's "disco" album, but it is clearly more than that. Yes, side one seems right at home on the Casablanca label (one of the homes for disco back in the day), but side two explores a lot of other sounds as well. For me, that keeps the whole thing interesting and shows off the singer's talents well.