Nineteen years after its initial release, Corey Hart's breakthrough single, "Sunglasses at Night," is enjoying renewed popularity thanks to a slew of covers and remixes, including one that features new vocals by Hart himself.
The song's familiar synth part is now set to a propulsive dance beat, and Hart re-cut the vocal specifically for the dance mixes. It now sounds more melodic, emotive and less somber. "There's nothing sampled from the original vocal," says Hart, now forty. He had been receiving e-mails about various covers of the track in Europe, most notably one by Canadian dance duo Tiga and Zyntherius, whose version has sold some 100,000 copies in Germany. Later, when Hart was in Montreal working with Celine Dion, Tiga came to the studio and played it for him. Hart's label, Sony Music Canada, then suggested he do his own version. He re-did the vocal at Miami's Criteria Hit Factory and the Toronto production team Original 3 made four mixes.
Only the radio club version will be available commercially. The U.S. release is October 8th on the Tommy Boy Records compilation Vic Latino Presents 80's NOW!.
"I've heard all those versions and their various life forces," says Hart. "I'm not clued into what's happening in the dance scene or the club scene so I have no reference point to say if it's good or not. I just know sometimes [dance mixes] annoy me and irritate me [laughs], but this particular one I thought that the annoyance level was quite low (laughs)."
Almost twenty years have elapsed since Corey Hart convinced his record company to let him record just one more song for his debut album, First Offense. The song was "Sunglasses at Night," and it was inspired by Phil Chapman, one of the record's co-producers, who literally wore his sunglasses at night. The label, Aquarius, wanted him to save it for his second record, but Hart's persistence paid off. He was allowed to return to England to cut the newly composed song.
Released as the first single, "Sunglasses at Night" made the twenty-one-year-old Hart a chart-topping star around the world, not to mention a heartthrob. His first five albums sold a combined 10 millions copies.
Hart, who has been living in Nassau with his wife, Quebec-born singer Julie Masse, and their three young daughters, has been away from the spotlight since releasing his eighth studio album, Jade, in 1998. Behind the scenes, he wrote "Prayer" on Celine Dion's latest album, A New Day Has Come (he had two songs on her 1997 Let's Talk About Love album).
Hart will record his very first live album, backed by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, over two concerts October 30th and November 1st at Montreal's Place Des Arts. He is also contemplating going into the studio to cut three or four new songs that the MSO would then perform them as well, and making both versions of each available on the album.
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies