The King Of Hearts

Oops! Wrong month…

Has the combination of the new week and the new season left you feeling more infernal than vernal?  Well, The Nest has just what you need to get that Spring back in your step!  It’s time to thaw out another forgotten classic that’s been in hibernation for far too long from that giant cave full of lost songs we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy may not have promised you a rose garden, but she will deliver on another retro blast from the past… while the Sponkies stay busy picking flowers out of Rainy’s garden.  The earworms are always in bloom on Mondays…

Of the many musicians to come out of the San Francisco music scene, one of the more prominent was a singer/songwriter who went by the name of Marty Balin.  After releasing a few singles that went nowhere, Balin got involved in the city’ folk music scene and eventually became a founding member of the band he’ll always be best remembered for, Jefferson Airplane.  Balin was only with the group for its first six years however, a tenure highlighted by his being knocked unconscious by a member of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang that was hired to be “security” at the Altamont Free Concert in 1969.

Pee Wee Herman got lucky not to run into those bikers…

After four years on his own, Balin came back to his old band in 1975, which had now regrouped and renamed as Jefferson Starship…  singing lead on a handful of their late 70’s hits like “Count on Me” and “Miracles.”  But Balin drifted away from the group again in 1978 and decided to give his solo career another try.  Nearly twenty years after releasing a pair of singles that went nowhere, Balin finally hit paydirt in 1981 with the schlocky ballad “Hearts.”

“Hearts” was a #8 hit, and though he followed it up with the minor hit “Atlanta Lady,” this song is pretty much all Balin is remembered for as a solo artist…. which isn’t saying much, because this song is waaaaaaay down on the prestigious list of 80’s one hit wonders.

I’m not sure I had ever seen the music videofor “Hearts”  before finding it on YouTube over the weekend, which is a surprise for me given how much MTV and especially VH1 Classic I watched back in the day… but it’s a dandy.  Poor Marty is moping alone in his studio version of Alcatraz, locked away from the woman who broke his heart.  The good news is that the lovers do reunite before the video ends, or maybe it was just a conjugal visit since it suddenly turns into a softcore porn movie.  Maybe it’s a good thing the upload is fuzzy in quality, otherwise I might have to rate this post NC-17…

I would never post anything here that you couldn’t freely share with the kiddies…

As for Balin, he steered clear of the more pop music oriented third act of the band he had founded, which by the mid 80’s became known as simply Starship.  That’s the Mick and Slick version of the group that gave us 80’s anthems like “We Built This City” and that awesome song from Mannequin

Nothing’s gonna stop us now!

You can count on me to deliver another lost hit next Monday!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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9 Responses to The King Of Hearts

  1. I first thought oooh well.. but hey… then… nearly 6 with a guitar? LOL

  2. noelleg44n says:

    I actually remember this one! Sometimes the Swiss Cheese brain actually works!

  3. Thank heavens for fuzz and shadows. You’re right, a tad bit schlocky but a nice ballad nonetheless. Happy Monday.

  4. Juliette says:

    I know the voice. I know the song. I didn’t know the video. TMI! But as always it was fun.

  5. draliman says:

    I was excited for the softcore porn bit but I couldn’t force myself to listen to the end…

  6. I do remember this song but now I have a “visual” with the video – not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!


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