Head Over Heels by the Go-Go’s
I’ve always had a fondness for Belinda Carlisle’s voice & I consider her to be among the greatest singers that ever lived. Certainly the previous century, so far away from us now, had very few performers who could claim to be her equal. I adore the whole song but I want to focus your attention on the rare mix of wariness, determination & socio-somatic dementia that color verses number 1 & number 2. I take a tremendous amount of comfort in the way she sings it because you always sense she’s going to triumph over whatever it is that’s thrown her off her game. Also, the way she’s singing from her nose & then falls into her throat to find a growl really kills me–thin air to total grit in zero seconds. God. Just thinking about it now takes me back to last week. No, two weeks ago. I was feeling like utter shit & sort of trying to work my way out of one of those K-holes any one of us falls in from time to time, where the whole situation feels weak & unyielding. I was in the Kroger’s parking lot. Then I put on this record & there it all was, her voice & the Arc of the Covenant it takes on as cargo–disoriented vigilance poised to devour itself falling back on its heels to hold court. Having your life saved by a pop record isn’t thank god, an uncommon event. It’s fucking global (as it has been forever) & maybe, the very best part of planet earth.
Dana Ward lives in Cincinnati, OH. His most recent book is This Can’t Be Life, out from Edge. New books are coming in 2012 from Futurepoem Books, & Flowers and Cream. He loves the month of May.