Taylor Dayne had a hit with “I’ll Wait”. But how long do we have to wait till she records again?
by Mark Keen
If you like Anastacia you are sure to like Taylor Dayne, who share similarities in their powerful voices and their genre-hopping music careers from pop to dance to rock and back again. Taylor enjoyed much greater success in her homeland, America, than Anastacia was able to manage, but conversely in the UK the reverse is true.
Taylor burst onto the scene in 1987 with the pop classic “Tell It To My Heart”. Those first few lyrics of “I hear the night explode when we’re together” are imprinted on my mind and this remain a classic pop hit. The first single was a worldwide success (US No.7, UK No.3), and Taylor would find particular success in America with a string of top ten pop hits.
Taylor was quick to follow up her debut hit with “Prove Your Love” (US No.7, UK No.8), “I’ll Always Love You” and “Don’t Rush Me” which were all top ten pop hits in America. “I’ll Always Love You” really showed the versatility that Taylor enjoyed as this was a ballad moving away from her early pop hits, and earning her a Grammy nomination in 1989.
The UK lost interest in Taylor after her first couple of hits, but she would enjoy massive success on the American singles charts with hits from her second album, “Can’t Fight Fate”. There would be three top ten US hits and a number 12 hit with “Heart Of Stone”.
Taylor enjoyed a huge US number one hit with the ballad “Love Will Lead You Back” and the song writing prowess of Diane Warren obviously helped here. It was produced by Ric Wake who has produced hits for the likes of Anastacia, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion.
A real favourite was the storming “I’ll Be Your Shelter” which hit number 1 in Canada and number 4 in America, as well as hitting big in Australia and Japan. It’s such a huge song and Taylor gives it everything. This was more rock than dance, and was the kind of song I could have imagined Bonnie Tyler singing on a good day, and was actually turned down by Tina Turner. This was another classic song from Diane Warren!
The huge hits did begin to try up a bit as the 1990s progressed, but the Barry White cover “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love” from the third album “Soul Dancing” was a sizeable hit in the UK in 1993, and Canada and Australia. This was a massive dance club hit in America and the link up with producers Clivilles and Cole of C+C Music Factory was a good move.
Taylor would enjoy another hit off her third album with “I’ll Wait” another big dance hit. Another classic hit, criminally ignored, was “Original Sin” from ‘The Shadow’ film soundtrack. This song is noticeable as it was written by Jim Steinman who wrote and produced massive hits for Meat Loaf (he later covered this song), Bonnie Tyler and Celine Dion. It follows his signature style template to a tee.
Since this time Taylor has continued to release albums, as well as a number of songs for film soundtracks. Her hits on the US dance charts have kept her busy for the last two decades as well as a blossoming acting and theatre career. One of her noticeable hits was “Whatever You Want” from the “Naked Without You” album in 1998, which had been recorded and released as the lead single off Tina Turner’s “Wildest Dreams” album.
Another interesting single was “Naked Without You” with some noticeable songwriters often mentioned in these ‘Where are they now’ articles – Rick “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” Nowels, Billy “Like A Virgin” Steinberg and even a song writing credits for the UK’s Roachford of “Cuddly Toy” fame.
The dance hits have kept coming and included a US number one dance hit with “Beautiful” in 2007 from the “Satisfied” album. A remarkable achievement twenty years into a career. Even as recently as 2011 Taylor was hitting the US top ten dance charts with “Floor On Fire”.
There must be more to come, as Taylor has enjoyed a career that already stretches over three decades. Not bad for someone who could have been written off as a one hit wonder on the initial hearing of “Tell It To My Heart”. In the 1980s it wasn’t unusual for a singer to disappear after a massive debut hit, especially if they tried to step outside the style that made them famous. In 2016 Billboard magazine ranked her as the 28th most successful dance artist of all time, but that belies the variety of styles Taylor could manage so effortlessly.
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