Today’s POP RESCUE is the 1990 fifth album Crazy For You by David Hasselhoff.
This 12 track album opens with sole single, and title track, Crazy For You. This is an absolute anthem and catchy as hell. However, once the intro is over, you can spot the incredible similarity between this song and hit Y.M.C.A by The Village People, you’ll notice that the lyrics are interchangeable and that you can pretty much sing one over the other. That said, David belts out this song, and it really suits his strong voice. There’s no doubt here about his craziness for you. He’s over the moon. The video for this song is brilliant… with the important message that you should never trust a dachshund. Whilst this single did not chart in the UK, it fared well in Austria (#4) and Germany (#18).
Next up is I Wanna Move To The Beat Of Your Heart, which is a much slower power-ballad song, written by legendary songwriter Diane Warren. David starts singing in quite a low register in the first verse before the chorus. His vocals seem a little unsuited to the lower tone in this first verse, but the song picks up for the chorus, and the second verse sounds better. There’s some nice bass and chugging guitar, and at about 3min there’s a nice stadium sound style when some of the instruments drop out.
This is followed by Passion, which picks up the pace and reminds me like something you’d find on the Alphabeat album. This is quite a catchy pop song that bounces along perfectly, aided from about 2m 40s by some vocal samples and a key change. ‘Passion. I need your passion. Passion. Just give me passion‘ he sings.
We’re back in ballad territory now, with Was It Real Love, which see’s the Hoff take on some heartfelt lyrics. There’s some musical similarities here to A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum, although it’s quite a nice song.
Up next is September Love, see’s David reminiscing about his missing autumnal lover. This song feels like it might have been a great 50’s hit, but actually it’s an original. It plods along nicely, although the synth gets a little too much use here. David makes light work of the vocals, but he is rarely needed to call upon his vocal range here.
Keep The Jungle Alive is next, ushered in with some percussion and whistle blows, before a catchy little bassline comes in. There’s some vocal samples here, including a Tarzan call. This is essentially David *almost* rapping about climate change. This definitely feels dated, and like an awkward filler.
A throbbing beat, handclaps, and musically it has a sound a little like You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) by Dead Or Alive, opens next song Let’s Dance Tonight. David’s vocals return to form here, as does the music. This is a great ‘feel good’ song, and should have been a single!
One And One Make Three is up next, and this sees David return to slow ballad territory. Unlike the earlier ballads, David’s vocals have much more work to do with a wider range. Of course, he makes light work of it, delivering his song dreaming of fatherhood. David’s final big long note even makes a baby Taylor-Ann Hasselhoff cry as he welcomes her to the world.
This is followed by Kiss In The Night, which is a bouncy pop track, with just a tinge of 80s party hits. I’m surprised that this didn’t stray into single territory too.
The next song, Freedom For The World opens dramatically like something from War Of The Worlds. David picks up the vocals perfectly, backed by some nice backing vocals. He really belts it out during the chorus, as does the uncredited female vocalist who joins him. Guitars roar alongside the pair, and they get the chance to shine at about 3mins when some of the instruments drop out. The chorus becomes really catchy as the song begins to close, and the backing vocals become more choir-like whilst the Hoff and his female vocalist friend sing together.
Let’s Spend The Night Together is up next, and this opens with some house piano, a fast beat, and orgasm samples. This is David’s libido singing here – ‘do you wanna make love with me tonight?’ he asks frankly, as he attempts to encourage his love away from a party – ‘d’you wanna stay? or sneak away and leave the party?‘. Such a cunning smoothie. There’s a deep-voiced spoken section at 2m 42 just in case you’re not sure. Of course you’re going to sneak away with him.
The album closes with Lights In The Darkness, which returns David back to a ballad. This time there’s what sounds like a synth choir, over percussion and a brooding bass synth. David speaks over the song, sounding a little like he’s channeling Morgan Freeman over the start of a movie. This gives way, to reveal David singing some kind of political message: ‘The lights in the darkness will shine for the people in Russia. Europe will win, Perestroika from Poland to Romania’. Even a children’s choir joins in. Was this David trying to do for Russia what he did for East and Western Germany? Aside from it’s political tone, it’s actually quite a nice song.
This is my first listen to an original album by David Hasselhoff, whereas I’ve previously only heard a few singles and one of his Best Of.. type albums. What is evident, is that there’s two kinds of Hoff songs – ballads, and feel-good up-beat songs. He manages to do both admirably well here, but listening to some of the ballads now, they do feel a little dated or twee. That aside, this is a great album, and one that deserved at least two more singles.
This album also proudly states that it was ‘produced by Jack White‘, although no, not the one from The White Stripes, but the German music producer.
Where is David Hasselhoff now?
David Hasselhoff continued to record and release singles and albums after this one, with his sixth album released the following year.
Since then he has managed to chart only twice in the UK, both singles, most recently in 2006 with a #3 hit Jump In My Car, which remains his highest chart achievement.
His career in television and film has grown considerably, including roles in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004), and Click (2006). As a testament of how much he is universally admired, he often appears as himself in movies and TV shows, or as a pastiche of his Michael Knight character from Knight Rider, rather than any other character. Aside from his huge success in Baywatch, he has managed to sustain a career on talent shows since 2006, including America’s Got Talent, and Britain’s Got Talent.
POP RESCUE RATING
- POP RESCUE RATING: 3 / 5
- 1990 UK CHART POSITION: Did not chart in the UK.
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.37 from an eBay seller.