Today’s POP RESCUE from a potentially loveless future, is the second album Hold An Old Friend’s Hand from American singer and actress, Tiffany. Is this album an Old Friend, or is it more sweaty palms? Read on…
This 11 track album opens with the gentle cymbals of lead single All This Time. At times, this song reminds me a little of Cyndi Lauper‘s Time After Time in the verses and melody, but aside from the chorus, it’s not massively catchy. Despite this, it did give Tiffany a top ten US hit. Whilst this single was the lead for the US, it wasn’t until 1989 that it charted in the UK – stalling at #47. It is so far, her last charting single in the UK.
Next up is 4th single Oh Jackie, which is much more up-beat and pop-like from the outset. This song is a much better song than All This Time, and would have been a better opening track. There’s plenty of guitar solo, but also plenty of synth instruments too, all set over a pretty fast beat.
The album’s title track Hold An Old Friend’s Hand is up next, written by Donna Weiss, and a cover of a 1974 Tracy Nelson song. This song was released as the third single, but I wouldn’t have bothered. This initially puts Tiffany back into ballad territory, but then after 55 seconds the pace picks up a bit and turns into a gentle 80s strumming swaying song. This is quite a nice song, but seems odd that such a wisdom-filled song is being sung by a 17yr old. Obligatory 80s Saxophone makes an appearance in the last third of the song, joined by Tiffany, who finally gets a chance to show off her vocal range.
Fourth track, Radio Romance, gave Tiffany a #13 UK hit. I even had this on 7″ vinyl. This has quite a pumping beat, laden with synths, and sounding somewhat like a disco inspired romp. This is the catchiest and most sing-a-long song so far. Tiffany also gets plenty of space and opportunity to show off her vocals, and she’s ably backed by two backing singers who really compliment her vocals.
Guitars usher in next song We’re Both Thinking Of Her, and this song feels much more 80s rock. Tiffany’s vocals are well suited to this rockier sound, and unsurprisingly, whilst the guitars and bass chug along, the whole thing sounds really good. This should have been a single.
Walk Away While You Can comes in bouncing with (some lovely) synths and a light pop beat. I found myself tapping my foot soon after, and whilst it’s quite a simple track, it’s a catchy one. Tiffany makes light work of the vocals here. Again, this could have been a great single.
This is followed by Drop That Bomb which is thankfully about bombshells rather than taking aggressive military action. A fast beat and fills burst in with lots of ‘ooh ooh‘ backing vocals. Tiffany soon arrives, revealing a pure pop song. This song sounds like something you might expect contemporaries Martika, Debbie Gibson or Janet Jackson to have wrestled her for. This is a great little track.
Fifth and final single, It’s The Lover (Not The Love) is up next, and we’re right back into ballad territory again. It’s an 80s American ballad-by-numbers to be honest, in which you could easily switch the vocalist to someone like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, or Dina Carroll, and it wouldn’t really matter. Not the most interesting song here. The song failed to chart in the US and UK.
This is followed by I’ll Be The Girl, which thankfully picks up the pace and returns us to pop again. Tiffany puts on her candy pop vocals again, resulting in a nice light little track. This track was written by the same songwriter as Drop That Bomb (a Mike Piccirillo) and I think that’s blatantly evident. There’s some nice vocal harmonies in this song too.
Penultimate track is Hearts Never Lie which is a ballad duet with country singer Chris Farren, and it’s he who starts the song off. His voice is a nice contrast to Tiffany’s – a slightly lower, softer, and more soulful voice than hers – a bit Bryan Adams-y. The song kind of plods along, and if you’re holding out for a big vocal duet moment between the two, you’ll be disappointed.
The album closes rather oddly with a 1m 24s Overture, which is an acoustic guitar instrumental track, taking elements of other songs from the album. Tiffany doesn’t appear here at all, with all the work ably carried out by guitarist Grant Geissman. A strange ending.
Where is Tiffany now?
Tiffany has never been away. Despite disappointing sales of this album, she has gone on to record 6 further studio albums covering genres of dance and country music.
She has seen some moderate success in the US Dance Chart with three singles between 2007 and 2009, but her initial 80s commercial success has yet to return.
Turning her hand to film and tv, Tiffany starred in a modern disaster movie Mega Piranha (2010) and joined forces with Debbie Gibson for the follow-up Mega Python vs Gatoroid (2011). Debbie had previously starred in and earlier film in the disaster movie series Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009). Tiffany has also appeared in both Ted (2012) and Ted 2 (2015).
POP RESCUE RATING
Over all, there’s plenty of okay and dull songs here, with a few gems including Radio Romance, Drop That Bomb, and Walk Away While You Can, scattered amongst the songs.
Sadly, most of those weren’t singles, and perhaps this is why only two of the songs here charted in the UK. The Overture is an odd choice to end on.
It has some great moments, but the reliance on ballads makes it a little tedious in places.
- POP RESCUE 2015 RATING: 3 / 5
- 1988 UK CHART POSITION: #56
- POP RESCUE 2015 COST: £1.00 from a Marie Curie Cancer Care store.