If you look at Bonnie Tyler's discography online, you will discover that the Welsh-born, husky-voiced singer has over 150 compilations chronicling her music. Cherry Red imprint Cherry Pop has recently added to this number with the 2-CD Remixes and Rarities, covering her recording career from 1979-1994. What makes this one different from most of the other compilations is that it focuses on hard-to-find tracks which were only released on foreign issues, are non-LP sides, or have been long out-of-print.
The earliest track on this new set comes from 1979. By this point, Tyler was in the middle of her contract with RCA, focusing on a country-rock sound. Born Gaynor Hopkins, Bonnie Tyler was actually the singer's second stage name after Sherene Davis. After several starts and stops, she got her first big hit with "Lost in France" in 1976. 1978's "It a Heartache" was her first big American hit and she recorded 1979's "(The World is Full Of) Married Men" from the film of the same name. The only other two tracks from Tyler's RCA period on this compilation are a Spanish version of "Sitting on the Edge of the Ocean," released only in South America, and "Sayonara Tokyo," a Japanese-only release commissioned for an advertising campaign.
Moving on from RCA, Tyler would sign with Columbia. After seeing a performance by Meat Loaf on television, she asked to meet the songwriter behind his Bat Out of Hell triumph, Jim Steinman. That meeting proved fortuitous, as Steinman would produce two albums for Tyler. The first, 1983's Faster Than The Speed of Night, contained Tyler's signature song "Total Eclipse of the Heart," heard in an extended version on this compilation. Other tracks from that album featured on the set include "It's a Jungle Out There" and "Take Me Back." In 1984, Tyler recorded another of her biggest hits: "Holding Out for a Hero," Steinman and Dean Pitchford's anthem from Footloose, included on the set in two different versions. That song would be also included on 1986's Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire. That effort featured a duet with Todd Rundgren on Steinman's dramatic "Loving You's A Dirty Job (But Somebody's Gotta Do It), heard here in 12" and single edits. Other tracks from this album heard in alternate versions are "Band of Gold," "Rebel Without a Clue," "If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)" and "No Way to Treat a Lady." Non-LP tracks from this era gathered on this set include b-side "First Love," "Matter of the Heart" from the film The Wraith and "Sem Limites Pra Sonhar (Reaching Out for the Infinite Heart)," a duet with Fabio Jr., a Brazilian singer.
When Tyler became frustrated with Steinman's infamously slow pace of work, she teamed with Desmond Child for her third and final Columbia album Hide Your Heart in 1988 (known in the U.S. as Notes from America). Both title songs are included here in their single edits and "Save Up All Your Tears" is featured in its "London Mix," which is actually a live recording taken from a performance at the Hammersmith Odeon. Another track from around this time was "Breakout" from the film Fire, Ice and Dynamite, which is included here in an extended edit.
By 1991, Bonnie Tyler had signed with Germany's Hansa Records label and began to record in a more Europop style. Her first hit there was "Bitterblue," included on the 2-CD set in an alternate mix. The track and album of the same name were produced by Dieter Bohlen. Other songs from this album on the set include "Against the Wind" and "Where Were You." The following year, Angel Heart was released, again primarily produced by Bohlen. Alternate verisons of "God Gave Love to You," "Race to the Fire" and "Fool's Lullaby" are featured. Tyler's duet with Greek recording artist Sofia Arvanniti "The Desert is in Your Heart," also from 1992, is included as well. Bonnie's third and final album with Bohlen, Silhouette in Red, was released in 1993. Rare versions of "From the Bottom of My Lonely Heart" and "Stay" are gathered on this new set. The latest chronological song on the set is the "Classical Version" of "Say Goodbye," taken from the animated movie Asterix Conquers America.
Since departing from Hansa, Tyler has recorded a further six studio albums for various labels including Eastwest and Sony. Her most recent was 2013's Rocks and Honey on ZYX Records and it became her first album to chart in the U.K. since 1988. Tyler has continued to tour and perform and made headlines earlier this year when she performed "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on the MS Oasis of the Seas during the actual solar eclipse in August.
Cherry Pop's new set features a 12-page full color booklet with notes by Liam Brigg, who also compiled the collection. The notes are detailed concerning Tyler's career, but sometimes discuss tracks not included on the set. This coupled with the fact that the tracks are presented non-chronologically with no discographical information provided can sometimes make things a little confusing. It might have also been helpful to highlight what is different about some tracks as opposed to the more familiar versions. In a nice touch, photos of some rare picture sleeve singles have been included. The set has been remastered by Simon Murphy at Another Planet Music.
Although more general fans might want to seek out a more mainstream compilation, Cherry Pop's Remixes and Rarities should prove to a treasure trove for longtime Bonnie Tyler enthusiasts. If you would like to take an alternative look through Tyler's recording career, we've got the full tracklisting with discographical information and ordering links below.
- Holding Out For a Hero (Special Extended Remix) (U.K. 12" A-side - CBS TA 4251, 1984)
- First Love (B-side to "Straight From The Heart" - CBS A 3650 (U.K.), 1983)
- Where Were You (Radio Mix) (German single A-side - Hansa 115 211, 1992)
- It's a Jungle Out There (Special Jim Steinman Remix) (Japanese 12" A-side - Epic 12-3P-538, 1984)
- Breakout (Long Version) (German 12" A-side - Hansa 613 748, 1990)
- Loving You's a Dirty Job (But Someone's Gotta Do It) (with Todd Rundgren) (12" Version) (U.K. 12" A-side - CBS TA 6662, 1985)
- Sem Limites Pra Sonhar (Reaching For The Inifinite Heart) - Fábio Jr. with Bonnie Tyler (from Sem Limites Pra Sonhar - Discos CBS 138.293 (Brazil), 1986)
- Bitterblue (True Blue Mix) (German 12" A-side - Hansa 614 751, 1991)
- I Do It For You (U.K. single B-side - CBS 650157 7, 1986)
- Rebel Without a Clue (Excerpt From...) (U.K. single A-side - CBS 650157 7, 1986)
- Band Of Gold (Long Version) (U.K. 12" A-side - CBS TA 7223, 1986)
- Say Goodbye (Classical Version) (German CD single B-side - Hansa 74321 23305 2, 1994)
- From The Bottom Of My Lonely Heart (Long Version) (German CD single B-side - Hansa 74321 17467 2, 1993)
- Sola a La Orilla del Mar (Sitting On The Edge Of The Ocean) (Spanish single A-side - RCA Victor PB-5257, 1980)
- Hide Your Heart (A-Side Edit) (U.K. single A-side - CBS 651516 7, 1988)
- God Gave Love to You (Radio Version) (German single A-side - Hansa 74321 14439 7, 1993)
- Sayonara Tokyo (Japanese single A-side - RVC Corporation RPS-45, 1981)
- The Desert Is In Your Heart (with Sofia Arvaniti) (from Παράφορα (Furor) - RCA 70211 (Greece), 1992)
- Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Extended Version)
- Matter Of The Heart (from The Wraith: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Scotti Bros. Records Z 40429, 1986)
- Take Me Back (Edit) (U.S. promo single B-side - Columbia 38-04246, 1983
- Against The Wind (Extended Version) (German 12" B-side - Hansa 614 991, 1992)
- If You Were A Woman (and I Was a Man) (Extended Version) (U.K. 12" A-side - CBS TA 6867, 1986
- (The World Is Full Of) Married Men (from The World Is Full Of Married Men soundtrack - Ronco RTD 2038, 1979)
- Band Of Gold (Dub Version) (U.S. 12" B-side - Columbia 44-05976, 1986)
- Loving You's a Dirty Job (But Somebody's Gotta Do It) (with Todd Rundgren) (Radio Edit) (U.K. promo single A-side - CBS A 6662, 1985)
- Race To The Fire (Race Mix) (German 12" B-side to "Fools Lullaby" - Hansa 74321 11500 1, 1992)
- Save Up All Your Tears (London Mix) (U.K. 12" A-side - CBS TYLER T2, 1988)
- Stay (Long Version) (German CD single B-side - Hansa 74321 18752 2, 1993)
- No Way To Treat a Lady (7" Edit) (Dutch single A-side - CBS 650105 7, 1986)
- Notes From America (A-Side Edit) (U.K. single A-side - CBS TYLER 3, 1989)
- Fools Lullaby (Sweet Lullaby Mix) (German CD single B-side - Hansa 74321 11500 2 , 1992)
- Holding Out For a Hero (Instrumental) (U.K. 12" B-side - CBS TA 4251, 1984)