Anybody who has spent any amount of time getting to know me since I was about 12 years old knows what a huge Corey Hart fan I have been all these years. Way back in the days before the Justins (Bieber and Timberlake) caused many a heart to flutter, this Canadian girl -- who grew up in Montreal -- swooned over a pouty, sunglasses-at-night wearing heartthrob hailing from the same home town. Okay, I'll admit it. In my eager, young fandom, my childhood bedroom became my personal shrine to Mr. Hart, much to the chagrin of my conservative Persian-Jewish parents.
Back then, I'm not sure my 12-year-old brain really understood, or paid much attention to, the deeper meaning behind any of his songs. Truth be told, I suspect my hormones probably short-circuited any activity in the rational, clear thinking, prefrontal cortex lodged in my brain! Ah, youth.
Mr. Hart has mostly taken a step back from the frontline music scene since the late 1990s, in favour of raising his young family of four with his wife, Quebec darling and singing sensation Julie Masse. In this time, he has been writing and producing for other artists, while managing his own boutique record label, Siena Records. About three years ago, as he began promoting one of his talented protégés, he dove into the world of social media by starting his official Facebook page and interacting with his long time fans, whom he affectionately refers to as his caravan. In doing so, he has developed a beautiful online community of kind-hearted, like-minded long-time fans who identify with the core messages he has always espoused in his inspirational lyrics: truth, love, inner resolve, and strength in the face of adversity.
Since his return to the limelight, Mr. Hart has released a number of previously unheard of tracks through his website, and re-interpolated Truth Will Set U Free and Night Visions (Sunglasses) to much critical acclaim.
Just this week, bowing to his longtime fans' persistent requests, he has also agreed to release his ninth, as yet untitled, studio album on April 8, 2014, ahead of his one-time final arena show at Montreal's Bell Centre on May 31, 2014. This new album will include a much anticipated duet with Jane Sibbery, Ten Thousand Horses, which Mr. Hart has described as "a song whose spirit embodies the core of who I am and what I believe in."
I have had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Hart live on seven occasions over the years, and am really looking forward to what he has in store for us at his "One Night, Three Decades Of Music" birthday celebration concert this spring. He has promised an extensive set list of 35 songs (at last count), 21 of which he has already announced to his eager fans, who have made plans to fly in to attend the show from all over the world -- from Singapore, Kenya, and Australia, to the U.S.A and across Canada.
For those of us who came of age in the '80s, this show promises to be a cherished night to remember that will celebrate how we all grew and matured along with Mr. Hart's music. I've come a long way from the swooning, hormone-addled superfan of my youth to embrace his extensive song catalogue, which I often use as the musical backdrop of my life. When the universe seems to throw me curveballs as it's known to do, I Never Surrender, and instead hold onto the thought that "behind the clouds, the sun is shining, some rain will fall, no use crying" ('cause it's in my soul). I metaphorically Chase The Sun daily in my relentless pursuit of bettering myself and being of service to others.
On days when, like many men and women, I struggle with body image, I hum the bars "you are beautiful just the way you are" from Truth Will Set U Free. And if I need to reel in my perfectionistic tendencies which creep up every now and then, my go-to lyric is from Simplicity: "I know, I always knew that nothing flows from when I think too much." Yup, I'm looking forward to celebrating three decades of Corey Hart music with the rest of the caravan on May 31. And I'm also looking forward to hearing a fresh batch of tunes this April 8.
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