Sep 102017
 

from HEADED FOR THE FUTURE

written by Bryan Adams & Jim Vallance

 

Recorded in 1985, Neil Diamond’s Headed For The Future saw the adult pop superstar try to update his sound with a string of collaborations with the cream of the crop of pop writers and producers in those years. The recording sessions were supervised by heavyweights including Burt Bacharach, David Foster, Maurice White and Stevie Wonder.

Among the writers were Diamond with the aforementioned top music-makers plus noted tunesmiths including Carole Bayer Sager, Bryan Adams, Greg Phillinganes, Steve Kipner and Bobby Caldwell. The more traditional pop stuff by Bacharach and Foster followed adult contemporary lines of Diamond’s previous efforts while White and Wonder tried a different, r&b-influenced approach with mixed results. Foster produced two tracks; “The Man You Need” and “It Should Have Been Me.” A review of “The Man You Need,” co-written by Foster with the veteran singer, can be found in the archives.

This week, the attention goes to “It Should Have Been Me.” This charming power ballad was co-written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. The song sports the classic, ear-candy Foster arrangement that owned the pop charts in the eighties. The tune’s trademark progression was based on the Hitman’s various keyboards and some tasteful rock guitars to embellish the atmosphere. This melodic gem offers a stirring refrain where Diamond’s familiar voice was joined by the pristine vocal harmonies of Bill Champlin and Jason Scheff of Chicago fame. Diamond handles the bittersweet lyrics with his usual bravura and the result was a track of pure bliss for his fans and adult contemporary music lovers. Adams wrote the song, at Foster’s request, for Spanish international superstar Julio Iglesias, but the tune was eventually resurrected on Diamond’s album though neither “The Man You Need” nor “It Should Have Been Me” were picked as singles. The two songs had chart potential that would have made them hits. The powers-that-be went with the title-track that barely reached the Top Ten on the Adult Contemporary chart and hit the wall at #53 on Billboard’s Hot 100.  Headed For The Future reached #20 on Billboard’s Top 200 in 1986 and was certified gold. The following year, “It Should Have Been Me” was covered by Carly Simon under Adams ’ production for her Coming Around Again album. This rendition, although helmed by one of the song’s writers, lacked a bit of the lustrous grandeur that Foster always guaranteed on his productions.


Listen

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Lead Vocals: Neil Diamond
Drums Overdubs: Tris Imboden
Bass: Jason Scheff
Keyboards: David Foster
Guitar: Dann Huff & Michael Landau
Programming: David Boruff
Backing Vocals: Bill Champlin & Jason Scheff

Produced & Arranged by David Foster


Lyrics

I think of you now and then
Cause I remember when
Love was new and you were mine
My love

So why should we pretend
We were lovers but now we’re friends
Don’t want to say good-bye to you again
My love

It should have been me
That’s holding you instead of someone else
I needed you but never let it show
It should have been me
That’s loving you
Through all the lonely nights
I knew that I should have never let you go
My love

What we once had is gone
No tears, no right, no wrong
We could never be the same again
My love

The more we see the less we know
You still believe our love could grow
Don’t want to say good-bye to you again
My love

It should have been me
That’s holding you instead of someone else
I needed you but never let it show
It should have been me
That’s loving you
Through all the lonely nights
I knew that I should have never let you go
My love

How will I survive
With another broken heart
On my own again
Just a lonely man
Looking for a place to start

It should have been me
That’s holding you instead of someone else
I needed you but never let it show
It should have been me
That’s loving you
Through all the lonely nights
I knew that I should have never let you go
My love

My love