It seems Brits do and there is no doubt that the rest of the countries do too. She is one of the rock legends of the 80s and this year, Bonnie Tyler is representing the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Malmö, Sweden. With millions of record sales around the globe and songs every music lover knows, Bonnie has a special place in the UK’s music history.
Let’s start with your latest record. Can you tell us a little more about your album and what can we expect?
It’s a mixture of songs. I do a duet with Vince Gill and he is a 27 time Grammy winner and when I was offered this duet, I was “Oh wow! I wonder if Vince Gill will do it!” because about 7 years ago, I really fell in love with his voice. He’s got an amazing voice, that’s why we call it Rocks and honey. I’m the rocks, he’s the honey. There’s ballads. It’s like pop rock album with country songs.
You are known for your authentic ballads like Total eclipse of the heart. Would you say that the new album carries a Bonnie Tyler style we are familiar with or have you decided on a different direction?
I think over the years my voice is matured more. I don’t find the huskiness as strong as before. On the new album I love very much the ballad ‘All I ever wanted’. Such a beautiful song written by Frank J Myers who wrote ‘I swear’. This album is completely different to the past styles. There is only one Jim Steinman right? His production is bombastic, mega production. This is a more of a Nashville feel with rock creeping in it. The producer David Huff is using a totally different way of producing. He really captured an excellent production. I am really happy with him.
So this is your first album since 2005. Why such a long delay?
I was touring all that time but mostly because I didn’t have the songs. I only wanted to do another album if I believed in every single song of it. We went to Nashville to particularly look for the songs and we met different publishers and they just pulled out those just great songs! In fact I left Nashville after a week with the feeling “That is amazing”!
Are there any particular favourite songs that stand out of the album?
Of course! ‘All I ever wanted’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘This is gonna hurt’, ‘Daily superstar’, the duet with Vince Gill ‘What you need from me’ and there is beautiful song called ‘Mom’ and it’s about a child talking in Heaven before it gets born. When I heard the demo of that song, I was getting ready to go on stage, and I started crying and I had to put it off otherwise I would have to do my makeup again. So I did my show and I couldn’t wait to listen to the rest of the song. It is such a lovely lovely song.
As a successful recording artist, what would you seize from the highlight moment from your career?
I was nominated for 2 Grammy Awards for the song ‘Total eclipse of the heart’. The one nomination was for the best song of the year and the other was for the video clip. But I lost it to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.
How does it feel to fly the flag for the United Kingdom for the 58th Eurovision Song Contest?
Well. They asked me to do it in 1983 but I wasn’t able to do it but it’s kinda the perfect timing this year. I wish my parents were alive; they used to love Eurovision and they would be so proud. I am very happy and delighted to be doing it. Since we’re relying on other countries to vote for us, so I’m being realistic and I say “Let’s not take ourselves so seriously and enjoy the night, hopefully enjoy the performance and do our best”. I’d love to win but I’m not gonna beat myself if I don’t.
What do you think you’ll do differently than previous UK artists?
You know Katrina was last one to win it with a great song. Hopefully I think this year we have a very good song.
What do you think your song is about?
‘Believe in me’ I suppose is a song about a couple where she says “c’mon let’s pull it together! Let’s be one. We can do it. We have something special”.
The track was co-written by Desmond Child and you worked with him before…
Yes! When I got to Nashville and I was searching for songs, I said to my producer that I lost Desmond’s number and he arranged a dinner party with him. On that dinner I asked Desmond if he has any songs for me. The next day he send me a CD with demos and out of all of them, I really liked ‘Believe in me’ which was not finished at that time. When I told him that this is the song I wanted he invited me for another dinner promising to have it ready by then, which he did! So we ended up there and he was like “listen to this” (we listened to the demo with Desmond’s voice). […] and we went to the studio and did it!
That’s fantastic! It’s seems so easy! OK! So what can we expect from your performance in Eurovision? Are you planning any visual spectacle?
Well, there’s not gonna be any ripping off the skirts although in backstage did that very well (laughs). Basically it’s gonna be three boys on guitars and keyboards and two girls backing vocalists. I’m not gonna be dancing around and I won’t have any choreography. It’s gonna be just a performance.
Have you been offered any advice from previous UK Eurovision contestants?
Well I did a couple of phonecalls. One was of Katrina and Nicky from Brotherhood from Man, she’s my friend anyway and she has been to Eurovision. Both told me that it’s gonna be hectic but don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Enjoy it because it’s a great experience.
esctoday.com would like to thank Bonnie Tyler and Paula Hartley for this interview.