This year, Bonnie Tyler celebrates 50 years in the music industry. Where better, then, to hold a celebratory, sold-out concert than at The London Palladium, where Bonnie first performed in 1976, supporting Gene Pitney? “I’d just scored my first hit and it was the only time my parents ever saw me perform”, this feisty 67-year-old reminisced.
“And do you know, I’ve loved every bloody minute of those 50 years!” As the audience cheered, Bonnie added that this year has been particularly special for her: “I wasn’t even planning on making a new album, but ‘Between the Earth and the Stars’ went to number one on Amazon and I got to duet with Rod Stewart and Cliff Richard.”
Said album was written with a team of highly talented writers, including the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb, who penned the beautiful track ‘Seven Waves Away’ about his late brothers. Amy Wadge, who co-writes with Ed Sheeran, contributed three tracks: ‘Older’ is a particular gem. And I loved watching Bonnie perform ‘Move’, which is completely different from her usual style: “…and I love it. BT’s getting funky now!”
It goes without saying that there had to be some nostalgic moments, too. ‘Lost in France’ was Tyler’s first hit: “To hear yourself singing on the radio for the first time is indescribable”. That song has stood the test of time, as Bonnie proved when she sang it tonight.
“And then, I had to have a throat operation to have some nodules removed. It took me longer than expected to get better, but I went into the studio, recorded ‘It’s a Heartache’ – and cracked America”. I love that song, and hearing Tyler perform it tonight brought back lots of happy memories.
Another old favourite that went down well tonight was ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” a hit for Creedence Clearwater Revival before Bonnie covered it. ‘Holding out for a Hero’ was equally well-received – but with nothing like the cheer reserved for ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’: “…an evergreen that I never get tired of singing”. Needless to say, the audience was on its feet throughout – and stayed on them for ‘Faster for the Speed of Light’, the title track of the 1983 album she made with Jim Steinman – which went straight to number one in America and the UK.
A cracking finale saw Tyler perform a Janis Joplin classic, ‘Turtle Blues’, which Bonnie recorded back in 1985. “She was a big influence on me”, Tyler commented, “As was Tina Turner. And do you know, I recorded this next song two years before Tina and it was a flop. Two years later, she went to number one with it all around the world!” That song was, of course, ‘Simply the Best’.
A great way in which to end the night. Apparently Bonnie Tyler will be performing, by special request, for the Pope in December. His Holiness has a treat in store.