Song of the Day, February 18: Machinery by Sheena Easton

sheena-easton-machinery-emi-2Today’s song is Machinery by Sheena Easton. The Scottish singer took the world by storm after featuring in the British documentary The Big Time. Her first two albums were smash hits and generated a handful of Top 20 hits in both the US and the UK, blending smart modern pop with soulful ballads that showed off her vocal skills. For her third album — 1982’s Madness, Money and Music — she reflected on the whirlwind her life had become and focused mostly on big adult contemporary ballads. The disc features a stunning rendition of Janis Ian’s In the Winter and one of the earliest versions of the now-standard Wind Beneath My Wings.

The finest moment, however, is one of her most delightful tracks, a somewhat out of place edgy dance number called Machinery. Featuring a memorable sax riff, the track chugs along for less than three minutes as Easton berates her lover for treating her as less than human. It’s a smart composition with great production and Easton’s vocals are spot on. The track didn’t fit very well on the album, nor did it match the For Your Eyes Only style that listeners expected, so the single was not particularly successful. It did, however, presage the sexy dance belter phase that was her most successful run on the US charts.

Enjoy this lovely slice of 80s pop today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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