#761: 2 Good 2 Be Enough by Corey Hart
Corey Hart was born in 1962 in Montreal, Quebec. He is best known for his international Top Ten hits “Sunglasses at Night” (#7 Billboard Hot 100) and “Never Surrender” (#3 Billboard Hot 100). Hart is lauded as one of Canada’s most successful singer-songwriters. He’s sold over 16 million records worldwide. On the Billboard Hot 100 Hart scored 9 consecutive Top 40 Hits. Back in Canada he succeeded in charting 30 top 40 singles (including 11 Top 10 singles during his career). Hart is a Grammy Nominated, ASCAP & multiple Juno and ADISQ award winner. He has also written and produced several songs for fellow Quebec recording star Celine Dion.
Though he was born in Montreal, Hart grew up variously in Key Biscayne, Florida, Mexico City and Spain. During his childhood he became fluent in English, French and Spanish. His first time as a performer was in front of UK singer Tom Jones, when eleven year-old Hart sang the Michael Jackson tune “Ben”. In 1980 Hart was one of Canada’s entries at the World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo. While there he met fellow Canadian entry, Dan Hill, along with American recording artist Christopher Cross (“Sailing”).
In 1981 Hart heard Billy Joel in concert in Montreal and contacted Joel. Joel was impressed with Hart’s virtuosity on drums, guitar, vocals, piano and as well as a songwriter. Hart went to Long Island to record some demos at Joel’s recording studio in Oyster Bay. In 1982 Hart recorded his debut album, First Offense, in the UK. Hart had the humbling experience of Canadian listeners only being interested in his music if he could break into the US record market.
In 1984 “Sunglasses At Night” peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It only climbed to #24 on the Canadian RPM charts, #11 in Montreal, #13 in Toronto and got airplay, but no chart run, in Vancouver. (The latter was a big surprise to this writer). The song became a Top 20 hit in Australia, New Zealand and Germany. With international fame, Canadians warmed up to Hart as one of their own. Suddenly, things changed and Hart was a pop star. He later recalled:
“In retrospect, I was totally unprepared for the fan adulation. I really couldn’t go out anywhere without being mobbed or chased by my fans. The transformation from unknown artist to rock star was surreal and overwhelming. The power of video certainly played a key role. It was the same for many artists of that decade like Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and George Michael to name but a few.”
On August 6, 1985, Corey Hart gave a concert in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum.
Hart’s second album was titled Boy in a Box. His first single release from the album was “Never Surrender.” And both “Boy In A Box” and “Everything In My Heart” were big hits in Canada. His fourth was “Eurasian Eyes“, a track that made it’s way onto the Soundtrack to the 1986 film 9 1/2 Weeks, starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. In 1986, Hart had a #1 hit with a cover of the 1961 Elvis Presley song, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, from the film Blue Hawaii. Hart also released his third album, Fields Of Fire. In the midst of these releases came a non-album synth-pop single titled “2 Good 2 Be Enough”.
In the official video for Corey Hart’s song, “2 Good 2 Be Enough”, he is in the Florida Everglades. He’s on a canoe and then on a houseboat and finally on a speed boat. There are two women strutting their stuff on the houseboat. One is dancing with a glass of wine in her hand. She later makes a potion which spews pink smoke over a pot. The other woman takes the wheel and steers the houseboat down the everglades. There are crocodiles. Meanwhile, he sings that he’s not sorry, and asks the question “is it ever good enough for you?” With crocodiles in the water, Corey Hart jumps into the everglades and starts to swim. Will the crocodile attack him? But on this day, Hart’s fate is only to end up back on the houseboat or in a speed boat wearing a remarkably dry shirt. The song’s video might be a good candidate for a literal video, where new lyrics are fashioned based on what the viewer of the video is actually seeing. The song, shot in the Florida Everglades, was released as a music video. “2 Good 2 Be Enough” only charted in Vancouver, peaking on CKLG at #9. It was listed as “2 Good 2 Be Enough” on the record chart and the jacket for the 45 RPM single. However, on the record itself, the song’s title was spelled “Too Good To Be Enough”.
Corey Hart had several more big hits in the next ten years. Both “In Your Soul” and “Black Cloud Rain” made it to #2 on the Canadian RPM singles chart. The first in 1988 and the second in 1996.
Though he continued to have hits through the 90s, Hart moved with his spouse, Julie Masse, and their four children to the Bahamas in 1999. Between 1998 and 2014 Hart didn’t release any new solo singles or albums. In 2003, Hart became involved in a joint venture record label business which he named Siena Records. It was headed by Seymour Stein, the CEO of Sire Records, and Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada’s President.
On June 3, 2014, after a 12 year break from live performance, Corey Hart took to the stage playing before a sold out audience at the Montreal Bell Centre Arena. It was billed as “One Night – Three Decades Of Music.” Hart also released his autobiography entitled Chasing The Sun the same night. On June 25, 2019, Corey Hart appeared in concert in Vancouver at the Rogers Arena.
July 19, 2018
Corey Hart bio, Corey Hart.com
Karen Bliss, Corey Hart On Crying At His Retirement Concert He Quit and What He’ll Do Next, Huffington Post, June 16, 2014
Hart, Corey. Chasing The Sun – My Life In Music. Warner Books, 2014.
“Corey Hart Concerts – Canada,” setlist.fm.
“CKLG Top Thirty,” CKLG 730 AM, Vancouver, BC August 18, 1987.
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