Classics: Dan Hartman – Relight My Fire (Blue Sky)
‘Relight My Fire’ saw the light back in 1979 as the ideal follow-up of the anthemic ‘Instant Replay’. Even though its lyrical theme happened to be slightly different. Not as uplifting although shwoing more about the man’s senstivity in the meantime.
“Relight my fire, your love is my only desire. Relight my fire, ‘Cause I need your love…” The conviction is definitely here, being for much on the instant appeal of this gem. From Hartman‘s vocal performance. To Loleatta Holloway’s presence on the Strong enough to walk on through the night (yeah), there’s a new day on the other side (yeah). You got to have hope in your soul. Just keep on walkin’ yeah, just keep on walkin’ yeah…” refrain. The whole with strings and horns courtesy of MFSB under the direction of Norman Harris…
A native of Harrisburg, PA, Dan Hartman has left a considerable imprint on music, and more precisely on Disco. He so to say made his classics along with the brothers Winter‘s respective bands (Johnny and Edgar). Eventually contributing to The Edgar Winter Group‘s 1972 ‘They Only Come Out At Night’ album. This while playing bass and landing vocals. But also writing ‘Free Love’ which would be the group’s second Pop hit.
Six years later, Edgar Winter came to join Hartman while playing saxophone on ‘Instant Replay’. His first #1 hit single as a solo artist. And, in the meantime, the opening track to his album of the likes with arrangements courtesy of Gene Page. But also one of the highlights of the aforementioned along with ‘Countdown/This Is It’.
The year after – in 1979 – Hartman‘s second chart topper followed by the likes of ‘Relight My Fire’. A cut that saw him sharing the bill with Loleatta Holloway vocally speaking. Meanwhile, he would return the favor a few months after. This while producing the memorable ‘Love Sensation’ for her. ‘Relight My Fire’ (the album) seeing Stevie Wonder joinin’ him with his harmonica on ‘Hands Down’.
‘It Hurts To Be In Love’, his fourth and final album for Blue Sky, failed to generate anything noticable. But success would come back three years after (in 1984) with the release of his ‘I Can Dream About You’ album on MCA. This with its title cut and ‘We Are The Young’, his third chart topper. Meanwhile, ‘White Boy’, his follow-up album, never saw the light, with his label considering it as too dissimilar from his previous works.
As a producer, Hartman worked with countless luminaries. Crafting the successful ‘Living In America’ for James Brown, as a part of the ‘Rocky IV’ OST. But also producing ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose You’ and ‘The Best’ for Tina Turner among others.
Dan Hartman sadly died on Mar 22, 1994 of an AIDS-related brain tumor at his Westport, CT home, aged 43.