Living legend Cher is back Tuesday with Closer to the Truth, her 26th solo effort and first in 12 years, but not every track is new.
In a recent interview with USA Today, the singer/actress revealed that the song "Lovers Forever," written by Cher and her friend Shirley Eikhard, was originally recorded for the soundtrack to the 1994 film Interview With the Vampire. That album, released by Cher's one-time label Geffen Records, was entirely composed of Elliot Goldenthal's score, save for Guns N' Roses' cover of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil."
"They didn't love it and there were no other vampire outlets then, so I held it," Cher said of the song, adding that she rarely records songs she's written because they're "moody and introspective, a bit dark and very personal. I write about Kurt Cobain's death and homeless people. It's not for everybody."
Casual Cher fans may not be aware of the Cobain track she referenced. It's not included on Closer to the Truth; rather, it came out on Not.com.mercial, an under-the-radar album that was initially released in 2000, in the wake of her monster hit "Believe," exclusively through Cher.com and Artist Direct, although it was eventually reissued by the Universal Music Group.
"(The Fall) Kurt's Blues," the song that Cher referenced in the USA Today interview, is a sparse and haunting ballad co-written by Pat MacDonald of Timbuk3 fame along with Bruce Roberts.
In an interview with Lawrence Ferber, posted on his ewelthrope blog, Cher talked about her approach to Not.com.mercial and the song about Cobain. "I actually wrote the bodies and the ideas pretty much before we put them to music," she explained, "and then while we were doing the music sometimes I would have to change them… mostly the essence and majority of them, like '(The Fall) Kurt's Blues' is exactly the way I wrote it."
The song includes such heartfelt lyrics as, "Never even knew you / But I heard your note today / You talk about injustice / And how we look the other way / I knew full well your meaning/ But my world just moves too fast / It's a shame about your future /It's a crime about your past." Later in the song, Cher sings, "I am 30 light years older / But I understand your pain / They'll all hate you / 'Cause you left them here / To struggle on their own / I'm sorry you saw no choice / 'Til death chilled you to the bone."
The lost album, recorded with a backing band that included several members of David Letterman's house band, including Paul Shaffer, reportedly got its title when Rob Dickins (the then-head of Warner U.K.) allegedly rejected the album, saying it was "not commercial." It also includes the Sonny & Cher song "Classified 1A." The track, penned by Sonny Bono, was not previously released because it was thought to be un-American.
Cher appears to be back on a more commercial path with Closer to the Truth. The album's opening track, "Woman's World," released in advance of the album, topped the Billboard dance chart back in July.
I am 30 light years older
But I understand your pain
They'll all hate you
'Cause you left them here
To struggle on their own
I'm sorry you saw no choice
'Til death chilled you to the bone