Prime Cuts: Stand by Me, Day and Night, Heart in Motion Medley
Overall Grade: 5/5
For years fans have been speculating about the outtakes and off cuts from Amy Grant's Heart in Motion and House of Love sessions. Thanks to Amy Grant and the 30th anniversary of Heart in Motion, we finally get to hear 3 previously unreleased songs. These three cuts are enough reasons for fans to part money to purchase this record. But as an added bonus, Grant has also filled a second disc with remixes and demos some of which have had never been released before. The main disc has also been remastered with a clearer and sharper sound.
For those who are already familiar with the parent album, the main interest is in the second disc of mixes and unreleased songs. So, let's start there: "Stand by Me" is the best track out of the trio of unreleased material. If you like Grant's bouncy numbers such as "Baby Baby" or "Every Heartbeat," "Stand by Me" is up the same alley. Despite the cheesy lyrics ("I can reach another star/if you stand by me), the song has that nostalgic pop love song feel that so infectious. With striking similarities in terms of rhythm and melodic construction to "Galileo," it is understandable why "Day and Night" (despite still a great cut) was left off the original album.
Of the three previously unreleased song "Don't Ever Want to Lose It (Wind in the Fire)" is the weakest. Namely set as a mid-tempo song at a key far too low for Grant to express herself, the song doesn't seem to fit the Amy Grant of this era. As for the remixes "Heart in Motion Medley" is a standout. Stringing together all the big singles from the album over jeep funk beat, the songs get a hip updated sound. Then we get to be invited into the studio, to listen to some rough cuts of her iconic songs from the parent album. Did you know that "That's What Love is For" was originally intended as a duet? Here we get to hear the rough demo of the original vision of the song (was the male duet partner Gary chapman who later sang backings for the final cut?).
If you think some of the original backings were too cluttered with lots of synths and 90s-sounding percussion, the rhythm mix of "I Will Remember You" is actually better. The same can be said about the demo version of "Good for Me." What's amazing is that Grant sounds just as good and even better on some demos! This re-issue is definitely a treat for fans. If you can't get enough of Heart in Motion (easily Grant's most successful and best album) this re-issue is a must. Let's hope they so the same for House of Love when it turns 30!