Heartbeat (Taana Gardner song)

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"Heartbeat"
Single by Taana Gardner
Released 1981
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Genre Boogie, post-disco, R&B
Length 9:34 (Club Version)
Label West End WES-22132 (US)
Writer(s) Kenton Nix
Producer(s) Kenton Nix

"Heartbeat" is a 1981 dance single by Taana Gardner. It was arranged by Dennis Weeden and Kenton Nix, and released by West End Records, with the more famous club mix created by Larry Levan. It reached US Billboard R&B at #10, US Billboard Dance charts at #6.[1] It has sold over 800,000 copies.[2]

Reception[edit]

In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau reviewed the song's 12-inch release in 1981 and gave it an A rating,[3] indicating "a great record both of whose sides offer enduring pleasure and surprise."[4] He dubbed it a "classic one-shot" and "the hottest r&b record in the city right now for two self-evident reasons", stating:

First is the beat, which is like what it says only deeper and more deliberate (in the drums and handclaps) with palpitations (provided by a slow-humping bass). Second is Taana, who'd combine the melodic dislocations of Esther Phillips and the girlish screech of Diana Ross if she had the technical control of either. Because she doesn't, she also recalls another timbre-sister, Shirley Goodman (of & Lee and 'Shame, Shame, Shame'). First I played the 6:30-minute 'party' version; now I prefer the 9:34-minute 'club' version. One-shot, eh?[3]

—Robert Christgau

Allmusic editor Andy Kellman found the song's rhythm "instantly memorable" and recognized its widespread sampling by hip hop producers, stating "Though hip hop fans are just as familiar with that bass line – often put to great use after its original recording — as rock fans are familiar with the guitar riffs of 'Purple Haze,' no song that has referenced 'Heartbeat' comes close to matching it."[5] Kellman also writes that the song's "greatness comes down to Gardner’s vocals just as much as that rhythm", stating:

Her typically sweet delivery knows when to coo and when to growl at all the right moments, riding atop the wave of bass, drums, handclaps, and unobtrusive synth lines that twinkle and zap. Few vocal turns have conveyed the butterflies of love better than this one; in fact, the repeated refrain of 'Heartbeat, it makes me feel so weak' sticks in the head just as much as any other element of the song. Without a doubt – and with or without its status as a constant sampling source – 'Heartbeat' is one of the best pop singles of the ‘80s.[5]

—Andy Kellman

Track listing[edit]

  • US: West End / WES-22132
Side A
No. Title Version Length
1. "Heartbeat"   Club Version 9:34
Side B
No. Title Version Length
1. "Heartbeat"   Party Version 6:30

Influence[edit]

"Heartbeat" has been extensively sampled in Hip hop music, pop music and dance music:

  • Tee Ski Valley sampled "Heartbeat" for his 1984 Rap Catch The Beat. On "Grand Groove Records".
  • De La Soul sampled "Heartbeat" for the remixed version of 1989 single "Buddy".
  • Ini Kamoze sampled "Heartbeat" for his song "Here Comes The Hotstepper", a #1 song on the American pop charts in December 1994.
  • D'Influence sampled "Heartbeat" for their remix of "Crazy" by Mark Morrison, which peaked at #6 on the UK Singles Chart in 1996.
  • Musiq Soulchild sampled De La Soul's "Buddy (Native Tongues Decision Remix)", and interpolations from the composition "Heartbeat (Kenton Mix)" for his song "B.U.D.D.Y.".
  • Norwegian pop singer Annie based her song "I Will Get On" on Gardner's song "Heartbeat".[citation needed]
  • DMX sampled "Heartbeat" for the song entitled "It's All Good (Love My Niggas)".
  • Mack 10 sampled "Heartbeat" for his 1998 song, "LBC and the ING", which features Snoop Dogg on the album The Recipe.
  • JX sampled "Heartbeat" for "There's Nothing I Won't Do" (1996).
  • The Treacherous Three sampled "Heartbeat" on their track "Feel The Heartbeat".
  • Nationwide Rip Ridaz sampled the whole song on the track titled "Better Watch Your Back (Fucc Slob)".
  • SWV sampled "Heartbeat" for the "You're the One" Allstar Remix.
  • The song appeared in the film 3 Strikes.

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1990, Seduction recorded the song which along with the track "Heartbeat" peaked at number two on the dance charts.[6] This version also peaked at number twenty-one on the soul chart and number thirteen on the Hot 100.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Taana Gardner version[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard R&B Singles[1] 10
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play[1] 6

Seduction version[edit]

"Heartbeat"
Single by Seduction
Released February 10, 1990
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Chart (1990) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[6][7] 13
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play[6][7] 2
U.S. Billboard R&B Singles[6][7] 21

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Allmusic: Taana Gardner - Discography". Allmusic, Billboard. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  2. ^ Flick, Larry (November 14, 1998). "Dance Trax: Humperdinck Takes To The Dancefloor on 'Dance Album'". Billboard, p. 31.
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (March 30, 1981). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1980). "CG 70s: The Grades". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  5. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Heartbeat". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  6. ^ a b c d Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 229. 
  7. ^ a b c d Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 516.