Every good girl hears it, every bad boy fears it...
Amy Grant-The Power Original version released in 1994 on the House Of Love LP
Cher-The Power Available on the huge album Believe
Cher-Strong Enough(Gay version) Released in time for the Australian Mardi Gra
Cher-I'm Only Human Stunning newish track by Cher with an epic chorus
As some of you might already know my family are deeply religious and so whilst growing up the only music allowed had to be sanctioned by a higher force. One of the acts that my mother allowed was the American singer Amy Grant despite the fact she was, as my mother would always say, 'from a different and most shameful house of Christianity'. Now Christian pop music was generally quite lame back then so Amy Grant was the best of a very bad selection so I wouldnt mind her music. In fact I think this facet gave Amy Grant the title of "Queen of Christian pop music". Which kinda makes her the true Madonna of pop music if you think of it terms of theology.
Occasionally Amy would step into dance and The Power represented that move. However like most of my parents music I refused to actually allow it pass into my brain no matter how many times my mother played the songs. Then came 1997, I was 14 and secretly dancing to Cher's Believe single that was spreading throughout the world. Eventually I bought the parent album and with my brother we set up a secret listening party in his room. It was like G-a-y or Heaven in the bedroom. If you can imagine two boys dancing to heavy disco with headphones sellotaped to their heads so they wouldnt fall off mid-strut then you got the scene.
We listened and danced to the hit single for about 45 minutes. Sooner or later I remember we got tired of track one and thus allowed the cd player to carry to track two. As it started we froze. Had our parents taken over Cher? Had they caught us listening to forbidden music? My brother jumped out of the coma first and stopped the music immediately. I felt as if suddenly the world was looking down on us and had discovered us. In the sudden silence I looked at the tracklist of the Cd and realised that Cher had covered the song.
Eventually we got over the amalgamation and begun to love her version, which as ya might hear, is exactly same as the 1994 Amy Grant version. It hasnt been changed, pumped up, lyrically altered or disco frenzied. However the song has a greater significance for me...
My brother conspired to la madre that Cher was in fact a Christian act and thus we could play her. That year we changed my mother into a Cher fan all because we provided The Power as concrete proof of her religious leanings. The Power was the ultimate catalyst that changed her opinion on the grand dame of all things fabulous. If there was a dinner party she'd put on Believe in the understanding that Cher was an avid follower of her God. This pleased me no end especially as I, in following in my brothers deviancy, swapped the album mix Strong Enough with the 'gay version'. On any given morning, the family would sit there slowly waking up to Strong Enough without infraction as they were all none the wiser. Except, of course, for us gay boys sitting around the table. My brother and I would eat our cornflakes with mountains of glee beaming from within. This was our way saying 'this is us' and for those moments all was calm, accepting and our desired 'happy+united family' scenario.
So The Power was the key song that made my life just a little bit easier as a teenager. It also allowed us to come out in our little way.
Today we have the original The Power by Amy Grant which is quite good, the Cher version, the Gay version of Strong Enough recorded for Australian Gay Pride and a stunning Cher track called Human. Oh and I need some suggestions regarding songs. Lined up we've got more Kylie, a bit of J:LO and Anna Vissi! Send an email if ya got any thoughts...