Some of the best songs embody a real sense of nostalgia and often find a permanent place in our hearts for all sorts of reasons. Those who remember Quarterflash from the early to mid 80s will remember their juggernaut hit Harden My Heart as a bittersweet anthem for those undone by the pain of betrayal. The song was originally a big regional hit for rock newcomers Quarterflash in Oregon, under their previous incarnation as Seafood Mama, in 1980. Interestingly, the regional popularity of the song Harden My Hard was only just the beginning of the astonishing success that would later come, after they changed their name to Quarterflash and signed with Geffen Records a year later in 1981, re-recording the song for their self-titled debut album. Re-released once again as a single on a bigger stage, Harden My Heart would spend twelve weeks on the US Hot 100 peaking at #3 in 1982. Worldwide the song also had an impact in several countries, including Australia as a top ten hit.
Although, I was too young to understand its sentiment in 1982, I was still nonetheless mesmerised by lead singer and saxophonist Rindy Ross aching vocals but more so by one of the best saxophone intros of all time. Years later, when it found a permanent home on various classic rock radio stations as a go-to power ballad, I began to appreciate its underlining message. The key lyrics ‘I’m gonna harden my heart/I’m gonna swallow my tears’ could almost easily be applied to any situation of personal turmoil, especially our reaction to feelings of heartache and disloyalty.