A Living Proof from Cher
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil () - September 16, 2002 - 12:00am
Some years ago, Cher had a hit song titled If I Could Turn Back Time and she is one person who really made good that wish. If we are able to believe the TV screen, Cher looks even better than she did during her teen-age years as Mrs. Sonny Bono of the duo Sonny and Cher. Come to think of it, I have been seeing quite a lot of Cher on TV lately. She is a blonde goddess being interviewed by Oprah to promote her new album and tour. Her drag version is helping Don Johnson catch a killer in Nash Bridges. She is Willy’s dream come true in Willy and Grace.

Of course, music TV carries a lot of Cher like the video of her current single A Song for the Lonely and earlier hits like Believe and Dark Lady. Did you know that the video for If I Could Turn Back Time was the very first ever banned from airing by MTV? There are lots of news about her fantastic Living Proof tour where she is said to make her entrance atop a gold-plated chandelier or astride a puppet elephant and performs songs that celebrate her 40-year career in showbusiness.

True, Cher did turn back time, looks-wise. Her costumes are as skimpy as Britney’s. But she also announced that this will be her last performing tour. That is just too bad because a Cher concert can really be a blast. Makes you wonder why Mick, Keith and Stephen, who all look tired and weather-beaten continue to perform, while Cher, who can still pass for 25 if she weren’t so popular and whose music still rocks, has to retire at this time.

Cher is always great fun. I still get a kick out of her old hits like Bang-Bang, Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves, Dark Lady and that duet with Sonny I Got You Babe. Save for occasional ballads like After All from the movie Chances Are, most of her latest output are dance tunes, which probably explains her great popularity with the gay crowd. That is aside from the fact that they do love looking and sounding like Cher. This is where the popularity of the likes of Believe, which bested My Heart Will Go On from Titanic as the biggest single of 1998, If I Could Turn Back Time and Heart of Stone come in.

Living Proof, Cher’s latest is another rousing dancefest. The beat goes on and on as one cut segues to another. It is mostly techno and club, The Music’s No Good Without You and Love One Another, and while the themes vary, A Song for the Lonely and Love So High, the beat remains constant, an echo of those nonstop dance albums of old. Cher’s remarkable alto holds sway throughout. Love is a Lonely Place Without You is the best track of all with When the Money’s Gone a close second. Her singing is in full control and in better form than it was during her early days. You want living proof that time can stand still? Then this is an excellent example.

Living Proof is now available in the local music shops. It is unfortunate though that we will not be getting a glimpse of Cher’s current concert tour. A video is probably all that we will get. I don’t think local promoters are keen about a 56-year-old pop diva packing in the Araneta Coliseum, so we are getting Aaron Carter instead in November. But the music is on CD and within reach of everybody, try to get also a copy of her Greatest Hits album. It is one of the most fun collections I’ve ever listened to.

Incidentally, Cher’s retirement is only from concert tours. She will probably continue to record and will definitely act on stage and in the movies. Just in case you have forgotten, she is also quite an actress with films Silkwood, The Mask, The Witches of Eastwick, Mermaids and Suspect. I love her best in the wonderful romantic comedy Moonstruck, the film that gave her the Academy Award for Best Actress. I loved Nicholas Cage in it too and the movie is living proof of how he was before he learned to act like the way that Michael Bolton sings.

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