No, it's not a one-hit wonder; Stacey Q (born as Stacey Swain) had another Billboard charter with "We Connect" in 1987. But "Two of Hearts" is definitely her signature song and greatest claim to fame.
Stacey Q was the quintessential Southern California girl: born in Fullerton, Orange County, she worked for years as an entertainer at Disneyland (she was a dancing puppet in the parade), then auditioned at the Ringling Brothers circus and became a showgirl there and then an elephant rider. Then her musician boyfriend introduced her to the Casbah Recording Studio (Fullerton California again), where she met the producer Jon Saint James, who formed a Techno group with her called Q. The group broke up in the early '80s, but Swain got a record deal in 1985, and with Saint James as her producer, recorded as Stacey Q - a reference to their earlier band name. Saint James was a big fan of the German electronic band Kraftwerk, and you can hear that influence in this song.
The single sold one million copies in 1986, being one of the more successful singles that year. At first Stacey Q's fame remained a California phenomenon until she appeared to perform her song on the TV teen sitcom The Facts of Life. Then she was jamming out of every radio in the world at once, it seemed.
Would you believe after all that, she pulled a Beatles and fled to Tibet to study under monks and become a Buddhist? That led to her album Boomerang (her come-back album, get it?), where she even covered George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord
." Boomerang went boom, and since then Stacey Q has faded into obscurity. Southern California went bust at the same time, so there really is a Fisher King type angle to this story.
Three different songs called "Two Hearts" have made the Top 40 in America, including a #1 hit for Phil Collins
, but this is the first hit song to use the playing card theme for the story of a couple uniting in harmony. It's also the second-biggest hit with a playing card description in the title, after Juice Newton's version of "Queen of Hearts," although Metal fans will always prefer "Ace Of Spades
" by Motorhead.
In cards, the suit of hearts is derived from the Tarot deck suit of cups. In Tarot, the two of cups is a minor arcana card which normally indicates love, relationship, or a partnership such as a business venture, but reversed means a break-up or fragmenting of a foundation.
The songwriting credits on this one are cryptic. BMI lists a guy named John Dixon Mitchell, while ASCAP has it as Basa Ildiko and Peter Norbert. The song has a very European feel, and there's a good chance it originated there.
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