Kenny Loggins released High Adventure in 1982. Raiders of the Lost Ark just raided the box office, and Kenny payed homage to the film in the album art. In High Adventure, Kenny experiments with a harder rock style and new collaborators. The result? Three top 25 hits and a Grammy nomination.
Don’t Fight It
High Adventure was a new page in the Kenny Loggins saga. He teamed up with Steve Perry to record Don’t Fight It. At the time, Steve was the front man for the the multi-platinum mega band, Journey. Steve was preparing for his solo career. So, the two tenors went into a recording studio in Santa Barbara, and Steve Perry took Kenny through his formidable vocal range.
Steve, it turned out, could imitate the singing styles of a mind-blowing variety of artists. From Rod Stewart to Sam Cooke. Inspired by Steve’s impressive range, Jon Bon Jovi later refer to Steve Perry as “The Voice.”
A Whip-Cracking Duet
Don’t Fight It perfectly melded two of the greatest tenor voices of the era. Add in Neil Girardo’s on-(pin)point guitar riffs, and the song was a hit. In 1982, Don’t Fight It came in at number 17 on the hot 100 charts. The duet was later nominated for a Grammy.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of Lost Track
Don’t Fight It features a rollicking whip crack. The sound effect adds a snappy punch to the track right before the chorus of the song. Don’t tell Indy, but Kenny’s producer actually snuck into the vault at Paramount. He raided the actual whip sound effect from Raiders of the Lost Ark. We’re not sure what kind of booby traps he faced. But he safely snuck it back into the vaults and returned it before anyone noticed. This little adventure inspired the album cover and the title of the LP.
Heart to Heart
The biggest hit from High Adventure was Heart to Heart. The song spent 17 weeks on the Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 15 in early 1983.
To create Heart to Heart, Kenny teamed up with David Foster and frequent collaborator Michael McDonald. On a side note, the collaborations of McDonald and Kenny are at the heart of the Yacht Rock sensation. But we’ll cover that phenomenon in a later article.
Time to Improvise!
Kenny wrote the chorus to the song with David Foster. Later, he realized it would be a great track to bring Micheal in on. So he called up Michael and asked him to help write the verses.
When it came time to record it, Foster couldn’t capture what McDonald had played. To make things worse, McDonald couldn’t capture what Foster played either. What to do? Well, Kenny brought them both in the studio. He set up McDonald on the Rhodes, and put Foster in a connecting room on a baby grand piano.
It was quite a feat. The two artists had to improvise and play off each other. McDonald played the verses. Then Foster played the chorus. For Kenny, it was just fun to watch!
When Kenny and Michael play the song live, Michael always forgets the lyrics. So, he just improvises them. If you pay attention, they’re always a little different. Go watch the different live sessions on YouTube and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s hilarious!
Kenny has tried everything. He offered to write the lyrics to the songs in bold print and tape them to floor. But Micheal always closes his eyes when he sings! I guess Heart to Heart was just meant to be one of those dynamic songs…