Cold Hearted – Paula Abdul

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………….on September 2nd of 1989 Paula Abdul had the number one song in the US with “Cold Hearted”. In the UK however, the record stalled at #46. This was Abdul’s third consecutive #1 hit. Her first two singles, “Knocked Out” and “(It’s Just) The Way That You Love Me,” were just modest hits, but “Straight Up” was huge, going to #1. After the title track was issued and rose to the top, “Cold Hearted” followed. Abdul scored yet another #1 when “Opposites Attract” hit the top spot. This song finds Abdul warning another girl about a man, letting her know he’s a heartless snake. Like all of her hits, it was written by a man: Elliot Wolff wrote it after working with Paula on another one of his songs, “Straight Up.” Wolff says he wrote the lyrics by getting in the mindset of a woman. Abdul does some pseudo rapping in this song, which comes off in a distinctive stutter-scat style. When Elliot Wolff demoed the song for her, she told him there was no way she could rap at that pace. She tried, and it wasn’t happening. Wolff solved the problem by giving her some unconventional advice: don’t worry about saying the words, just the vowels. He wrote it out for her phonetically, so “How come he can tell you’re always number one without a doubt” became “ow um ee can ell oor umber un ith out a out.” The video was directed by David Fincher, who also did the “Straight Up” and “Forever Your Girl” clips. The video, an homage to the movie Flashdance, made good use of Abdul’s skill set, as it shows the former Laker Girl leading a dance routine for some incredulous record executives.