A Good Heart – Feargal Sharkey

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………….on November 16th of 1985 Feargal Sharkey tops the UK singles chart with “A Good Heart”. This was Feargal Sharkey’s only UK #1. It was produced by Dave Stewart from The Eurythmics. Sharkey was an Ulsterman who was lead vocalist of the Irish punk band The Undertones. After recording three solo albums, he gave up music and by 1993 had established himself as A&R Manager for Polydor Records. He continued to work in this side of the industry, and in 1998 was appointed a member of the Radio Authority. He went on to become the British government’s live music adviser. This was the opening track on Feargal Sharkey’s self-titled debut album. Maria McKee, who was then the vocalist of Lone Justice, wrote this song. It is about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, with whom she had recently ended a relationship (Tom Petty and Mike Campbell had written one of Lone Justice’s biggest hits, “Ways to Be Wicked”). The second track on the album was an answer record, “You Little Thief,” penned by Benmont as a reply. Feargal Sharkey released it as his follow-up to “A Good Heart” and again it was an UK hit, peaking at #5. Feargal Sharkey, who was friends with both parties, is probably the only artist to have recorded an answer record in response to a call song of his own. This was possibly because having recorded “A Good Heart” which was about Maria McKee’s version of their split, and having a hit with it, he didn’t want to show any favoritism so he then recorded Benmont’s response! The song failed however to get any traction in the US where it peaked at only #74.