A very romantic song about unwavering devotion, it's hard to believe that lead singer CJ Snare had not yet found his "love of a lifetime" when he wrote it, but that was the case. "I thought it was a nice ideal and it was something cool to write about," he said in our interview
. "And apparently it's panned out for a lot of people: We get a lot people that come up and say, 'We got married to that song and we're still married.'"
CJ Snare had not yet formed FireHouse when he wrote this song. He had a gig playing solo in a hotel lounge with a keyboard and drum machine. One night after his set, he came back to the lounge, enjoyed some free beer, and came up with the song.
With a sentiment about a love that lasts forever, this quickly became a very popular first dance song for newly married couples. It's a classic hair band power ballad similar to many others that were big at the time, some by groups like Sheriff ("When I'm With You"), Bad English ("When I See You Smile
") and Extreme ("More Than Words
Sometimes even when you're sure you've found your true forever love, you later learn that you were sorely mistaken. This was the case with the writer of this song. CJ Snare told us: "It's not about any one particular person, although since I wrote that song, I've probably had about three love of a lifetimes, or ones that I thought were 'Love of a Lifetime' that turned into the 'Next Worst Enemy' and ended up with an 'All She Wrote.'"
This was released on the first FireHouse album, but it was not their first single - that was an uptempo tune called "Don't Treat Me Bad," which held its own on the Hot 100, going to #19 in June 1991. "Love of a Lifetime" was the next single, and it became the band's biggest hit, making #5 in September.
This song almost didn't make the album, since CJ Snare didn't want to introduce it to the band. Part of his trepidation came from some bad medicine Jon Bon Jovi gave him: The singer told CJ that it would ruin his career if he released the song.
Snare only told his bandmates and label about the song after they had completed the album and the label wasn't happy with the power ballad they had recorded for it, a song called "Midnight Fantasy." The label (Epic) floated the idea of bringing in outside writers to help, at which point Snare pulled out this song, which turned out to be exactly what they were looking for.
FireHouse guitarist Bill Leverty is credited as a songwriter on this track, even though he had nothing to do with writing it. According to CJ Snare, they had an arrangement similar to what John Lennon and Paul McCartney did with the Beatles where they shared songwriting credits equally no matter who actually wrote the song. "Love of a Lifetime" was a windfall. "I remember getting one six-figure royalty check for just one single month period off of that," Snare told us. "So financially I was like, 'Whoa, I kind of made it.' And then into the multi-platinum phase, that was another benchmark of you've made it, you've definitely established something within the music industry."
The video was directed by Mark Rezyka, who has a number of hair metal clips to his credit, including "Edge of a Broken Heart" by Vixen and "Loud and Clear" by Autograph.