Angelia

Album: Repeat Offender (1989)
Charted: 45 4

Songfacts®:

  • Doing for the Angelias of the world what Fleetwood Mac did for Rhiannons, Richard Marx came across the name by chance. He told Songfacts: "The name came from a flight attendant. The extent of my relationship with the actual Angelia is that she served me a ginger ale on the plane. But there was this beautiful girl - the flight attendant. The band and I were on a flight down in Dallas or somewhere in the south going to a gig, and this girl was smiling as she was coming up the aisle with the beverage cart, and I thought, Oh, she's got to be new, because she was smiling and happy. (laughs) Really pretty girl. And when she got to my aisle, I noticed her name tag was Angelia. Actually, I thought it was ANG-e-lia, and I commented how much I thought her name was beautiful. And she said, 'I actually pronounce it Ange-LI-a.' And again, it was almost like 'Hazard,' in that I had the whole song written except those four syllables. I knew I wanted a girls' name, because I'd never written a song with a girls' name, and every rock singer has to have one, at least. I think it's the law somewhere. And I didn't want, you know, Ethel Feinberg to be the four syllables. Nothing against any Ethel Feinbergs out there, but I wanted it to be a beautiful name. So it came just in time, because I was really trying to get that song finished, and we took that flight, and there was this gorgeous name." (Here's our full interview with Richard Marx.)
  • Marx married the actress Cynthia Rhodes the same year this song was released, but despite finding the love of his life at an early age, he has no interest in chipper love songs. "There's nothing like young, unrequited love," he says, and many of his songs are based on previous relationships. "Angelia," in which his heart is torn to shreds, came from "a composite of different girls that had come and gone back in the past."
  • Michael Bay directed the video. He would later become known for blockbuster movies like Armageddon and the Transformers franchise, but at the time Bay was a protégé of David Fincher and just getting started directing videos. Other clips Bay worked on include "I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls and "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf.

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