Edge Of A Broken Heart

Album: Vixen (1988)
Charted: 26

Songfacts®:

  • In this kiss-off song, the girl has decided she's finally through with her man, who has kept her on the edge of a broken heart.

    The song was written by Richard Marx along with The Tubes' lead singer, Fee Waybill. Marx had recently released his first album, but had been songwriting for years, contributing on tracks for Kenny Rogers and David Foster. He also co-wrote "Who Loves You Baby" for Waybill's 1984 solo album, Read My Lips. In a Songfacts interview with Marx, he told the story:

    "During my first tour, my then-manager, Allen Kovac, signed Vixen, partly because they were on the same label as me, EMI. So, he wanted to take on this all-female 'heavy metal band.' They were considered heavy metal, but they were a real rock band. He called me while I was on the road, and he said, 'We've got two days coming up where you're off and not doing shows. I hate to ask you this, but I'm managing this band. We've got a really good album, but we don't have a first single.'

    He sent me a couple of the tracks on the record, and I loved the sound of the band, but I was really impressed with the singer, Janet Gardner. I thought she was incredible. It was inspiring for me. I thought, 'I'd love to write a song for her voice.' So, I wrote the music really quickly, and I was under the gun. I write music really quickly, and lyrics take me a long time sometimes. So really, out of just the expedience factor, I called Fee, who writes really fast, and brilliantly.

    I sent him a work tape of the song, and I had the title. I sang that bit - I been living on the edge of a broken heart - and he just ran with it, and finished the lyrics. I think two weeks later, they asked me to produce it, as well. So, I had one day off from tour, I flew to LA, we cut the record, and it became a hit."
  • Hair metal bands were all over the place in 1988, but Vixen was the only all-female group in that genre to score a hit that year. Like their male counterparts, they delivered slick power pop and rocked a look that involved big hair, spandex, and garish makeup. They didn't look all that different from the guys.

    The band had been at it since about 1980. An early version included Steve Vai's wife Pia Maiocco on bass, but the lineup for their self-titled debut album was Janet Gardner (lead vocals, guitar), Share Pedersen (bass), Jan Kuehnemund (guitar) and Roxy Petrucci (drums). Petrucci was previously in the band Madam X.

    "Edge Of A Broken Heart" got them on MTV and earned them airplay on rock and pop radio. Their next single, "Cryin'," outcharted it, going to #22. The band released another album in 1990, Rev It Up, with the minor hit "How Much Love" (#44), but with hair metal on the wane, EMI dropped Vixen and the band broke up. In 1998, they returned with the album Tangerine, and have reunited from time to time since.
  • The video was directed by Mark Rezyka, who also worked with Cinderella, Kiss and Winger.
  • When Vixen recorded their next album, Richard Marx and Fee Waybill wrote them another song, but the band rejected it because they wanted to write more of the songs themselves. In a Songfacts interview with Waybill, he said: "We just kind of went, 'Oh, OK then. No problem.' And that was the last you ever heard of Vixen."

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