The 1990s were a time of introspection, and every now and then someone would try to answer some of the great existential questions of their time. But one of those mysteries still persists today: “How do you talk to an angel?”
That’s a tough question to answer, especially considering that doing so is like “trying to catch a falling star.”
Those are about the only pearls of wisdom in The Heights’ “How Do You Talk to an Angel,” the chart-topping theme song for the 1990s teen drama “The Heights.”
No doubt this is a shallow song — a quick look at the lyrics shows it really is only a few sentences repeated over and over to make sure you understand just how difficult it is to talk to an angel. But the tune actually packs quite a bit of sappy charm into a few minutes, and this is definitely one of my favorite 1990s power ballads. I’d much rather endure The Heights than listen to Poison’s “Every Rose Has its Thorn,” probably the lamest power ballad of all time.
But I didn’t even realize that “How Do You Talk to an Angel” was a TV theme song — every time I heard it was on the radio, and I just assumed it was from some random one-hit wonder.
It was only during a recent conversation with my friend that I found out this classic got its start on the TV airwaves. And I’ve got a feeling most people think of this more as a radio hit than a TV theme. The short-lived series “The Heights” premiered in August 1992 and never gained a substantial audience. While it’s true “How Do You Talk to an Angel” was a huge success, becoming the first song from a TV show to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart in seven years and garnering a 1993 Emmy nomination, Fox canceled the show less than a week after the theme fell from the top of the charts.
We can mourn the passing of this cheesy 1990s drama, which according to Wikipedia is “centered on a fictional band (also called The Heights) made up of mostly middle-class young adults.” Sounds like a compelling plot…
While the show is long forgotten, and probably for good reason, at least we can take comfort in the fact that its theme song will still have a place at high school proms and wedding dances for decades to come.
Theme Song Thursday is a weekly look back at memorable, not-so-influential, nostalgia-inducing theme songs by the Herald’s Melinda Lavine and Ryan Johnson. Click here to read previous entries, and feel free to share!