Cher first hit the pop singles chart in 1965. She was successful in the 1960s both as a solo artist and one half of the duo Sonny and Cher with her husband Sonny Bono. In the 1970s she emerged as one of the top female pop solo artists. Late in the decade her commercial fortunes faded, but she came back multiple times to earn more pop hits.
Following a commercial resurgence in the late 1980s, Cher's chart success faded throughout the 1990s. However, she connected with British producer Mark Taylor for this lead single from her 23rd studio album of the same name. "Believe" is the first major pop hit to make use of Auto-tune sound effects. The result was the biggest worldwide pop hit of Cher's career. The song ultimately sold 11 million copies worldwide and won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
Written by Diane Warren and released in 1989, "If I Could Turn Back Time" peaked at #3 on the pop singles chart becoming Cher's biggest pop hit in 15 years. The music video filmed on the battleship USS Missouri is one of Cher's most notable. Due to her revealing outfit MTV refused to play the clip before 9 p.m.
It had been four years since Cher had reached the pop top 10 when the single "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" was released. The story song became her very first #1 pop hit single. The song was produced by Snuff Garrett, a frequent collaborator in the early 1970s. He is also known for producing Vicki Lawrence's #1 hit "The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia."
"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" is the song that made Cher a major solo pop star. It was written by her husband and partner in Sonny and Cher, Sonny Bono. The drama inherent in the story of the song set a tone for many of Cher's biggest pop hits through the rest of the 1960s and into the 1970s. The record peaked at #2 on the US pop singles chart.
Co-written by Michael Bolton, "I Found Someone" was first recorded by Laura Branigan in 1986. It was only a minor hit for her peaking at #90 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the next year Cher re-recorded it and took the song all the way to the top 10. "I Found Someone" was Cher's first top 10 hit in eight years. It stormed the charts while she was at the peak of her movie career.
Cher's "Half-Breed" followed in the footsteps of "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" by telling the story of a woman disenfranchised due to her ethnic background. However, the song generated controversy and questions about authenticity. The back cover of the Half-Breed album features Cher in a Bob Mackie created glamour Indian costume. Cher refused to perform the song live for nearly 25 years.
This is another in a long line of songs recorded by Cher that reference the American West in different ways. This time it is outlaw Jesse James used as a simile for a rough relationship. The song was co-written by pop hitmakers Desmond Child and Diane Warren. The song was a #8 pop hit and #9 adult contemporary hit for Cher.
Cher's hit "Dark Lady" is a murder ballad that tells the story of an illicit relationship between the protagonist's husband and a fortune teller. They are both killed in the end. The song was written by Johnny Durrill of the instrumental guitar band the Ventures. "Dark Lady" became Cher's third #1 pop hit in the US.
For the most part Cher's foray into disco was not highly successful. However, she did create one classic disco hit. The song was co-written and produced by Bob Esty and released on legendary disco label Casablanca. It became Cher's first top 10 pop hit in five years and peaked at #2 on the disco chart.
"The Way Of Love" was first written in French as "J'ai le mal de toi." It was France's 1960 entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. The song was first recorded in English as "The Way Of Love" in 1965 by British singer Kathy Kirby. The new lyrics were provided by Al Stillman. Cher recorded the dramatic ballad with producer Snuff Garrett for the Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves album. It became the second top 10 pop hit from the album.