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Taylor Dayne – I’ll Be Your Shelter


It’s time to talk about Taylor. Not that Taylor, the other Taylor. Taylor Dayne.

In the very late eighties and the very early nineties Taylor Dayne briefly threatened to become the new queen of pop – but unfortunately she swiftly backed away from the fight and all we’re left with is a few dance hits that to be honest haven’t aged that well, a couple of slushy ballads and the song we’re going to discuss: I’ll Be Your Shelter.

Now, the keen-eared among you will spot the tell-tale signs of a Diane Warren composition – little bit rocky, somewhat mid-tempo, killer chorus. I’ll Be Your Shelter was originally destined for Tina Turner, and it shows – Taylor can’t resist putting a Tina-esque spin on her vocal in the verse, but she soon “makes it her own” by the time the chorus swings around. And what a chorus it is: “Honey I’ll be-eeeeeeee your shelter/I’ll be the one to take you through the night.” Taylor always had a talent for very precise, clipped pronunciation (not unlike Tina, come to think of it) and she uses it to brilliant effect throughout. This song is also notable for its prominent “na na na-na na na” refrain, which is fun to recreate at home when you’ve had a prosecco or two.

I have a very specific memory attached to this particular song: having bought the 12 inch at Domino Records on the Whitesands in Dumfries, I left it in the car with my friends while I dashed off to to another shop. When I returned I took out the record to inspect it and nearly fainted when I saw a PERSONAL INSCRIPTION etched around the centre. It read as follows: “Hi Tayler fans, thanks for buying my new record. Love myself, Tayler.” Granted, I was a little concerned that she couldn’t spell her own name properly, but as far as I was concerned this was a STRICTLY LIMITED EDITION and I was thrilled. My best friend pissing himself laughing in the front of the car soon revealed that it was nothing more than a poorly executed fraud – but I got my revenge a few months later when I attached a leather Janet Jackson boot badge (which had come free with the 12 inch of Black Cat)  to his super-trendy new trainers, which he somehow managed to wear for entire day without realising his footwear was emblazoned with the legend “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814.” He’s still got it.

Isn’t it funny how every generation gets its own big blonde belter? As soon as Bonnie Tyler went down the dumper up popped Taylor Dayne to fill the gap. And when Taylor’s day in the sun was over there was Anastacia waiting in the wings with only a pair of rose tinted spectacles and her odd brand of “sprock” to distinguish herself from her predecessor. The current incumbent is of course Lady Gaga, although if I was her I’d be nervously looking over my shoulder right about now.

Entered chart: 07/04/1990

Chart peak: 43

Weeks on chart: 6

Who could sing this today and have a hit? I have the strangest need to hear Naya Rivera do this.

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