Cherokees ... and other nightmares
If Cher's reunion with Sonny on TV land in '76 had done well enough, getting back together with Snuff the following year was a disaster. Failing commercially was nothing new, but to make a bad solo album was the kind of shock Cher can no longer express these days without 3 months warning (allegedly). Her career at this point may have been bumpier than her original nose, but you could never accuse her of not sticking those vampire teeth into everything she put her mind to, which is where Cherished ultimately fails. She wasn't keen on the idea of returning to her old narrative-style pop, and told her producer "it's not my bag anymore" which could explain why the material she ended up with didn't hold much weight. Snuff himself later described the album as "a nonentity". The Harry Langdon front cover re-instated Cher as the friendly gypsy with a history next door, but no one was buying it quite literally. The singer did not enjoy making the record, and the sense of deflation is evident. The album did not chart.
Pirate was a minor return to the top 100, peaking at a respectable #93, but the backtrack track finds no treasure whatsoever and Cher fails to seize any sense of the world-conquering form of her biggest hits from the decade. Truly criminal, etc. A quick scan of all (*echoes* ALL *echoes*) the men who have been in Cher's life (except for the one that sold bagels in the late 80s) haven't exactly warranted any ballad called He Was Beautiful. Like most of those relationships, the question of bad judgement and of when it will end loom large. Cher bellows bizarre cautionary tales where a blue-eyed Cherokee rebels against "the tribal laws" (War Paint & Soft Feathers), and a secretary turned human mattress rock-star groupie who "always wakes up alone" (She Loves To Hear The Music). Clearly cut from the same cloth as Half Breed and Dark Lady, but the material was wearing out and thin. L.A Plane is more of a car crash. To offer faint praise, Love The Devil Out of Ya and Again are minor highlights. The former wakes up with someone about to do a runner on her. "Poor white trash" ballads Dixie (droppin' her hot cottons on the floor), Send The Man Over and Thunderstorm (with its porch-light sex cues) are yet more whore bore. I'm convinced Snuff Garett and his songwriters were misogynists by this point.
Cher's first attempt to turn back time was a gigantic miss-fire. The songs are pale imitations of her 70s number 1s, and simply don't warrant much discussion as far as I'm concerned. Nope, nothing to see here. I wonder if a duets album with a heroine addict will do the trick? NEXT!