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Corey Hart Reworks Pro-Gay Track For Toronto Pride: AUDIO

CoreyHartSinger Corey Hart remains most famous for his 1983 single "Sunglasses at Night," but 5-years later he released a song the Canadian national describes as more meaningful, "The Truth Will Set You Free."

It wasn't explicit at the time, but Hart told the Canadian Press this week that the 1988 track was in fact a pro-gay anthem inspired by his music industry colleagues.

"A lot of people on my first couple of recordings that I worked with closely were gay. I developed very close friendships with these people, and I saw a lot of pain, and a lot of suffering, and a lot of hiding," he said.

"The gay aspect of this song was an important message that I wanted to send out there, especially being a straight man — I thought it was important to say this."

The track's revival began last year, when a local cab driver asked Hart if he could remix the long-forgotten track. Impressed by the man's interest, and eager to dust off the song, Hart agreed and will debut the remixed track at Toronto Pride on June 30th. He also says this latest version will go further to make the gay subtext more notable, in part because of Matthew Shepard's 1998 death.

He had been "very affected" by the death of Shepard, a gay Wyoming 21-year-old who was beaten and tortured before being tied to a fence and left to die. The public outcry that ensued eventually led to the revision of hate-crime laws in the U.S. in 2009.

"It really upset me," Hart said of the incident. "It really was a sad statement of how we think we've come far, but when we really look at it, we haven't come that far."

Where the original song's lyrics were intentionally elliptical, this version includes an all-new verse that renders Hart's mission statement in perfect clarity: "Dream a place/ Where there's no more crying/ Where there's no more hiding/ No cruel maligning/ Shepard's star surviving/ Set you free."

Hart also said it's important for him to sing the track at gay pride, because he wants to "spread the message [of] empowerment."

I've included the original audio AFTER THE JUMP to jog your memory of what "The Truth Will Set You Free" is all about. Oh, and I've included "Sunglasses at Night" because, you know, it's great.

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  1. YAY! Oh corey hart. i had his tapes! TAPES!

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 31, 2012 12:22:50 PM

  2. Fascinating and very cool!

    I've been listening to Hart's music recently and was reminded that twenty some years ago, I was VP of the GSA at our college. As a group, we decided to have roses delivered to Mr Hart before the show he performed at our school.

    Posted by: Marc C | May 31, 2012 12:22:50 PM

  3. Pretty song. Had a tiny crush on him when I was a kid and "Sunglasses at Night" was on the charts. ><

    Posted by: sparks | May 31, 2012 12:24:32 PM

  4. Happy 50th! to Corey Hart today, 31 May 2012.

    Posted by: miguel | May 31, 2012 12:32:54 PM

  5. I had such a gigantic crush on CH in my teens! He was like Harrison Ford and Richard Gere all rolled into one!

    I had always picked up a gay vibe from him, but I guess it's because he's such a strong Ally!

    Thank you Corey! see you at Pride!

    Posted by: KDNA | May 31, 2012 12:33:08 PM

  6. He's still as dreamy as I remember him in the early 1980s.

    Posted by: jht | May 31, 2012 12:33:46 PM

  7. Nice guy. And oh yeah he was hot,_1990.jpg

    Posted by: DanSwon | May 31, 2012 12:38:24 PM

  8. Nice. Now kill the stupid social media buttons and that damned pop-up.

    Posted by: M | May 31, 2012 12:47:15 PM

  9. Mostly remember him for one of my favorite songs and his highest charting single in the US, Never Surrender.

    Posted by: J. Leo | May 31, 2012 12:55:12 PM

  10. Dang, I am Canadian of a certain age, and grew up with Corey Hart annoying the crap out of me when I was a teenager... lol. I thought he was a total ham... now I'm gonna have to rethink my hate-on for him. Good for him for being so supportive back when it was pretty risky to show support for tha gehz. Madonna did it much more openly and lovingly, but I gotta give him props for this admittedly "coded" song. Still not a fan of his whiney voice, though.

    Posted by: GraphicJack | May 31, 2012 12:55:41 PM

  11. Glad that he's supportive, but the notion that this "coded" notion of Sunglasses at Night didn't come out until decades later seems a bit much.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 31, 2012 1:01:14 PM

  12. I had SUCH a crush

    Posted by: Chad | May 31, 2012 1:01:25 PM

  13. Corey Big Heart.

    Posted by: anon | May 31, 2012 1:25:19 PM

  14. Another straight angel on our side. Just lovely.

    Posted by: UFFDA | May 31, 2012 1:44:28 PM

  15. "Shepard's star surviving". That's it?

    It's sad when out gay music artists get frequently ignored on blogs like these, and some straight 80s star comes in and makes a big deal about a single word, and gets an article out of it.

    Posted by: Randy | May 31, 2012 1:48:10 PM

  16. @Randy Whatevs! If you'd like our gay music artists to get more press then perhaps you should make that your mission. Please don't discount the impact of Corey Hart's efforts, words and sentiment. When I was in uni listening to his Sunglasses hit I wish that I'd have known the subtext of the song. It would have helped to know that there were straight people on our side. It was a very different time. I welcome his support and look forward to seeing him perform at the Toronto Pride Parade!

    Posted by: Gigi | May 31, 2012 2:15:34 PM

  17. Check out a preview clip of the song here:

    Posted by: Chris Waddling | May 31, 2012 2:46:49 PM

  18. Here's Hart interview on CBC TV's Strombo from last year.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | May 31, 2012 2:46:56 PM

  19. This was always one of my favorite songs by him... glad to be reunited with it ! :)

    Posted by: Tre | May 31, 2012 6:09:12 PM

  20. I loved his music and had the biggest crush on him. I also thought he and David Duchovny looked almost like twins.

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | May 31, 2012 7:06:16 PM

  21. Uuufffff, Mista Hart! Had the biggest crush on him in the 80s (when I was, um, straight), and now I've got the biggest crush on him again knowing he's such an ally.

    Posted by: jim | May 31, 2012 7:52:40 PM

  22. The song came out way back when i was a teenager and starting to put two and two togther about myself. I remember it really loving the tape and playing it a lot, at least for a while. How great!

    About a year later, i was listening to Nine Inch Nails :)

    Posted by: JR | May 31, 2012 8:35:11 PM

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