"Whenever I hear that staccato, repeated "I...I...I...I...I...I...I need you," that alone tells me of the two of hearts that beat as one. And that leads me to Stacey Swain, a.k.a. Stacey Q, whose group SSQ formed a vital forerunner to dance-techno music. Yes, I remember her, cute girlish pop voice, long mane wavy blonde, John Lennon sunglasses, large blue eyes, high-cheekbones and face that narrowed to a pointed chin. At its best, SSQ's music was upbeat keyboard synth music that didn't have too much variations between non-single songs.The version of "Two Of Hearts" is a long 7:13 one, not the single mix, and it can't be found on her Greatest Hits on Thump Records, so I guess it's an 80's compilation for the radio edit. But the prominent rhythmic bass synth, the prominent drums, and the other synth programming that pushed it to the Top Five is still there."We Connect" was the second single, and the sound is similar to "Two Of Hearts." The frantic pace continues with "Insecurity". Her voice is not at its higher register octave, but more like an early Madonna.The dreamy quality of the mid-tempo title track, makes it a standout track. The pulsing bass synth is like the kind used in Madonna's "Like A Virgin," except not as pronounced."Don't Let Me Down" has the same tempo, made exquisite with the brief synth harps. A few strings and this would be a perfect mid-tempo old school disco dance.Things get a bit funky with the bass synths in "Music Out Of Bounds" and Stacey's voice is sung in her lower register. A computerized "Mr. Roboto"-type voice is used in parts. while "Love Or Desire" matches the same tempo as "Two Of Hearts" and different synths trading notes By the time one comes around to the last three songs, it's clear that the sound has run its course and gone to filler mode, nice rhythms and beats, but nothing memorable.Most of the songs were written by all or at least one member of SSQ, with Stacey contributing to "Don't Break My Heart" and "Dancing Nowhere." Stacey's sound here was later refined by SSQ bandmembers Jon St. James and Karl Moet, who produced Bardeux, a girl trio whose lead singer sounded suspiciously like Stacey Q and who made it with the rap ballad "When We Kiss." Heck, even the original label was Synthicide, one of Stacey's songs(!) A Milli Vanilli case that never came to light?Stacey Q would top her debut with more innovative stuff like Hard Machine and Nights Like This."
An 80's Classic All the Way!
jhcool424 | Lomita, California USA | 12/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This fast-paced, upbeat album is a great pick me up anytime. The beats and instrumentations are just what 80's pop was all about. Listening to this album takes me back to the summer of 1986 when I used hear "Two Of Hearts" all the time . Here's a bit of nostalgia, who remembers when Stacey sang both "Two Of Hearts" and "We Connect" on two different episodes of "The Facts Of Life"? I'll take this album any day over the terrible sounds of what are known as pop music of today. If you want some light, fun, easy listening that will take you back, buy this album because you won't regret it."
Good first effort of dance pop
Preston | nc | 02/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Stacey Q's first album from 1986 was a fun first effort of dance pop. I didn't expect Two of Hearts to be 7 minutes long! I'm so used to hearing the single version that they played so much on the radio and placed on many compilation albums. I was thinking, the usual 3:56 song, next song, and so forth. It's so creatively done, with some sexy vibes within it. At times, Stacey reminds you of Madonna in terms of the dance tracks and the rhythms. The ballads on here are nice. And you have to credit the SSQ band for playing the music on here, loads of aggressive and dynamic rhythms and landscapes. Besides Two of Hearts, other standouts are We Connect, Love of Desire, the catchy Don't Break My Heart, and Dancing Nowhere. Back in 1986, people would say--She won't be talked about 20 years from now, nor that hit single. But in 2006, I still listen and hear echoes of Two of Hearts and some of the other album's songs. It's not about looking back or being retro, it's about how they sound today in 2006. The Internet, Amazon and other sources have been helpful in recalling this album's success and I am here to say that I still love these songs!"
This bubbleheaded goddess is the Queen of Dance
Johny Bottom | Jacksonville, NC | 12/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who could not instantly fall in love with the beautiful and talanted Stacey Q? She is the ultimate free spirit wrapped in a crown of blond hair. With a silly giggle or questioning look, Stacey Q would have you eating out of her hand. She may be a ditz, but her sexual energy is as bright as an ever lasting nova.
1. Two of Hearts - Along with Toni Basil's 'Micky', this is a masterpiece. Listen as she yearns and longs for you "I need you! I need you!"
2. We Connect - Another smash hit that survived the wrath of time. Miss Q proves that she is more than a one hit wonder and can belt out the sass and shake that a55.
3. Insecurity - Here she defines the rules again and takes pop where it has never been before, or since. Her voice is one of an angel and I fall to my knees and cry whenever I hear it. This song is on a 'cassingle' I have and never leaves my IROC.
4. Better Than Heaven - The title of this song is the only way to describe the song. Stacey Q is God's gift to music and her voice could melt the heart of Satan himself. I never want to live in a world where Miss Q is respected as the artist she is.
5. Don't Let Me Down - No, this is not a cover of the same song found on Twisted Sister 'Stay Hungry' album. This is a love song that is great to make love to. Stacey Q is the fantasy of many a man, and when her voice seduces the woman in your life, you have the best. 6. Music Out of Bounds - I once played this for seven straight hours and did the 'running man' dance. No one knew and no one watched, but I just had to do it so I can say I did. I'd do it again too, because this is the ultimate dance song and the 'running man' is the ultimate dance.
7. Love or Desire - Well if she asking me about how I feel about her, it's both. Same with every other man on the planet.
8. Don't Break My Heart - Here Stacey once again destroys all bounds and proves that just because there is a twinkle in her eye doesn't mean she can't feel the same emotions of us mere mortals. Any man would walk through fire and broken glass to be with her, so this song may be a bit unbelievable.
9. He Doesn't Understand - Another love song that touches the heart like a dagger. Oh Miss Q, I love you. I'd understand anything you tell me and will forever worship you.
10. Dancing Nowhere - A great way to end the album. It leaves the listener begging and pleading for more. Now that you have this collection, it's time to go back and find her albums. To celebrate her collection is to celebrate life, love, and happiness.
Stacey Q is the greatest of all dance queens and the proof is here. Buy this album and see how beautiful life can really be. "
Most underappreciated artist of our time.
Johny Bottom | 12/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, to let you know, some of my favorite musicians are Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Donovan, Tom Waits, and so on. But no album has changed my life more than Stacey Q. Stacey Q's Better Than Heaven is definitely true t it's title. The songwriting, arrangement, and production, is all genius. It's too bad not too many people are familiar with her. She has influenced me tremendously, and upon hearing this landmark recording, you will see what I mean. Stacey, we need a comeback!"