This article was originally published on THUMP UK.
Today is Cher's 70th birthday, so we've decided to celebrate the only way we know how: by over-analyzing one her songs and writing a list about it. Well, it was that or trying to recreate the video for "Turn Back Time" but we couldn't fit a huge— and hugely phallic—canon and a naval battleship in our office parking lot, so there you go.
While Cher's better known for being one of Twitter's most entertaining users, we thought it was only right to concentrate on her musical legacy. "Believe," the 1998 masterpiece that spent seven weeks at the top of the UK charts, is a a work of art up there with Ulysses and Harry Hill's TV Burp, a towering testament to mankind's ability to create something greater than life itself.
It's also a complete fucking screamer, so here's 10 reasons why "Believe" is the biggest club record ever.
1. The intro rules.
The song's wooshy intro sounds like coming up instantaneously on the best pill you've ever had.
2. It's both an emotional and party-ready banger.
"Believe" is pretty much the greatest emotional banger ever made. For the uninitiated, the hallmarks of an emotional banger are a big fuck off kick-drum, saccharine-but-unabashedly-relateable lyrics and the overwhelming feeling of making you want to cry into your WKD. Think "Pretty Green Eyes" by Ultrabeat or "Another Chance" by Roger Sanchez, or "Your Loving Arms" by Billie Ray Martin. "Believe" most be both the most emotional and banging of the lot.
3. The lyrics themselves are a work of art.
"No matter how hard I try/you keep pushing me aside" is the quintessential emotional banger lyric. Leonard Cohen couldn't have put the seasick sensation of going back to your own romantic puddle of sick—even though you know that the last thing you actually want to be doing is rubbing your own face in the gloopy slop of rejection, humiliation, remorse, embarrassment and regret—any better. As an opening line it's only rivaled by "If you see me walking down the street/And I start to cry each time we meet/Walk on by, walk on by," in the Sheer Heartbreak stakes. And the bit bit is that it's a song pretty much designed to be heard in a tacky high street club after nine glasses of wine and a very ill-advised shot. Which, as everyone knows, is the perfect state to be in to examine every fucking romantic mistake you've ever made. Cheers!
4. "Belive" is catchy as fuck.
The twangy guitar lick that accompanies the chorus is like being pissed on by God. In a good way. It's in your head now, isn't it? You're sat at work humming it, aren't you? Perfect.
5. Cher's style is and will always be a revelation.
Cher's whole vibe in the video is one of the strongest looks since mankind crawled out of the swamps and fashioned a loincloth out of some flayed skin.
6. Cher used autotune before autotune became a thing.
I don't know if anyone cares about autotune anymore—didn't Jay-Z kill it a few years back?—but Cher's use it of is, alongside "Bartender" by T-Pain is proof that, for a while at least, autotune was a genuinely incredible application of technology. In the case of "Believe" it gives that song a strangely—actually quite perversely—intimate feel, as if Cher can only convey her very real, very genuine, very human feeling of loss by cocooning it within a queasily warbling machination that sounds Mircosoft Sam with a soul.
7. Karaoke lovers will forever love it.
The autotune is also really funny and fun to impersonate—making it a clear karaoke banger that will probably get you laid.
8. "Believe" captures the essence of an amazing night out.
"Believe" is the sound of every amazing night out of you've ever had condensed into three minutes and 55 seconds of pure, unadulterated bliss. It sounds like alcopops and taxis and cheeky cigarettes and chicken wraps and that moment when the sun starts to rise and you and your mates decide to stay up all day. Until someone pulls a whitey and everything's ruined.
9. This song made Cher relevant again.
It's proof that F. Scott Fitzgerald got it totally wrong with his bullshit theory about American lives and second acts. Before "Believe," Cher was a remnant of the near-past, a relic of a soon-to-be bygone age, a novelty act ripe for memorial packages. Then there was "Believe". And now she fires off banging tweet after banging tweet. The Great Gatsby sucked, by the way.
10. Just shut up and sing along with us.
"DO YOU BELIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVE IN LIFE AFTER LOVE/I CAN FEEL SOMETHING INSIDE ME SAY 'I REALLY DON'T THINK YOU'RE STRONG ENOUGH"
Happy birthday Cher!