🎧Have You Heard? ANASTACIA - "LEFT OUTSIDE ALONE" (2004)🎧

I was at the store on a mission to buy nice dress slacks for a conference I was invited to attend. I'm in the dressing room, trying on a few pairs and this song comes on the speaker directly overhead and it immediately has my attention with a little Spanish-style guitar introduction and this beautiful voice starts singing:
All my life I’ve been waiting
For you to bring a fairytale my way
Been living in a fantasy without meaning
It’s not okay I don’t feel safe
And then the groove begins and the voice, the same voice, changes to sing the verse and then shifts gears again to sing the chorus:
And I wonder if you know
How it really feels
To be left outside alone
When it’s cold out here
Well maybe you should know
Just how it feels 
To be left outside alone 
To be left outside alone
I finish fiddling with the pants, leave the dressing room and ask my wife to remember left outside alone which I guessed might be the song's tile. We buy the pants, leave the store and drive home with the song still playing on repeat in my head, an earworm of the best kind. The year was 2006 or 2007.
Turns out "Left Outside Alone" was released everywhere except here in the United States in March 2004 and was a huge Number One hit which I guess eventually earned it a US release (with the artwork at the top of the post) in March 2005 where it only charted on the Club/Dance charts in the form of a Jason Nevins remix.
The song was the lead single from Anastacia's self-titled third album whose release was inexplicably canceled here in the States after being scheduled and announced for September 2005. Her previous album, 2001's Freak of Nature climbed to number 27 on Billboard's Top 200 and her debut set Not That Kind made it to number 168 in 2000. Despite failing to find big sales in the US, Anastacia's first three albums have collectively sold nearly fifteen million copies over in Europe.
Three additional singles were spun off from Anastacia with varying degrees of success across Europe before Sony released a greatest hits compilation entitled Pieces Of A Dream in November 2005. Of the 28 singles she's released, only Anastacia's very first single from 2000 - "I'm Outta Love" - has made the Hot 100 chart. It stayed for three weeks, peaking at number 92.
I plunked down a fat stack (or more likely, a thin debit card) for the imported deluxe 31 track 2CD version of Pieces Of A Dream at Borders the weekend after I first heard "Left Outside Alone" and over the next two maybe three months I rounded up Anastacia's first three albums and have since picked up all of her subsequent studio releases including 2017's Evolution.
Ten years or so down the line, I'm still biggest Anastacia fan I know and I'll play "Left Outside Alone" for anyone who wants to hear it and if I'm alone in The Blueberry, I share it with all of those within the blasting zone. (I've even snuck the song's music videos into a couple of previous posts here on The Hideaway.) I don't try to read too deeply into the lyrics as Anastacia has given conflicting meanings behind them in interviews so depending on my mood, they are either romantic, wounded or vengeful. If I had to compare her vocal stylings to anyone, I'd say maybe Taylor Dayne though the tones of their voices are different. "Left Outside Alone" is one of my all-time most favorite tracks and I am guilty (at least twice, so far) of yelling "Yay!" and jumping up and down in public when I hear it. This is normal and acceptable behavior for a fifty-one-year-old husband and father, right?

Ten years after the song's original release, Anastacia recorded "Left Outside Alone (Part 2)" and included it on the Deluxe version of her Resurrection album. While it may hold deeply personal and supreme significance for the artist both as an odds-defying two-time breast cancer survivor warrior and someone living day to day with the debilitating Crohn's Disease, I derive no joy myself from singing along with the slower and quieter track.

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