“Send Me an Angel” by Real Life
In this song, the term “angel” is obviously synonymous with ‘lover’. In other words, the singer may be “calling [on] heaven”, i.e. a divine power, to ‘send him an angel’. However, he doesn’t mean so literally, as in wanting to be blessed with the presence of a spiritual being. Rather he comes off as someone who may be a bit intimidated by romance, needing some help along the way.
For instance, in the first verse the vocalist appears to be concerned about perhaps hooking up with a lady who is “false or untrue”. And the lyrics definitely don’t read as if he is macho man or anything like that who can just step to women, all fears be damned. Rather, the vocalist is very much in touch with his emotional frailties.
And the wording also reads as if he may have experienced some misfortune in the field of romance in the past. At some points he even sounds borderline pathetic as far as his apprehensions are concerned.
Well with that being noted, dude sounds like he’s hella confused also. On one hand, it’s like “send me an angel” – he’s ready and willing to receive the love of his life. But on the other, it’s like ‘if a girl walks in and draws her name in his heart, he’ll turn and run away’.
But again that fear, if you will, clearly has something to do with him not wanting to get his heartbroken.
His emotional “defenses are down” yet up at the same time. And no, it’s never made explicitly clear that some lady has done him dirty in the past or anything like that. But either way, even if only by observing others, he is able to ascertain that falling in love is no joke.
Or put otherwise there’s a certain degree of luck involved as far as finding the right person goes, and most people don’t tend to be that lucky.
So apparently that would again be the reason why he is calling on help from on high. He’s not really confident that he can choose the right lady on his own.
But even beyond the above, the purpose of this song is to encourage others whom Cupid’s arrows tend to evade to not “give up” in their quest for true love also.
Yes, playing the game of romance inherently has its risks with many, if not most people lucking out in the process. But it’s not like being alone is particularly enjoyable either.
So fundamentally, what we have here is an individual not afraid to admit that a little bit of divine direction wouldn’t hurt in the grand scheme of falling in love.
There is a music video to this track, as directed by Paul Goldman. The clip received ample airplay on MTV during its early days, which of course contributed to the song’s overall success.
Real Life is an Aussie band that formed in 1980 and who are still, by the way, officially active in the 21st century. In fact the group’s seventh-studio album, “Sirens”, came out as recently as 2020.
However, the crew is a shell of its former self with only frontman David Sterry remaining active from its original membership, i.e. the quartet that put together this song.
Also Real Life is one of those kinds of groups who have never been able to replicate the success of their debut project and single, which are respectively 1983’s “Heartland” and “Send Me an Angel”. Simply put, the latter is the lead single from the former.
Release Date of “Send Me an Angel”
This track was released during May of 1983, being a product of the following lables:
- MCA Records (USA)
- Curb Records (USA)
- Ariola Records (Germany)
- Intercord Records (Germany)
- Wheatley Records (Australia)
The latter entity was formed by Glenn Wheatley, who managed Real Life as well as other famous music acts from Down Under, such as John Farnham. In fact it was Wheatley being impressed with Real Life and this song in particular which inspired him to form said company.
Who wrote “Send Me an Angel”?
This song was written by David Sterry alongside one of his Real Life bandmates, Richard Zatorski. More specifically it was Sterry who wrote the words and Zatorski who originated the instrumental.
And as Sterry recounts, the lyrics “just came from nowhere”. He then proceeded to write it all down within a “matter of minutes”.
At the time of this track’s release, in addition to David Sterry (frontman) and Richard Zatorski (keyboardist) the band also consisted of the following:
- Danny Simcic (drummer)
- Allan Johnson (bassist)
More Interesting Facts about “Send Me an Angel”
Upon its original issuance, “Send Me an Angel” scored a number one in New Zealand (where it also went gold) and in West Germany (due to Real Life touring with Eurythmics). It also enjoyed hit number two in Switzerland.
In the artist’s homeland, it peaked at number six on the Kent Music Report. And the song also managed to make it onto the Billboard Hot 100 in addition to enjoying chart success in a few other countries.
Additional a remix came out in 1989 titled “Send Me an Angel ’89”. It fared better stateside. It not only reached slightly higher on the Hot 100 (peaking at number 26) but also earned fifth place on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play (aka Hot Dance Club Songs) chart.
And overall the longevity of the tune, as David Sterry puts it, ‘is still paying his rent’ as of the year 2020, some four decades after it was originally released.
This track is considered to be Real Life’s signature song along with another track found on “Heartland” entitled “Catch Me I’m Falling”. However, “Send Me an Angel” is by far the most-successful track the band has managed to come out with.
An engineer/producer by the name of Ross Cockle produced this track.
Videogame fans may recognize this song as making an appearance on one of the fictitious radio stations featured in Grand Theft Auto V (2013).
Other pop media appearances this song has made it into include the movies “Rad” (1986), “Teen Wolf Too” (1987) and “The Wizard” (1989).