Who Was The Captain? I’m Still Confused

Oct 14th, 2008 // 5 Comments


I think it’s clear Swiss pop duo Double’s (pronounced doo-BLAY) track “Captain of Her Heart” is the greatest pop song of all time (or, at least, the official soundtrack for your shopping trip to the local pharmacy). But the question I’ve been haunted by is which version is better–the American version I grew up with (above), or the band’s original mix for its European audience (below the cut). I just can’t decide.



Part of the weird charm of this song is how anonymous it seems. Most one-hit wonders have some elaborate backstory, or some reason for the song flying up the charts, but even Wikipedia is oddly vacuous about the band’s history. They’re Swiss, they had one hit and a followup record that didn’t do well, and they broke up. Double member Felix Haug died of a heart attack in 2004, while his former partner Kurt Maloo has a blog that recounts his Double days and his current work.

“Captain Of Her Heart” still gets airtime on the radio here, with a play here or there on adult contemporary stations (likely during some sort of ’80s block), although KWAV in Salinas, Calif., seems to be championing a resurgence on its own with nearly 100 spins so far this year. But even after hearing the song a thousand times, I’m not sure it ever really occurred to me to even think about the band’s other material, or even if there was a band at all, until today. “Captain” floats along as background music so well that the fact that people actually composed and produced this music disappears into the scenery as well.

Double City [homepage]

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  1. MayhemintheHood

    That piano riff is etched into my brain.

  2. Anonymous

    In this particular instance, Double very appropriately rhymes with gay.

  3. Ned Raggett

    This and that song “99″ — I forget who that was by — are kinda inextricably bound up together in my mind as being these 1986ish pauses for breath on top 40. Good song, definitely.

  4. Thierry

    @MayhemintheHood: Me too, now. Has anyone ever sampled it? It seems to me that it would make a great hook for a “reflective” rap semi-ballad…

  5. Chris Molanphy

    @Thierry: Srsly — if 2Pac could have a hit with the Bruce Hornsby hook, this would work even better. It’s got buttery-slow-jam written all over it.

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