Miljenko Matijević (aka STEELHEART) is a world-class vocalist who has performed as lead singer for the DOORS and as the voice for the ‘fictional’ rock band STEEL DRAGON from the film ROCK STAR (starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston).
With 30 years of hit songs and world-traversing tours under his belt, Matijević is releasing the single “We All Die Young” (the song Wahlberg lip-synced in the film) on September 27 as part of a STEELHEART 30th Anniversary album to close out 2022.
By the time Steelheart released their 1990 debut, hair metal was in its last throes.
But while the band faced an uphill battle from the get-go, they did manage to squeeze in one hit before the mainstream musical tides turned for good. And what a hit it was.
"I'll Never Let You Go" only made it to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100, but for those of us who loved our power ballads, this was as "power-ballad-y" as it got. From the gently-picked intro, to the massive power chords that came crashing in on the pre-chorus, to the even more massive chords that come crashing in on the even more massive chorus, to the booming, reverb-y drums and the chest-beating, harmonized guitar melodies, "I'll Never Let You Go" hits every power-ballad mark.
And yet, it still feels like there's something we're forgetting. Oh, right - Michael (or, as he's now known, Miljenko) Matijevic's vocals, which were... how can we put it? How about, INSANE.
Matijevic (who later recorded the vocals for Mark Wahlberg's character in the 2001 flick Rock Star) spends the whole tune basically pushing his voice higher and higher, and stretching out syllables longer and longer. When he hits the final "goo-ohhh!" that caps the song, it sounds as if his voice is ascending to the heavens, waving goodbye to Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach and every other metal shrieker as it rockets into the stratosphere.
To this day, it remains one of the most thrilling, and seemingly inhuman, moments in all of power-ballad history.