“Just Like Jesse James” was released as the second single from Cher’s 1989 album, Heart of Stone. The single was released in October 1989 and peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
I was in the ninth grade when this song came out, and it grabbed me the very first time I heard it. There’s just something about the opening of this song that just grabs the listener’s attention and makes you want to listen to it. While it fit in with the music that was being released at that time, it also had a sound that wasn’t very common in pop at that time.
I’ve also always enjoyed the lyrics of the song, especially how much it incorporates images of Wild West bandit Jesse James as well as other phrases and images from the Wild West. To me, “Just Like Jesse James” has really stood the test of time, and it doesn’t sound dated. I enjoy this song just as much today as I did when it was being promoted as a single back in late 1989 and early 1990. It’s still one of my favorite songs on the Heart of Stone album.
At the time, I never saw a music video for “Just Like Jesse James,” because MTV never showed it; so I thought for years that there wasn’t a video for the song. I discovered that a music video does indeed exist for it when I found a couple of copies posted on YouTube. It turns out it’s nothing terribly spectacular; it basically intercuts footage from the “I Found Someone” music video with clips from Western films. And it also appears that the video uses an edited version of the song that fades out near the bridge.