"don't worry daddy, i'll have her home at a respectable hour"
I’m not scared – I’ll come right out and say it.
Rick Springfield is one of power pop’s unsung heroes and should be held up right next to your Eric Carmens, Matthew Sweets and Alex Chiltons.
While he’s primarily known for his impressive string of hits in the ‘80s, Springfield actually got started in the early ‘70s, scoring his first Top 40 hit, “Speak to the Sky”, in 1972. Some lean years and a gig as an animated Saturday morning cartoon character on “Mission Magic” followed, until Rick scored a gig on ABC’s “General Hospital” as Dr. Noah Drake. This just happened to coincide with the release of his “Working Class Dog” album, a record that front to back is packed with power pop classics, like “Jesse’s Girl”, “I’ve Done Everything For You” (written by Sammy Hagar), and my favorite, “Love Is Alright Tonight”.
Don’t worry daddy, I’ll have her home at a respectable hour Go to sleep daddy, you won’t think about tonight With the night comes a feeling of incredible power Gonna love her daddy, she’ll be feeling it tonight...
Oh, Rick. You scamp.
There’s no “guilty” modifier to be added to the pleasure in these songs – they’re three to three and a half minutes of well-composed, tightly played power pop. Springfield’s fluffy teen idol image overshadowed the work at the time, but listen to these songs now and they hold up. Timeless. You can put on “Love Is Alright Tonight” and crank it, whether it’s 1981 or 2005. In fact, I often do.
Now, if Rick made any mistakes in his career, it was jumping on the movie gravy train and getting a bit overexposed via his starring vehicle, “Hard to Hold.” And musically, he started to veer away from the four-piece guitar-based ensemble and experiment with synths. A LOT of synths. Songs like “Human Touch”, “Celebrate Youth” and “Rock of Life” are oozing with dated swooshes, bleeps and bloops. But even in this keyboard-heavy later period, Rick could pull out a stunning, deceptively simple song like “State of the Heart”.
Rick is still recording today, and even had a sizeable Adult Contemporary hit last year called “Beautiful You”. But track for track, you won’t find anything as powerful as the one-two punch of the “Working Class Dog” and “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” albums. These two need some serious remastering and reissuing.
* All songs are for sampling purposes only. If the album is currently in print, you'll see an Amazon link to purchase it. Supporting artists is a good thing, since labels are run by soulless whores. I KEED! Sorta. Look, if you like it, and it's in print, support 'em. If you're the artist or copyright holder, a quick e-mail to me will bring the song down ASAP. But compliment my writing first.
* Don't e-mail me asking me to repost dead links or to send you a song you can't find. Believe it or not, I have a life outside my blogging. I KEED! But don't do it.
* One more, and this is a biggie -- do NOT hotlink directly to my audio files and post them on your site, big shot. That's just disrespectful, rude, and a theft of my hard-earned bandwith.
Now, get readin', get downloadiN', and play nice. I loves me some comments. Bring it!