Sunday, November 19, 2006

Number 724 - Rick Springfield

Number 724

Rick Springfield

"Jessies Girl"

Yes, before David Hasselhoff, there was someone else.. Rick Springfield. But, to give credit where credit is due, Rick Springfield's song "Jessies Girl" is regarded as a classic and has stood the sands of time (or is that like hours in a sand glass?).

Although Rick Springfield's music was frequently dismissed as vapid teen idol fare, his best moments have actually withstood the test of time far better than most critics would ever have imagined, emerging as some of the best-crafted mainstream power pop of the decade. A singer turned soap-opera star turned singer, Springfield was born Richard Springthorpe on August 23, 1949 in Sydney, Australia to a military man; the family moved around Australia and England a great deal during Rick's childhood, and he sought his escape from the difficulty of making friends in books and music. He formed a band in high school and eventually joined a '50s revival group called Rock House, moving on from there to join the teenybopper band Zoot in 1968. Zoot became one of the most popular groups in Australia until 1971, scoring several hits. Springfield went solo after the breakup and garnered his first U.S. success the following year with a re-recording of his Australian hit "Speak to the Sky"; the song reached number 14 in the U.S., but would prove to be his last major success for quite some time. Subsequent '70s albums stiffed, and record company difficulties prevented Springfield from recording after 1976.

In the meantime, Springfield had begun taking acting classes; he signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1980 and appeared on several television programs. Although Universal dropped him shortly thereafter, he was able to secure a recording contract with RCA on the strength of his demos; in the midst of recording his debut for the label, he was signed to play the young, eligible Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital in 1981. Springfield's popularity skyrocketed, setting the stage for the release of Working Class Dog later that year. Powered by the classic single "Jessie's Girl," which eventually hit the top of the charts, and the Top Ten follow-up "I've Done Everything for You," Working Class Dog was a smash success, and Springfield eventually returned to his first love of music when concerts conflicted with his television career. The follow-up, Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet, was released in 1982, spawning the Top Ten smash "Don't Talk to Strangers"; 1983's Living in Oz offered more of the same, including the Top Ten "Affair of the Heart," although it betrayed signs that the gears were beginning to wear down on the Springfield machine. Springfield made the leap to the big screen in 1984 with Hard to Hold, which was much more successful at the box office than with critics; the soundtrack spawned his last Top Ten hit to date, "Love Somebody." His career seemed to bottom out afterwards, although he recorded several more albums over the rest of the '80s, and continued to land television roles into the '90s. In 1999, Springfield returned with a new album, Karma. ~ [Steve Huey]
What does Rolling Stone think about Rick Sprinfield?
It's not as though Rick Springfield doesn't have considerable rock credentials under his belt. But he realizes that much of the success of his latest musical projects has been due to the TV show and its attendant publicity. "I freely admit that a lot of my visibility is due to the show," he says. "It's captured a huge young audience. They have General Hospital updates on radio shows. I knew if they had it on radio, it would be heard by the same audience that listens to records. And I want to get my music heard."
Springfield's teen-idol image left him with problems that hounded him throughout the decade; a spate of other difficulties -- visa problems, bad label deals, naive management -- didn't help either. "I got into two years of litigation where I couldn't do anything. I had no money," he says. "That's when I got into acting.' Cameo stints on Battlestar Galactica and Nancy Drew led to a permanent role on General Hospital.~ [RS 355, October 29, 1981]
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We at The Rolling Stone Love The Hoff!) and the Album ranked at Number (Isn't Nightrider a condom?)
Thats just plain scary ~ crowbarred
This song has a crowbarred rating of 67.3 out of 108 pts
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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Blogger Unknown said...

I love "Jessie's Girl" today for what it represents - a classic song from a very talented rock star which has stood the test of time. It still excites young teens for gosh sakes ("13 Going on 30")! The songwriter has stood the test of time with talent, perserverance and great concerts too. I would go see Rick Springfield over and over again. I like his newer music too - the song "Will I?" from cd "Shock Denial Anger Acceptance" will remind you of the "Jessie's Girl" era - go get it and listen.

5:49 pm  
Blogger crowbarred said...

Very well said! Your welcome back anytime ~ crowbarred (Now as for "The Hoff" can we nuke him?)

10:36 pm  

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