My Sunday Song – “Human Touch” by Rick Springfield

For My Sunday Song #276, we are going to go after “Human Touch” by Rick Springfield. The song was from Rick’s 1983 album ‘Living in Oz’. The song wasn’t his biggest hit ever, but it did pretty well charting at #23 in the US giving him another Top 40 hit. Interestingly enough, the song charted at #23 in the UK and was his only Top 40 hit in the UK making him a one-hit wonder in the UK. That’s right, ‘Jessie’s Girl’ didn’t go Top 40 there.

The song was inspired by kids back in the early 80’s getting stuck in front of their computer games and forgetting how to communicate and interact with other people. That’s funny, I don’t think that has changed and now is worse with today’s phones. Rick noticed this and was reminded by how much we as human needed to communicate with each other, how much we needed to touch each other in some way. He took that thought and turned in to a love story and sexualized it a little, okay, a lot. I love how he talks about someone building up walls around themselves and the girl, Sally, calls them his prison cell. We all have those walls and only certain people can break through them, but to do that, you need to let them touch you in some way. It is pretty deep.

Musically, Rick actually recorded the song using a lot of computers which he found the contradiction to be quite funny and I agree. The song starts off with a couple of computer beeps and then a drum machine kicks in which is exactly what he says in the song that people are dancing to drum machines so why not put them in. It is basic pop and dance song and is very dated in its sound which I think now adds to its charm. Later in the song we get a saxophone which jazzes it up a little, but overall it is a very generic sounding song, but I think the meaning is way deeper and shows that Rick actually has a lot of depth in his writing. He was a man ahead of his time. He should probably redo this song today as sadly, it still applies but even more so with the pandemic and the lack of human touch for so long.

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