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.
For My Sunday Song #275, we are going after the brutal song “3 Warning Shots” by Rick Springfield. This is another from the 2008 album ‘Venus in Overdrive’. The album went to #28 on the Billboard charts upon its release and I think was a very overlooked album by many as it had some great tracks including this one.
The song is about the murder of John Lennon and it is not what you’d expect. It is a letter to the man that killed Lennon and there is so much anger in this letter and it is really shocking (I’m not saying the killers name for a reason as he does deserve to be named). Rick is basically telling the guy, if I find you, I am going to basically kill you by shooting you 3 times in the head. I love how he tells the guy that Lucifer might have promised you you’d be legit, but everybody thinks your shit. It is not a song you would expect Rick Springfield to write, but it is awesome.
I love how the song opens with Rick’s son reading the news like an actual broadcast of Lennon’s death. Rick then sings with so much anger and to match that the music is a lot heavier. The drums pound with a veracity that amplifies that anger. The whole song is Rick calling out Lennon’s killer and the song wouldn’t be as impactful if the music didn’t match the intensity of the lyrics and Rick’s vocals. It all works perfectly. I remember hearing the song the first time and being taken back. I had to hit repeat and listen to it again and again. I think I listened to it 5 times in a row. It is one of my favorites of his, plus I love songs about Lennon for some reason.
For this installment of The Original vs. The Cover we are going to discuss the Sammy Hagar track “I’ve Done Everything For You” which was later covered, more successfully I might add, by Rick Springfield. The original release of the song was a live version from Sammy back in 1978 on his live album ‘All Night Long’ which did not chart. Rick’s version came out as a single in 1981 and was the follow-up to his massive hit “Jessie’s Girl” and as a result went all the way to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song had been a constant in Sammy’s live shows which is why a live version was released. The studio version was done in 1979 and released as a B-Side to the song “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” an Otis Redding Cover. It finally saw a release in 1982 on his greatest hits compilation called “Rematch” which was only done because of the popularity of the Springfield version.
The song seems to be about a relationship/an affair that was really one-sided. He gave everything to her, but she didn’t return that favor. I’ve also heard that it could possibly be about a manager or label where Sammy worked his ass off for them and got nothing in return. I am not sure which is true, but I am leaning to the relationship as it is spelled out specifically in the song, but Sammy could be using that as a pretty damn good metaphor. Either way, I like it.
For My Sunday Song #274, we are going to talk about a song that is not what you’d expect from Rick Springfield. It is a blues song called “Blues for the Disillusioned” off his 2018 album ‘The Snake King’ which is as close to blues album as you will get from Rick. The album didn’t chart, the song was not a single and it might be one you’ve never heard about, but you would be missing out.
The album was recorded during a very dark time in Rick’s life. He had contemplated suicide at one point during his darkest days. I’m not sure if this album was his therapy, but he laid out a lot on this album and this song in particular for me was a standout. There are a lot of religious aspects to the song and not all of them good. He blasts God and the Bible in particular John 16:24 where it says “Ask and You Shall Receive”, but I don’t think Rick feels God answered anything. In fact, I think he is now very disillusioned with God and faith. In reading the lyrics, Rick has had enough of so called “God” and it seems he feels that God has abandoned us all and it really makes this a very sad song.
Some of the other examples are that God manipulated Adam and Eve as well as they say God doesn’t give you what you ask for, He gives you what you need…well tell that to the 13 million starving kids in the Middle East. These parts of the song show some one who is not on the side of God anymore. I wonder where he sits now, I’d love to ask him about it.
The song is more of a ballad type song in tempo and it has a melancholy feel to it which makes sense as the lyrics are pretty dark. There is a not much blues per se, more of a country twang, but the slide guitar gives a little hint at blues. Regardless, there is a nice groove and Rick does sound great, but for me the song is about the lyrics and the meaning behind them all. That is what I found most fascinating about it. For that, I am a huge fan.
For My Sunday Song #273, we are going to go back a little a look at “I Get Excited” by Rick Springfield. The song is off his 1982 album ‘Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet’. The song did chart as a single going all the way to #32 in the US and #42 in Canada which I am sure helped the the album go all the way to #2. Reality is that this album was riding high in large part to the success of his prior album ‘Working Class Dog’ which had “Jessie’s Gril”.
The song is about an experience he had with a girl. That excitement and thrill of being with a woman and reality doesn’t always live up to the expectation. The thrill of thinking of everything that is going to happen and blowing it up in your head to a level that the actual act will never live up to it is pretty common and happens in almost any situation. It also seems to point to the fact that he is really in to it, but she doesn’t seem to be as she keeps her eyes open when the kiss and gets cold feet and starts to leave. Poor guy.
The song is an uptempo rocker and very radio friendly. It has a great guitar riff throughout that is very memorable. I like how the chorus explodes at you with some heavy drums. There is a lot of keyboard in the song which fits well for the time period as we are talking 1982. The song has a guitar solo which isn’t too flashy and compliments the song nicely. The song is a little dated in its sound, but still a great track regardless.
For My Sunday Song #272, we are discussing “One Passenger” by Rick Springfield off his 2008 album ‘Venus in Overdrive”. The album peaked at #28 on the Billboard Charts, but the song was never a single. It is however, a favorite of mine on the album. Thanks to ‘Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance’, I was really in to his music again and was excited when this came out. Although not quite as good as ‘SDAA’, it was still an exceptional album and this song helped.
What I love about the song is that is sort of a conversation with God…or whatever your definition of God is. Through the lyrics he is showing his disillusionment with life in general and asking God as to why? Why are we here and what is the meaning of all that we go through. When you listen to it, you feel his loneliness in the world, his regret, his heartache and understand why he is questioning his existence. It is quite lovely and heartbreaking at the same time when you sit and listen.
Musically, it seems pretty simple. It is not a rocker, but does pick up the pace during the chorus. It is a pop song through and through with a driving beat and there is a nice bass groove that keeps the song moving. Rick sings it in a very calm demeanor which I think hints at a tremendous sadness without sounding too morose. There is a dichotomy in the music which is a little more upbeat then the lyrics would make you believe and I always find that mix very intriguing and probably why I’m drawn to it.
For My Sunday Song #271, we are going to do a 10 Song Set on Rick Springfield. There will be handful of old favorites, but most are going to be stuff you might be surprised by as he has been going strong for 40 years and his stuff after 2000 has been something. First up is “Wasted” from my favorite Springfield album called ‘Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance’ which came out on February 24, 2004 and it is freaking brilliant. This is one of my favorite tracks from the album. The song is not a single and the album did go to #8 on the Independent Charts, but the album went relatively unnoticed which is a crying shame.
The song is about a girl who is nothing but trouble. He felt that she could be the one to save him, but she was more interested in making every boy her boyfriend. She was pretty crazy and wild and liked to take a lot polaroids. He knows he needs to let her go as she is too much trouble but he is drawn to her and that wild side and passion. Will he ever learn and move on or keep chasing the flame? We don’t know. But the song seems to fit on the Acceptance part of the album. He has accepted the fact she is what she is and will never fully have her. Or is he in Denial? The whole album has songs that will fit one of those categories or multiple categories which is the beauty of this album.
There is one part in the lyrics that I find a little disturbing. Apparently the girl lost Rick’s toe ring…yes…you read that right…toe ring. Who the hell wears a toe ring? Do guys really do this? I didn’t know that was something. But for some reason it still works in the context of the song.
Musically, the song is a major rocker. It sounds very modern in its style and borders on metal at times as it goes back and forth between soft in the verses and heavy during the chorus. It is very dark in keeping with the lyrics and Rick sings with a passion and intensity that brings the lyrics to life and makes you feel his turmoil. The song, like the album, sees Rick stretch his wings and really push the boundaries of what you would expect a Springfield song/album to be like. This is a totally unexpected and amazing surprise.
Welcome to the June Purchases wrap-up and what a month it was. After not visiting an actual record store in 2 months due to the Covid Stay at Home Orders, I was out in force when the opened back up. And this time it wasn’t just vinyl and CDs, there were a couple other surprises that were music related. And then there were a stack of albums I picked up that I didn’t have to buy which is always cool. Let’s get started.
First up was my trip to Repo Records and Noble Records as they were two of the first to open. I wanted to spend a little at both to show my support and I did just that. First up was Repo. I was worried we would have to wear masks and gloves, but thankfully neither store required but we could if we wanted to do it. Which I didn’t because we left the masks at home on the counter. I didn’t really find anything at Repo’s until I stumbled across a brand new copy of Tesla’s Psychotic Supper. It was new and sealed so no real deal on it, but it was cheaper than what Amazon was offering and since it is on a list of albums I want, I got it.
When I am out on my record store digging adventures, I always go through the 45’s to see if there is anything I like and occasionally I find something. I am a closet Rick Springfield fan. Yes, I am out of the closet now and will admit openly, I like Rick Springfield!!! There, I said it. I feel so much better that it is out in the open now. Thank you for that!
I found this single in the $1 bin and was happy to grab it. The single of is for the song “Don’t Talk To Strangers” from his 1982 album ‘Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet’. The single was released in March 1982 and went all the way to #2 on the Billboard. It was Rick’s second biggest hit after that little song you might know called Jessie’s Girl.
The song is about Rick’s girlfriend at the time (future wife). When Rick was traveling and touring for his career, he had a lot of insecurities that his girlfriend was out with other guys. This was his way of expressing those feelings. The irony is that Rick was screwing around as he was touring and such. Such a hypocrite.
I am a big Rick Springfield fan so I need to do a meme collection of all things Rick Springfield. The biggest problem with that is that 90% are of Jessie’s Girl. Oh, the horror. I gave it my best so if you don’t like “Jessie’s Girl” than this post is not for you and you can move on! Alright, you have been warned.