ARTIST: Rick Springfield
TITLE: The Best of Rick Springfield
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 20: Jessie’s Girl (#1 US, #10 Mainstream, #43 UK), I’ve Done Everything for You (#8 US), Love Is Alright Tonight (#20 US, #40 Mainstream), Don’t Talk to Strangers (#2 US, #11 Mainstream), Affair of the Heart (#9 US, #23 Mainstream), Human Touch (#18 US, #23 UK, #34 Mainstream), Love Somebody (#5 US, #95 UK, #13 Mainstream), Bop ‘Til You Drop (#20 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: What Kind of Fool Am I
LINEUP: Rick Springfield. Mike Baird drummed on almost all of this, but he used a lot of session musicians galore on these records.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Teen idol turned soap actor turned power popper turned pop rock schlock meister turned fond memory. This focuses on the power popper that turned to schlock. It was a fun ride.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first three singles on this collection (“Jessie’s Girl, “Love Is All Right Tonight”, “I’ve Done Everything for You”) were all over the radio and MTV in the early 80’s. For good reason, too, as they fit on new wave, power pop, rock, and Top 40 formats. From there, he was a force in the early 80’s – releasing hits like clockwork. Aside from “I’ve Done Everything for You” (a Sammy Hagar joint believe it or not), Springfield wrote or co-wrote everything here, which showed he had an ear for hooks and melody.
What happened to him was typical of the 80’s. As time went on, he moved towards updating his sound from power pop / new wave towards electronics and new romantic sounds which sometimes clashed with his melodies and pop sense. His songs became busy and sounded forced and extended themselves past their sell date (you don’t need seven minutes of “Human Touch”).
This collection covers his glory years up until 1988, and is probably the best bet of avoiding filler and remembering glorious days on the roller rink. Though the electronic noise on tracks like “Bop ‘Til You Drop” may make you wonder why the mid-80’s existed.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He had a teen idol career in Australia (barely in the US), that resulted in “Speak to the Sky” here (#14 US). His song “Bruce” (#26) was originally released in 1980, re-released outside of his control in 1984 (and is not on here thank God) and coincided with his decline. There may be a correlation.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. But there are several other compilations depending on how deep or shallow you want to go on Mr. Springfield. I thought this was the best one to grab his high points though it missed radio hit “Calling All Girls” (#4 Mainstream).
GRADE B: Springfield has some impressive tunes, and some tunes that are just good for nostalgia. There’s a couple of groaners here that you can avoid as well. Depends on your love of schlock there.