ARTIST: Eddie Money
TITLE: The Essential Eddie Money
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 40: Baby Hold On (#11), Two Tickets to Paradise (#22), Maybe I’m a Fool (#22), Think I’m in Love (#16, #1 Mainstream), Shakin’ (#63, #9 Mainstream), The Big Crash (#54, #17 Mainstream), Take Me Home Tonight (#4, #1 Mainstream), I Wanna Go Back (#14, #3 Mainstream), Endless Nights (#21, #10 Mainstream), We Should Be Sleeping (#90, #18 Mainstream), Walk on Water (#9, #2 Mainstrream), The Love in Your Eyes (#24, #1 Mainstream), Let Me In (#60, #30 Mainstream), Peace in Our Time (#11, #2 Mainstream), Heaven in the Back Seat (#58, #6 Mainstream), I’ll Get By (#21),
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Isn’t that enough?
LINEUP: Eddie Money. Early on Jimmy Lyon, Lonnie Turner, Gary Mallaber and Tom Scott were in his band in the studio. After 1983 he used session guns after Lyon left.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Journeyman classic rocker somehow fills a 2-CD compilation. You don’t remember many of these songs, even though they charted.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: An earnest, conventional rock-and-roller if there ever was one, Eddie Money burst onto the scene with two fantastic classic rock songs (“Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise”). Yet, his management and record company decided to grab for more pop ears, and added sweeteners like strings and dance rhythms, and his career clunked a bit as that played to his weaknesses, not his strengths. (It probably was the production – on the 2-disc set there are four live cuts from his second album that redeem those tracks.)
After his third album tanked and he had a medical scare due to too many downers, Money took time off and then hit the MTV era hard with “Think I’m in Love” and the video hit “Shakin’” (well all remember that one…oh yeah!). Then there was the song with Ronnie Spector (“Take Me Home Tonight”) that was justifiably huge.
As time went on, Money charted pretty regularly on the Mainstream chart (where AOR radio lived), and he tried to branch out (he shouldn’t do reggae, or dance pop, c’mon), and had a few ballads hit the A/C chart (gloppy as you can imagine) but nothing stuck as much as those classic songs we all know.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He lost a lot of creative control in the mid-80’s and that’s when his records turned into bland showcases for songwriters.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There’s a one disc version. That may be a better value, really.
GRADE B-: A handful of great tracks, and then, ooof.