My copy of the “Springfield” CD came in the mail yesterday. I read the liner notes right away, but since I wasn’t sure where our CD player is, I ended up listening to it in my car today. Fortunately today’s the one day a week I drive to the office so I got to listen to the whole thing more than once.
First impression on first listen:
- It rocks! It really showcases RS’s incredible guitar playing.
- On first listen, my favorites are “Beethoven Street” and “Eleanor Rigby.” (It’s bizarre to think that this was recorded only eight years after the original Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” was released.) “Streakin’ Across the U.S.A.” cracked me up – I thought it was a fun song and if I had to choose one that I could imagine hearing on a 70s hit radio station today if the album was actually released in 1974, it’s “American Girls.”
- It was great to have such extensive liner notes. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I won’t give any details, but it included some photos from that time (caveman outfit, anyone?) and details about each song.
- Songs that didn’t age well: “Trash” (‘Trash, I’ve been thinking a lot about you, trash” “I don’t care if you’re built like a car” “And it really is a plain shame, but you’re trash, yeah, I know.”) and “Electra” (“Electra, Electra, I thought that I was your number one, Electra, Electra, Watcha gonna do with that machine gun?” followed by the drums sounding like a machine gun.) Actually my first response was feeling very disturbed by that, but I realize that reaction was more to the recent shootings and remembered that it was written 50 years ago by a 25-year-old guy and realized that it probably seemed really clever at the time. (The song sounded cooler in the live version, but hearing a machine gun at a live concert would not be cool these days.)
- It was fun to hear the live versions of the songs – the band sounded great and it was also cool to hear RS’s Australian accent when he spoke between songs (since that was before the acting classes where he learned to speak without his accent).
- The whole CD feels like a time capsule – hearing RS songs I’ve never heard before, seeing pics I’ve never seen before and hearing stories behind the songs and learning details about that time in his life. Even the whole idea of it – songs never being released because the record label decided not to release it – is an example of how it used to be. Now artists can release their own songs whenever they want to and don’t need to depend on a record label to release music. Heck, even I have two of my songs on Spotify (though, with about 100,000 songs being uploaded on Spotify each day, it’s difficult to get your songs noticed.)
Here’s a paragraph about the album from RS’s autobiography “Late, Late at Night”:
My record dies an orphan, landing with a bruised thud on the Hollywood sidewalk after a year and a half of loving care from me. If I didn’t know it already, I learn it now: this game is not for wusses. The album, tentatively titled Springfield – Rocks Off! (yikes) is put in a warehouse somewhere, along with the crated Ark of the Covenant, never to be seen or heard again.”Rick Springfield, “Late, Late at Night”
Never to be seen or heard again, that is, until 2023.
In other news…
RS announced the “I Want My 80s Tour,” which is Aug. 4-Sept. 17 and will include Tommy Tutone and select dates with The Hooters and Paul Young. There’s no stop in Arizona this time around so it looks like I’ll be missing this one.
Totally random piece of information: On the Rick Springfield and Us fan-based website, I just noticed that today in Rick Springfield history, RS appeared on Arizona Midday and signed his novel “Magnificent Vibration” at a Tempe bookstore in 2014. Unfortunately I didn’t see either at that time so didn’t know about the book signing beforehand so I didn’t go. However, there was an interview with RS about his book on PBS the following month, which I did see which reignited my RS crush after losing touch of his career for over 15 years and inspired this blog nearly nine years ago.
(In the Arizona Midday video, there’s a “General Hospital” clip of Noah Drake and Bobbie Spencer, aka RS and Jacklyn Zeman. I was so sad to hear that she died this week. She seemed like such a nice person. Condolences to all her loved ones.)
Also, in a video clip from a recent concert that was posted on Facebook, we learned that the new album he’s been working on will be called “Automatic” and will have 20 new songs!!!!! Whoo-hoo, can’t wait for this NEW new album to come out!