Singin’ the blues

Although the title of this post would be fitting for how I feel about not having the means to go on the “Rick Springfield and Friends” fan getaway in the Bahamas this November, that’s not what this post is about.

No, it’s about an article that was on Billboard.com today that RS plans to work on a blues album next.

“I love slide guitar, and most people don’t know it because I don’t really play it onstage,” Springfield says. “I play [Hambone Willie Newbern’s] ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin” in my solo show, and I always get guys saying, ‘You should do a blues album.’ And I was thinking about writing something as opposed to just doing copies of blues songs that everybody’s done. I’m all for expanding people’s views, y’know?”


Here’s a video of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’ ” from the Stripped Down show I saw last year (it’s not my video – I found it on YouTube and the video it would be much blurrier if it was mine – but I was in the Fox Tucson Theatre  when it was being filmed and met him briefly after the show.)

When I first heard last year that he was working on a country album, I was a little wary, as I’ve never been a big fan of country music. But “Rocket Science” has become one of my favorite albums of all time.

Since I’m much more a fan of blues than I am country, today’s news is pretty exciting! I wouldn’t say I’m a blues aficionado, but I’ve been fortunate to see B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and Eric Clapton perform live. Plus, my husband is a big blues fan and RS playing the blues is his favorite part of the RS shows he’s seen so maybe he’ll be more eager to go to another one with me in the future.

The Billboard article also talks about the 35th anniversary of “Working Class Dog” (have you seen the collector’s-edition guitar that celebrates that anniversary? It’s really cool-looking and one lucky fan can get it at each show – along with a meet-and-greet – for a mere $2,500.) And of course the article also addresses his upcoming role as Lucifer on “Supernatural.”

And if a full-band tour, a solo tour, a new movie and a role on a popular TV show isn’t enough, apparently he’s headed to Germany next year with the Rock Meets Classic tour – where American rockers perform with a symphony orchestra. Also on the tour are members/former members of The Eagles, Toto, Uriah Heep and Magnum. The tour visits 15 German arenas from March 30 to April 18. RS is listed as a “very special guest.”

 

 

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20 songs on the Hot 100 chart

Recent articles about Rick Springfield have referred to him as “rock legend,” “’80s icon” and “the legendary Rick Springfield.” (Also “singer-guitarist-actor,” “Australian rock star” and “Aussie rocker.”) These are definitely better than the “Jessie’s Girl singer” label that was often used in last year’s articles announcing “Ricki and the Flash” and “True Detective.”

But there are still those snide comments that appear now and again that refer to him as a one-hit-wonder. So although those people will likely never come across this post because they are the type to unleash snide comments out into cyberspace without doing any research first, I wanted to share this cool video that was recently posted on the Hot Music Charts YouTube channel: “Rick Springfield Complete Hot 100 Chart History,” which showcases his many hits. (There are lots of great videos on this channel, by the way.)

I’ve provided a recap below for easy reference but I recommend that you watch the video because it shows clips from different RS videos throughout the years so it’s really fun to watch. (The dates on the video are the dates the songs debuted on the chart, the ones below are the ones listed on Billboard.com as the dates the songs peaked. One other difference is the video includes “Taxi Dancing,” which isn’t listed on billboard.com.)

Speak to the Sky: Oct. 7, 1972
Peak: 14, weeks on chart: 13

What Would the Children Think: Dec. 9, 1972
Peak: 70, weeks on chart: 4

American Girls: July 13, 1974
Peak: 98, weeks on chart: 2

Take a Hand: Oct. 2, 1976
Peak: 41, weeks on chart: 9

Jessie’s Girl: Aug. 1, 1981
Peak: 1, weeks on chart: 32

I’ve Done Everything For You: Nov. 7, 1981
Peak: 8, weeks on chart: 22

Love is Alright Tonite: Feb. 13, 1982
Peak: 20, weeks on chart: 16

Don’t Talk to Strangers: May 22, 1982
Peak: 2, weeks on chart: 21

What Kind of Fool Am I: July 3, 1982
Peak: 21, weeks on chart: 12

I Get Excited: Oct. 30, 1982
Peak: 32, weeks on chart: 12

Affair of the Heart: June 18, 1983
Peak: 9, weeks on chart: 18

Human Touch: Sept. 10, 1983
Peak: 18, weeks on chart: 15

Souls: Dec. 3, 1983
Peak: 23, weeks on chart: 15

Love Somebody: May 5, 1984
Peak: 5, weeks on chart: 16

Don’t Walk Away: July 7, 1984
Peak: 26, weeks on chart: 12

Bop ‘Til You Drop: Oct. 20, 1984
Peak: 20, weeks on chart: 15

Taxi Dancing: Peak 59 (on video, but not listed on RS’s Billboard.com list)

Bruce: Jan 12, 1985
Peak: 27, weeks on chart: 13

Celebrate Youth: May 18, 1985
Peak: 26, weeks on chart: 11

State of the Heart: Aug. 17, 1985
Peak: 22, Weeks on chart: 15

Rock of Life: April 2, 1988
Peak: 22, weeks on chart: 15

Hopefully this will become just a “Part 1” video of his Hot 100 songs and the “2016 and beyond” compilation will be started soon with songs from “Rocket Science.”

On the charts

Checking in on Twitter tonight, there were all kinds of Billboard chart highlights for “Rocket Science.” Really good news!

For its first week on the Billboard charts, here’s the recap that I was able to find on billboard.com.

Top Rock Albums: #10 (This week’s top-selling albums across all rock, ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music.)

Top Rock Albums

 

Independent Albums: #4  (This week’s top-selling albums across all genres, sold via independent distribution, including those fulfilled via major branch distributors. Titles are ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music.)

Independent

 

Tastemaker Albums: #2  (This week’s top-selling albums based on an influential panel of stores comprised of independent retailer coalitions and smaller regional chains, ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music.) This one is second only to David Bowie’s “Blackstar.” RS’s “Stripped Down” CD from last year debuted at #20 but was only on for one week.

Tastemakers (2)

 

Top album sales: #27: (This week’s top-selling albums across all genres, ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music.)

Billboard Top Album Sales

 

Billboard 200: #69 (This week’s most popular albums across all genres, ranked by album sales, audio on-demand streaming activity and digital sales of tracks from albums as compiled by Nielsen Music.) To track this against his other albums/CDs, see this. (This list lists the peak position of each CD, but not its debut appearance, so I’m not sure how it compares against past ones, as far as the first week on the charts.)
Billboard 200 #69

Through the years, he’s been on 13 different Billboard charts. I don’t typically follow these sort of things and don’t know much about it, but I’m surprised that “Songs for the End of the World” was only on the Billboard 200 chart for one week and “Venus in Overdrive” was only on the charts for two weeks. What?!

The last time he was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, after several years on it, was for “Rock of Life” in 1988. That chart measures radio airplay, sales data and streaming data. “Rocket Science” has so many great songs – at least one of them should be able to end this nearly 30-year hiatus of him being on the Hot 100 chart!