From the Still Obsessed to the Retro Top 40 Stations…
If you’re a Rick Springfield fan, tell me if this strikes you too: Everytime I hear an RS song on the radio it is ALWAYS, WITHOUT FAIL “Jessie’s Girl” as if that’s the one and only song Rick ever had played on the radio. Without even delving deep into his discography you can find something to vary it up. I love RS, but I’m sick of “Jessie’s Girl”. Yeah, it’s catchy, but he wasn’t/isn’t a one-hit wonder.
Flashback: the skating rink in Pike, NY. Hardwood floors echoing with the sound of rubber wheels striking and sliding, and the occasional butt hitting the floor, especially during the “Hokey Pokey.” Before I even knew who Rick Springfield was, I remember skating to the strains of “Affair of the Heart” and “Human Touch” from his Living in Oz album. I was a late bloomer as far as rock music was concerned. I was raised on Willie, Waylon, and Dolly Parton, not Queen, Led Zeppelin, or Kiss. In fact, Kiss was probably the whole reason I wasn’t allowed to listen to rock music in the first place. But as soon as I started learning about Duran Duran and Laura Brannigan via my best friend Joy and my Walkman, I fell in love with Rick Springfield. Hard to Hold was the first RS album I was brave enough to ask for for Christmas.
Man, that man was hot with a guitar. Still is!
Okay, back to my campaign: underplayed Rick Springfield songs.
Let’s start with the album the ubiquitous “Jessie’s Girl” was pulled from: Working Class Dog. According to Rock on the Net, “I’ve Done Everything for You” hit the Top 10 in October of ’81 and “Love is Alright” hit the Top 40 in December. But do we hear them played now? No. Personally, one of my faves from that album is “Red Hot & Blue Love”, which I doubt was ever played on the radio.
Next album: Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet. Come on! “Don’t Talk to Strangers” used to get played all the time in the 80s, but I never hear it now. “Don’t Talk to Strangers” hit the Top 10 in April ’82. “What Kind of Fool Am I” and “I Get Excited” also hit the Top 40 that year. I loved all the songs on that album, but my romantic self played “April 24, 1981” over and over again (followed by “My Father’s Chair” from a later album).
Then 1983, I’ve already mentioned a couple of the songs above, one a Top 40, one a Top 10 hit. He also hit with “Souls.” (Btw, in case you’re obsessed like me, RS was nominated for either a Grammy or an AMA award from ’82-’84.) “Me & Johnny” was my guitar anthem, once I gave up violin, and I crank up “I Can’t Stop Hurting You” after every break-up.
RS’s last Top 10 hit (so far) according to Rock on the Net was “Love Somebody” from the movie Hard to Hold which was only fully appreciated if you were a teeny bopper at the time, then you’d swoon over his naked butt.
Conclusion: Pick another damn song please. I’m not telling you to play deep tracks from obscure albums–just play something other than “Jessie’s Girl”!