Music/Popular Culture

30-Day Song Challenge, day 14: a song that no one would expect me to love

As noted elsewhere, I’m something of a music freak. Thousands of CDs. And I write about it, occasionally with a degree of seriousness. Being a cultural studies scholar (yes, I’ve presented papers on popular music at actual academic conferences), I have to admit that I’ve never fully understood people who don’t care about music as a dynamic artistic force the way I do. I mean, to each his or her own, but I think all of us probably have some bit of personal geekdom that renders us incapable of truly empathizing with those who don’t get it. This is mine.

People who meet me usually figure this out, at some level, pretty quickly. And when you meet somebody who’s very serious about their music, you don’t always expect them to really, really like … well, Rick Springfield. Then again, most folks don’t pay as much attention to the Power Pop Underground as I do, and I like a lot of bands who ultimately trace their lineage to the likes of The Beatles, The Raspberries, Badfinger and Big Star. I have more CDs from Power Pop bands that you’ve never heard of than you can believe. And in this world, Rick is a god.

No, he isn’t doing terribly deep concept avant art rock. His lyrics don’t riff on Kafka. And yeah, he did play Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.

But he is an absolute wizard as a songwriter. He’s supremely in touch with who he is as an artist. Like so many of our greatest Power Pop artists (think pre-Revolver Fabs here), he finds clever, accessible-yet-nuanced ways of looking at the things large swaths of the popular culture care about – love, for instance. And he is, without doubt, one of the most intuitively perfect live front men I have ever seen in my life. (And I’ve seen Freddie Mercury, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Clegg, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Bono, to name just a few.)

Most people are surprised to find out that I’m a big Rick Springfield fan. So it’s always a pleasure to win them over with incredible guitar pop songs like this one. Enjoy.

3 replies »

  1. Here’s one I’ve loved since I was a kid. Sometimes a song just reaches you…