Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock IV: Foreigner vs. Rick Springfield

The upsets just keep on coming, as #10 Meat Loaf takes out #7 KISS in a sideshow special. Congratulations to the hottest band in the world for making it to the Sweet 16, and we’ll see Loaf in the Great 8, where he’ll face #2 Aerosmith.

Onto our next match, which ought to be a lively one: #16 Rick Springfield vs. the band that took out our top seed in the prelims, Foreigner.

fikshun: Rick Springfield used to be in a soap opera. The same can probably still be said for the members of Foreigner.

Me: When Foreigner sang “I Want to Know What Love Is,” it turns out that Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s hot-blooded video for “Relax” was not the answer they were looking for. I loved their first record, but it’s hard to forgive the homophobia. I mean, what are they, a Christian band? As for Rick, it was hard to forgive the decision to cast Janet Eilber as the love interest in Hard to Hold. But I’ll get over that one. Some day.

First, something old:

And something new. Ish.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

20 replies »

  1. Rick Springfield? Seriously???
    I tried to think of his big hit and first thought it was Jenny (867-5309) but, I was mistaken. It was that other song that begins with a “J”, Jessie’s Girl. Ahhh, right, of course. And it was that one catchy lightweight song that launched him into this Tournament of Rock. Wow, a pretty low bar indeed.
    I mean if you are going to include him why not Tommy Tutone or Adam Ant or Big Country or Kajagoogoo or Mr. Mister or Gary Numan or any from among dozens of bands whose songs inevitably wind up on a “Back to the 80’s” compilation CD? Or you could astound your friends in a trivia contest with your mastery of obscure, largely forgotten one-hit wonder bands from the mists of time by citing Rick Springfield.
    Rick Springfield?? C’mon, even Cyndi Lauper, Loverboy, Thompson Twins or Billy Squier are way better than he ever was.
    Rick Springfield?!? I still just can’t over the utter absurdity of him being included in this or any other rock tournament. Honestly, if I was putting a list of bands together for such a tourney I don’t think he’d even make my top 500. Nope, completely off the radar screen for consideration. Lucky for his fans he is in this one though.
    I can see it now, this is going to provoke howls of protests from the legions of die-hard Rick Springfield fans. (Again, the very idea of a die-hard Rick Springfield is hilarious to even contemplate. However, if you happen to be one, I implore you, please, take a deep look in the mirror and ask yourself at what point did your life go astray? Do you really have such insipid taste in music that Rick Springfield is one of your favorite artists?). If so, my condolences. I hope you can somehow recover from your affliction.
    Okay, back to the match-up. It is clearly a no-brainer. Foreigner should win by default because Rick Springfield shouldn’t even be IN the freaking contest. They must have snuck in when nobody was looking.
    Sorry, tough to stay on topic given my incredulity that I am even thinking, let alone typing, anything at all regarding Rick Springfield,
    OK. Foreigner. Right. At least Foreigner had a bunch of hit songs and four or so albums that were pretty popular.
    Would I ever actively search for a Foreigner song to listen to? Probably not. If “Jukebox Hero” or “Head Games” or “Feels Like the First Time” came on the radio would I listen to it? Yeah, probably.

    • This is absurd. Rick Springfield has had 17 top 40 hits including 5 multi platinum albums and another one was on its way before he had his accident. 17 hits, not one hit wonder. Don’t Talk to Strangers, Affair of the Heart, Love Somebody, Human Touch….he had 5 top 10 hits. His music right now is amazingly hot too from his New CD. If anyone sees him in concert, he is a Rock God, an amazing entertainer thru his music. What is written here by you holds no weight, and the poll results show this. 90% to 10 in favor of Rick Springfield. 17 top 40 hits will do that.

    • Rick Springfield…still around and kicking it like he did in the 80’s. Oh, and STILL making new music.
      Foreigner….a mere cover band of itself.
      Pay attention if you are going to mock the rock !

    • This is the kinda thing that always happens. EVERYONE always misjudges Rick Springfield. He has been underrated and not giving the recognition he deserves. He has had a massive career. Take a listen and check out his new album Songs for the End of the World. His Best EVER. Check out the movie they just made about Rick and us. All of his fans since he is still so hot and popular Called An Affair of the Heart. Check out all the great stuff available at Yellow Rick Road. Then check out Then catch one of his 100 or more concerts he does a year. Never seen anyone go to a show that didn’t walk away a fan. THen let’s chat about the real RICK SPRINGFIELD FACTS.

  2. I’m not going to tell you who to like, but you seem to laboring under the delusion that RS was some kind of one-hit wonder/flash-in-the-pan. Like him or not, he had a massive run of commercial success – 31 Billboard Hot 100 hits, 12 of them in the top 20 – and if you can only think of one RS song that tells us something about your radio consumption habits through the ’80s.

    This is a contest dealing with CORPORATE music, so we shan’t be dallying about with “best” here. That’s a critical term and we can debate it another day. As for this discussion, he was hugely successful by ANY mainstream criterion.

  3. Say what you want, but 1981′s “Working Class Dog” album is one of the best power-pop albums of the late 70′s, early 80′s. Did he make a record as good as that again? No. Did he have a crapload of big radio hits? Yes. Is he underrated and his soap opera fame held against him? Yes again. Guilty pleasure for some pop-rock males too. And his song “Love Somebody”? Probably the second best single he ever released. Just sayin’.

    • You know, Rob, as much as I loved Working Class Dog, I’m NOT 100% sure he didn’t have later efforts that were as good, if not better. The follow up was great and, weird as it is to hear myself saying it, his last three have been really, really good. I was also a fan of Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance (the first half of it, especially, when he was channeling QotSA and Foo Fighters).

      In any event, your point is well taken. Soap opera hating aside, Rick is a Power Pop underground hero for a reason.

    • As good or better than “Working Class Dog”:
      “Songs For The End Of the World”, “Venus In Overdrive”, “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance”. Those are Rick’s last 3 CDs. Now don’t get me wrong, I love his “80s” stuff, but the 21st centruy has seen the best work RS has done. Check ’em out.

  4. Yup, you’re totally right. I didn’t give Rick Springfield a fair shake and definitely held his soap opera fame against him. If what you are saying is accurate (31 Billboard top 100 hits) then he certainly deserves much more credit than I gave him and is a legitimate contender. I retract my earlier statement.

  5. I will admit I am a diehard Rick Springfield fan. Have been since the early 80s. Loved his 1999 Karma release. I thought his 2004 cd “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” was brilliant. But I must say I think his new 2012 cd release “Songs for the End of the World” may be his best effort yet. Unfortunately it won’t get much radio airplay because people only remember Jessie’s Girl. He remains a huge under-rated talent. Glad I am still listening.

  6. I respect you for retracting your statement Dano. When Rick wins (not if, when) I want you to promise to now give HIM the respect he deserves. Before you make a blanket statement you should do your research. There is a documentary titled ‘An Affair of the Heart’ about RS the man and his devoted 30+ year fanbase. Your research can begin here. The trailer can be found at A decent writer always does his research. A decent person never puts another down with or without the facts. Just saying…. and oh… when you watch the doc trailer because after your statement, it is the decent thing to do, yes… I am the mom jumping on her bed and on stage with Rick Springfield! You are correct. Another 30+ fan.

    • And if you need “male” approval…..*yes, Rick’s fans aren’t all women*….the guy in the trailer of the RockDoc “An Affair Of The Heart”, wearing the “Real Men Listen To Rick Springfield” t-shirt is my wonderful hubby…..I’m proud to say.

  7. ****Do the research…and one of RICK’s old Bandmates is now in Foreigner…so, how can one even compare! REALLY? Rick has been around and RELEVANT since before the majority of his US fans were alive…Circa 1969-1971 in Zoot (Look it up) He Has so many hits and Albums/CDs it would make your head spin…feel free to check out his LATEST: Songs For The End Of The World. And READ His SELF Penned AUTOBIOGRAPY LATE LATE AT NIGHT…BC real fans don’t have time to get into a pissing contest with people who are clueless!

  8. Rick Springfield is so under rated. If you ever saw him in concert I’m sure he would be at the top of the list. I have seen both artists and although Foreigner was good, Rick is awesome. He comes out into the crowd and give the show a personal tough with very high energy.People who are basing their vote on one song(Jessie’s Girl) should really listen to more of his music before they judge him.

  9. Mr. Smith, for some reason we are not able to vote. The ‘click here’ button is not working. Maybe the RS fans overloaded the system. lol

  10. First i was wondering this . Is this a battle of what the are like now , cause Rick Springfield would win hands down over Foreigner , , who the hell are they , last year i saw an add and there were 5 guys pictured without mick jones and i’m like who the fuck are these people calling them selves foreigner , what a joke ! I caught them a few times with the new lineup with Mick and they are just a good cover band of Foreinger . so anwyay Foreigner with Lou vs Rick , would be a tie . 🙂 My vote would go to Rick since Foreigner has not had a good new song since 1993. Rick keeps putting out killer new albums and does not need to re-cover his own songs .

    • Foreigner, a great band that has sold a boatload of albums over a number of countries. Never won a grammy but have been nominated (which I personally don’t hold much weight in)
      Rick Springfield on the other hand, yes do your research. It amazes me how ignorant people are by pigeon holding the man with Jessie’s Girl. Working Class Dog is an amazing album. As much as I love his catalog from 81-88, I gotta say I became a die hard fan in 1999 with Karma. Then 2004’s Shock/Denial/Anger/ Acceptance was originally thought to be his masterpiece imo. However, Songs for the End of the World 2012 has wrestled that away. Not a huge fan of Venus in Overdrive, a couple of great songs (I’ll miss that someday, Mr. PC, One Passenger) but rarely an album I found myself skipping over several songs. But I digress, I am so thankful that I gave this man a fair listen to his music and am proud to say I am a fan (male early 30’s by the way).