Tiffany is the best sister-in-law ever.
When she met us for dinner last night, she slipped a CD across the table to me. “What’s this?” I asked. The label read 80s Hits Stripped.
“I think you’ll like it,” she said. “It’s eighties songs done acoustic by the original artists.”
I do like it. Or most of it. We listened to it in the car on the way home. The first two songs didn’t impress me, but Men at Work (“Down Under”) and Asia (“Heat of the Moment”) were pretty good. And when Rick Springfield started strumming “Jessie’s Girl”, I squealed like a little girl.
I kid you not.
I took my hands off the steering wheel, squeezed them into fists, closed my eyes, and jiggled, squealing the whole time. I loved Rick Springfield (a.k.a. Richard Lewis Springthorpe) as a teenager. I am completely in earnest when I declare that he’s the most under-rated recording artist of the 1980s. His concert was the best I’ve ever seen.
Here, for your edification, until I am forced to remove it (please do not link directly to this file from your own web page), is a clip of Springfield’s acoustic “Jessie’s Girl”:
My favorite Springfield album was always Tao (five stars at Amazon, and containing songs like “Celebrate Youth”, “State of the Heart”, “Written in Rock”, and “My Father’s Chair”), but you might be more interested in his hits Working class Dog (with “Jessie’s Girl”, “I’ve Done Everything For You”, and “Love is Alright Tonight”), Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me yet (with “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, “I Get Excited”, and “What Kind of Fool Am I”), or Living in Oz (which gets five stars at Amazon and includes “Human Touch”, “Affair of the Heart”, and “Souls”).
Of course, there are always greatest hits collections:
- Rick Springfield’s Greatest Hits
- The Best of Rick Springfield (another five-star Amazon rating)
- Greatest Hits…Alive (another five-star Amazon rating)
- The 12″ Collection is expensive, but would make a perfect gift for someone you know.
While researching this entry, I discovered the Springfield is still making music. The Day After Yesterday, released in 2005, is an album of covers. Rick Springfield says, “[These] have been favorites of mine for a long time. They are songs I wish I’d written.” Tracks include I’m Not In Love (10cc), Under The Milky Way (The Church), Life In A Northern Town (Dream Academy), Broken Wings (Mister Mister), Human (Human League), Holding On To Yesterday (Ambrosia), Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty), Waiting For A Girl Like You (Foreigner), Let’s Go Out Tonight (Blue Nile), For No One (Beatles), Miss You Nights (Westlife), Blue Rose (Lizz Wright), Cry (Rick Springfield) and Imagine (John Lennon).
Rick Springfield covering The Blue Nile? I’m so there!
For more about my never-ending nostalgia for eighties music, check out:
- U2: A Love Story, in which I describe discovering my favorite band.
- Before my love affair with U2, I had a fling with Asia.
- Loverboy — I don’t claim they’re great artists, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the group Loverboy.
- Please Please Please, in which I like The Smiths better when it’s not The Smiths.
- Top Albums of the 1980s, in which I list my fifteen favorite albums.
- Best Songs of the 80s, in which I pick the three best songs from the decade.
Tune in next time when I’ll rave about Styx.