Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Speak To The Sky

Last week we promised to feature Rick Springfield's debut American Hit "Speak To The Sky" ... but we got side-tracked along the way, doing a couple of other features ... so we had to push ol' Rick back a week.

Springfield's name first came up during our Bruce Springsteen Tribute a couple of weeks back. (Believe it or not, we're STILL getting emails about Springsteen's performance at this year's Super Bowl!)

We featured the Rick Springfield song "Bruce", recorded back in 1978 when Rick's
career was in limbo but released in 1984 when Bruce Springsteen's career was going through the roof.

It didn't have much of an impact, peaking at #26 on The Cash Box Chart. (Mercury, Rick's old record label, was trying to take advantage of both The Boss' rise in popularity as well as Rick's OWN string of early '80's hits.)

But before ALL of this '80's success ... in fact, even before Rick signed on as a regular (and teen heart-throb on "General Hospital") Springfield hit The American Charts with his Top 20 Hit "Speak To The Sky".

Coming off of a bit of success "down under" in his native Australia via the pop band Zoot, Springfield attempted a solo career here in The States and released "Speak To The Sky" on the Capitol label back in 1972.

It peaked at #14 on The Billboard Chart ... but after that, Rick couldn't buy a hit. Instead, he perfected his acting chops and landed the role of Dr. Noah Drake and the popular soap opera, "General Hospital."

Springfield stuck with the show from 1981 to 1984 but he never gave up his dream to be a singer. (Some say he only took the acting gig in the first place because he had no reason to believe his latest album, "Working Class Dog", would be a hit either!) But in 1981, his record "Jessie's Girl" (from the "Working Class Dog" LP) exploded on the charts, rising all the way to the #1 Spot. Top 40 follow-up hits included I've Done Everything For You (#8, 1981); Love Is Alright Tonight (#20, 1982); Don't Talk To Strangers (#2, 1982); What Kind Of Fool Am I (#19, 1982); I Get Excited (#32, 1982); Affair Of The Heart (#9, 1983); Human Touch (#18, 1983); Souls (#23, 1983); Love Somebody (#3, 1984); Don't Walk Away (#26, 1984); Bop 'Til You Drop (#20, 1984); Bruce (#26, 1985); Celebrate Youth (#26, 1985); State Of The Heart (#22, 1985) and Rock Of Life (#22, 1988). Springfield returned to television (and to General Hospital) in 2005 but still makes concert appearances all over the world. (Frannie and I saw him in Las Vegas a few years back when he was starring in FX, a role originated by fellow teen idol David Cassidy!)

Whereas most of his '80's hits have more of a "power rock / power ballad" feel to them, Speak To The Sky almost sounds like a "folk song" ... with a bit of a Dixieland piano and horn arrangement thrown in for good measure. Springfield wrote all of his own hits (except I've Done Everything For You, which was penned by former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar). He also starred in the 1984 film "Hard To Hold", which included ALL of his 1984 pop hits.

Click here: rick springfield.com