The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Rick Springfield

This article may not be what you are expecting for a piece written about Rick Springfield.  No mushy talk about how he was considered an 80s heartthrob or the fact that he played Noah Drake in a soap opera.  All of this is true and I am sure that there are many woman… and possibly a few guys out there… that would throw their underwear at him, even to this day.

My like for Rick was based on the story many of his lesser known songs conveyed to me, the songs that never gained the popularity of “Don’t talk to strangers” or “Jesse’s Girl”, which were good, fun songs.  As anyone who really knows me already understands, I have always been the one that looks for the deeper meaning in music and the songs that are sung.  I have always felt that singing was both for entertainment and to tell a story that you might otherwise not be able to tell through just talking.  You just have to take the time to listen to the words.

Many of Rick’s songs that were mainstream became so because they were easy to dance to or easy to sing along with, but not all of them really had a back-story.  They were auditory bubble-gum for the kids to listen to and play to.  Songs that were more for the ratings and sales than for the intrinsic meaning there.  I am sure that Rick will disagree with me on some those points, but they are my opinions.

When you listen to the whole album (or CD), though, you see something that people who just go for the popular songs miss.  Hidden in the music is a story in some of the songs.  Those are the ones that have always had a meaning for me.  A story to tell that I would listen to and that I could find some connection with him through.  But in order to understand what is being said, you have to listen past the beat and the music, to the words and what they mean.  Listen to the voice and the emotion that it is carrying.  Here is a list of some of the songs I am talking about:

Album: Success hasn’t spoiled me yet   Song: April 24, 1981

Album: Beautiful Feelings  Song: Guenevere

The Entire “Tao” and “Rock of Life” Albums. – Both of these albums feel like a defining moment in Rick’s carreer.  Sort of a spiritual transition.  You hear a more contemplative sound in the music and you feel like he is telling you something about himself.

Listening to his music over the years, and having a chance to listen to it in chronological order, or as the albums were released, you get a sense of his developing spiritualism and hear his style maturing as he grows with his music.  As time goes on, you get a feel for understanding how his faith works and, in turn, start to feel it yourself.

I have been accused of reading too much into music and you will never hear me deny it.  But I think that when a person puts as much into the song as people like Rick, among others, do, they WANT you to understand what they are saying.  It is easy to just listen to the tunes and dance to the beat, but I do not think that is what it is all about.  There is a story to songs like “Like Father Like Son”, off his “Living in Oz” album.  If he took the time to write the piece and put it out there, then he wanted to share it with us.

I have not had a chance to listen to his newer works, but I will be making an effort to get them shortly.  I have heard nothing bad about them and, in fact, I see very good reviews of his newer work.  He has even released an album of lullabies.

So… it looks like Rick is going to be around for quite a while longer, entertaining those of us who were around when he was building up his steam and now a new, younger fan base.  If you listen to the stories, he can still pack in an audience and even holds a cruise on a regular basis that is almost always sold out.


Samuel Wright
Writer / Father / Listener / Philosopher
I am a starving writer living in the backwater of California, in a place known mostly for Buck Owens and Valley Fever called Bakersfield.

This site is my release. A place for me to talk about things that annoy, please, or excite me.

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5 Comments

  1. Kandice

    You'll definitely want to pick up Karma. It's not in print anymore but it's easy enough to find a copy here are there.

  2. Thanks for the comment, and thank you for visiting.

    You are not the first to tell me this, so I think I will look around on Amazon and see what I can find.

  3. PLM

    Try Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance, too. A definite don't-miss for the audiophile who appreciates a good backstory.

  4. Thanks for all the suggestions, people. They are much appreciated.

  5. There's another besides those suggested called Sahara Snow. Some great stuff there also. Available on Amazon.com as are the other titles mentioned.

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