Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  0835
Date:  11/28/1981
Debut:  81
Peak:  9
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Fogelberg's album "The Innocent Age" had already produced two Top 10 hits with "Same Old Lang Syne" (#9) and "Hard to Say" (#7), when this third single was issued. It followed the others right into the Top 10 becoming his fourth. The song also became his second #1 AC hit. Unfortunately, it would be his last pop Top 10.

ReduxReview:  Get the tissues out! Many folks latched on to this quiet tribute/tearjerker applied the sentiment to their own situation. It oddly became a popular funeral choice. Hey - whatever gets a song heard and sold is good. Of course, I'm an ol' sentimental fool and a fan of Fogelberg (plus a major band geek), so I dearly loved this tune at the time. The song still sounds good, but I'm not sure if it has aged well. Or maybe I've just become more jaded and cynical over the years. I do like the song but I'm not lovin' it as much as I did back in the day.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The song is famously a tribute to Fogelberg's father Lawrence Fogelberg. The elder was a musician who led big bands in his early days and then taught/conducted high school bands in Peoria, Illinois. On "The Innocent Age" album, this song is followed by a snippet of the UCLA band playing the "Washington Post March." The version they are playing was arranged by Lawrence Fogelberg. He passed away less than a year after this song was released.


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