Monday, September 1, 2014

"Still in Saigon" by The Charlie Daniels Band

Song#:  0969
Date:  03/27/1982
Debut:  75
Peak:  22
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Country Rock

Pop Bits:  After a third platinum album with 1980's "Full Moon," it took Daniels a couple of years to issue a follow-up. "Windows" was the new LP and this first single came close to reaching the Top 20. Leaning more towards rock, the song failed to make the country chart but did end up a #2 hit on the Mainstream Rock chart. It would end up being the band's final pop chart song. They would continue on to have more country hits and Daniels himself would return to the pop chart as part of a collaboration single. Aaron Lewis, who fronted the rock band Staind, put out a country EP in 2010 that featured the song "Country Boy." Lewis performed the song with George Jones, Charlie Daniels, and Chris Young. The single reached #50 on the country chart while making a brief appearance at #87 on the pop chart. Despite the low peaks, the digital single was certified gold.

ReduxReview:  The whole Southern rock thing was lost on me and so I pretty much ignored this song. The subject matter (see below) was also slightly beyond my reach as a teenager. It took a few years before I had a better comprehension of the Vietnam War and all that it entailed during and after. I appreciate the lyrics of this song far better now and like the fact that it affected people. It's great when music can do that. If the song had other lyrics I would probably give this a low rating as it is just not my style. However, the story is interesting and I like the fact that many folks were moved by the song. So I'll assess it somewhere in between.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  "Still in Saigon," written by Dan Daley, centered on a Vietnam vet ten years after being in the war. Around this time the subject of veterans from the Vietnam War and their struggles/issues seemed to be getting more attention. The topic spilled over into music and songs such as this one were composed. Others would follow including "Goodnight Saigon" by Billy Joel and "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen. The song was initially pitched to both Bruce Springsteen and Charlie Daniels. Both turned it down, but somehow the song struck Daniels and he ended up recording it.


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