Monday, December 22, 2014

"Younger Days" by Joe Fagin

Spotlight Alert!
Song#:  1117
Date:  07/31/1982
Debut:  90
Peak:  80
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This UK musician played with several different bands throughout the 50s and 60s before falling into session and jingle work. Eventually he got a shot at his own solo career and got a single out in the UK in 1980 that failed to get any attention. His next deal included this single that was released in the US on the Millennium label. It spent a few weeks on the chart and would be Fagin's only US entry. He caught a break in the UK when he sang the theme song to the hit TV show "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet." The main song, "That's Living Alright," reached #3 in 1984 and would be Fagin's peak solo moment. The song would later be revamped as "That's England Alright" and used as an unofficial theme for the 2006 World Cup.

ReduxReview:  After reading about Fagin and his background, this song was not what I expected. I guess I was thinking along the lines of some kind of oldies-style pop leaning towards blues with a twinge of novelty. But what I heard was darn near close to heartland rock via Bob Seger mixed with a little "Shades of 45" from Canadian Gary O'. I was pleasantly surprised. I like his gravely voice (which reminds me of a gruff Bill Medley) and the song is quality. I'm not sure why this didn't click. It's an enjoyable surprise and one worthy of a Spotlight.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  For a time in the early 60s, Fagin played piano for the UK's Vince Taylor and the Playboys. The band was particularly popular in France, but due to Taylor's drug and alcohol issues, along with other internal band issues, the band broke-up and reformed several times. Sometime in the mid-60's, Taylor's altered state of mind (thanks to drugs) led to him joining a religious cult and his career crashed when he had a breakdown on stage and said he was the prophet Matthew. This brought a final end to the band and Taylor basically disappeared. He attempted a few comebacks over the years, but nothing panned out. He died in 1991. However, he remains famous thanks to two other music artists. The Clash covered a song Taylor wrote and recorded called "Brand New Cadillac." It appeared on their classic 1979 LP "London Calling." And David Bowie has said that Taylor was the inspiration for his character and 1972 album "Ziggy Stardust." Bowie met Taylor post-breakdown and in their conversation Taylor described himself as a combination of a god and an alien, which sparked Bowie's musical and theatrical imagination.


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