Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"Forever" by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

Song#:  1293
Date:  12/25/1982
Debut:  81
Peak:  63
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Boston born Steven Van Zandt became a fixture on the Jersey shore music scene early in the 70s. He co-founded the band Southside Johnny & the Asbury Dukes and stayed with them for three albums (writing and producing as well) while along the way made contributions to Bruce Springsteen's works. As Springsteen's career began to take off, it required more time and input from Van Zandt and by the time the "Born to Run" tour was in full swing, he became an official member of Springsteen's E Street Band. While working on Gary US Bonds' comeback album, Van Zandt got an offer to record his own solo project. In between doing Bonds' second album and working on Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," VanZandt got a band together and wrote/recorded his debut LP "Men Without Women." This first single was issued and it spend a couple months on the pop chart. The album capped off at #118. Despite not being a hit, the album was critically well-received. Springsteen and members of both the E Street band and the Asbury Dukes made guest appearances on the album. VanZandt would end up leaving the E Street Band later in 1984 (and would rejoin in 1999) and issue a few more albums while playing and writing for other artists. This song would be his only pop chart single.

ReduxReview:  Van Zandt is a great musician, personality, songwriter, actor, etc. However, his singing voice annoys the crap out of me. It's like Tom Petty on helium. He sounds good as a background vocalist, but as a lead singer - yeesh. I like this song and I think it has (had) better hit potential, but I think the Springsteen-esque arrangement along with Van Zandt's voice may have kept this from going further. His voice got less whiny as time went on, but in this early period it wore on me.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) It was for this album that Van Zandt adopted the name Little Steven. The main reason was to separate himself from his association and work with Springsteen in order to develop his own solo path and career. The "Little" was a tribute to two other artists he admired, Little Richard and Little Walter.  2) Although he never acted, Van Zandt got cast as Silvio Dante in the hit HBO series "The Sopranos." Series created David Chase was a fan of Van Zandt's music and after seeing him do a funny introduction bit at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show, Chase called him in for an audition. Initially the audition was for the part of Tony Soprano, but Van Zandt thought that lead role should go to a real actor and not a first-timer. The roll of Dante was then created for VanZandt and his real-life wife, Maureen, would play his on-screen wife. Since then, he has acted in other TV shows and films.


No comments:

Post a Comment