Saturday, September 10, 2016

"The Language of Love" by Dan Fogelberg

Song#:  1783
Date:  02/04/1984
Debut:  59
Peak:  13
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Fogelberg's 1981 double album The Innocent Age was one of his best sellers. It featured three Top 10's including the #7 "Hard to Say." It was followed up by a hits collection that contained two new songs, both of which reached the Pop Top 30. Now three years after his last studio album, Fogelberg got back to recording and came up with Windows and Walls. This first single kicked things off and it did about equal business at Pop (#13) and AC (#14). It was his sixth Pop Top 20 entry, but it was considered a slight disappointment since it couldn't get into the Top 10.

ReduxReview:  What a difference three years can make. Fogelberg's late-70s folk/soft rock sound was still in fashion at the beginning of the decade, but by '84, synthpop, new wave, and MTV were all the rage and Fogelberg's style suddenly seemed out of place. Critics noticed that and I remember some pretty harsh reviews for this album. While it wasn't a great album, it didn't deserve the trashing it got. There were some good songs on it like this first single. However, the problem was that this song could have easily fit on Innocent Age and now three years on, it almost sounded retro. I'm actually surprised that it got close to the Top 10. I'm not sure what Fogelberg could have (or even if he should have) done to stay more relevant at the time. He had his own established songwriting and recording style and that's who he was. Unfortunately, his sound was no longer hip with the new era of kids. He'd remain popular with the AC crowd, but this song sadly served as his final Top 40 entry at Pop. It's kind of forgotten now, which is too bad. My only real criticism? Needs more cowbell!

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Fogelberg's first manager was another Illinois native, Irving Azoff. Azoff had locally been promoting music artists and even managed an up-and-coming rock called REO Speedwagon when he found Fogelberg. After helping to get REO signed to Epic Records, Azoff thought the time was right to set up shop in L.A. In 1970, Azoff signed Fogelberg as his first client and the pair made the move to California. He got Fogelberg signed to Columbia soon after and it wasn't long before Azoff was managing the Eagles and other top acts. Over the years Azoff would continue managing artists while heading up a label (MCA), operating and developing his own label for Warner Bros. (Giant), and co-producing movies (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urban Cowboy). According to a ranking by Billboard magazine in 2012, Azoff topped the list of the music industry's most powerful people.


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