Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"All I Need" by Jack Wagner

Top 10 Alert!
One-Hit Wonder Alert!
Song#:  2090
Date:  10/20/1984
Debut:  88
Peak:  2
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  In 1983 after Rick Springfield's music career took off, he ended up leaving his role on the daytime soap General Hospital. In the meantime, a young character named Blackie Parris (played by John Stamos) decided to start a band. He needed a lead singer and a new character named Frisco Jones filled that role. Jones was played by actor Jack Wagner. Although a music career wasn't Wagner's focus, he was a musician and had been playing guitar since he was a teen. It helped him land the role of Frisco Jones and a side story about the band was born. Impressed by Wagner's singing and smelling some more crossover potential ala Rick Springfield, an exec at ABC got Wagner a record deal with Quincy Jones' label. A few songs were recorded and this first single got released. Although there was no video for the song, the single began to slowly catch on and climb the Pop chart and finally landed at #2 for a couple of weeks. It also reached #1 on the AC chart. Unfortunately, Wagner wasn't able to capitalize on the song in the same way that Springfield did and it would be his only major hit. Despite having two other low-peaking singles to reach the Pop chart, this one hit got Wagner tagged as a one-hit wonder (#70 on VH1's list of the Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s).

ReduxReview:  Yeah, I have to admit two things. I watched GH back in the day and I also fell for this song. I think it's a well-written song and I particularly like the chord progression and melody in the chorus. Wagner turns in a good performance and makes it sound easy, which it's not. That chorus is difficult to sing. It soars pretty high within just three notes. If you don't have the range, you ain't gonna make it. Weirdly, I've heard this massacred via Karaoke a few times. Although Wagner was a good singer/musician, I think it was more like a side hobby rather than a profession. Usually when that is the case, the results tend to be one-hit wonder-ish, which it was for him. Regardless, he left behind one of the better ballads of the 80s.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia: This song was co-written by David Pack, Glen Ballard, and Clif Magness. Pack was already a successful artist/songwriter with his band Ambrosia. Ballard and Magness were up-n-coming songwriters and producers who were beginning to have success. Each would later help two young artists with their breakthrough albums. Magness would co-write and produce several songs for Avril Lavigne's 2002 debut album Let Go. Ballard would co-write and produce Alanis Morissette's Grammy-winning 1995 album Jagged Little Pill.


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