Friday, December 15, 2017

"Go Down Easy" by Dan Fogelberg

Song#:  2257
Date:  03/23/1985
Debut:  89
Peak:  85
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Country Crossover, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Fogelberg's eighth solo studio album, Windows and Walls, was a gold seller, but the only significant single to reach the Pop chart was the #13 "The Language of Love." It seemed by the mid-80s, Fogelberg's brand of adult pop was going to have a tough time on the charts. Instead of trying to keep up with the new sounds of the 80s and forcing himself to write songs with hit potential, Fogelberg decided to veer off in a new direction. He headed to Nashville, hooked up with some of the top names in country music and recorded High Country Snows, his first country/bluegrass-based album. This initial single introduced his new sound and it did well at AC getting to #6. Country picked up the tune and it peaked at a respectable #56 on that chart. However, it wasn't a match for Pop and it spent a quick month near the bottom of the chart. Regardless, the album sold well going gold and it got to #30 at Pop and #23 at Country. The results combined with good reviews validated Fogelberg's decision to experiment with a new sound.

ReduxReview:  Fogelberg's folk-rock sound was never that far away from country, so the move to contemporary bluegrass was not necessarily a major shift. He just made a more distinct line in the sand with this album. While a good chunk of it leans towards bluegrass, there are a couple of songs like this one that hark back to Fogelberg's AC/soft rock sound. Obviously, they were trying to get a crossover hit here and it pretty much worked at AC and Country. However, this just wasn't going to cut it at Pop. Back in the day I kind of lost interest in Fogelberg at this point. Although I appreciated this album, it just wasn't my thing and I preferred Fogelberg's pop/rock songs. This song wouldn't be too far out of place on any of his previous albums. It's a nice folk/soft rock tune, but it's a bit too subtle and I forget it soon after its done.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Although this song would be a mid-charter at Country, another single from the album would do a bit better. The album opener "Down the Road / Mountain Pass" would end up getting to #33 at country. "Down the Road," which is the a cappella first thirty seconds of the single, was originally written by the legendary duo Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and first recorded by them around 1949. The balance of the song, "Mountain Pass," was written by Fogelberg.


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