Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"State of the Heart" by Rick Springfield

Song#:  2356
Date:  06/08/1985
Debut:  82
Peak:  22
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop, Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Springfield's album Tao was his first regular studio album since 1981's Working Class Dog to not have its first single reach the Pop Top 10. "Celebrate Youth" would stall at a low #26, which didn't set the album up to match the platinum sales of his previous four albums. To try and help revive the LP, this second single was issued. While it did a little better than "Celebrate Youth," the song still couldn't manage to get inside the Top 20. It also failed to appear on any other chart. With no other singles being released, the album faltered at #21 and sales were kept at gold-level. It was a sign that perhaps his peak charting days were over.

ReduxReview:  Not necessarily known for his ballads, Springfield tossed this mid-tempo one out and it did fairly well. AC was never a big supporter of his tunes, but I'm a little surprised the format didn't pick up on this one. I liked the track and thought it was a good candidate for a single. Unfortunately, a detour into a bad film didn't help Springfield and his new, dense, Euro synth-rock sound wasn't winning new fans. I think the album might have done better if the label had taken a chance and released this ballad first. It may not have been a major Top 10 contender, but it had the chance to do better as a lead single rather than the follow-up to a weaker one.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally done by the Australian band Mondo Rock. The song's writer, Eric McCusker, had become a member of Mondo Rock prior to the recording of their second album, 1981's Chemistry. He offered up the song to the band and they decided to include it on the record. It would be the band's breakthrough album in Australia thanks in large part to McCusker's song, which reached #6 on the chart. Aussie Springfield was most likely familiar with the song and decided to cover the tune. However, Springfield wasn't completely satisfied with the song as-written. In Mondo Rock's original, the bridge section was a short instrumental passage with a little improvised falsetto vocal over the top. Springfield wanted something a bit more, so he and guitarist Tim Pierce wrote a different bridge that included new lyrics and a guitar solo. Mondo Rock would remain popular in Australia throughout the 80s. They attempted to break in the States, but it just didn't work. The best they could do was one lone chart entry in 1986 titled "Primitive Love Rites," which got to #31 Rock and #71 Pop.


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