Saturday, February 2, 2019

"Love and Rock and Roll" by Greg Kihn

Song#:  2667
Date:  03/29/1986
Debut:  96
Peak:  92
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After several successes with the indie label Beserkley, Greg Kihn decided to take a chance on a major label deal. Signing with EMI America, he released the album Citizen Kihn, which was the first LP credited solely to Kihn and not The Greg Kihn Band. The single "Lucky" did fairly well getting to #24 Rock and #30 Pop and the album sold enough for EMI to sponsor a follow-up. Kihn then recorded Love and Rock and Roll and the LP's title track would serve at the first single. Unfortunately, the song just wasn't as...well...lucky as his previous hit and the best it could do was float near the bottom of the chart for just over a month. It didn't even reach the Rock chart. The failure of the single made the album a non-starter and it never reached the chart. With those results, Kihn's time at EMI came to an end. Kihn would record a few indie albums over the years, but he started a new day job in 1996 as a morning DJ for a San Francisco radio station. He would also write several horror novels.

ReduxReview:  This tune sounds like Kihn was channeling Buddy Holly. It's like an old rock 'n' roll tune updated for the 80s. I smell a little Dave Edmunds in there too. It's a good little song, but it just wasn't one that was going to punch through to the masses at Pop. Kihn had a flare for writing radio-ready rock tunes with enough pop hook flare to score some good hits, but this wasn't one of them. Retro rock wasn't the flavor of the day and that made it a hard sell. Still, it was a good last charting blast from Kihn.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Prior to recording Love and Rock and Roll, Kihn's band had some personnel changes including a new guitarist. Joe Satriani was a local San Fran musician/guitar teacher who had just released a debut instrumental rock album titled Not of This Earth. Sales of the album were not going to recoup the debt Satriani incurred during the recording and when offered a gig to play in Kihn's band, he took it. The job would end up being short-term when the resulting album tanked, but it helped Satriani's situation and it allowed him to recorded what would be his breakthrough solo album, 1987's Surfing with the Alien. Critical response was positive with Satriani being haled as a new "guitar god," and two tracks from the album made it on the Rock chart including the #22 "Satch Boogie." The album would get to #29 and eventually it would be certified platinum. Satriani would earn two Grammy nominations including one for Best Pop Instrumental Performance (for the track "Always with Me, Always with You") and one for Best Rock Instrumental Performance (for the album). The album kicked off Satriani's career in a big way. Over the years he would gain four more gold albums and two Top 10 Rock hits. To-date, Satriani has been nominated for 15 Grammys, but he has yet to win one. His 15 nods and no wins puts him high up on the list of most nominations without a win. He is currently tied in fourth place on the list with Björk. Snoop Dogg and Brian McKnight are tied at #2 with 17 nods. Topping the list is Norwegian sound engineer Morten Lindberg, who mainly works in the classical genre. Lindberg has had a whopping 26 nods and no wins.


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