Tuesday, January 14, 2020

"Make It Mean Something" by Rob Jungklas

Song#:  3012
Date:  02/07/1987
Debut:  91
Peak:  86
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Although born in Boston, this singer/songwriter was mainly raised in Memphis where he developed a love for blues and folk music. He later branched out to rock music and began writing his own songs. He played around Memphis for several years gaining a following and in 1983 he issued out an indie EP titled Romeos. Manhattan Records later came calling and Jungklas signed a deal with them. He then began work on a full-length debut album that would be titled Closer to the Flame. Although not officially released as a single, the song "Boystown" was pushed out to rock radio in the summer of '86 and it got to #41 at Rock. When the album was ready for release, this track was issued out as the first official single. It also got to #41 at Rock while crossing over to the lower reaches of the Pop chart. With little to support it, the album faded away quickly. A second LP got recorded, but changes at the label left it on the shelf. Jungklas then moved over to RCA for his 1991 album Work Songs for a New Moon. It came and went to little notice and that ended Jungklas' major label days.

ReduxReview:  I remember this artist's name because it was unusual, but I never heard any of his music. This tune has a heartland rock feel along the lines of Springsteen and Seger. There are also shades of Costello new wave tossed in too. Yet it still sounds original and not imitation. The production is nicely chunky and arena ready. There is enough hook in the chorus to make it memorable as well. It's a shame this track didn't get more attention, especially at rock radio where it seems like this would have been a bigger hit. A nice little surprise from the bottom of the chart.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  After years of performing and his not so successful attempts to break through to the masses, Jungklas made the decision to leave the music business. He went back to college and became a teacher. He taught English and science in a couple of schools around Memphis. But like many musicians, Jungklas had an itch that he just had to scratch. He returned to writing and performing sometime around 2001. A couple of years later, he put out a new album titled Arkadelphia. However, this time around he traded in his previous AOR rock for a more blues-oriented sound. He has continued to release albums and perform over the years even opening up for folk-rock icon Lucinda Williams.


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