Friday, June 19, 2020

"That's Freedom" by Tom Kimmel

Song#:  3169
Date:  06/20/1987
Debut:  83
Peak:  64
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This Tennessee-born singer/songwriter started to get a foothold in the business supplying songs to other artists. A song he wrote called "Heroes" would be recorded by five different artists over a three-year span including a version by The Highwaymen (Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings). The work led to Kimmel getting a solo deal with Mercury Records. Kimmel would record his own version of "Heroes" for his debut album 5 to 1. Also included was this first single. It found an audience at Rock where the tune topped out at #17. It crossed over to the Pop chart, but only stuck around for a couple of months. Follow-up singles failed to chart and that left the album peaking at #104. He returned in 1990 with an album for Polydor, but nothing came from it. A few years later, Kimmel moved from a more mainstream pop/rock sound to contemporary folk and began releasing independent albums. His songs would continue to get picked up by artists such as Trio (Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris), the Stray Cats, and Kathy Mattea.

ReduxReview:  If John Waite and Rod Stewart had a baby, it might have come out as Tom Kimmel. The tune itself sounded like something that Waite might have done during his No Brakes period while Kimmel's voice had a tone and rasp that wasn't too far from the school of Stewart. It's a good rock tune with a hooky chorus that chimes with a bit of the ol' American spirit. I'm surprised the song wasn't picked up for use in some commercial. It became hit in Australia a few years later (see below), but despite being a solid song, it just wasn't strong enough to click on US pop radio.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although Kimmel wouldn't have a major hit with this song, another artist ended up doing better with a version. Australian star and former Little River Band front man John Farnham recorded the song for his 1990 solo album Chain Reaction. It would be released as the LP's second single and it would reach #6 on the Australian chart. The song was unable to chart in the US. Farnham was a huge music star in Australia, but in the US he remained relatively unknown with his only Pop chart entry coming in 1990 with "You're the Voice" (#82).


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