Friday, February 12, 2021

"Rock of Life" by Rick Springfield

Song#:  3403
Date:  02/06/1988
Debut:  72
Peak:  22
Weeks: 15
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  From '81 to '85, Springfield churned out five albums, four of them went platinum while his last one, Tao, went gold. After the mad rush of output, Springfield took a little break from recording. He would return in '88 with his latest effort Rock of Life. It was his tenth studio solo disc and the title track served as the lead single. It would miss out on the Pop Top 20 while getting to #45 at Rock. His previous album, Tao, also started off slow, but a second Top 40 single helped it along. Unfortunately, that didn't happen for Rock of Life. Its second single, "Honeymoon in Beirut," didn't get on any chart and with that result, the album stopped at a minor #55. It would be the first album of Springfield's 80s streak to not at least go gold.

ReduxReview:  This reggae-ish track kind of caught me by surprise. Even though the big pop/rock sound Springfield had been known for was still apparent, the feel of the track was something different for him. It was a good attempt to change things up, but at the time I didn't necessarily care for it. I still bought the album as I was a fan and thought Tao was underrated, but it just didn't have the most memorable tunes. Frankly, it sounded a little tired and I think Springfield was running out of gas. Still, there were a couple of good tracks including "World Stop Turning," which should have been a single. As time passed, I ended up liking "Rock of Life" better, but still don't think it was destined to be a Top 10'er. Springfield took about a decade off (see below) and I didn't come back on board with him when he returned. However, in 2016, he released Rocket Science. I had read a couple of good things about it and decided to give it a spin. I have to say that it was excellent. It was like Springfield took the best things about his early hits and updated them for a new generation. The LP was full of hooky power pop tracks that turned me back into a fan. I highly recommend it.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  After Rock of Life, Springfield decided it was time to take a break from music. In addition to experiencing a bit of writers block, he wanted to spend more time with his family and revive his acting career. In 1992, he got the lead role in the Fox TV show Human Target. The show only lasted one season. He did better starring in the 1994 syndicated series High Tide. That show lasted three seasons. Since then, Springfield has appeared on various shows like Californication, Supernatural, and American Horror Story. He also returned to General Hospital and appeared numerous times between 2005 and 2013. On the music front, he would get back to recording near the end of the 90s. His first project arrived in 1997 when he teamed with two other musicians to released a collaborative album titled Sahara Snow. He then formally followed up Rock of Life in 1999 with the solo disc Karma. He would continue to release albums over the years with a few of them hitting the Album chart including 2008's Venus in Overdrive, which got to #28.


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