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Playlist: The Very Best of Rick Springfield

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Album Review

Rick Springfield made several very good records in the '70s and also had a handful of hits, most notably 1972's "Speak to the Sky," which climbed to number 14 on the Billboard chart, and he continued to record into the new millennium, but for most listeners, he will be forever identified with the streak of hits he had in the early '80s. After over a decade of hard work, he finally had a huge hit in 1981 with the terrific "Jessie's Girl," a tense power pop classic that turned into a number one hit and turned Springfield into a huge star. Over the next five years, he had 14 Top 40 singles in America, the great majority of which are collected on VH1 Classic/Legacy's 2006 release We Are the '80s. As the title suggests, this 14-track compilation focuses entirely on Springfield's '80s work — those looking for a more comprehensive retrospective should turn to Legacy's excellent 2005 double-disc set Written in Rock — and it does a good job of rounding up the biggest singles, including "Don't Talk to Strangers," "What Kind of Fool Am I?," "I Get Excited," "Love Somebody," "State of the Heart," "I've Done Everything for You," and the single versions of "Love Is Alright Tonight," "Affair of the Heart," "Human Touch," "Don't Walk Away," and "Bop Til You Drop." Not every single is here — most regrettably, the very funny "I'm not Springsteen" single "Bruce" is once again left off a domestic Springfield comp, and "Souls," "Don't Walk Away," and "Taxi Dancing" are also missing — but those absences are for those fans who know the catalog very well. All other listeners will find this to be a first-rate overview of Springfield's popular peak. [We Are the 80's was reissued in 2008 as Playlist: The Very Best of Rick Springfield].

Biography

Born: 23 August 1949 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australi

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Rick Springfield's music was frequently dismissed as vapid teen idol fare, his best moments have actually withstood the test of time far better than most critics would ever have imagined, emerging as some of the best-crafted mainstream power pop of the 1980s. A singer turned soap opera star turned singer, Springfield was born Richard Springthorpe on August 23, 1949, in Sydney, Australia, to a military man; the family moved around Australia and England a great deal during Rick's childhood,...
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Playlist: The Very Best of Rick Springfield, Rick Springfield
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