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Living In Oz

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Album Review

Though this was Rick Springfield's ninth album, it seemed like the third to most pop music fans, as it came on the heels of his breakthrough, Working Class Dog, and its successful follow-up, Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet. And though this contained as many hits as the aforementioned collections, it isn't remembered as quite the same in terms of accomplishment; this may be because it is so personal that it's just not as accessible. Living in Oz is Springfield's response to the dance-pop wave that was just starting to build and would be prominent until grunge announced its presence, as well as his response to the naysayers who wouldn't accept him as a serious musician. Where earlier hits, like "Jessie's Girl" and "Don't Talk to Strangers," were well-crafted pop tunes, on this release he shows an edge and a maturity he hadn't before. By embracing the synthesizers he also shows contempt for, he is able to illustrate how they're changing music and the way fans mindlessly embrace them. This sets up a dichotomy between the coldness of synths and about the need for the human touch — whether it's with a mistress, a friend, or a father — as each cut is about the need for that touch or about the consequences of it. Be it of adultery (a sexually charged "Alyson"), youthful dreams of fame (a spare, unsentimental "Me & Johnny"), or his upbringing (the restrained indictment "Like Father, Like Son"), the entire CD is like a confessional, and that type of honesty suits Springfield well as he matures as an artist and not just as a pop idol. Living in Oz ranks among his best.

Customer Reviews

One of the Best albums of 1983

Rick demonstrates fully on this album he is more than just a pretty face. The songs he wrote for this album have a more mature feel and harder edge to them than those found on previous releases, yet they maintain the same mainstream appeal. An underappreciated artist to be sure, Rick's songwriting, guitar playing, singing, and producing skills are all evident here.

High quality, introspective and original

I haven't heard this one in a LONG time, as my tape wore out years ago. This album is well-crafted, entertaining, and just as enjoyable today as it was wau back when. Any young 'uns interested in 80's music will find they can listen to this many times over.

Great Album!

I bought this album on cassette while vacationing in Fla., in 1983. I listened to it in the car on the way home to Va. It played over & over, it was that good! It never got tiresome! It worth listening to, definitely buy this one! Rick had this album (tiger) by the tail & got it right.


Born: August 23, 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 most well-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,...
Full Bio