Monday, January 26, 2015

The Top 40 hits of Rick Springfield, 1976 - 1985

If you had asked me to guess how many top 40 hits Rick Springfiled had during his career, I would have said 4 or 5.  But as I'm putting together the "My Favorite Decade Top 40 Megalist" I keep finding more and more and more Springfield tunes.  Turns out that Slick Rick had fifteen(!) Top 40 hits in the US from 1976-85. To be honest, this number surprises me and I don't remember most of these.  Here's a breakdown table, including year, peak chart position, and number of weeks on the Top 40 charts. (Note: title marked with an asterisk is not currently available on Spotify.  A link to that song on YouTube has been provided).

1981122Jessie's Girl
1981812I've Done Everything For You
19812010Love is Alright Tonight
1982216Don't Talk to Strangers
1982219What Kind of Fool am I
1982325I Get Excited
1983913Affair of the Heart
19831811Human Touch
1984512Love Somebody
1984266Don't Walk Away
1984209Bop 'Til You Drop
1985266Celebrate Youth
1985228State of the Heart

In the interest of full disclosure, I did buy a vinyl copy of Springfield's 1982 album Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet in April of that year.  I made the purchase for two reasons: 1) the girls were crazy about Rick so I thought listening to his music would help me with the ladies (it didn't), and 2) "Don't Talk to Strangers" is softrocktastic.  I just gave the album another listen while writing this post and I didn't remember much of it other than "Don't Talk to Strangers."

Springfield singles that made the Hot 100, but didn't crack the Top 40:
  • "Take a Hand" - #41 in 1976
  • "Taxi Dancing" - #59 in 1984


  1. HERC's credentials as a fan of Rick Springfield's catchy power-pop music are:
    witnessed his live, ultra-mulleted performance three times between 1983-1985, including concert filmed here in town for broadcast as Beat Of The Live Drum;
    purchased every vinyl album he put out between 1981-1988 at time of release;
    and have since acquired most of his solo career discography on CD.

    HERC's first exposure to Rick's music was a 1972 K-Tel album called Beleive In Music my Dad had. Rick's folky "Speak To The Sky" made little impression even when it made it's first appearance on CD with Rhino's Have A Nice Day series. In 1976, HERC got K-Tel's Hit Machine for Christmas and Rick's "Take A Hand" definitely grabbed his attention - it remains his most played Springfield song to date in iTunes. Those two K-Tel appearances were the first of a dozen on U.S. K-Tel albums - there's twice as many if you factor in Canada, U.K. and Australia K-Tel albums.

    The song "Bruce" deserves an asterisk for another reason - it was originally recorded in 1978 but shelved. In 1984, Rick's original vocal tracks were laced with new instrumental backing tracks without his autohrization or participation and released as Beautiful Feelings in direct competiton with his Hard To Hold soundtrack album. The song "Bruce" is a clever and knowing novelty at best with Rick complaining that even in 1978 before either artist had hit it really big (though Springsteen had appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek simultaneously in 1975), even his own mother confused his name with that of Bruce Springsteen.

    Fascinating career - teen sensation in his native Australia, played USO shows for troops during Vietnam War - before peaking in the mid Eighties. He even rocked out with most of the Foo Fighters in Sound City - Real To Reel doc just a couple of years ago. Hard to beleive he'll be 66 later this year putting him in same class as Steve Perry, Gene Simmons, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Gloria Gaynor and yes, Bruce Springsteen. Pretty good company.

  2. And don't forget Rick did voice work (and was even animated himself) for the 70's show "Mission: Magic!" -! - yes, I watched it as a kid.