Synopsis of Pop Music
"You know I wish that I had Jessie's girl..."
When Rick Springfield began racking up hits like “Jessie’s Girl” and “Don’t Talk To Strangers” in the early 80’s, the reasons for his success seemed fairly obvious. After all, he was a star on the TV show General Hospital and his face was all over the teen magazines. Flash-in-the-pan teen idol was the verdict of some, but things weren’t as they appeared. In reality, not only was Springfield very serious about his music, he had been for many years.
Rick Springfield’s story begins in his native Australia, where he was a member of the teen band sensation Zoot. In 1971, he came to the U.S. to start a solo career and landed a chart hit with “Speak To The Sky,” an uplifting acoustic ditty. He also created music for (and played a role in) the Saturday morning animated show Mission: Magic. In the late 70’s he pursued acting on shows like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Incredible Hulk, which led to a featured role on General Hospital. Just the same, he continued to make music and had also landed a record contract around this time.
Working Class Dog was released in early 1981 and was written mostly by Springfield. He quickly landed a #1 hit with “Jessie’s Girl,” a tale of romantic obsession that blended pop hooks with a gritty guitar sound. He also went Top-10 with his driving remake of the Sammy Hagar song “I’ve Done Everything For You.” The next year, Springfield released the amusingly-titled Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet. “Don’t Talk To Strangers” was the Top-10 hit from this album and had an amusing bit where the backup singers spoke in French while Springfield sang, “What’s he saying, baby?”
In 1983, Springfield continued his impressive success with Living In Oz. This album had an edgier sound but still spawned plenty of hits, most notably the power-chord-fest “Affair Of The Heart.” The next year, he starred in his own film, Hard To Hold, playing (of course) a rock star. He also contributed songs to the movie, making its soundtrack a hit and spawning a Top-10 single in “Love Somebody.” The danceable “Bop Til You Drop” also got a lot of radio play.
Springfield continued to record into the late 80’s, when he was forced to take a break due to a motorcycle accident. After recuperating, he turned his attention to his acting career and starred in television shows like Nick Knight and High Tide. However, he also continued to play the occasional concert and returned to his music career on a full-time basis in 1999 with the Karma album. It earned rave reviews and was eagerly snapped up by Springfield’s many loyal fans, proving that he is as popular for music as he is for his good looks.
Artist Release History1981 - Working Class Dog
1999 - Rick Springfield Karma
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsWorking Class Dog (RCA)
The Best Of Rick Springfield (RCA)