Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

April 11, 2013

Dan Fogelberg ~ Greatest Hits (hits comp)

(Click on heading to visit official website)
Style: soft rock, pop rock, classic rock, folk rock, country rock
Label: Epic
Year: 1982 (deceased)

Members: Dan Fogelberg ~ vocals/keyboards/guitar/bass/mandolin/percussion/vibraphone
Tim Weisberg ~ flute/oboe/piccolo/percussion
John Leslie Hug ~ guitar/harp
Willie Weeks, Brian Garafalo, Norbert Putnam ~ bass
Kenny Passarelli ~ bass/sousaphone
Paul Harris, Neil Larson, Mike Utley, Mike Finnigan ~ keyboards
Jim Keltner, Kenneth A. Buttrey ~ drums
Andy Newmark ~ drums/keyboards
Russ Kunkel ~ drums/conga
Jody Boyer, Heart Of Darkness, Marie Ouhrabka, Florence Warner ~ b. vocals

Additional: Jimmie Haskell ~ accordion
Al Perkins ~ pedal steel guitar
David Breinenthal ~ bassoon
John Ellis ~ organ/oboe
David Duke, Vincent DeRosa, Jerry Hey, Earl Dumler ~ horns
Tom Scott ~ saxophone/lyricon
Marty Lewis, Bobbye Hall, Gary Coleman ~ percussion
Jody Linscott ~ conga
Joe Lala ~ conga/timbales
Jesse Erlich ~ cello
Ann Mason Stockton, Gayle Levant ~ harp

Guests: Glenn Frey, Emmylou Harris, Chris Hillman, Joni Mitchell, Michael Brewer, Graham Nash, Richie Fray, Randy Meisner ~ b. vocals
Don Henley ~ drums/b. vocals
Joe Walsh ~ guitar/bass/b. vocals
Gerry Beckley ~ guitars
Michael Brecker ~ saxophone
Jimmie Fadden ~ harmonica
Don Alias ~ percussion

I found this album tucked away in a box after a decade. A musician friend is a big fan of DF, greatly inspired by him & even got in touch bearing gifts with his widow, so I thought it was time to pull out the old cassette & take a listen & recall what the bragging was about. DF belongs to a world long gone, or at least to my ears long gone. The age of thickly textured soft rock made for a drive in the car, ballads that aren't pretentious shallow guitar rock or under the banner of power ballad, love songs without obligatory guitar solos, a bit of country, a bit of folk, a bit of pop, a bit of jazz & no attempt to throw around the fusion label but just create memorable music. It's the era when the airwaves were ruled by Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Cat Stevens, CSN&Y, Steve Miller & the Eagles, or at least such names brought respect not confusion. The era when music appealed to the masses. Some might even say the era when art & finely honed skills were still a part of music, but I can pull up some exceptions to that. DF's career was at its peak in the 1970's, but six of the ten tracks on this little collection are from the 80's, making it eligible for this blog. That might seem like a heavy weight on what is but two albums, but 1981's The Innocent Age was a breakthrough moment for DF commercially, critically & creatively & didn't change his trademark sound very much. It would also mark the end of his peak. Those who loved his 70's soft rock sound & carefully constructed lyrics wouldn't stop listening but the radio DJ's weren't spinning anymore as the musical landscape was changing & there was no room for this type of music. Music now had to be in your face, noisy or with a dance beat. It's easy to forget that for a few years the folk scene was in hibernation & acoustic guitars were frowned upon expect for the obligatory power ballad on every album. DF was a tragedy of the music business for no fault of his own, like hundreds of others from the biggest names to the smallest. Though, he never really got his comeback so many other bands have enjoyed & I don't even know if someone under 30 even knows his name or would like the heavily textured pop of shimmering landscapes. This little album a great starting point for that comeback. He might be gone, but its not too late. There's more compilations of his music than number of studio albums he put out, but no big chart hits would appear after 1982 so this compilation is not just his first hits compilation to be released but also sets the template for all that would follow. His 2001 Very Best duplicates all but one song even. It's a safe collection, providing the basics, nothing more, good for the casual or curious listener. The only problem is its brevity that later collections quickly make up for. Further, this is not a career overview by far, as it draws on only four albums spread across two decades, truly just focusing on the greatest hits. It includes: "Part Of The Plan" from his second album Souvenirs from 1974, "Power Of Gold" from 1978's Twin Sons Of Different Mothers, "Longer" & "Heart Hotels" from 1980's Phoenix, while from 1981's The Innocent Age is "Leader Of The Band", "Run For The Roses", "Same Old Lang Syne" & "Hard To Say." There's a lot of time there in the 70's not accounted for here. It includes two unreleased tracks, "Make Love Stay" & "Missing You", that might break the rule of being greatest hits, but were both released as singles at the time & charted in the Billboard Top 30. So, if you want to hear the best of DF & not worry about much else this is a good compilation, though I'd also recommend his studio album The Innocent Age which includes my favorite song "Leader Of The Band". While mention his name to anyone over 40 & I think you'll get a fast & unexpected reaction of praise.

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