Working Class Dog (1981)
After finding success in his native Australia in the early 70's in a band called Zoot, Rick Springfield came to America looking for success. Despite scoring a Top 20 single Speak to the Sky his career ran into issues and fizzled. Springfield would spend the 70's releasing music sporadically to a small audience and took up acting as a fall back career.
After signing onto the soap opera General Hospital, Springfield found his fall back career taking off which put him in a position to do what he wanted to do: music. Now armed with an ardent fan base of soap fans, Springfield was ready to rock!
Working Class Dog is a model of early 80's Pop/Rock. Production that was smooth, hooky choruses and tight playing with a slight emphasis on musicianship. His first single, the immortal Jessie's Girl, was a #1 single. Great memories of that song, particularly because I had a friend named Jesse who hated that song (he got a lot of crap for it and called Springfield "Dick Springfield" because of it). The Genius was also given the Sammy Hagar penned "I've Done Everything For You" which he rode into the Top 10 (I have to admit, I like Sammy's version more). And then he piled on even more power pop glory with Love Is Alright Tonite which hit the Top 20 (I seem to remember fellow soap actor John Stamos playing this song in a short lived TV series with I think Jami Gertz). But for me, the two classic songs were the spiraling riffs in "Carry Me Away" and the midnight luv balladry of "Inside Sylvia".
Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet (1982)The success of Dog increased Springfield's visibility all over, meaning he had to work double time to keep going. Springfield said Success was recorded while simultaneously working on General Hospital. That might explain the sort of patchwork feel to this record, though the individual cuts are fine. The Genius was able to mine the jealousy theme further with his third Top 10 hit, Don't Talk To Strangers. Two other singles, the "Jessie's Girl"ish I Get Excited and the poor boy ballad What Kind of Fool Am I also hit the Top 40. But the two memorable cuts for me was the rocker Kristina with it's Yes "Roundabout" keyboards and the Police style reggae rock of How Do You Talk To Girls. Back then, the "Girls" song was the one we all related to. Towards the end of the record is "April 21, 1981" which was about the passing of his father.
Rick Springfield "What's Victoria's Secret"