Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rick Springfield - Hard to Hold

Welcome to another edition of Soundtrack Sunday.

This month (April 6th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Hard to Hold, a 1984 musical drama starring Rick Springfield, Patti Hansen and Tom Scott. Many of the songs from the film, performed by Springfield, appeared on the soundtrack album. The record went to number 87 in Australia and number 29 in Canada. Here in the US, it spent thirty-six on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 16.

Side one opens with the up-tempo "Love Somebody". As the lead single, it reached number 95 in the UK, number 83 in Australia, number 23 in Germany, number 13 in Canada and on the US Mainstream Rock chart, and number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100. We used to dance to this one out at parties and bars; the bouncy beat really got the crowd on their feet. Plus, young women were still smitten with the former soap star so it was an easy song with which to get a stranger to dance.

"Don't Walk Away" was the third single; it hit number 41 on the US Mainstream Rock chart and number 26 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The lonely opening saxophone contributes to the song‘s feelings of abandonment. This is one of those tracks that had gotten lost to me in the sands of time; it was so good to hear it again.

"Bop 'Til You Drop", the second single, went to number 70 in Canada and number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100. This one was a big favorite too; we all would bounce up and down on the crowded dance floor whenever it played. It is a good mood song for me.

On "Taxi Dancing", Springfield duets with jazz and R&B singer Veronica "Randy" Crawford. This single reached number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 16 on the US Adult Contemporary chart, and number 15 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart. It has a soft swing to it, backed by a Casio-like synth line.

The side closes with the rocking instrumental track "S.F.O." Springfield gets to show his guitar chops on the track that would appear as the B-side of the third single.

Side two stars with the live recording of "Stand Up", another highly danceable track.

Graham Parker performs the song "When the Lights Go Down".

Springfield returns with "Great Lost Art of Conversation", the B-side ballad to the first single.

Nona Hendryx is up next with the energetic dance track "Heart of a Woman".

The album closes with Peter Gabriel and a rousing live recording of "I Go Swimming", a track that first appeared on a 1983 four song EP.

For a pop-rock fan like me, the Hard to Hold soundtrack is hard to say no to. I knew the first three tracks thanks to radio airplay, but the rest of the record was also very enjoyable. You can give it a listen over on Spotify.

Sadly, the film itself was a commercial flop and did very little to boost Rick Springfield‘s acting career.

For more of my blog posts featuring Rick Springfield, click here.

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