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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Springfield, Rick - 1988 Rock Of Life
Springfield, Rick - 1988 Rock Of Life

ARTIST: Springfield, Rick
ALBUM: Rock Of Life
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2014, Rock Candy Records, CANDY228


LINEUP: Rick Springfield - lead and backing vocals, vocal arrangements, sampling, guitar, keyboards, horn arrangements, percussion

Additional Musicians: Dann Huff, Tim Pierce - guitar * Randy Jackson - bass * Kimo Cornwell, Bill Cuomo, Alan Pasqua - keyboards * Curt Cress - drums, percussion * Carol Steele - percussion * Larry Williams - horn arrangements, saxophone * Gary Herbig - saxophone * Bill Reichenbach Jr - trombone * Gary Grant, Jerry Hey - trumpet * Maxi Anderson, Rose Banks, Tommy Funderburk, Jean Johnson McRath, Richard Page, Fred White - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rock Of Life * 02 Honeymoon In Beirut * 03 World Start Turning * 04 One Reason (To Believe) * 05 Soul To Soul * 06 Tear It All Down * 07 Woman * 08 Dream In Colour * 09 Hold On To Your Dream * 10 (If You Think You're) Groovy


This is the last of Rick Springfield's 1980's albums, culminating in a break away from RCA Records after this 1988 release. Well actually, technically it was a 1987 issue in his homeland of Australia, with the American market picking it up in March the following year. Had Springfield run his course in North America? Was the market that different to make RCA reconsider his tenure? Absolutely not, his style of music would still prove popular for at least another five years judging by his other contemporaries and their successes during this timeframe. Style wise, there's not too much difference between 'Rock Of Life' versus 'Tao' from three years earlier. All hi-tech with an emphasis on busy vocals and top-end musicianship.

The Songs
The album opener (the title track) 'Rock Of Life' is a bit scatter-shot, a busy arrangement with a hi-tech R&B sound with a bit of reggae thrown in. Oops.. Much better is the second track 'Honeymoon In Beirut', which I'm sure is tongue-in-cheek. No one in their right mind would go to Beirut for their honeymoon? lol. Cool tune though. 'World Start Turning' reminds me of a song I can't quite place, especially that chorus. When I do I'll let you all know. 'One Reason (To Believe)' is busy with vocal arrangements, the overall style is a hi-tech percussive affair - quite likeable. So too 'Tear It All Down', which has a sing-a-long quality to it plus a stinging Dann Huff solo. But from here, the songs lose momentum. 'Woman' at six minutes is definitely two or three minutes over the limit, 'Dream In Colour' has some useful moments but I lost interest too soon. 'Hold On To Your Dream' is pitched at the Hall And Oates fan-base, and it didn't do much for me unfortunately.

In Summary
'Rock Of Life' wasn't as successful as his prior albums, reaching #55, and after this release, he took time out from the industry. Rick did work on a bunch of demos during the early 90's (I have some of these on cassette), but it wouldn't be until the end of that decade that saw him back in the biz again with the 1999 solo 'Karma' album plus a stint in a band situation called Sahara Snow from 1997. Of course, Rick's music career is as healthy as ever, and this album has since been reissued by Rock Candy Records.

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#1 | gerard on July 05 2016 21:16:56
Great artist and great album! Honeymoon in Beirut, Woman and Soul to soul are my favorites!
#2 | Geir on July 06 2016 22:05:38
I would argue that 'Rock of Life' is a whole lot more organic in sound and arrangement compared to 'Tao'. 'RoL' is also less dark musically, but perhaps not always lyrically.

A new regime at RCA at the time saw Rick losing many or even most of his important allies at the label and ultimately walking out on his deal with them in the end. He was actually set to tour following the release of 'RoL', but hurt himself severely in an ATV accident, effectively totalling everything beyond some early promotional appearances.

'Honeymoon in Beirut' is a description of his marriage in its worst moments, while much of 'RoL' sees Rick confronting many of his demons lyrically, having sought psychotherapy in the interim between 'Tao' and 'RoL', with the title track being the first track he wrote for the album. And while 'RoL' isn't my favourite RS long player, there are some truly stellar tracks here: For me, some of the highlights are the title track, 'Honeymoon...', 'Tear It All Down' and 'Woman'.

Sahara Snow is mentioned in the summary: That was recorded fairly early in the nineties - I recall reports in the press about this at the time - but remained in the vaults until MTM Records released the tracks rounded out by a few solo RS demos some years later.
#3 | roadrunner158 on July 08 2016 09:33:09
Still love this CD and listen to it on a regular basis. Highlights for me: 'World Start Turning', 'Woman' and 'Tear It All Down'.
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