Album:The Essential Rick Springfield
Though Rick Springfield is frequently labelled as a talentless teen idol, his music holds up a lot better than you might think. Jessie's Girl was his only number one hit in 1981. Springfield has also had a successful acting career and he is still very busy today. He was born Richard Springthorpe Aug. 23, 1949 in the Sydney, Australia suburb of South Wentworthville. His father was an officer in the Australian Army so Springfield spent part of his childhood in England. Springfield started out in the late 60s band MPD Ltd. and they entertained Aussie troops in Vietnam. Then he formed Wickedly Wak. They recorded one single and then Springfield joined Zoot. They got attention by dressing in pink and charted in Australia with a cover of Eleanor Rigby. Zoot split up in 1971 and Springfield went solo with the 1972 top five Aussie hit Speak To The Sky. Then he moved to the US and signed with Capitol Records. Speak To The Sky was a top 20 hit but there were rumours that Capitol paid people to buy the record. Springfield moved to Columbia Records in 1973 and they tried to sell him as a teen idol. It didn't help that Springfield starred in the ABC kids TV series Mission: Magic! So it didn't work and Springfield left Columbia for the financially strapped Chelsea Records. They released the 1976 album Wait For Night but Chelsea was sold to RCA in 1977. While Springfield's music career stalled, he appeared in the pilot of the TV series Battlestar Galactica. Then he recorded the 1981 album Working Class Dog. Springfield and his agent didn't think the album would sell. So Springfield took a job on the daytime soap General Hospital. They were very surprised when Jessie's Girl topped the Billboard Hot 100 and no one called Springfield a teeny bopper. The song is about his friend's girlfriend who he admired from a distance. He didn't even know her name. Springfield won a Grammy for Jessie's Girl and the album cover featuring Springfield's dog also won a Grammy. Springfield's follow up albums did well and he had a couple more top ten hits. And he starred in the successful 1984 film Hard To Hold. Springfield went on hiatus and left RCA in 1988. This Sony 2CD comp includes some of Springfield's 70s recordings. In the 90s he did more acting then recording. But he signed with Universal's Hip-O label and released the CD Songs For The End Of The World in 2012. Among his acting roles were in the 1992 ABC series Human Target, the 1995 Broadway show Smokey Joe's Cafe and a recurring role in the Showtime series Californication. He appeared in General Hospital's 2013 50th anniversary show with his actor son Liam Springthorpe. This summer he will tour with Pat Benetar. I think Rick Springfield has had too much longevity to be dismissed as just another teen idol. Here's the video for Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield.