Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Rick Springfield

There is a strange connection between artists that can sometimes take place between of the similarity of names. So it is with Bruce Springsteen and Australian rocker Rick Springfield. Although Bruce Springsteen is recognized as the boss and Rick Springfield is best remembered for his hit “Jessie’s Girl” from 1981, both of them actually have had lengthy careers with about equal success on the pop charts, as remarkable as that might seem. Rick Springfield felt it important to note the strange connection between the two in a song he wrote and released as a single (which hit the top 40) called “Bruce,” and intriguingly enough both artists recorded hit singles called “Human Touch.” As successful artists with similar names in rock and roll and a similarly muscular approach that also played on their own respective regional origins (Rick Springfield once had a successful album called “Living In Oz” and one of his early singles was called “Streaking The Australian Way”), there are a lot of similarities that the two artists had. There is, however, one particularly notable difference in that Bruce Springsteen was early inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame but despite an excellent career, Rick Springfield has not. And it is that case for induction that we will talk about here today.

The Influence Of Rick Springfield

While it must admitted that Rick Springfield does not come to mind as the most obvious influential acts, it is worthy of note that there are at least two songs that have been named after him: 1985’s “Eat Your Heart Out Rick Springfield” was written and performed by Jimmy Hart, and in 2011 a song was recorded called “Je Suis Rick Springfield,” showing that even decades after his peak popularity he was apparently thought cool enough that someone would pretend to be him in order to impress a French girl [1]. Interestingly enough, there is another way that Rick Springfield has had a considerable degree of influence in the world of music, and that is through his honesty about his struggles with mental health issues. The rash of suicides of notable musicians that has taken place over the past few years, Rick has opened up about his own lifelong struggle with depression that led him to attempt suicide at the age of 16, where he was saved by a broken rope, and his own discussion about such matters will hopefully encourage artists to speak up and reach out about their struggles with darkness and not try to fight the abyss by themselves, with lamentable results. And if that is not exactly musical influence, it is certainly influence nonetheless.

Why Rick Springfield Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Over the course of a career that has extended nearly 50 years, Rick Springfield has made quite a lasting career for himself. While he became big in 1981 as a result of the #1 single “Jessie’s Girl,” which remains his signature song to this day, and he was a soap actor to pay the bills before the song and his career went big, he is far more than the lovesick man pining for his best friend’s girl. Besides that hit, he had a #2 hit with “Don’t Talk To Strangers,” a #5 hit with “Love Somebody,” a #8 hit with “I’ve Done Everything For You,” a #9 hit with “Affair Of The Heart,” top twenty hits with “Speak To The Sky,” his debut in 1971, “Love Is Alright Tonite,” “Human Touch,” and “Bop ‘Til You Drop,” and top 40 hits with “What Kind Of Fool Am I?,” “I Get Excited,” “Souls,” “Don’t Walk Away,” “Bruce,” “Celebrate Youth,” “State Of The Heart,” and “Rock Of Life.” This is a body of hits that almost anyone would be happy with, and that is not including lesser known but still notable songs like “Take A Hand” and “Taxi Dancing.” As far as his albums are concerned, his four albums from “Working Class Dog” in 1981 through “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” in 1982, “Living In Oz” in 1983, to “Hard To Hold” in 1984 have all been certified platinum, and 1985’s Tao has been certified gold [2]. Rick Springfield is indeed very far from being the mere one-hit wonder that others might think.

Why Rick Springfield Hasn’t Been Inducted Into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

By and large, the music of the 1980’s has not really been embraced by the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, and this is a great shame. It has cost a great many artists from the recognition that they deserve, and Rick Springfield is certainly among those. If something of the coolness of Springfield has always been remembered fondly and been a touchstone of the 1980’s in movies, more of his music deserves to be remembered and respected to this day.

Verdict: Put him in, he’s more than worthy and can still put on a great show.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Springfield

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Springfield_discography

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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