Love Songs, by Dan Fogelberg
I was looking at the discography of Dan Fogelberg while listening to the Very Best of Dan Fogelberg and saw that I already had listened to and liked nine of the ten songs that appear on this album on my Spotify and figured I would listen to the last song on the album that I had not already evaluated. In listening to this song and in reflecting to the rest of the songs on the album that I had listened to in the course of listening to the other compilation, I was struck by the fact that although Dan Fogelberg had a great many popular hit songs relating to love included on this disk (and others), those songs dealt with love in a variety of styles, perspectives, and even types of love, all of which makes this album a good deal more varied than one would expect from the title alone.
This album is relatively short by the standard of a compilation for Dan Fogelberg, given that the Very Best of Dan Fogelberg includes seventeen songs on one disk and nine of the ten songs that appear here. Yet the ten songs included here, if they are by no means a complete look at the singer’s career, even with regards to love songs, are certainly a representative sample of the complexity of Fogelberg’s approach to the subject of love. Heart Hotels, Hard To Say, and Lonely In Love all sound different in terms of their styles, but all present a rather melancholy to doubtful look at the stability of love. Make Love Stay reflects the singer’s desire to undo the mistakes of the past, while Seeing You Again reflects on the desire to recover a past relationship and Same Auld Lang Syne points out the awkwardness that often springs from seeing an old lover with whom the flame has died, even if a certain fondness remains. Similarly, A Love Like This and Longer reflect, with different styles, the appreciation the singer has for a love that the author wants to last for a lifetime and beyond. The other two songs expand the palette of love to include the love of a son for his father and their shared love of music in Leader Of The Band, and a love for a thoroughbred horse being bred to race in the bluegrass of Kentucky in Run For The Roses.
In the eyes of Dan Fogelberg, or the person who made this compilation, love is truly a complicated thing. And it should be noted that these songs do not by any means exhaust the complex attitudes that the singer had towards love expressed in his reflective and beautiful and often varied music. Yet before I fill this review with a long list of songs that I wish had been included to make it even more complete as a perspective of the singer-songwriter’s view of love, one reviews the albums that are and not those that could or perhaps should be. As far as love songs go, Dan Fogelberg has a lot of good ones, and ten of them appear on this album. There are more complete compilations if you like these songs, but you can certainly spend your time in worse ways than listening to these songs.
Dan Fogelberg was a complicated person, and I expected his songs to reflect it–especially when it came to matters of the heart. I was never disappointed.
Yes, he was a complicated person and his music reflected those complications honestly.