The Man That Never Was – Rick Springfield & The Sound City Players

Back into the side projects in a big way. The Sound City soundtrack spawned some incredible line-up/mash-up/horns-up moments. Paul McCartney realising he’s just replaced Kurt in Nirvana live on film is one great moment. Stevie Nicks letting her devilish smirks creep across her face as she kicks up a storm with Dave, Taylor and Rami on You Can’t Fix This, that’s another. There’s also the lunk headed punk delights of middle-aged men making songs like Your Wife Is Calling as they relive their youth and throw a spotlight on a band like Fear (Lee Ving takes vocals on this one) for a new generation of would be fans.

Reel to Real is a great rock record. A really solid collection of tunes that play well as an album and add depth and character to a record collection. The stand out cut for me though is the one that sounds most like Foo Fighters and gives away a ‘tell’ of a hitherto unrevealed influence.

Who knew Rick Springfield was such a close match for Dave Grohl on vocals? If this record had been put out as a Foo Fighters single I think only half the world would realise the voice behind the mic is not the regular Foo Fighters Guy.

Of course it helps that the riff is a big lovable goof of an earworm. The melody is pure The Color And The Shape and that chorus is one ‘WHAT IF I SAY’ away from an existing FF anthem.

The Man That Never Was is a joyous sounding record. Clearly everyone on the track is having a ball and If the studio version doesn’t convince you that the Neve mixing desk is a steam punk incantation machine for great rock and roll sounds, then the live take from a chat show might win you over on its enthusiasm alone.

Springfield never really made a dent over in the UK so I’ve always viewed him as a uniquely American proposition like Steve Earle, John Mellencamp or the Country Music Chart. I couldn’t name one of his records. But I like the cut of his jib.

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4 thoughts on “The Man That Never Was – Rick Springfield & The Sound City Players

  1. Haven’t heard the LP, but this certainly a stand out track. My sister once gave my brother and me two tickets to see Rick. Glad she did, b/c I probably wouldn’t have ever seen him otherwise. He put on a really good show. Thanks for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

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