Current Traffic

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Post 113 - Rick Springfield - Beginnings LP

Rick Springfield was born Richard Lewis Springthorpe at Merrylands, in Sydney’s western suburbs, on August 23, 1949. Rick began playing with local Melbourne bands but his musical career didn’t begin in earnest until he was dropped out of high school in 1967. He joined the band Rockhouse in 1968 they landed a regular gig at a nightclub in St. Kilda. Rick and Danny Finley formed a new band in early '69, Wickety Wak. They recorded one song, “Billie’s Bikey Boys”, written by Johnny Young and produced by "Molly" Meldrum. The single is now considered a classic of Australian psych-pop. Rick joined Zoot late in 1969, and only months later, in early 1970, the pink jumpsuits (which Rick hated) were set on fire on a T.V. music show Happening '70. Zoot stunned the audience with their pounding heavy-metal version of the Beatles’ "Eleanor Rigby", also arranged by Rick. In December 1971 Rick left to work in the USA and later that year his first solo single, "Speak to the Sky", was released on Robie Porter’s Sparmac label and it reached #5 on the Australian national chart. During early 1972 Rick recorded his debut album Beginnings at Trident Studios in London; he featured on lead vocals and played many of the instruments including keyboards, guitars and banjo. In May he travelled to Japan to represent Australia at the Tokyo Song Festival with "Speak To The Sky". Rick's album produced two additional Australian hits "Hooky Jo" and "What Would The Children Think?" and later in the year Capitol released a new version of "Speak To The Sky" which gave Rick his first bona fide American hit, reaching #14 in September 1972. With his exceptional good looks and the record company’s determination to push him as Australia’s answer to David Cassidy, Rick quickly became a favourite of American teen magazines, and record sales increased rapidly despite the fact that the album was given very little airplay. His image was carefully maintained and Capitol even went as far as airbrushing out the hair on Rick's chest on the back cover photo on the US edition of the album. Beginnings was selling very strongly, 300,000 copies in the United States and "Speak to the Sky" was climbing the charts when a rumour began to circulate that Capitol Records was paying people to purchase it to artificially inflate sales of the album. It brought Rick’s chart ascent to a crashing halt, radio stations refused to play his songs and the momentum died overnight. A change in record companies should have made a difference, but Rick’s move to Columbia the next year was doomed from the start. Radio stations continued to avoid his songs, ensuring the failure of 1973’s Comic Book Heroes, Plans for a 1974 follow up album were scrapped. In August, 1981, after ten years in the American music business, Rick reached #1 on the American charts for the first time with "Jessie’s Girl". The following year, the song earned Rick a Grammy for best male rock vocal and the Working Class Dog album. Here to download is his first solo LP "Beginnings" (SPL-003)


xtratex said...

Hey thanks Ozzie, saw the link for this LP at Midoztouch. You did a great job with the vinyl rip, Rick would be happy with the quality I'm sure. David Cassidy eat your heart out, our Rick was way better.



At last I downloaded the Beginnings album but can you tell me why you substituted the Anthology CD version of Hooky Jo in the running order instead of using the vinyl mix?

I really hate how on the Anthology CD version the previous song fades of the running drums at the start of Hooky Jo and the song after starts over the end as well...

The vinyl album versions of What Would the Children Think and Speak To The Sky are also radically different to the single versions on CD.

Thanks for the album,




The reason for the Anthology version of Hooky Jo is when we ripped the album Hooky Jo had a bad skip and the only other version we had at the time was the Anthology version. We weren't happy with it but had no other option till a mate of mine told me he had the album. So we recorded it and have uploaded the album again but with the correct version this time. We had intended on replacing the track before posting it, but had a little communication problem :-( For those who have already downloaded the album here's the link to the song so you can replace it.

Mark said...

Many thanks!

Rick B said...

Does anyone have the Wickety Wak single? Anywhere? I can't find a rip of it anywhere or anyone offering the single for sale. Even sources in Australia don't have it. Thanks Rick fans!

Rick from Maine.