I love music, particularly Rock and Roll music, in case you haven't deduced that by this point in the A to Z Blog Challenge. My tastes run from the mellow sounds of soft acoustic artists to the hard driving sounds of heavy metal bands.
My first artist this morning is at the softer end of the spectrum. His name is Dan Fogelberg. Dan was born in Peoria, Illinois, on August 13, 1951. His mother, Margaret, was a classically trained pianist. His father, Lawrence, was the band leader at the local high school.
Dan joined a Beatles cover band, The Clan, at the age of 14 years. He went to the University of Illinois and studied Painting and Theater Arts. While in school Dan played in local venues and cafes. He eventually became a session musician in Nashville, TN.
A few of my favorite songs are "Longer," "The Leader of the Band," and "A Same Auld Lang Syne." Each one of these songs sparks a vivid memory of a specific time in my life.
The song "Longer" is often sung at weddings. I once sang an a cappella version of this song as part of a choral group at a church wedding. It is a beautifully romantic love song that sounded wonderful in the slight reverb acoustics of the church building.
"The Leader of the Band" is somewhat autobiographical. It's a tribute to his dad who taught him his craft and exemplified discipline and hard work for achieving success. Dan laments in the last verse of the song that he didn't tell his father that he loved him near enough times. This song resonates with me.
The last song, "A Same Auld Lang Syne," tells the story of a chance meeting with an old lover in a grocery store on New Years Eve. The song explains how they talked over old times, how their lives were now and the sadness at having to part anew.
Dan Fogelberg never achieved "superstar" status, but his music endures to this day. If you enjoy a softer kind of rock and roll and you haven't listened to Dan's music, do so...you'll be glad that you did!
Towards the other end of the Rock Spectrum we find the group "Foreigner". The driving force behind Foreigner's success is Mick Jones, lead guitar/songwriter, and Lou Gramm, Lead Singer. It was these two men who gave Foreigner their distinctive sound. Lou Gramm had a distinctive voice that complemented Mick Jones' songs very well.
Foreigner's first album "Foreigner" sold about four million copies and gave the group it first three hit singles. Their second album, "Double Vision," sold about five million copies. It's unusual for a sophomore album to do better than the first album. Foreigner's third album is "Head Games." This album didn't do as well as the first two, only selling about three million copies.
There have been many changes in the bands line up over the nearly forty years of rocking. I suppose that it's inevitable that people will come and go if a band endures as long as Foreigner has. Lou Gramm left the band in the late 80's only to return in 1992 and then left the band permanently in 2003. Mick Jones is the only founding member still with the band. Like I said, he is the driving force behind the bands songs and musical direction.
I really like Foreigner's song catalogue. It makes a good background to working around the house or in the yard. They have been rocking for almost forty years. I hope that they continue to do so!