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Beginnings

4.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 26, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

You would think that the debut solo album sporting two hits, no less! from one of the '80s' biggest heartthrobs would have been reissued long ago, but this 1972 Capitol release was indeed the "beginnings" of a series of misadventures in the music business that were to plague Rick Springfield until he broke through in the early '80s with "Jessie s Girl" and General Hospital. Springfield had scored a major hit in Australia with "Speak to the Sky" (the song appears here in its re-recorded U.S. hit version) when he moved to the States and made Beginnings, but there was a serious disconnect between the music and the marketing. The label seemed bent on selling him as a Tiger Beat teen heartthrob one look at the gatefold photo (faithfully reproduced in this package) will attest to that but Springfield's songwriting betrayed an artist with loftier ambitions, switching from Big Star-esque power pop ("Mother Can You Carry Me") to T-Rex-ish glam ("Hooky Jo") to McCartney-esque balladry ("What Would the Children Think"). And the explicit suicide theme of "The Unhappy Ending" pretty much stuck a fork in any designs Capitol may have had for the teenybopper market. Even worse, radio DJs boycotted the record after a rumor spread that Capitol was artificially inflating sales figures by buying the record. Unsurprisingly, Springfield left the label soon thereafter; this album deserved a wider audience then and still does now. We've added notes and photos--another Real Gone discovery!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Mother Can You Carry Me
  2. Speak To The Sky
  3. What Would the Children Think
  4. 1000 Years
  5. The Unhappy Ending (Lead Me On)
  6. Hooky Jo
  7. I Didn't Mean to Love You
  8. Come On Everybody
  9. Why?
  10. The Ballad of Annie Goodbody


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 26, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: March 26, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real Gone Music
  • Run Time: 36 minutes
  • ASIN: B0073GQWTC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,978 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
For 30 years I have felt Side A of the "Beginnings" LP was one of the most enriching listening experiences in recorded music. Melodic masterpieces. Somber, spiritual, uplifting, dramatic, tragic, and hopeful. Every emotion is featured. Every part of the soul is touched. In my very hectic life, I have made a point to experience Side A on an annual basis. And just when my vinyl LP was nearly worn out, I receive word that this album is finally available on CD. Someone is truly looking out for me.

Oh, and Side B ain't too shabby either! :)
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Format: Audio CD
I've been waiting YEARS for this CD release...always wondered what took so long?? 40 years??? Seems Capitol refused to put it on CD and no reissue label went to bat for it either...Razor & Tie, Wounded Bird, One Way...was the licensing price too high??

Anyhoo, the packaging is amazing...mini-LP gatefold with all pics and 2 pockets...one for the CD in a protective paper/plastic window sleeve...love those...and one for the booklet with liner notes. Just one quibble...having read Rick's book/memoir, there is a glaring error...the Zoot broke up when the US EMI label expressed interest to sign them and their Australian label...EMI-Columbia...would not let them go, so Rick & the boys were like, "OK, we'll break up, move to the US and reform there and sign with them!!"...well, when all that happened and Rick moved, the band stayed broken up for good...that's the truth...they almost made a BIG US impact with their cover of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby"...a heavy doomy grungy rocker arrangement, like Vanilla Fudge!! Another thing, the Zoot were NOT a "boyband" as Steve Binder described them as in the notes...they wore pink, sure, but Rick hated it "I'm not going to wear any of that pink crap!!", and Rick transformed them into a heavier Who/Vanilla Fudge-like rock & roll band...Rick's just been handed the curse of being too-good-looking, and was never really been taken seriously because of that, despite being a powerpop songwriter god and amazing guitarist.

"Beginnings..." was no different...the album is amazing Big Star/Paul McCartney orchestral powerpop with serious subject matter...why Porter/Binder wanted to plug him into the teenybop 16 magazine market is beyond me!!!
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Format: Audio CD
By the time that Rick Springfield hit it big as a pop star, with 1981's "Jessie's Girl," his fame as an actor all but obscured his very real roots as a musician. But a decade before topping the U.S. charts, Springfield was a working musician in the rock band Zoot (on whose heavy cover of "Eleanor Rigby" a young Springfield can be seen playing guitar) and a solo artist with a Top 10 hit in Australia. A reworked version of that hit single, "Speak to the Sky," reached the Billboard Top 20, and took this debut album into the Top 40. The 1981 view of a dilettante actor dabbling in music is wiped away by this record of his earlier work, for which Springfield wrote ten original tunes, sang and played guitar, keyboards and banjo.

Springfield's songs and the production sound are heavily indebted to late `60s and early `70s rock, particularly the bass, drums and piano sounds of the Beatles, Badfinger and Big Star. The album mixes deeper numbers with bubblegum, showing Springfield's voice to work well in both heavy and light arrangements. "The Unhappy Ending" anticipates the histrionics of Queen (and presages the opening of "Killer Queen"), while the happy-go-lucky (but war-tinged) "Hooky Jo" sports hooks worthy of Kasnetz-Katz and Graham Gouldman. Springfield's infatuation with Paul McCartney is evidenced by the album's chugging beats, but there are notes of soul, country-rock and pop.

The publicity build-up Springfield received with the album's success leaned to teen idoldom, and though a few of his songs offered the romance expected by readers of Tiger Beat, he also wrote of faith, regret, marital traps and suicide. The disconnect between his publicity and music, coupled with a disastrous rumor that Capitol was inflating sales numbers, doomed Springfield's initial into the U.S. market.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I fell in love with Rick Springfield's music and songwriting (and possibly a little in love with Rick) from the very first listen to "Beginnings." As a 15-year old when this album first came out, I was totally blown away by the depth and breadth of this album. The album contains songs about love lost (the soulful and sensual "Why?", the jazzy "1000 Years, and the bluesy "I Didn't Mean To Love You", about infidelity), "What Would The Children Think?", the spiritual "Speak To The Sky", about suicide ,"The Unhappy Ending", songs that are just plain fun "Hooky Joe," a song about a soldier separated from his love during the Civil War, "Come On Everybody," about a struggling musician trying to get people to listen to his music in the town square, and "The Ballad of Annie Goodbody," a raw rocker that may or may not be about the local bar babe whom everybody loves, and finally the haunting "Mother Can You Carry Me," which could be about a mother's neglect of her child or could be about the the writer asking the spiritual mother (Mary) to carry him and help to set him free from his burdens. The scope of this album would have been impressive if the songs were composed by someone in their thirties or older, but the fact that they were composed by someone in their early twenties was awe inspiring to me. All I can say is this album/CD set me on a journey with Rick Springfield that has been one hell of a ride. It's a great CD and a must for any Rick Springfield fan.
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