The Bottom Line
While this collection may not qualify as quintessential, it certainly does a good job of featuring this artist's best work and demonstrating why Rick Springfield is worth remembering. As a songwriter, the former soap star and heartthrob has far more to offer than most gave him credit for at the time. He's gifted not only with a melody but epitomizes power pop accessibility in the best sense of the word.
- This compilation definitely features the artist's best songs.
- There may be a few extraneous songs included that keep the album from being essential.
- If you think "Jessie's Girl" was Springfield's finest contribution, prepare to be challenged.
- After listening, try to name five artists who created better mainstream rock in the '80s.
- Springfield is a gifted songwriter. Get used to the fact.
Guide Review - 'The Best of Rick Springfield' Album Review
While it's certainly not a misstep to begin an overview of Springfield's '80s output with his most well-known song, the greatest treasures of this compilation are still to come, in rapid-fire display. Perhaps Sammy Hagar made a mistake when he gave his best song to Springfield to turn into a hit, but we're all the benefactors when the latter puts his perfect pop/rock spin on "I've Done Everything for You.". For my money, "What Kind of Fool Am I" is simply one of the best regretful lovelorn lothario tunes ever written, with a sterling rueful opening supported wonderfully by a rousing, pitch-perfect chorus. Mainstream power pop has never been better than this. Really, one can't go wrong with the first 10 or so songs on this CD, as Springfield knows how to riff and exhibits a mastery of the famous '80s marriage of keyboards and electric guitar. Still, after "Love Somebody" it's hard to argue that things don't begin to roll downhill a bit in terms of song quality. "Bop 'Til You Drop" and "Celebrate Youth" are particularly dated and unfortified, from their cringe-worthy, vapid titles down to their keyboard excess and puzzling insistence on targeting teeny boppers. Even so, this album is a consistently strong listen and makes a compelling case for the enhancement of Springfield's reputation as the '80s recede further into our memories. Making music that is both timeless and inextricably tied to its era is far from a crime, and Springfield somehow turns it into a musical gift.