Dan Fogelberg

While I was for holidays, I was mooching a car from some family and there was a Dan Fogelberg greatest hits cd in the player (I have family from Peoria, where Fogelberg grew up … in fact, the car I was driving belongs to a guy who bummed around with one of Fogelberg’s brother, … but this is not a six-degrees of Kevin Bacon thing … I digress).

Anyway, it was great to get reacquainted with his music. “Same Auld Lang Syne” still strikes me as among his best songs (which reminds me, songwriter Joel Lindsey has a nice Fogelberg remembrance up here). The lyrical imagery is so vivid, the narrative so tonally subtle – funny and nostalgic, playful and solemn, and sad – and the arrangement and playing impeccable. These are traits of much of Fogelberg’s music, of course. I don’t know enough about his career to say who (else?) was the driving force behind the production of his albums. But his songs have that writer’s writer kinda brilliance to them lyrically that I wouldn’t be surprised if his was the dominant vision.

Little things can be so effective. That brass quartet that punctuates “Leader of the Band” serves as a kind of musical honor guard, an arranger’s lark that helps keep the song from becoming funereal, and the echo of a family band, all at once.

Or the way he rhymes the word “primeval” … gracefully.

There are plenty of reasons to mourn Fogelberg in his own right as an artist, but he also exemplifies an era of singer-songwriter music that has largely been killed off by overpopulation, by way too many wannabes and hacks with a guitar and a knapsack full of some grimy lead sheets to songs nobody wants to hear, much less record. So RIP, Dan Fogelberg, and the music of a moment you came to embody.

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  1. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    I had to Google him to be sure you meant that he’d died. I suspected maybe with the “RIP,” but it wasn’t clear.

  2. pk wrote:

    “Same Auld Lang Syne” is one of my all time favorite songs in life. He died of prostrate cancer I believe…such a sadness when I heard he had passed. He was one of my favorites…

  3. Grave Digger wrote:

    in regards to #1 . . .

    Where’s Lewis Grizzard when you need him? To nearly quote Lewis:

    “****, brother, I don’t believe I’da told that!”

    RIP, Lewis!

  4. Tombstone Furnisher wrote:

    And the “Here’s Your Sign Award” goes to……..

    (drum roll please)

  5. thom wrote:

    hey DJM - maybe he meant “RIP TAYLOR” from the old Hollywood Squares.

  6. JM wrote:

    During the early 80’s, I and my wife began to go to DF’s concerts and buy a great deal of his music. While I suspect that his sympathies were not simpactio with evangelical Christainity, there is much in DF’s music to be valued. If you can find his two-album set entitled “The Innocent Age”, give a listen to a song entitled “The Reach”. In summation and as a tribute to a wonderfully sensitive writer, please note these words…

    “And the morning will blow away, as the waves crash and fall, And the Reach like a siren sings as she beckons and calls, As the coastline recedes from view and the seas swell and roll, I will take from the Reach, all that she has to teach, to the depths of my soul.”

    I’ve often sat upon the beach, looking out to the horizon and thinking about those powerful words. My interpretation leans more toward a metaphorical replacement of God with the Reach; sort of makes my beach walks seem more like a walk with God. Even his music in “the Reach” has a sacred sound to it. Highly recommended!

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