Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rick Springfield - "What Kind of Fool Am I"

What Kind of Fool Am I - Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet

(Debuted June 5, 1982 Peaked #21, 12 Weeks on the Chart)

Today marks one year since I started rambling about random 1980s pop hits. Somehow, the title of this song is appropriate, as I get to answer that question every time I add comments to this blog.

Actually, "What Kind of Fool Am I" is a song that expresses regret for letting the "big fish" slip away. Of course, the regret fills in only after it's too late to change what's happened. Springfield's narrator knows immediately that it was his fault: "I meant to say I'm tired, Baby, we can work it out...but I never meant to say goodbye." It's another reminder that those who play their own games in love don't always get to set the rules.

It was one of 15 songs that Springfield took into the pop Top 40 from 1981-'85. While the song is definitely infused with musical hooks (like those bells in the chorus) and production values from the 1980s, it's easy to overlook the fact that it's a really well-written tune. Here's a great line from the song: "Were we too busy checking out the left hand that we didn't see the right?" I've always contended that the best songwriters can use double meanings to make a point, and the "right" that indicates that he's been punched is a great example.

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