Rick Springfield – Tao [1985]

RICK_SPRINGFIELD_TAO

Known for his straight and immediate melodic rock tunes, RICK SPRINGFIELD changed the general approach with his middle-eighties record “TAO”. With a production and arrangements technically & sonically far beyond its year, the album was unleashed on the world at the end of 1985. It was a stellar departure from anything Rick had ever tried before: elaborated hi-tech AOR melodies with a complex musical background, a heavy mix of processed guitars, synthesizers, vocal effects, sampling and drum machines.

“There is a lot going on, you can really hear it. We covered it with a lot of guitar and bass. TAO is still my favorite album” said Springfield. And although I love his previous records, “TAO” is my favorite too. This one has all we love from the ’80s; compressed drums, ‘that’ reverband keyboards galore. But there’s much more than sonic bombast here. Rick offers deep and rich lyrics like a warning about the devastation of the planet on “Walking On The Edge”, social revolution in “Celebrate Youth” (a hit in Germany), the search for spiritual truth on “The TAO Of Heaven”, and the somber perspective of “Dancing The World Away”.

Simply put, “TAO” is one of the greatest AOR albums from the Eighties. Behind the wall of super-produced sounds we still find top notch musicians like drummer extraordinaire Mike Baird, Pino Palladino on fretless bass, or the exquisite Tim Pierce on guitar, who also co-wrote the great opener “Dance This World Away”.

In summary, it’s a true crime that “Tao” wasn’t even mentioned in VH1’s “Behind the Music” on Rick Springfield. Maybe we can understand “Wait for Night” getting the gloss-over, but “Tao” deserved some lip service. An album that you can laugh or cry with, packed with lyrics you can share with a loved one…a classic full of excellent, memorable melodies…and we should all share them.

Band Members
Rick Springfield – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Edie Lehmann,Mike Seifrit,Richard Page,Tom Kelly,Tom Funderburk – Backing vocals
Pino Palladino – Bass
Mike Baird – Drums
Tim Pierce – Guitar
Mike Fischer – Percussion
Nicky Hopkins,Jeff Silverman,John Phillip Shenale – Synthesizer
Nigel Lundemo Pierce – Voice [Talking Boy]

Tracks
01. Dance This World Away (4:35)
02. Celebrate Youth (3:52)
03. State Of The Heart (4:33)
04. Written In Rock (4:35)
05. The Power Of Love (The Tao Of Love) (5:00)
06. Walking On The Edge (5:12)
07. Walk Like A Man (4:09)
08. The Tao Of Heaven (1:29)
09. Stranger In The House (4:03)
10. My Father’s Chair (3:28)

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