CD Reviews

Dan Fogelberg - 'The Innocent Age' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 29, 2013    
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An exemplary (now re-mastered) album from the early 80s.

You may not be familiar with the music of the late Dan Fogelberg (1951 – 2007) and in truth, he never again quite reached the dizzy heights of success achieved with this glorious conceptual double album of seventeen songs, drawing its inspiration from Thomas Wolfe's novel ‘Of Time And The River.’ On this album Fogelberg captured Wolfe's protagonist's search for meaning, for self, and the inexorable passage of time. For me, this album and the preceding five, released over the period 1972 – 1981 are amongst the finest vinyl releases in my collection. Starting out with a country rock vibe on his Nashville-recorded debut, ‘Home Free’, over the next nine years he developed his own soft rock persona, and could quite appropriately be bracketed stylistically amongst Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, The Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash without being exactly akin to any of these, or indeed anybody else.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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‘The Innocent Age’ spawned no fewer than four American Top 20 singles: ‘Same Old Lang Syne’, ‘Hard To Say’, ‘Leader Of The Band’ and ‘Run For The Roses’ yet I daresay these will hardly register recognition amongst many of you reading these words. Here is your opportunity to set that to rights… The album resonates with songs of a very personal nature and includes guest appearances by Joni Mitchell (on ‘Nexus’) and Emmylou Harris (on ’Only The Heart May Know’) while elsewhere harmony vocalists include such luminaries of the time as Chris Hillman (on the rocking ‘Empty Cages’), Richie Furay (on the stunning title track), Glen Frey (on the reflective ‘Hard To Say’) and Don Henley (on the lyrically acerbic ‘The Lion’s Share’). Amongst the musicians accompanying him are drummer Russ Kunkel, bassists Kenny Passarelli and Norbert Putnam plus keyboardists Mike Finnigan and Mike Uttley: all well-respected session guys of the time. Finally, Michael Brecker (The Brecker Brothers) provides delightful tenor saxophone on ‘Same Old Lang Syne’ and ‘The Lion’s Share’, Tom Scott similarly on ‘Hard To Say’. A much maligned instrument, the tenor sax: it can be used very emotively, and is so here.

Overall this is a really quite mellow album and rocks out only rarely but brings a welcome change of pace to tracks including ‘Stolen Moments’. ‘Lost In The Sun’ and the aforementioned ‘Empty Cages’. There are many wonderful songs to get to know here, for those of you prepared to invest the time to fully explore this exemplary (now re-mastered) album from the early 80s.

One that is more for those quiet, introspective moments, I commend both ‘The Innocent Age’ and Dan Fogelberg to you for investigation as necessary.

Paul Jerome Smith

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Franco Cerchiari said:

While better than 95% of my CD collection is made up of various forms of power/melodic/symphonic/progressive metal, hard and classic rock. I am not to proud to say also included in that collection are works by Hall & Oates, Poco, Eagles, Toto, Wings, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Boz Skaggs, Chicago, Player, Pablo Cruise, America, Steely Dan, and the CD being talked about here, Dan Fogleberg's magnificent The Innocent Age, released in October of 1981. Taking an idea from author Thomas Wolfe's book Of Time and the River, this CD brings to life such topics as the search for the meaning of self, and the passing of time. Helping Dan bring this album to life is a who's who in rock, such as Glenn Frey and Don Henley (Eagles,) Chris Hillman (The Byrds,) bassist Norbert Putnam (Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Linda Ronstadt,) Richard Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco,) keyboardist Mike Finnagin (Jimi Hendrix, Peter Frampton, Crosby Stills & Nash,) and the UCLA Marching Band.

Timeless lite rock staples such as "Run For The Roses," "Leader Of The Band," and "Same Old Lang Syne" are all here, but listen as well to those songs which didn't reach the airwaves especially the beautiful guitars of "Nexus," and the upbeat "Lost In The Sun."

In a league all his own, Dan Fogleberg is perhaps one of the greatest singer/ songwriters of all time. Gentle, unassuming and easy to understand his songs and albums will bridge from one generation to the next. Rest in forever peace Dan, thanks for some bringing to us songs that we will always remember.
September 15, 2013
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