Monday, June 25, 2018

Musical Monday - Longer by Dan Fogelberg

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: March 15, 1980.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: Never.

The music of the late 1970s bled into the early 1980s. This is to be expected - it always takes a couple of years before a new decade establishes the musical and cultural identity that it is later associated with, and until that time there is always a holdover from the previous decade. Just like Captain and Tennille's Do That to Me One More Time from a few weeks ago, Dan Fogelberg's Longer is an example of the soft rock of the 1970s leaking into the top of the charts in 1980.

Unlike Captain and Tennille's song, which had a fairly salacious subtext, Longer is an example of the utter blandness of a lot of soft rock. If I wanted to write a ridiculous parody of a love song, the lyrics would probably sound a lot like the lyrics to this song. There's really nothing to it either - this is essentially just a big "I love you" from the singer to an unnamed object of affection that is rendered in some of the purplest prose imaginable. The song is bland, it is syrupy, it is sickly sweet, and it is also entirely inoffensive. It is a butter and sugar sandwich made with plain white bread.

This is also probably part of the reason the song was so commercially successful. I suspect that this song has been used as their first dance for thousands of newly married couples since it was released. It is probably in the repertoire of virtually every wedding band in the English-speaking world (and most of them are probably sick and tired of singing it at every wedding). Cheesy dudes probably learned to play guitar so they could serenade girls with this at college parties. Cheesier dudes probably wrote the lyrics in letters to girls they had crushes on. Syrup sells.

Previous Musical Monday: Atomic by Blondie
Subsequent Musical Monday: Together We Are Beautiful by Fern Kinney

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) by Pink Floyd

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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