Working Class Dog

Working Class Dog

By the time this was released in 1981, the Australian-born Rick Springfield was already 10 years out from his unheralded 1971 debut album, Beginnings. Yet it’s hard to believe this was his fifth album, the very one that made his “overnight” career. The music here is unabashed power pop, and it sidles up sweetly to late-’70s Los Angeles candy-riff merchants such as 20/20, The Beat, Great Buildings, and The Knack. Tunes are steeped in big major-key choruses, Beatle-styled harmonies, boy-girl politics, and punchy riffs. It’s a beautifully concise and controlled record too, from the impossible-to-resist radio shout-outs (the No. 1 “Jessie’s Girl,” “I’ve Done Everything for You”) to the bouncy power-chorders (“The Light of Love,” “Love Is Alright Tonight”) to the AOR-ready stompers (“Red Hot & Blue Love,” “Hole in My Heart”) to a welcome ambient finale (“Inside Silvia”). There’s something very assured-sounding here, so practiced and crafted, yet so alive.

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