Monday, 29 March 2010

Don Henley 'The Boys Of Summer'

Chart Peak: 12 (12 in 1985)


If you can cast your mind back to last month, you might remember that the first disc of this album kicks off with a 1990 remix of material from 1978. So obviously they'd want to contrast this with something fresh and new from 1998 itself at the top of Disc 2...


I would have said that I couldn't remember why this was re-released, but in fact what I remember was that even in 1998 nobody could really understand why. It didn't seem to tie in with anything particular, apart from the fact that it was actually the summer (as opposed to the original release in January 1985)... but then again this song isn't really set in summer is it? All the references to the season seem to be nostalgic.

In fact this is one song I thought I could probably have done without re-listening, but in keeping with the spirit of the project I thought I'd better. And it did shed a small amount of light; I'd always thought it slightly odd that a record made by a drummer was so bland rhythmically, but he seems to have tried to fix it by adding a lot of extra cymbals in the middle section. It's to little avail, though, as the finished article has a stilted quality that means even the whiny quality in Henley's vocal doesn't make him sound very engaged with his own  material.

I'm mature enough now to realise that there might be some traces of a good song in there somewhere, but it seems fitting that he managed to inspire possibly the most lukewarm Amazon customer review ever, or that the boy who plays his younger self in the video grew up into a member of AOR American Idol spin-off band Daughtry.

Available on: The Very Best Of

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