Two weeks ago I posted my cover of “Heart of the Night” by Poco and I described that specific song as comfort music for me. This week I’m expressing my love and appreciation for the music of Dan Fogelberg. His music plays a significant role in my life because ALL of his music represents comfort music for me. His music became a great teacher and counsel throughout the most formative years of my life. His production of The Innocent Age which is a two-disc, seventeen song LP vinyl, hangs on my wall and is displayed with great pride. It’s a tie at the top of my list for my All-Time Favorite Album. The other album at the top of my list, which I also have hanging on my wall, is Barry Manilow’s 2 A.M. Paradise Café inspired by Johnny Mercer’s widow, Ginger, who had entrusted Barry Manilow with a cache of Mercer’s lyrics that had never been set to music. I’m hoping to share more about that for a later post because I’m digressing here, but both albums and artists will forever share a deep-rooted place within my heart. And, I’ve come to realize as I start approaching the 50-year mark in my life (HA! HA! I have five years to get there, but I’m already dwelling on that milestone, God willing.), the music appreciated within my formative years has the greatest impact for who I am. I certainly appreciate and love music from classical times to the here and now, but the music of the 70s and 80s saw me through my growing pains and are associated with memories of my wonder years.
I spent a great amount of time by myself growing up and though I’m Blessed with a wonderful number of friends now, I’m the type of person that enjoys small numbers of confidants to share my loyal friendship. I do fondly recall all of my Best Friends through the different stages of my life and I will always treasure those friendships. But, once my life entwined with that of my wife’s, she became my one and only confidant. And, through it all, music colored my life. In fact, music was my first confidant and music is my greatest counsel. Specifically, the profound lyrical genius of Dan Fogelberg, especially from the great works he produced for The Innocent Age, made me become an introspective thinker. I highly recommend a thorough, undisturbed listen through the entire album of The Innocent Age if an opportunity arises. I highly recommend the same for Manilow’s 2 A.M. Paradise Café. Some will be surprised by Manilow’s diversion from his norm. I have so much to write about my thoughts regarding these two bodies of work, but this description box is simply not big enough for what I need to express, so I’ll save those musings for another post. Unfortunately, this post is a bit disjointed, but only because I wanted to touch upon my immense feelings sparked by this week’s cover. If anything, this blog will serve as a post-it for me so I can delve further into these matters when opportunities arise.
I’ll conclude by stating that, when Dan Fogelberg passed away on December 16, 2007, at the age of 56, my heart sank. I remember the moment while I was driving and the ill feeling that swept over me when a radio broadcaster announced Dan Fogelberg’s passing. His passing meant that an incredible icon within my intimate world would no longer make music for his fans to enjoy. I’m Blessed to have enjoyed one of his wonderful concerts and I definitely enjoy his music often, but a man who I had never met in person truly made my heart sink when he died because of the incredible impact that his music continues to have on my life. Dan Fogelberg’s music will forever be my security blanket, taking care of me when I need his music most. My cover of “Longer” from his 1979 album Phoenix is my second Fogelberg cover and I hope to cover more of his profound music in the future.
"Longer" is a song written and recorded by the American singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg. The song can be found on Fogelberg's 1979 album Phoenix. It was also included on his 1982 greatest hits album as well as various other retrospective and compilation recordings. Fogelberg, who had released more rock-oriented songs throughout the 1970s, jokingly described "Longer" in the liner notes to one of his retrospective albums as "the song that put me on the elevators." He wrote the song while vacationing in Maui, "lounging in a hammock one night and looking up at the stars. It just seems this song was drifting around the universe, saw me, and decided I'd give it a good home." Accompanying Fogelberg's vocals is an acoustic guitar (played by the singer) as well as a flugelhorn solo by Jerry Hey. Lyrically, the song compares various events ("Longer than there've been stars up in the heavens") with his emotional attachment to the one he loves ("I've been in love with you").
"Longer" was actually released as a single in late 1979, prior to the release of the album Phoenix. It became Fogelberg's highest-charting hit of his career, spending two weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March 1980. It was kept from the summit the first week by "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen, and remained in the runner-up spot the next week behind "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd. In addition, "Longer" became the first of the singer's four #1 songs on the Billboard adult contemporary chart between 1980 and 1984. The song reached #85 on the Billboard country music chart. In the United Kingdom, "Longer" was Fogelberg's only song to reach the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at #59.