Dan Fogelberg Tickets for Sale

While his career has never been especially flashy, nor his name the first to arise when anyone names the most influential singer-songwriters, Dan Fogelberg (b. Aug. 13, 1951, Peoria, Ill.) has quietly produced one of the more substantial bodies of work of any practicing singer-songwriter. Not to mention best-selling; between 1975 and 1984, eight consecutive albums he released went platinum or gold. Since his 1972 major label debut album Home Free, Fogelberg has managed to carve himself a stylistic niche somewhere between the Crosby, Stills & Nash school of folk-rock harmony, the Harry Chapin/Billy Joel school of blustery lyric realism, and the Tim Hardin school of overwhelming romantic sensitivity. Which may make him nothing more than the sum of someone else's parts, true--but still, it's been a unique enough combination to keep an audience fascinated for over two decades.

A former student of art at the University of Illinois, where he'd been playing local coffeehouses, Fogelberg quit school in '71 to move to Los Angeles. He then signed a deal with Columbia that put him in a Nashville studio with country producer Norbert Putnam. Home Free, the result, was Fogelberg's first and last album for Columbia. Eighteen months later--after working with artists like Randy Newman, Roger McGuinn, Eric Anderson, Joe Walsh, and Jackson Browne--he had a new album out on Epic, 1974's Souvenirs, and a serious career on his hands. "Part Of The Plan," Fogelberg's memorable first hit, featured a catchy hook, guitar playing by producer Joe Walsh, and backing vocals by Graham Nash; the combination was enough to send Souvenirs into the top 30--where every album he'd put out for the next 10 years would also land.
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Fogelberg's next hit, "The Power Of Gold," was the product of an interesting collaboration between the singer and flute player Tim Weisberg--"an experiment that worked," as he'd later call 1978's Twin Sons Of Different Mothers. The mostly instrumental album featured "Gold" and an extraordinary version of the Hollies' "Tell Me To My Face" (a top 40 hit for singer Keith in 1967) that revealed an aspect of Fogelberg's rock roots that hasn't been on display since.

From the early '80s onward, Fogelberg began a stretch of hits that has, for better or worse, defined his sound for most people: Slow, introspective lyrics laden--some have said overly laden--with sensitivity. Three top 10 hits in a row are what did it: "Same Old Lang Syne," an autobiographical account of the singer meeting an old girlfriend, "Hard To Say," about a lost love, and "Leader Of The Band," an ode the singer wrote about his former bandleader father. All three tracks came from Fogelberg's ambitious double-album of 1981, The Innocent Age. Supposedly inspired by the singer's turning 30, the album reportedly remains Fogelberg's favorite. In retrospect, it could have served as the central inspiration for the '80s television hit Thirtysomething.

Since then, Fogelberg has purposely shifted his musical approach several times--from exploring bluegrass and country on 1985's High Country Snows to noticeably rocking on 1987's Exiles. Lyrically, the latter album was every bit as revealing as was The Innocent Age; Fogelberg said at the time its subject matter was "the anatomy of the break-up of a marriage," and the singer was indeed going through a divorce at the time. Regardless, the album was the first he'd made that didn't crack the top 40 since Home Free, and he hasn't been back there since. Still, no one--least of all Fogelberg--can deny that selling over 15 million albums in the course of 20 years remains one very impressive run.
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