Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FSOTD #37/There's A Place In The World For A Gambler (1974)

Dan Fogelberg shares a very minor distinction with Kenny Rogers.  They both have a song with the word "gambler" in the title.  I found "gamblers" and "gambler's" in my iTunes, but theirs were the only songs with the singular form.  Minor indeed.

Dan Fogelberg's "There's A Place In The World For A Gambler" was released on his 1974 album Souvenirs.  Something of an acoustic anthem, the song closes side 2 repeating the refrain "Let It Shine".  I never went to a Fogelberg concert, but I always imagined this is what closed the show.  Long and slow-building, it has the perfect rhythm for a swaying crowd holding lighters aloft - Let it shine!  But I have to admit to admiring this song more than I like it.  I'm thinking maybe I begrudge it because I'm no good with lighters.  Never have been.  I'm a thumb-burner.  Nowadays, though, if you wanna shine a light at the end of a show...they've got an app for that.  Really.

Usually I head right to Wikipedia for FSOTD details, but today I went to my Souvenirs CD (the vinyl is in the garage).   I culled some interesting tidbits from the liner and production info.  The album was produced by Joe Walsh.  In the lyrics section, it notes that "...Gambler" was written in California in 1971.  The chorus of voices that repeats "let it shine" includes Don Henley and Randy Meisner.  Henley appears on a few other tracks as well, and Walsh does all of the electric guitar work on the album.

So let's see...that's Walsh, Henley and Meisner all together on a 1974 project.  As it turns out, Glenn Frey also added some backing vocals on one of the Souvenirs tracks.   Now consider this: Hotel California came out just two years later in 1976.  On the back of the CD it says: "With Joe Walsh joining as a full time member, The Eagles..." Could it be that Dan Fogelberg is the missing link in the evolution of Joe Walsh solo guy to Joe Walsh Eagle dude??

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