Being a fan of both power pop and bubblegum music, Rick Springfield delivers the goodies with ‘Mission: Magic!’
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Rick Springfield
ALBUM: Mission: Magic!
LABEL: Wizard Records
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Australia, USA
LINEUP: Rick Springfield – lead vocals, guitars, electric piano, synthesizer, percussion * Carol Kaye, Lee Sklar, Barry Sullivan – bass * Jim Keltner, Russ Kunkel, Ray Arnoff – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Aim For The Highest * 02 My Friend * 03 Hollywood * 04 You Need Me * 05 Seattle * 06 I’m Here * 07 Morning Magic * 08 How Are We To Live * 09 Endlessly * 10 4 O’Clock Rock * 11 We Can Make It
WEBLINKS: Site Link
As a typical kid in the early 70’s, I was a big fan of Saturday morning cartoons and vaguely remember ‘Mission: Magic!’ a show that lasted just one season on American television. Something about a talking Owl and a Witch and well, I can’t recall much else, but imagine my surprise many years later when I found the cartoon included the voice and music of AOR/power pop god Rick Springfield in the lead role!
That’s right kiddies; Rick Springfield was once a cartoon character. Now in the early part of the decade, Springfield was already a ‘teen star’ with Zoot a minor league Beatles influenced Aussie group who to their credit did a rip roaring’ cover of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ but not much else.
In 1972 leaving Zoot behind, Rick went solo hitting the charts in both the U.S and Australia with the single ‘Speak To The Sky’. Appearances in all the American teen magazines followed as did the little girls. It was during this period Filmation Studios notorious for their crappy Animation and outlandishly goofball story lines were looking for a young star in the red hot David Cassidy mold and Rick Springfield got the gig.
While not doing voice overs and animated as a superhero dressed in white, two albums were recorded during this period. For the U.S. ‘Comic Book Heroes’ and for Oz, ‘Mission: Magic!’ of which the latter in my ever so humble opinion is the better of the two.
Being a fan of both power pop and bubblegum music, Rick Springfield delivers the goodies with ‘Mission: Magic!’. ‘We’re Gonna Have A Good Time’ opens the album as it did with the cartoon with a classic bubblegum track in the grand tradition of The Archies.
There are hooks galore here folks and an early and fascinating peek at Rick Springfield’s pop song writing genius and how could he go wrong with The Beatles like ‘It’s Driving Me Crazy’ or the borderline pop psych of ‘Free And Easy’?
Impossible with just one pop classic after another like the acoustic based ‘Starlight, Starbright’ or the excellent ‘Catch Me If You Can’ both just seconds over two minutes, cramming more into this short period than most artists can do on an entire CD these days.
Springfield was obviously a student of great music throwing influences from The Partridge Family to The Hollies in one big candy coated bowl of good time pop sprinkled with a dash of sugar and happy vibes.
An appropriately paired tour with The Raspberries in the U.S. followed, while dating actress Linda Blair minus spinning head of course. It seemed Rick Springfield’s stars were finally aligned. He was even up to replace David Cassidy in ‘The Partridge Family’ television show, but it was not to be.
Back to square one until 1976 and the under appreciated ‘Wait For Night’ album followed by some acting, this time as a real person in American television shows leading up to his role in the soap ‘General Hospital’ and the musical juggernaut he would become in the early 80’s.
We’re Gonna Have A Good Time
It’s Driving Me Crazy