Ever have that one album you bought because it had that one hit song on it, and you didn’t really care about the rest? You thought they were all filler, right? Well, today it’s tougher to do that, thanks to online music sales where albums are less important. Still, the concept may apply just the same.
I had that feeling over the last week with Joe Walsh’s But Seriously, Folks. I bought it for Life’s Been Good and never really had the idea to listen to the rest of the tracks. That is, until last week, when I found the CD in my big box of CDs and decided to rip the rest of it.
Most people only know this album due to the number one hit it produced, Life’s Been Good. It’s an absolutely fantastic tune that overshadows a completely excellent body of work on the rest of the album. In fact, it feels out of place for it to be on there entirely in some ways. The majority of the album is basically one long song, from the beginning of Over and Over until the end of Theme From Boat Weirdos. Even Life’s Been Good still sounds consistent with the rest of the music on the album.
It starts out with Over and Over, Joe’s message about how the passing years desensitize us to life, and transitions seamlessly to his fears of losing relevance in Second Hand Store. The counterpoint to these songs is Indian Summer, Joe’s memories of his childhood in Ohio. It’s a happy, pleasant song in an otherwise melancholy combination of tracks. If you listen carefully, you can hear the Eagles providing the harmonies. Moving on to At The Station, which is more of a James Gang-ish or solo Walsh song with a grittier tone, similar to Life’s Been Good but without the synthesizers. Once you’ve left the station, you have to think about Tomorrow, Joe’s thoughts on procrastination. Some might recognize the tune as that of Shandi, by Kiss, but this album came out several years before Shandi did. I’d say Joe would be able to sue Paul Stanley over the similarity, but it’s been decades, and I doubt he’d do that.
Before you get to Life’s Been Good, you’ve got Inner Tube and Theme from Boat Weirdos, two seamless instrumental tracks that are perfect summer day layabout songs. It all wraps up with the eight minute Life’s Been Good, complete with excessive synth solo.
If you like Lif’e’s Been Good, you’ll like the rest of the album. Give it a listen and don’t let the rest of the tracks waste away in a drawer.