Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

12May/099

Cage Match: Jack Wagner vs. Patrick Swayze

I'm in a good head space for this week's Cage Match.

Mel and I were out at the House of Blues on Friday night with the guy that we'll call "The Bastard" to celebrate her birthday, and check out the Detroit-based 80's tribute band Mega 80s. It was a fun night, with perhaps more than a few parts of the show on tape, but the overall sound and song picks made the night an incredibly fun one. It was nice hearing tunes like "A Little Respect" and "Just Can't Get Enough" alongside the expected tunes like "The Safety Dance" (if I never hear this song again, it will still not be long enough,) and "What I Like About You," etc. Great night, followed by a wrap up at The Greenhouse Tavern with additional tomfoolery at La Strada!

My Cage Match co-conspirator Michael was aghast when I told him of my plans for this week's musical duel. "Dude, you gotta stick with the hard rockin' stuff during the first few months of something like this." "Save the wimpy stuff for, I dunno, summer."

I think that he's just upset that his proposed "Battle of the Australian Wimp Bands" challenge remains on the sidelines. Don't worry, we'll get to that.

This week, we have two songs that are connected via the fact that both singers also have a main career in acting. It's pure coincidence however, that they both wound up in this week's Match together. Michael and I were talking about work items, as per usual, and he made a well-placed jab using "All I Need" by Jack Wagner as humor. And so it was, we had suddenly found contender #1 for this week's proceedings.

"All I Need" is a song that I recall hearing for the first time on my beloved childhood Top 40 radio station KWES-FM. I didn't know that Jack Wagner was a soap opera heartthrob with the ladies, I just knew that I liked what I heard in "All I Need" a lot. I didn't hear an artist identification the first time that I heard it, so I listened intently until the next time the track aired on the station, and found out that it was by this Jack Wagner fellow.

I heard the lyrics:

Kissing you is not what I had planned
And now I'm not so sure just where I stand
I wasn't looking for true love
But now you're looking at me
You're the only one I can think of
You're the only one I see

And there it was, the beginning of my love affair with really sappy love songs - the ones that sent me dreaming of perhaps someday, being in that same situation that Jack was singing about. It sounded pretty confusing, but it also sounded like a good time. Luckily, I later discovered the faithful companion to sappy love songs - the love-gone-wrong song. Once I discovered these two basic types of songwriting, my life was never really the same. So I approve of "All I Need," and in fact it's on my Ipod right now, with zero feelings of shame attached.

It scares me though, that there are cover versions of "All I Need" on Youtube. I might sing in an embarrassing falsetto in the privacy of my own home, but I don't video that stuff!

Songfacts reveals that the triple threat of Glen Ballard, Clif Magness, and David Pack are the songwriting team behind "All I Need."

Pack, of Ambrosia fame, joined Ballard and Magness to create that magical slice of swoon that so many generations have enjoyed since the day that the trio departed from the recording studio, rubbing their hands together with glee and perhaps a small bit of shame.

Ballard and Magness later crossed paths again when Magness contributed a co-write of your favorite Wilson Phillips song "Impulsive" to their 1990 Ballard-produced self-titled debut.

After buying several Cadillacs with the Wilson Phillips royalties, Ballard worked on that one Alanis record Jagged Little Pill that sold a bazillion copies, and on a side note, he also grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, where your beloved ATV author (that's me, Matt!) lived as a small impressionable child. Unfortunately for me, I don't have Ballard's impressive bank account, but worry not, I'm working on that.

So for the final piece, how do you know the name Clif Magness? Well, he spent some quality time making sure that the world knew who Avril Lavigne was, offering writing assistance on six tracks on Lavigne's breakout release Let Go.

But this isn't VH-1's Behind The Music, so let's move on to the second contender:

"She's Like The Wind" by Patrick Swayze. The first time I heard it, I was annoyed. I enjoyed the hell out of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack - particularly "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" and "Hungry Eyes," but when it came to "She's Like The Wind," I wanted no part of it. And over 20 years later, it's still on my "NO" list. If you like/liked that song, I'm not going to say that we can't be friends, but suddenly, I find your musical taste to be a little bit suspect. I do however heavily endorse Swayze's awesome new television show The Beast.

Big fan.

Enough about me - how do you feel about it? Wagner or Swayze...your choice?

Remember this: Nobody puts baby in the corner!

  • http://www.ickmusic.com Michael

    I’ll have to give it to Wagner based purely on the nostalgia factor.

  • http://pursuitofyourboyfriend.com Mel

    *squee!!* I heart both of these songs! (and shamelessly have them both on my classic love song playlist… whatever) LOL

    But given my major love for Dirty Dancing, I’ll go with Swayze. “I feel her breath on my face….” *sigh*

  • Erica

    SWAYZE all the way baby! Johnny Castle, Sam Wheat, Dalton, need I say more. Besides, Patrick has been through enough and when Jack Wagner loses, at least he will have Heather Locklear (whether that be good or bad).

  • KAP

    SIGH – Definitely Jack on this one.

  • mycool44

    This battle happened before “The Night Owls” vs. “Lost in Love”? Life is one big house of cards. While both of the battle songs make me throw up in my own mouth, I must give it to Swayze because A) he needs our vote right now, even if it is for a song that should have kicked off Richard Carpenter’s solo career… and B) How can I not give it to a man who starred in a film with the line: “That gal’s got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that.” Swayze for the win(d).

  • http://www.clevelandbachelor.blogspot.com CB

    Swayze. I can’t believe you are seriously posing this question – there is no competition. That song AND that album hold way too many memories for me. If I ever start collecting vinyl, that soundtrack is gonna be #1 on my “must track down” list with a bullet!

  • kevin

    Not to pile on a dying man, but Swayze has always been a purveyor of crap. The guy can’t act, can’t sing and Dirty Dancing is a lowpoint in American culture.

    I guess that means JW wins by default. Although he’s no actor and soap operas are about as schlocky as it comes, at least his girlfriend/wife on General Hospital was a hottie.

  • http://www.emilymcnamara.com Emily

    Jack Wagner wins. I mean Patrick Swayze and I will have sex in heaven but “She’s Like The Wind”??? All I can think of when I hear that song is when NY radio station Z100 made a parody track called “She Passes Wind.”

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