The Joe Walsh “9 To 5″: Top 9 Hit Singles, Top 5 Forgotten Favorites
Life's been good and life will always be good as long as there's a Joe Walsh song playing.
As i95 gets ready to welcome the one and only "Clown Prince of Rock" Joe Walsh to The Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford tonight, here are Joe's nine greatest hit singles followed by his five best (not so) forgotten songs.
THE TOP 9 HIT SINGLES
9. Joe Walsh "The Radio Song" (#8 Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks/1987)
Joe Walsh has made a career out of being rock and roll's every day guy. He may be an amazing musician but he's also every bit a fan of rock music as you and I. In 1987's rock radio hit "The Radio Song" Joe expresses his love of listening to his favorite radio station playing his favorite song. We'd like to think that when he's cruising through the NY/CT area his favorite station is i95.
8. Joe Walsh - "A Life Of Illusion" (#34 Billboard Hot 100, #1 Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks/1981)
After the break-up of The Eagles Joe was out on his own once more. He put up a good showing with this Top 40 hit single from his album 'There Goes The Neighborhood'. It also reached #1 on Billboard Magazine's Top Tracks Chart, where his former bandmates Don Henley and Glenn Frey also achieved #1 singles.
7. Joe Walsh - "Ordinary Average Guy" (#3 Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks)
The 80s was a roller coaster ride of sorts for Joe Walsh. Both his career and personal life took some lumps due to a growing substance abuse problem. The 90s, however, would turn out to be a comeback decade for Joe on both fronts. Before going sober and being part of the eventual mammoth Eagles reunion of 1994, he would release a song which has become a highlight of his solo singles catalogue - 1991's "Ordinary Average Guy". Heavy on synths with sleek production, Joe pulls off a charming, self-deprecating classic. How many hit songs do you know of where the artist admits to still having to pick up the dog doo?
6. James Gang - "Walk Away (#51 Billboard Hot 100/1971)
This is the highest-charting single released by Joe Walsh and his band James Gang. A great groove featuring some of Joe's best guitar work. Joe, bassist/vocalist Dale Peters, and drummer Jim Fox are one of the greatest three-piece bands in rock history. Underrated for sure.
5. Joe Walsh - "All Night Long" (#19 Billboard Hot 100/1980)
Joe Walsh was in stellar company on the 1980 soundtrack to the film 'Urban Cowboy' starring John Travolta. The album included heavy-hitters like Jimmy Buffett, Bob Seger, The Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt and The Charlie Daniels Band. His good-time sing-along rocker "All Night Long" became one of six hit singles from the album proving Joe had what it takes to write a great song for not just rockers but cowboys too.
4. James Gang - "Funk #49" (#59 Billboard Hot 100/1970)
This is one of Joe Walsh's greatest riffs. "Funk #49" is a rip-roaring ride from James Gang. It's their third-highest charting single behind "Walk Away" and "Must Be Love". What's funkier than this song? And - bonus - it's got cow bell!
3. The Eagles - "Life In The Fast Lane" (#11 Billboard Hot 100/1977)
The Eagles had no shortage of songwriters with Don Henley and Glenn Frey in the band. That's why it's even more impressive that Joe Walsh didn't just get a song on an Eagles' album but he gave them a #11 single. "Life In The Fast Lane" is a song that has since become a highlight of the band's catalogue. Could this be Joe's greatest guitar riff of them all? Hard to argue against it.
2. Joe Walsh - "Rocky Mountain Way" (#23 Billboard Hot 100/1973)
This is Joe Walsh's first hit single as a solo artist and it is iconic. That super bad riff, that killer groove and that legendary talk box guitar solo. What's not to love? All of this came straight outta Joe's head while he was mowing his lawn one day. That's right, he was mowing his lawn.
1. Joe Walsh - " Life's Been Good" (#12 Billboard Hot 100/1978)
Sometimes an artist's highest charting single doesn't stand up as the years pass. Not so with 1978's "Life's Been Good". It's an epic musical journey guided by heavy electric guitar riffs, lush, sweeping acoustic guitars, perfectly placed synthesizers and those classic Joe Walsh lyrics. "They say I'm crazy but I have a good time". Nobody is crazier than Joe Walsh and no one knows how to have a good time more than Joe Walsh. Where's the party at Joe?!
THE TOP 5 FORGOTTEN FAVORITES
5. James Gang - "The Bomber: Closet Queen/Boléro/Cast Your Fate To The Wind" (1970)
This is, hands down, my favorite Joe Walsh riff and favorite James Gang song of them all. The opening riff is hard, heavy and raw. As you get to around the 1:30 mark the song slows down into this amazing psychedelic groove that goes on for over four minutes. Joe is riding that groove with a mesmerizing solo flowing from left to right speaker with a beautiful echo effect. It's a James Gang ride that I wanna ride again and again and...
4. Joe Walsh - "Over And Over" (1978)
Joe Walsh's 1978 album 'But Seriously Folks...' is best known for the single "Life's Been Good" but "Over And Over" is an added bonus. Joe creates another fun rocker on this track. A nod to his drummer Joe Vitale too. Vitale rides Joe's changing grooves nicely with his nifty cymbal work. Simply splashing!
3. Joe Walsh & Barnstorm - "Turn To Stone" (1972)
This forgotten favorite comes off of the 1972 self-titled album Joe released with his band Barnstorm. On this post-James Gang record he expands both as a songwriter and musician. This dark, menacing track is the highlight of the album.
2. Joe Walsh - "Rosewood Bitters" (1985)
The slide guitar takes center stage on this track from 1985's 'The Confessor' album. The synthesizers reflect the synth-driven sound of the mid 80s but the slide guitar sounds good no matter what decade we're in.
1. The Eagles - "In The City" (1979)
It's surprising to find out that The Eagles never nrelease this song as a single. Originally recorded as a Joe Walsh solo song "In The City" was later re-recorded by The Eagles for their 1979 album 'The Long Run'. Here you have the classic Joe Walsh riff combined with his quirky yet lovable vocals. On this version, however, the unmistakably beautiful harmonies from his Eagles bandmates put it over the top. My favorite part of this song is hearing Joe sing the line "Somewhere out on that horizon, far away from the neon sky" followed by that cool little piano roll. I get the goosebumps every time. I feel like I'm cruising down the sunset strip with the top down on a summer night heading for the club.