The Analog Kid’s iTunes music folder contains over 90,000 songs, so you may think that I own everything by everybody. Not so fast, my friends– even a collection that large is bound to have some true one-hit wonders and/or obscurities mixed in with the 1,200+ Elvis Costello songs. In this continuing series, I will feature an artist that has exactly one song in my entire digital library.
Canada’s Skylark reached #9 on the charts with 1972’s “Wildflower,” a song that eventually spent 21 weeks on the Billboard charts. Skylark only recorded two albums and never had another hit, but “Wildflower” helped to create the template for a musical style that would haunt listeners for years to come: the mid-tempo power ballad.
If you need any further proof that “Wildflower” facilitated the groundwork for future schmaltz, all you need to know is the name of Skylark’s keyboard player: David Foster. Yes, the same David Foster who would go on to write sublimely saccharine classics such as Boz Scaggs’ “Look What You’ve Done To Me” and Peter Cetera’s “Glory Of Love.” Foster even scored a Top 20 hit of his own with “Love Theme From St. Elmo’s Fire,” and would go on to perfect his craft in the ’90s with Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion.
And all this time you thought “Wildflower” was just a sweet little early ’70s song that you occasionally hear on oldies stations, when in fact is to blame for “I Will Always Love You”– produced by David Foster, of course.
Crazy things you learn on Wikipedia while conducting research for the Analog Kid blog: David Foster was driving the car that ran over Ben Vereen in Malibu in 1992. How weird is that? It’s like if Randy Newman had mowed down Liza Minnelli with the convertible from the “I Love L.A.” video somewhere in Laurel Canyon…
Skylark: “Wildflower” (Richardson/Edwards)
From the album Skylark
Capitol Records, 1972
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
David Foster: “Love Theme From St. Elmo’s Fire” (Foster)
From the album St. Elmo’s Fire: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Atlantic Records, 1985
Love Theme From St. Elmo’s Fire [Instrumental]
Boz Scaggs: “Look What You’ve Done To Me” (Foster/Scaggs)
From the album Urban Cowboy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Asylum Records, 1980
Peter Cetera: “Glory Of Love” (Foster/Cetera/Nini)
From the album The Karate Kid Part II: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
United Artists Records, 1986
Whitney Houston: “I Will Always Love You” (Parton)
From the album The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album
Arista Records, 1992
Randy Newman: “Short People” (Newman)
From the album Little Criminals
Warner Brothers Records, 1977
Queen + Liza Minnelli: “We Are The Champions” [Mercury]
From The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert DVD
Randy Newman: “I Love L.A.” (Newman)
From the album Trouble In Paradise
Warner Brothers Records, 1983
At first I read that as “Wildfire,” and that was not a song I wanted to remember, but I listened and… hey, I kind of like it!
You’ve been through enough in your life, so I won’t exactly curse you for introducing me to Liza Minelli singing “We Are the Champions,” but… oh, who am I kidding, I downloaded it!