Thursday, May 04, 2017

Songoftheday 5/4/17 - She moved back around here thirty-five weeks ago today on down the lane, at night she walks on the banks and remembers how she dreamed of rowing away...

"Across The River" - Bruce Hornsby & The Range
from the album A Night On The Town (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's song of the day comes from the Virginian piano-led rock band Bruce Hornsby & The Range, whose sophomore album Scenes From The Southside had spun off a pair of top-40 pop hits with "The Valley Road" and "Look Out Any Window". Bruce's third and final studio album with the Range, A Night On The Town, was released at the start of the new decade, and its freeform structure and more experimental sounds set it apart from the others, even while keeping the meaty lyrical content. The first single from the set, "Across The River", was written by Bruce with brother John Hornsby, and featured a guitar cameo from the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia...

"Across The River" became the band's sixth and final top-40 pop hit in August of 1990. The record was their second, after "The Valley Road", to reach #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, while it also climbed to #8 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. Internationally, the single topped the singles chart in Canada, while becoming a minor hit in the UK at #85.

The next single from the Night On The Town album, the grand waltz of "Lost Soul", with Shawn Colvin singing backup, stalled down at #84 on the pop Hot 100, but did climb to #16 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Another track from the set, "Fire On The Cross", slipped on to the Mainstream Rock list at #50, while the groovy title track was a favorite on the format, peaking at #4. After a contribution to the soundtrack to the Kurt Russell as fireman movie Backdraft, "Set Me In Motion", which hit #25 Adult Contemporary/#33 Mainstream Rock, Hornsby dissolved the Range, heading out for a solo career.

Hornsby's first solo album, Harbor Lights, arrived in 1993, and the title track went to #13 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #38 on the Mainstream Rock list, but it missed the pop chart altogether. The second release from the set, "Fields Of Gray", did a bit better, making the top ten AC at #7, and slipping on to the pop Hot 100 at #69. Two years later, his Hot House album gave him his most recent pop chart hit, "Walk In The Sun", which popped on at #54 while reaching #10 on the Adult Contemporary survey. During all this time, Bruce performed regularly with the Grateful Dead, and various members showed up as guest on his albums. A third solo record, Spirit Trail in 1998, scored Hornsby his first hit on the new "Adult Top-40" radio format with "Great Divide" (#33). The turn of the century found him assembling a new band, the Noisemakers, and so far have recorded four studio albums. The second, Halcyon Days in 2004, brought him a pair of Adult Contemporary hits with "Gonna Be Some Changes Made" (#35) and "Dreamland" (#23), the latter a collaboration with Elton John. His most recent release was last year in 2016 with Rehab Reunion, and he's been found guesting on a truckload of prestigious musical releases since.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Here's Hornsby performing "Across The River" live in 2016...

Up tomorrow: Now that's we've gone "Across The River", this Boston band will welcome you to...

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