Released: May 1989
Sales (in millions): --
Song Title (Writers) [time] Click for codes to singles charts.
All songs written by Dennis DeYoung unless noted otherwise.
2.641 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
Dennis DeYoung’s third solo album didn’t come anywhere close to the singer’s glory days with Styx. In 1984, his single “Desert Moon” was a top-10 hit and made it look like he might do just fine. Three more singles hit the Billboard Hot 100 – “Don’t Wait for Heroes” from Desert Moon and “Call Me” and “This Is the Time” from Back to the World in 1986. However, DeYoung never hit the pop charts again as a solo artist.
The Boomchild album didn’t chart either. The failure of the album caused his label, MCA Records, to drop him. He wouldn’t release another solo album until 1994 – and that was a collection of Broadway songs (10 on Broadway) that showed how far he’d moved away from his initial rock base.
The album was largely a collection of forgettable songs, but it wasn’t without its charms. The title cut showcased DeYoung’s ever-present inclinations toward reminiscing, but did so via an upbeat track that trod similar territory as Billy Joel’s #1 hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire” from later that year.
The highlight of the album is Harry’s Hands, a song which found DeYoung working the sentimental balladry vein that served him so well with top-10 hits with Styx such as “Lady,” “Babe,” and “Don’t Let It End.” However, this one isn’t a love song like those. Instead, DeYoung crafts a tribute to the working man: “Harry’s hands are all he’s got / 8 to 5 in the welding shop. / Barely finished junior high / Took a job at the tool and die.” Harry endures union strikes, unemployment, and factory’s shipping work overseas, but refuses charity, asking just for a job to save his dignity. All the while his patriotism remains intact: “Harry’s hands keep holding on / Harry’s heart keeps on beating strong / Born and raised in the promised land / He still believes that Ameri-can.”
Also worthy of note is the album’s lead-off track, Beneath the Moon. Once DeYoung let his theatrical leanings loose, he crafted the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 2003. It consisted largely of new songs written by DeYoung, but also contained a reworked version of “Beneath the Moon.”
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First posted 6/7/2021.