Tuesday, March 21, 1995

Kevin Gilbert “Song for a Dead Friend” released

Song for a Dead Friend

Kevin Gilbert

Writer(s): Kevin Gilbert (see lyrics here)

Released: March 21, 1995 (album cut)

First Charted: --

Peak: 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, -- video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Kevin Gilbert was born in 1966 in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. He never became a household name, although he was associated with people who were. In 1995, he was among a collective of songwriters who wo the Grammy for Record of the Year for Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do.” He also did session work for notable stars such as Madonna and Michael Jackson.

As an artist in his own right, he was a singer and musician with NRG and Giraffe in the 1980s before teaming with noted producer Patrick Leonard (who paired Gilbert with Madonna and Jackson). They collaborated on the group Toy Matinee in 1990, which produced the minor album-rock hits “Last Plane Out” and “The Ballad of Jenny Ledge.”

In the early ‘90s he teamed with a collaborative known as the Tuesday Night Music Club. When he brought his then-girlfriend Sheryl Crow into the fold, the collective wrote the material for the album named after the group. There was bad blood from Gilbert and others who thought Crow used them and didn’t give them enough credit.

His next project was a solo album, 1995’s Thud. The album’s dramatic closer, the “touching” JRA Song for a Dead Friend, is “an acoustic-guitar-based composition with main characteristic on powerful vocal quality of Kevin Gilbert.” GW There is a “Peter Gabriel’s ‘Here Comes the Flood’ nuance” GW in the “melancholy piano [that opens the songs] and just grips your soul.” PJ The words are “so personal as to be almost too painful to hear.” BS KG said, “I wrote [it] about a really good friend of mine who killed himself a couple of years ago.” CH Via the song, “Kevin addresses his friend directly about the suicide and laments his failure to measure up to his friend in terms of friendship.” EB From a recording standpoint, KG says, “There’s not production on it;” CH indeed, “the only musical accompaniment is a simple piano sequence with some sparse guitar work in the chorus.” EB


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First posted 10/8/2022.

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