Dan Fogelberg

Born Daniel Grayling Fogelberg on August 13, 1951, in Peoria, Illinois, USA; died December 16, 2007, Maine, USA.

Before embarking on solo career, played in The Clan (played only Beatles songs at backyard parties and street dances) and The Coachmen (folk-rock, R&B, and soul).  Toured in 1974 with Illinois-based band Fool's Gold

What can be said about Dan Fogelberg, who is probably my single most important musical influence, that hasn't already been said. I listen to a lot of stuff, but I must say that Dan Fogelberg is my all-time overall favorite musician.  Frequently categorized as only a "soft-rocker", Dan Fogelberg can wail on guitar with the best of them (if you don't believe me, check out his solos in "The River" (from his first album, "Home Free") and "Ghosts" (from "The Innocent Age").  If you've only heard his hits played on the radio, you're missing out on some great music, since most of his best material never appeared on popular radio.  As a songwriter he has no equal, consistently penning some of the most beautiful ballads and love songs that I've ever heard.  I've bought every one of his albums, and I urge you to do likewise...the music is timeless. 

Thanks, Dan, for the music and the memories! 


Albums:
  1. "Home Free" (1972) - Contains the beautiful anthem "To the Morning", along with many other great tunes.
  2. "Souvenirs" (1974) - Single: "Part of the Plan" - Way back in 1974 when I had never heard of Dan Fogelberg, a good friend loaned me his first two albums.  I liked the first one, but it was this one, "Souvenirs" that really blew me away.  Every single cut on this album is great (something I learned to expect from him on each subsequent album, and was never disappointed), from the hit single "Part of the Plan" through the lovely acoustic ballads "Changing Horses", "Souvenirs", and "Song from Half Mountain", through the rocker "As the Raven Flies".  And there's even a bluegrass tune, "Morning Sky", featuring Joe Walsh.  This album is an absolute masterpiece.  I loved this album so much that I bought several copies to give to my friends for Christmas that year so that they could also discover what I had found.  If you already own this album, you know what I'm talking about; if you don't, go buy it...you won't be disappointed.
  3. "Captured Angel" (1975) - More great stuff...favorites are "Aspen/These Days", "Old Tennessee" (later recorded by Fool's Gold), "Next Time", "Man in the Mirror/Below the Surface", and "The Last Nail".  But, like all his other albums, there's simply not a weak cut to be found.
  4. "Nether Lands" (1977) - I've heard that this album was the result of moving to the Rocky Mountains, and that the lofty environment elevated the songcrafting.  Another great album.  Flutist Tim Weisberg makes a guest appearance on this album.  Favorites include: "Netherlands/Once Upon a Time", "Promises Made", "Scarecrow's Dream", "Sketches", and "False Faces".
  5. "Twin Sons of Different Mothers" (1978) - This jazzy duet album with flutist Tim Weisberg was a departure from Dan's usual material, but still managed to generate a rockin' hit, "The Power of Gold".  The lovely "Paris Nocturne" (primarily a piano tune, but enhanced by Weisberg's flute work) is alone worth the price of the album.
  6. "Phoenix" (1979) - Singles: "Heart Hotels", "Longer" - Favorite cuts are "Tullamore Dew/Phoenix", "Gypsy Wind", and "Along the Road".
  7. "The Innocent Age" (1981) - Singles: "Same Old Lang Syne", "Leader of the Band", "Hard to Say", "Run for the Roses" - This double-CD set is my favorite Fogelberg album.  It's also my "desert island disc"...the album that I would choose if I had to choose only one album to listen to.  I never get tired of it.  Loads of great songs and many significant guest artists add to the musical variety, but leave no doubt that it's still unmistakably Dan's album.  If you don't own it, you should buy this immediately!  Music doesn't get any better than this.
  8. "Windows and Walls" (1984) - Singles: "The Language of Love", "Believe in Me" - Contains a couple of my favorite Fogelberg compositions, the epic dark "Tucson, Arizona (Gazette)", and "Sweet Magnolia (and the Traveling Salesman)".
  9. "High Country Snows" (1985) - This is Dan's bluegrass album and I love it, although I've always felt that that the bluegrass instruments should have been pulled forward in the mix for more prominence.  Features great pickin' by Herb Pedersen, Ricky Skaggs, David Grisman, Chris Hillman, Al Perkins, Charlie McCoy, Russ Kunkel, Emory Gordy, Jr., Jim Buchanan, Jerry Douglas, David Briggs, Vince Gill, Michael Hanna, and Doc Watson.
  10. "Exiles" (1987) - Single: "Lonely in Love" - Dan's R&B divorce album.  This was the first album I ever bought on CD (previously I had bought only vinyl LPs), and I purchased it before I even had a CD player (hopeful, wasn't I?).  Favorites are "Lonely in Love" and "She Don't Look Back".
  11. "The Wild Places" (1990) - Single: "Rhythm of the Rain" (the first single released by Dan that he did not write) - This is the first of Dan's two environmental albums (the second being "River of Souls").  Favorite cuts include "Aurora Nova/The Wild Places", "Forefathers", "Bones in the Sky", "The Spirit Trail", and "Ever On".
  12. "Dan Fogelberg Live: Greetings From the West" (1991) - Dan's first live album, and it's a good one.  Also released on VHS videocassette.  The double-CD set contains a couple of new tracks, the bluesy "Road Beneath My Wheels" and "A Cry in the Forest".  All in all, a great performance that no Fogelberg fan will want to be without.
  13. "River of Souls" (1993) - Single: "Magic Every Moment" - This is the second of Dan's environmental albums.  Favorite cuts are "The Minstrel", "A Love Like This", and "A Voice for Peace".
  14. "No Resemblance Whatsoever" (1995) - Followup to 1978's duet album with flutist Tim Weisberg, "Twin Sons of Different Mothers", this album takes up where the other one left off and if you liked it you'll like this one.  More of the same great stuff.
  15. "The First Christmas Morning" (1999)
  16. "Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Some Blues" (live) (2000)
  17. "Full Circle" (2003) - A return to Dan's style in the late 1970s, this album features all new material with lots of acoustic guitar.  The album sounds like it could have been recorded right after "Nether Lands".  Most of the songs are Fogelberg compositions, with the exception of "Earth Anthem" and the beautifully-done Gene Clark song "Full Circle".  An all-around great album and a must-have for Fogelberg fans.

Compilations:
  1. "Greatest Hits" (1982)
  2. "Love Songs" (1995)
  3. "Portrait: The Music of Dan Fogelberg from 1972-1997" (1997) - 4-CD box set spanning Fogelberg's entire career.  Of the various compilations/"greatest hits" packages, this is really the only one that I'd recommend...the others simply don't have enough of his music and only feature the radio hits (meaning you miss out on many of his best songs).  The box set is nice, containing an booklet with historical information and comments from Dan about each of the songs included in the anthology.  All of the previously released material has been remastered and sounds great.  In addition, there are two previously released songs that were formerly available only on his "Greatest Hits" package ("Make Love Stay" and "Missing You"), a nice song that was only available as the B-side of the "Same Old Lang Syne" single ("Hearts and Crafts"), and even a few new songs ("Don't Lose Heart", "Mountains to the Sea", "Democracy", and "Song for a Carpenter").  This is the only compilation containing the necessary breadth of material to do Fogelberg's work justice, and it's the one to get.
  4. "The Very Best Of Dan Fogelberg" (2001)

Hartman Recommends:
Buy all of Dan Fogelberg's albums!  If you can't do this, then settle for the 4-CD box set "Portrait: The Music of Dan Fogelberg from 1972-1997", since it's the only compilation that contains enough of his music (but be forewarned...you can't get too much and you'll likely find yourself going back and purchasing his other albums anyway after hearing the great music on this box set!).  This will be some of the best money you've ever spent on music.

Links:
Take me back to the Index...
Last Revised:  December 17, 2007
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007 by Gary S. Hartman.  All rights reserved.