Time – such a crazy concept and though it keeps moving us forward it is always fun to take a peek back and relive moments that stand out in the scrapbook of life.
Believe it or not there was a flash in time when the Wallflowers were more popular than Bruce Springsteen. In 1997 they delivered their second album ‘Bringing Down the Horse’ – one of the top albums that year – with hits ‘One Headlight’, ‘6th Avenue Heartbreak’ and ‘The Difference’.
For any that may not know – Wallflowers are fronted by Jakob Dylan – yes Bob Dylan’s son. How surreal it is to look into the face of the offspring of music history and see them all over again, yet knowing nothing is as true as the original.
Around this time Bruce seemed to be wandering a path in his career with a little uncertainty, having released ‘Human Touch’ and ‘Lucky Town’ on the same day and entering a time of reflection that only his real fans understood. He woke the world up when ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ won an Oscar and set hearts on fire – in that place where you can’t remember and you can’t forget – with ‘Secret Garden’ from the feel good movie Jerry Maguire.
It was a time for movie soundtracks as Bob Dylan also returned with ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ from Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Bruce put forth ‘Dead Man Walking’ for the Sean Penn movie and with it hearts could not help but feel his space in time – so necessary for growth.
In 1993 it seems the MTV’s were reaching out to expand their audience over the age of 26 and teamed up Neil Young with Pearl Jam – an unlikely duo at the time – and now it is the kind of stuff avid music lovers hope for. In ’97 they put Sting on stage with Puff Daddy and decided to inject some depth to the Wallflowers tune ‘One Headlight’ by bringing Bruce on board. An interesting move as Bruce was labelled the new Dylan when he came on the scene back in ’73 and now he was singing with Jakob Dylan in a new time. Brilliantly planned though equally cool to have a number one song – and have Bruce front it with you.
As only Adam Sandler could deliver that night;
“You know your career is going well when Bruce Springsteen wants to sing a few lines from your song.”
For all it appeared a seamless fit and from there Bruce did everything right and it seemed the Wallflowers did everything wrong. The Wallflower’s recorded an instantly forgettable cover of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ and then waited too long to release more music, for three years later people had almost forgotten about them.
Well in case you haven’t been following – the E Street Band reunited and began working like maniacs and the prophet found his place and the congregation still sings today with a strength, hope and stamina that may never be matched again.
Funny though every time I hear the Wallflowers come on the radio – I turn it up and sing like I was right there and it meant everything – because that’s what good songs do – they stay with you forever.
Check out their new album Glad All Over