“Closer to the Flame”
For a long time, the only thing I knew about Dave Edmunds was “I Hear You Knockin’” and I was not impressed. I didn’t know he was part of the Brinsley Schwarz crowd that helped propel the marvelous Nick Lowe to fame. I didn’t know about his collaboration with Lowe in the short-lived, but much-loved, band Rockpile. I’d never heard the terrific “Girls Talk” (FYI: the lineup for Edmunds’ and Lowe’s recordings from around this time was essentially Rockpile, but they didn’t record under that name until 1980).
But then Edmunds released this song in 1990.
Harkening back to 50s and 60s Rock/R&B, “Closer to the Flame” is just a rush of joy. Edmunds belts this one for all he’s worth, and he plays a pretty decent guitar solo. (I swear there was a video for this–I first heard this song on MTV, fer cryin’ out loud–but I can’t find it on YouTube. I welcome a link if anyone can find it.) It’s sexy and sweet, the kind of song you play as you dance around the living room with your significant other. There is nothing about this song I don’t like; it’s virtually perfect. Sadly, the record buying public didn’t agree with me. This is one of those songs that should’ve been a huge hit, but disappeared pretty quickly after its release. A hidden gem, as it were.
It made me curious enough about Edmunds that I eventually found out all that other stuff about him. He doesn’t do much these days, aside from make appearances with his friends at various one-nighters. He did tour with Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band in the 1990s, and started touring on his own again in 2007. I’ll have to check out his latest release and see if there’s any hidden gems there.