From Goodreads: “In a remarkable career, Kenny Loggins has rocked stages worldwide, released ten platinum albums, and landed hits all over the Billboard charts. His place in music history is marked by a unique gift for collaboration combined with the vision to evolve, adapt, and persevere in an industry that loves to eat its own. Loggins served as a pivotal figure in the folk-rock movement of the early ’70s when he paired with former Buffalo Springfield member Jim Messina, recruited Stevie Nicks for the classic duet “Whenever I Call You ‘Friend,’” then pivoted to smooth rock in teaming up with Michael McDonald on their back-to-back Grammy-winning hits “What a Fool Believes” and “This Is It” (a seminal moment in the history of what would come to be known as yacht rock). In the ’80s, Loggins became the king of soundtracks with hit recordings for Caddyshack, Footloose, and Top Gun; and a bona fide global superstar singing alongside Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson on “We Are the World.”
In Still Alright (Amazon) (Audible), Kenny Loggins gives fans a candid and entertaining perspective on his life and career as one of the most noteworthy musicians of the 1970s and ’80s. He provides an abundance of compelling, insightful, and terrifically amusing behind-the-scenes tales. Loggins draws readers back to the musical eras they’ve loved, as well as addressing the challenges and obstacles of his life and work—including two marriages that ended in divorce, a difficult but motivating relationship with the older brother for which “Danny’s Song” is named, struggles with his addiction to benzodiazepines, and the revelations of turning seventy and looking back at everything that has shaped his music—and coming to terms with his rock-star persona and his true self.”
As a child of the 1980’s, Kenny Loggins’ music was the soundtrack to my formative years. Caddyshack, Footloose and Top Gun were some of the biggest albums of the early part of the decade. By the latter part of the decade, a radio format called Adult Contemporary hit it big, and Green Bay got its own station, WQLH, 98.5 FM, Quality Light Hits. I embraced this music as much as CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio or Top 40). It was listening to this station (which I would eventually work at and meet my husband, too), that I discovered Kenny Loggins’ first career, as part of the folk-rock duo of the early 1970’s, Loggins and Messina. I was hooked as a lifelong Kenny Loggins fan.
Still Alright covers Loggins’ 70+ years on the planet, from his birth to the current day. Loggins is surprisingly open about his failures as well as his successes, his struggles and his triumphs. He breaks down how he wrote specific songs, which bogged down the narrative a little bit, but overall, I enjoyed listening to the audiobook.
Quite a bit of time is spent on the Loggins & Messina era, for which I am grateful. I had no idea that their partnership wasn’t an organic thing; it was more like two men were paired up by record executives to make a duo. It turned out to be a very successful duo, and it happened when Loggins was really young, so he felt like he always deferred to Messina. After a number of years and many albums together, Kenny decided to go solo.
As much as I enjoyed reminiscing with Loggins about his very successful 1980’s decade, I appreciated his covering of his post-chart-topping career as well. And he’s surprisingly candid about how he failed at his relationships with women. The end of the book, when Kenny highlights each of his five children, was a treat.
If you want a trip down memory lane to the pop music of the 1970’s and 1980’s, Still Alright fits the bill.
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