Dan Fogelberg, 1951-2007

December 17, 2007

Singer Dan Fogelberg died this weekend after a 3 year struggle with prostate cancer.

The news media keeps calling him a “soft rocker.” I’m sorry, but that annoys me. That term minimizes Fogelberg’s power as a lyricist, which ultimately, is what he was, and that power showed in the poetry of his lyrics and the emotional power of his songs.

Yes, maybe he’s better know for “soft rock” songs like the most popular wedding song of 1979, “Longer,”or selections like “Same Old Lang Syne” and “Leader of the Band” from his album The Innocent Age, but there’s so much more, both before and after.

Listen to one of his early albums like Souvenirs, the title track especially, or “Changing Horses” or “As the Raven Flies.”

Or even better, listen in its entirety to what I think is his best album, and is one I play frequently even now, Netherlands. When I think of Dan Fogelberg, this album is what instantly comes to my mind. “Lessons Learned,” “Sketches,” “False Faces” … that’s how you want to write, people.

Dan Fogelberg was much more than a “soft rocker.” He was a poet who wrote music and sang, and his fans know this, and mourn his loss.

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