Remembering Andrew Gold - A Pal and a Confidante

Andrew Gold
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Bobby Bank/WireImage

When Andrew Gold died on June 3, 2011, just a few months shy of his 60th birthday, the singer/songwriter left behind a body of work that was - let’s face it - not nearly as well-known as it should’ve been.

That’s not to say that Gold didn’t leave his musical mark, thanks to his Top 10 hit “Lonely Boy,” which hit No. 7 in 1977, and perhaps his greatest accomplishment to pop culture, his 1978 single “Thank You For Being a Friend,” which, as we all know, subsequently became the theme song to the long-running NBC sitcom The Golden Girls. But given the amount of great tunes that involve Gold’s name in some capacity, it’s nothing short of a damned shame that people don’t know more of his work.

That’s where we come in: we’ve put together a list of 10 Andrew Gold songs that you really should know...and, yes, the aforementioned two tunes are included, but who’s to say that everyone already knows about those songs?

Better safe than sorry, that’s what we say...

“That’s Why I Love You” (1975): The opening track of Gold’s self-titled Warner Brothers debut, this catchy tune provided our man Andrew with his first hit, albeit a minor one, but given his limited profile prior to the album’s release, scoring a No. 68 single on the Billboard Hot 100 is nothing to sneeze at.

“Lonely Boy” (1977): Gold always denied that this song was autobiographical, and perhaps that’s so, but the fact that his birthday and his sister’s birthday match up to the siblings in the song, and that his departure from home took place the same year as the song’s narrator...well, let’s just say that some folks were skeptical. That said, those folks generally forgot about it by the time Linda Ronstadt’s backing vocals pop up in the second verse and just enjoy the song, as well they should.

“How Can This Be Love” (1978): The opening track on Gold’s third album, All This and Heaven Too, this song provided Gold with his second Top 20 hit in the U.K. (after “Lonely Boy”), but despite hitting No. 19 across the pond, it failed to chart in America.

“Thank You for Being a Friend” (1978): As you listen to Gold’s version, you will of course be struck by the fact that it’s not his voice that you hear crooning this tune over the opening credits of The Golden Girls. The version done for the series was recorded by Cynthia Fee, and she does a fine job. But she’s no Andrew Gold!

“Never Let Her Slip Away” (1978): Per Gold’s own liner notes, this track consists of “basically just a cheap synth, and a rhythm loop made by Brock and I pounding on a wall, and clapping: Boom, clap, ba-boom, clap. We overdubbed this about 22 times and made it sound huge and looped it into a repeating figure.” Hey, works for us!

And now, five tracks featuring Andrew Gold...

Linda Ronstadt, “You’re No Good” (1974): With a sparse drum track from Gold, Ronstadt recalled of this recording, “We did a few takes, picked one we liked, and then Andrew, who always played guitars and keyboards, went to work with Peter [Asher, producer] and began to work up layers of guitar, piano, and percussion tracks.” Apparently, engineer Val Garay accidentally erased Gold’s guitar solo, requiring him to re-record it. Fortunately, he nailed it yet again.

Eric Carmen, “She Did It” (1977): Written by Carmen, this tune was one of two on his Boats Against the Current album to feature Gold on guitar, but this is the one that every remembers, owing to the fact that it was a Top 30 hit for Carmen.

10cc, “Run Away” (1982): When 10cc recorded their Ten Out of 10 album, Gold was invited to co-write a few songs with the band in hopes of producing a bit more radio-friendly material for American audiences. This tune hit No. 50, so Gold was clearly helping the band move in the right direction...so much so, in fact, that 10cc considered making the collaboration permanent. “During the course of my three-week stay, Eric (Stewart), Graham (Gouldman), and I fell in love, as it were, and soon they asked me to join the band, which was an extremely exciting offer. For various reasons, which now seem dumb to me, and after great consideration, I demurred in favour of pursuing my own career and returned to America.” A shame, that. To say the least.

Wax, “Bridge to Your Heart” (1987): A brilliant piece of pop, and an even more brilliant video, this song was the result of Graham Gouldman deciding not to take “no” for an answer and doing a project with Gold anyway...and thank heavens he did.

Bryndle, “Streets of Your Town” (1995): You can’t go wrong with a collaboration that features Gold, Karla Bonoff, Kenny Edwards, and Wendy Waldman, particularly not when the collaboration includes a song co-written by Gold with Jenny Yates. This was, for folk and pop fans, a proper supergroup. If only their sales had matched their superness...

 

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