"I Wanna Go Back" is probably one of the most recognizable songs of Eddie Money's career. All about reminiscing, it's always been one of my favorites and not only because there's a part of me that can't give up '80's music, but because of the sentiment.
In this new release with the same name, Money does go back – not to his own musical past of the '70s and '80s but even further to some of the most memorable songs and artists ever. It's not an easy task to cover a classic, but for the most part Money makes it work. His songs have always included trademark horns, so their use here doesn't seem out of place with his rough and tumble voice; in fact the way he makes the songs his own, you almost forget they are covers.
But as an artist who is still recording his own music and doing live shows thirty years after releasing his first album, why do an album of covers? In a press release about the album Money said, "The greatest Rock and Roll ever came from songs like these. They are the reason I became an artist." If you take the time to listen you can really hear how these songs did influence early Eddie Money albums.
The first single from Wanna Go Back is "You Don't Know Me" and he stays pretty faithful to Ray Charles' version. Money's voice has always been emotive, and he doesn't miss a step here; the listener feels the pain and longing, and the piano only exemplifies it. It is one of only two times the album strays from up-tempo tracks. The other is with a medley of James Brown songs, "Please Please Please/Oh Baby Don't You Weep." It would be easy to cross the line from heartbroken pleading to outright whining, but Money knows where the line is and doesn't cross it.
Personally, it's the classic rock and roll sounds of "Build Me Up, Buttercup," "Baby, Now That I've Found You," and "Good Lovin" that are the most fun. It's on these tracks the horn section I previously mentioned really gets to shine and you can tell Money is having fun performing the songs. If there is one thing he does better than the mournful plea it's the flirtatious lilt present on these tracks.
On "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Hold On I'm Coming," and "Mockingbird" he shares the microphone with his daughter, Jesse Money. According to Money's Myspace profile she's also been joining him on stage, performing the signature Ronnie Spector lines in "Take Me Home Tonight." Her voice is impressive and mature for her young age of eighteen, and if the tracks included on Wanna Go Back are any indication, I'm sure she handles the classic 'be my little baby,' well.
There will be plenty of opportunities this summer to get out and hear this music live. According to his official website an extensive tour is planned. There have also been a handful of dates announced on the We Are the 80s website for an encore of last year's billing which includes Money, Rick Springfield, and Scandal.
Snippets of the songs contained on the album can be heard on the Warrior Records website and after you take the condensed version of Eddie Money's trip down memory lane, I'm pretty sure you'll Wanna Go Back and pick up the album too.