Glenn Frey – True Love (1988)
We’ve covered some crappy songs here in the past â€” and trust me when I tell you that we will cover many more â€” but out of all the artists who have ever, or ever will, suffer this column’s wrath, I think I hate Glenn Frey the most. Plenty of people have given me shit for this. It isn’t that they like Frey’s music, really; as far as I’ve been able to tell, these folks look at his songs as possibly guilty of being stupid, but pleasant enough anyway, and certainly not worthy of hatred.
They’re wrong. Glenn Frey’s music is horrible. Mojo Nixon should have recorded “Glenn Frey Must Die” instead of, or at least as a sequel to, his anti-Henley screed. I will happily admit that he managed to (co-)write some decent stuff during the Eagles’ first run, but as a solo artist, he was never anything but awful; when the high points of your career are “The Heat Is On” and “You Belong to the City,” you might as well just fucking pack it in.
Which, to his everlasting credit, Frey did â€” but not before dropping four solo albums, like turds in a punchbowl, the penultimate of which â€” 1988’s Soul Searchin’ â€” spewed this miserable excuse for a single. To be fair, when you compare it with “Sexy Girl,” it seems as intelligent as anything Dylan ever wrote, but by any other standard, “True Love” (download) is a half-step above rabid monkey gibberish.
Frey apologists have defended Soul Searchin’ by pointing out that he was more interested in lifting weights than making music at the time; those of us old enough to remember when the album came out no doubt have nightmarish memories of Frey’s ad campaign for 24 Hour Fitness, the posters for which showed him as an Eagle (“Hard Rock”) next to his musclebound ’88 self (“Rock Hard,” ladies). But you know what? Nobody put a gun to his head and made him release this shit. How long did it take Frey and his frequent accessory, Jack Tempchin, to write:
I just know what I feel, and it’s a true love
She’s my baby, she’s my girl
She changed my life, oh, she changed my world
She’s my buttercup, oh, fill me up
Talkin’ about love, talkin’ about love,
it’s gotta be a true love
Say it all together now: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. As in, “Fuck you, Glenn Frey.”
Did I mention that this song was a Top 20 hit?
The only thing worse than Glenn Frey singing about love is Glenn Frey trying to sing about something important, like the plight of the “Working Man” (download). I know Frey was born in Detroit, and I’m sure he’s familiar with the struggles of working-class families, but that only makes it more insulting that he couldn’t be bothered to write something more interesting in their honor. No amount of PBR can wash away the insult this song adds to injury:
I’m a working man, that’s what I do
I’m a working man, just like you
I’m a working man, I know who I am
I sweat for my money and I work with my hands
But hey, maybe Glenn Frey isn’t so bad. He did stop making solo records after 1992’s wretched Strange Weather, after all. And it turns out we both make the same face when we hear his music: