By Paul Zollo
From "Portrait - The Music of Dan Fogelberg from 1972-1997"
(4 CD box set)
It's one of his earliest memories: He's four years old, standing
up on a box in front of his father's big band, baton in hand, conducting.
Though his dad stood behind him, doing the real work, for Dan it
was a foreshadowing of what his life would be -- following in his
father's footsteps to become the leader of the band. "It was
an amazing feeling," he declared decades later during a series
of discussions for these notes. "To be immersed in music. It
felt both very magical and powerful. And I was fearless."
That fearlessness has led him far, as he developed into one of popular
music's most gifted and successful singer-songwriters. With an early
genius for both melody and harmony, a soulfully angelic singing
voice, and a natural gift for romantic expression, Dan Fogelberg
has created songs that have become so embedded in our collective
consciousness that they still resound with authentic magic and beauty
years after they first emerged.
I was raised by a river
Weaned upon the sky
And in the mirror of the waters
I saw myself learn to cry
from The River
His story starts in Illinois. In Peoria, specifically, a little
town that in the words of Charles Kurault, is in the middle of the
state, in the middle of the country, in the middle of the world.
Born the youngest of three sons, he was raised in a musical home.
His father, Lawrence Fogelberg, was a "legitimate musician"
as Dan refers to him, a bandleader who led the big bands long before
Dan was born. His mother, Margaret Irvine, was born in Scotland
and came to Illinois with her parents at the age of three. A gifted
singer, she studied operatic singing throughout college, and it's
she who Dan points to as the source of his innate vocal prowess.
Daniel Grayling Fogelberg was born in Peoria on August 13, 1951.
His father taught music in local high schools and colleges, gave
private lessons, and conducted school bands. Dan's early creativity
surfaced in imaginative ways to avoid piano practice. " I used
to fake injuries," he said proudly, "even taping up my
finger and saying I jammed it playing baseball. But it wasn't a
trick you could use a lot." Though he didn't like lessons,
he loved the instrument itself, and would spend endless happy hours
at the keys, sounding out the hits of the day.
In church, he loved the music but grew restless during the sermons.
To keep him occupied, his folks provided pen and paper, thus fueling
his love for drawing and painting that has extended throughout his
life. He was a constructive kid quick to create his own fun -- At
a cub scout jamboree where boys hurled baseballs at old records
as a kind of carnival sport, he collected all the unbroken ones,
a great bounty of old obscure fifties pop and college fight songs.
His maternal grandfather, a steelworker from Scotland who worked
at a foundry in Peoria, gave him an old Hawaiian slide guitar. It
had pictures of dancing hula girls engraved on it, as well as steel
strings about a half-inch from the neck, tough for anyone, but nearly
impossible for an eleven year old beginner. Yet he took to it naturally,
forcing him to acquire a strong left hand as he taught himself chords
from his Mel Bay guitar book.
In 1963, he heard the Beatles for the first time, triggering the
realization that songs are written, they don't simply just exist.
He started writing his own then, entirely in the Beatles' pervasive
thrall, while also assimilating the rock and roll riffs of Chuck
Berry and Carl Perkins, as well as the delicate melodic leads of
George Harrison. He started performing by lip-synching with friends
to Beatles records at a variety show before forming his first real
band, the Clan, who played all Beatles songs at backyard parties
and street dances. Their reign extended through Dan's junior year
in high school, when the others fell away from music to get involved
in the social matrix of school. While their connection with music
diminished, his became more intense than ever, as did his need to
express himself in other ways, from drawing and painting to acting.
By now the music that inspired him the most was the West Coast rock
of bands such as the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield, as well
as the contemporary folk of Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Gordon
Lightfoot. Having abandoned the matching black velour pullovers
favored by the Clan, his attire now included moccasins, fringe and
silver in the style of Neil Young. When he joined a new band, the
Coachmen, he did so only on the condition that they abandon the
Paul Revere & the Raiders outfits they still wore. He was a
valuable asset to the group, bringing his repertoire of folk-rock
to their mix of R & B and soul standards, as well as possessing
a great ear, a miraculous voice, and like his father, an impressive
versatility on a variety of instruments. "We would be doing
'Bluebird' by Stephen Stills," he remembered, "and I'd
play 12-string for the whole song until the end and then launch
into banjo. Pretty adventurous for kids from Illinois."
These were his river years, as he withdrew daily to a sacred spot
between two ancient pines overlooking the Illinois River. "I
was not feeling like a part of Peoria anymore. I was off in my own
trip, deep inside myself. At the same time, I was terribly excited
because I was discovering this whole person I never knew could exist,
and this music and this creativity. It was an incredible awakening,
the beginning of a great journey. And I knew the river was a conscious
metaphor for my escape from Peoria. I was just waiting to leap on
its back and ride it, down to St. Louis and New Orleans and out
to the Gulf and on to the world." A Leo with Cancer rising,
he understood even then the opposing astrological forces at work
that left him feeling conflicted -- the extroverted entertainer
who exists to perform, and the introverted artist who requires solitude.
After graduation, he felt he could have gone in many directions,
and eventually decided to pursue acting at the University of Illinois
in Champaign-Urbana. Finding the college acting scene to be more
political than theatrical, he switched majors to study art, with
aspirations of becoming a serious painter.
Yet music kept calling, this time in the form of a kindred soul,
musician Peter Berkow, who ran a little folk music club called The
Red Herring. Berkow invited him to perform, and before long Fogelberg
was a cherished part of the burgeoning coffee house scene. "I
started meeting like-minded people, musicians who were bright and
well read, and I realized that I was finally free of the provincialism
of high school." He started playing his own songs, and the
spirit of the scene shifted from politics to music: "The Red
Herring went from being a hide-out for pinko leftists who were plotting
the overthrow of the government to a really creative musical scene.
And it started packing people in."
Anyone back then who heard the sophistication of his songs, and
the power with which they were rendered, knew that it was only a
matter of time before his break would come. That break arrived late
one night when a former high school sweetheart knocked on his door,
urgently awakening him from a sound sleep to say that an important
music agent wanted to hear him play. Though half-asleep, Dan followed
her to a frat party at a funky little bar to meet Irving Azoff,
a U. of I. grad now running a local booking agency. Azoff, who had
already landed the regional band REO Speedwagon a record deal with
Epic, was on the look-out for new artists. Onstage was a raucous
rock band playing to a mostly drunken crowd, their songs punctuated
by the rhythm of beer bottles crashing against the back wall. Azoff
ignored the clamor which continued when Dan took the stage alone.
Though the bar brawls failed to subside, in the soulful beauty of
Fogelberg's songs, Azoff saw his own future. "Yeah," Irving
said to him after his set. "You're the one. I'm ready for the
big time. And I think you're ready for the big time, too."
Dan dropped out of school. Shocking his parents by showing up at
home at midday in mid-semester, he told them his plans. His father,
silent for a long time, finally said quietly, "Okay, I don't
agree with this, but if this is really what you want, you go try
it for a year. If it doesn't work out, you come back and go back
to school." This support was the greatest gift his father could
give him, inspiring Dan years later to write "Thank you for
the freedom when it came my time to go" in his famous tribute
to his father, "Leader Of The Band".
Azoff moved to Hollywood, setting up an office on Sunset Boulevard
in Hollywood directly across the street from David Geffen, who was
in the first stages of establishing his own Asylum Records, and
signing singer-songwriters such as Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell.
Receiving $200 in traveling money from Irving, Dan rented a pickup
truck in Chicago, and headed west. Running out of money in Estes
Park, Colorado, he found what he felt was the most stunning place
in the world. Remaining happily stranded there for a week, he befriended
a local hotel owner who gave him free lodging. He spent his days
hiking in the mountains, and writing such songs as the beautiful
"Song From Half Mountain". Azoff soon wired him enough
money to move on, but he never forgot the spirit of pure inspiration
he felt in those mountains, touching him as deeply as his connection
with the Illinois River.
Arriving in L.A., a few days later, Dan headed directly to Sunset
Boulevard to meet Azoff in front of the famous Whiskey-A-Go-Go,
where his idols from Buffalo Springfield first met. Azoff drove
him to a little San Fernando Valley apartment dubbed "The Alley
in the Valley" because of its alley entrance. They lived there
together for months as Azoff shopped his tape around town. As Dan
recalled, "Irving would come home one day and say 'Okay, the
deal's done -- we're signing with Asylum!' Then three days later
he'd come back and say, 'It's A & M. I got a better deal.' This
went on for months. Then he'd come home and say, 'No, it's Capitol!"
They eventually signed with Columbia Records, persuaded by Clive
Davis in a Hollywood ritual held at a bungalow at the Beverly Hills
Hotel: "Clive had everything laid out --caviar, canapés,
the whole deal. He played me Paul Simon's first solo record, which
had yet to come out, and kept talking about a kid named Springsteen
and a guy named Billy Joel who he had signed. Clive said, 'I'm signing
singer-songwriters, and I think you belong here too.' He talked
us into it, gave us a nice check and we signed with Columbia."
It was 1971.
With his career now soundly on track, Dan got his first advance
check and moved to Lookout Mountain, in the heart of Laurel Canyon,
where his neighbors included the Eagles, and Mark Volman of the
Turtles. He lived there for a year and a half, during which time
the sunny inspiration that had touched so many of his fellow canyon
dwellers began to bring forth a torrent of beautiful new songs in
him. He rented a grand piano and entranced nearby neighbors, such
a famed photographer Henry Diltz, who heard Dan playing til dawn.
" I remember hearing this incredibly beautiful music echoing
through the trees," Henry recalled, "and I said to my
wife, 'Who is this guy?'" They all soon became fast friends,
with Henry taking famous portraits of Dan for many of his album
Now it was time to record his debut album, and Azoff went off in
search of the perfect producer for the project. They found him in
Nashville. Norbert Putnam was the force behind Area Code 615, a
group Dan loved. With Azoff, Dan flew to Nashville to meet Norbert,
and instantly fell in love with the town itself: its green trees,
lakes and river, and what was then a peaceful laid-back music community,
worlds away from the showbiz glitz of Hollywood.
It was one of the happiest times in his life. Norbert found him
a place to stay in town "up in the trees," and the future
looked bright. Thanks to Norbert, he got a profusion of session
work as a guitarist and singer, perfection then the dazzling studio
chops which he's brought to all his albums since. "I was only
21 years old and I was part of the band, these maniacs who were
amazingly good players. These guys were much better than me, and
they pulled me up to their level." Often working from nine
a.m. to midnight, four sessions a day, he acquired a fast and comprehensive
foundation in the art of record making. "I learned that it's
not what you play, it's what you don't play. That has formed the
core of my guitar playing ever since. It's melodic, it's sparse."
The recording of Home Free for him was an easy, non-pressurized
time. He and Norbert met every day at the studio, cut all the tracks
live, and overdubbed the vocals. "It was great fun. There was
no pressure. It wasn't New York or L.A." The resulting album
was stunningly beautiful, opening with the now classic "To
The Morning", a paean to nature that still stands as one of
the most timelessly inspirational songs ever written. The album
immediately established that he was not only a master tunesmith,
but also a purveyor of harmonies so sweetly conveyed that they seemed
miraculous, a soulful blend of perfectly tuned, heartfelt vocal
Despite its abundant appeal, Home Free failed to generate any hit
singles, a setback that Clive attributed to Norbert's Nashville
production job, which he deemed "too country" for Dan's
music. So for the next album, Joe Walsh, the hard-rocking guitar
slinger from the James Gang, was enlisted. Though feeling initially
that Walsh was the wrong man for the job, Dan was eventually convinced
when he heard a solo album Walsh had recently recorded at Caribou
Ranch in Colorado with members of Stephen Stills' band Manassas.
Dan came to Walsh with a handful of songs he'd written in Los Angeles,
as well as a new one that emerged in Nashville called "Part
Of The Plan". To choose players for the album, Walsh told him
to write down a wish list of dream musicians. The first name he
wrote down was that of the legendary Russ Kunkel, whose drumming
he'd heard on James Taylor's records. When Walsh quickly enlisted
Kunkel as well as other luminaries including percussionist Joe Lala,
bassist Kenny Passarelli, the Eagles' Don Henley, Glenn Frey and
Randy Meisner, and Graham Nash, Dan knew he'd arrived.
The making of Souvenirs in Hollywood was unrestrained fun as the
spirit of sunny California combined with Dan's natural Leo radiance
left him feeling fearless. In the studio he always felt at home,
rising easily to the level of the L.A. studio cats as he did with
the pickers in Nashville. Even when Walsh was on the road, Dan continued
to craft the record, adding the guitar solo on "Part Of The
Plan" on his own. When Joe heard what Dan had done, he loved
it, and quickly convinced Graham Nash to drive over and sing harmonies.
The resulting record went to the top of the charts. "That broke
the whole thing open. In an instant I went from being an opening
act to being a headliner." Souvenirs, with Walsh at the helm,
radiated with Dan's melodic brilliance as well as proving, on burning
tracks like "As The Raven Flies", that the man also knows
how to rock.
Hitting the road in 1974 with Fool's Gold, a young band from Illinois,
he toured for the next two years. "Suddenly we were rock stars.
These were heady days. We were soaking it up, and thought we were
more important than we were. But really we were just these kids
from Illinois with high voices."
It was the end of the quiet time for the boy by the river. And it
was the beginning of the hurricane, a time of both tremendous success
and upheaval. "That kind of adulation gave me so much confidence.
When everybody is saying yes to you, you're unstoppable. You're
unbeatable. And I started writing like crazy." His next album,
Captured Angel, was finished and released within a year.
In 1975, learning that his father had taken ill and was in the hospital,
Dan stopped everything to return to Peoria. He stayed there for
many months until his dad recovered, spending his days at the hospital
and his nights at a little studio in South Pekin, recording demos
of new songs. When Irving and others heard the beauty and purity
of the tracks he'd recorded alone, which Dan intended only as blueprints
for his next album, they insisted that these were master tapes,
not demos, and didn't need to be redone. Dan wasn't convinced, but
eventually agreed on the condition that Russ Kunkel come in to redo
the drum parts he'd played himself. "I can play a lot of instruments,"
he said, "but drums is not one of them."
While touring that year through Colorado with Fool's Gold, he learned
that the house of one of his favorite musicians was on the market,
that of Chris Hillman, who played with the Byrds, Manassas and the
Flying Burrito Brothers. Fogelberg fell in love with the mountain
house, which is situated 9000 feet up on the top of the Rocky Mountains.
He immediately bought it, flew to Nashville to pack up his belongings,
and hurried back to the splendor of Colorado.
It was an unforgettable winter. Perched at his grand piano, he had
a breathtaking view of the Continental Divide, like sitting on the
top of the world. When he wasn't learning how to run snow plows,
he was at the keyboard, ready to plunge into a season of solitude
and songwriting. Perfectly prepared to realize this dream of the
wild, where it would get so silent he could hear the snow fall,
he hit a solid wall of writer's block. It remained unbroken for
months until the eventual emergence of "Loose Ends," a
psychologically dark song that opened the way for the others to
follow. Throughout that winter the songs for Nether Lands spilled
out of him. Unlike those that had come before, these reverberated
with haunting vestiges of the classical music he'd absorbed from
his parents. "That winter was like a marvelous dream. Once
I broke through the writer's block, I was in ecstasy. Because it
was like nothing I'd ever dreamed I could do.”
He then turned again to Nashville and to Norbert Putnam, and the
two friends produced the album in happy tandem, and created a masterpiece.
"When I made Nether Lands, I felt that I had finally made a
grown up record. That I wasn't a kid anymore, and that I was finding
my own voice as a writer."
When the road started calling him again to tour for Nether Lands,
the act of pushing a new album started to seem too crassly commercial,
too much about money and too little enough about music. So in the
face of the greatest success of his career, he chose to make his
next album completely about music, without any commercial aspirations
whatsoever. It would be an opportunity to step away from the madness
for a moment, and create an album that celebrated the pure joy of
making music. He invited Tim Weisberg, the famous flautist who played
with him on "Give Me Some Time" from Nether Lands to make
the album a duet. With a cover photo of the two musicians looking
like brothers with matching beards and long hair, the album was
entitled Twin Sons Of Different Mothers.
The two twins had planned a grandiose orchestral piece to close
the album. They recorded the entire track only to discover -- too
late -- that the piano was out of tune with the orchestra and had
to be redone. Rather than incur that cost, Dan wrote a quick song
-- now thinking that maybe one commercial track might not be such
a bad idea -- and at the last minute, "The Power Of Gold"
was recorded and added to the album.
It became one of the biggest hits of his career, causing the mostly
instrumental Twin Sons to become a colossal hit. Dan, who had expected
it to be savagely attacked by the critics, decided to skip the bloodbath
by jetting off to Europe with friends prior to its release. In Switzerland,
he was flabbergasted to receive an excited call from Azoff informing
him that the album had gone Top 20.
Here he was, consciously trying not to make a blockbuster, and it
went through the roof. Figuring there was no sense in fighting it,
he returned to the States, and went into the studio immediately
to work on songs for his next album, Phoenix. He didn't stop recording
for many years. So jazzed was he by the unintentional success of
Twin Sons that he set off on a non-stop procession of writing songs,
recording, and touring.
Like Bob Dylan, rather than write only enough for one album, he'd
simply write and record constantly, until there were enough songs
to pick and choose from for a full album. From Boulder to Sausalito
to Hollywood and beyond, he'd touch down and cut some tracks. In
this way, many of his greatest songs were created, such as the gorgeous
ballad "Longer" from Phoenix.
Though the albums that emerged from this hurricane were great ones,
the process left him with little energy to devote to his personal
life. Reflective of his need for simplification, he embarked on
a solo tour, in which he'd open the show at a grand piano, playing
the ethereal "Nether Lands". In 1979 he brought this show
to Carnegie Hall in New York, which was one of the proudest moments
of his life. His parents were in attendance, allowing him to finally
prove to his father, as if there were still any questions about
it, that he, too, was a “legitimate musician." The leader
of the band had only been to the historic hall once before many
decades earlier, to see Arturo Toscanini conduct the New York Philharmonic.
It was a night that both father and son never forgot.
On New Year's Eve 1980, Dan sat in his Colorado home sequencing
the songs for his next album. But no matter what order he'd try,
he knew something still seemed to be missing. So in a move he knew
could be construed as professional suicide, he decided he had more
to say, and told Irving he was going back to work. The new record,
he announced, would have to be a double album.
The record company, hungry for a new product, was predictably furious
about this. "Same Old Lang Syne" had already been released
and people around the world were screaming for a new record. Even
so, Azoff supported him wholeheartedly, and informed the company
that they'd simply have to wait.
Dan spent six more months working, and the songs that emerged were
astounding, including "Ghosts" and "The Reach".
Again, it was a case of doing what he needed to do for the music
-- as with Twin Sons -- that led him to the greatest success of
his life, The Innocent Age.
As his twenties came to an end, the album marked the closing of
one chapter, and the opening of another. It also afforded him the
opportunity to fulfill some musical fantasies, such as recording
with musical heroes who were his inspiration during the river years,
such as Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and Chris Hillman, all of
whom show up on The Innocent Age. Another fantasy fulfilled was
the formation of a new band, the kind of group that prior to this
level of success he could realize only in the studio, with Russ
Kunkel planted firmly behind the drums.
Released in the fall of 1981, The Innocent Age became an unprecedented
success for a double album, which are often too expensive to become
hits. This was a big exception, generating not one but four Top
20 hits in all -- including "Same Old Lang Syne", "Run
For The Roses", written for the Kentucky Derby, "Hard
To Say", and the touching tribute to his father, "Leader
Of The Band". "I still think most highly of that album,"
he said. "Making it was certainly one of the high water marks
of my life."
With multiple radio hits in constant rotation around the globe,
Dan and the band sold out 20,000 seat arenas all across America.
As he put it, "It was the big time. Big time rock and roll.
That was really the peak. You couldn't get much bigger than that,
really. It was amazing." Though he'd already reached some lofty
professional heights, he felt himself being pushed even higher.
He thought to himself, "Now the hurricane begins in earnest."
After rolling with the band for months on the road promoting The
Innocent Age, he returned once again to the tranquility of his newly
constructed ranch to ponder his next move. Since that album presented
the closing of an emotional chapter in his life, he decided to explore
new avenues of lyrical expression. Like Joni Mitchell during her
Hissing Of Summer Lawns period, he abandoned introspection to write
about the world around him. And like Joni, he was critically attacked
for it. Though the resulting album, Windows And Walls, featured
the hit single "Language Of Love", the marvelously cinematic
"Tucson, Arizona" and other great songs, the critics tore
into it with a vengeance they reserve only for those who have been
to the very top of the mountain. And as they knew, Dan Fogelberg
lived at the top of the mountain.
During the many hours spent in his truck driving back and forth
between Boulder and the ranch he was building, he'd been listening
to a lot of bluegrass tapes, feeding his desire to play some roots
music again. After sitting in with Chris Hillman's acoustic band
at the 1984 Telluride Bluegrass festival, he decided to make a record
that, like Twin Sons, was meant to be a step outside of the spotlight
to enjoy the simple pleasure of playing great music with great musicians.
He jotted down a new dream list of his favorite acoustic pickers,
and each one agreed to be involved: famed guitarist Doc Watson,
Jerry Douglas on dobro, mandolinist David Grisman, Herb Petersen
on banjo, and Chris Hillman, Vince Gill, and Ricky Scaggs singing
harmony. The resulting album, High Country Snows, joined Jerry Garcia's
Old And In The Way to become one of the best-selling bluegrass albums
of all time.
The recording sessions were pure fun, the most enjoyable record-making
experience he'd known since those early days in Nashville with Norbert.
"I put that album on and I really dig it. I put it on and say,
'Man -- listen to these guys! There's a great spirit that's in those
grooves.' Some of my others are almost too perfect. As Roy Acuff
said, 'Every time you do it, you lose a little something.' And on
that album, we lost nothing. It was so fast and easy. They were
such great players that it didn't take long, you'd just let them
go and that was it." During 1985 he toured with Chris Hillman's
band to support the album, a group that eventually evolved into
the Desert Rose Band.
Though his professional life was in great shape, his private life
was darkened by the recent breakup of his first marriage. Drummer
Joe Vitale said to him, "God, spare me, don't go home and write
the ultimate divorce album." Dan promised that he wouldn't,
and then proceeded to do just that, spilling all of his pain into
the songs that provided the foundation for his Exiles album. He
also let off a lot of steam by playing little Colorado bars in a
good time rock and roll band he formed with Vitale called Frankie
and The Aliens. Having shaved off his famous beard, he went virtually
unrecognized, allowing him to reconnect with the spirit of pure
anonymous fun he knew when first playing rock and roll in Peoria.
It also got his guitar chops into better shape than ever, as preserved
in the intensity of his guitar work on Exiles, released in 1987.
His singing, rawer than ever and bordering on pure soul, signaled
that he'd been through tough times. "That's blood on the tracks,
there. You can feel the pain and the anger in that album as much
as you can feel the joy in High Country Snows."
Though his next two albums, The Wild Places and River Of Souls,
were released as separate discs, he conceived them more as a double
album, connected by the theme of the environment and inspired by
world music. They are songs informed by his horrified awareness
of the Reagan administration's betrayal of the environment. Though
he'd been active in political issues throughout his career, he'd
never devoted an entire album addressing these topics. Like many
of his friends and contemporaries, songwriters such as Jackson Browne
and Bruce Cockburn, he risked the possibility of alienating portions
of his audience, as well as writing songs more topical than timeless.
But his conscience would not allow him to ignore the direction the
world was heading in.
"I felt there was no way we could save this planet unless we
learned to love it. So these songs were about my love for nature."
He was living now at the ranch through most of the year, and spending
his summers in an old sea-captain's house he purchased on an island
off of Maine. The Wild Places was the first album in this cycle,
released in 1990, with songs about his time on the ocean, where
he spends long days sailing on a wooden yawl called "The Serenade",
and songs about the sweetness of his solitude in Colorado.
The Wild Places and River Of Souls were the first albums he recorded
at his newly completed home studio, which allowed him to be free
from the time constraints of commercial studios. While The Wild
Places was more collaborative in nature, on River Of Souls he played
almost all of the instruments himself, as he had back in Pekin making
Captured Angel. Released in 1993, it's an album that not only reflects
the beauty of the natural world, but also affirms his faith in a
world beyond. It's a world connected to this one by a river.
Although River Of Souls generated one hit, "Magic Every Moment",
it failed to become an instant blockbuster as so many of his others
had. But his need to explore new territories both musical and spiritual
far outweighed any inclination to repeat past glories. "I know
metaphysical songs aren't going to sell on the radio," he said
with a laugh. Having spun so long in the hurricane, he's learned
that the only authentic test of an artist is if he can stay true
to his own vision, despite the clamor of the commercial world.
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~
with his unwavering creative vision Fogelberg has, since the writing
of this biography, continued to pursue a myriad of eclectic and
brilliant musical offerings. Beginning with 1999’s strikingly
original “The First Christmas Morning”, a collection
of period originals, Renaissance and Baroque Christmas music, continuing
with his second live CD, “Something Old, Something New, Something
Borrowed and Some Blues”, which showcased not only the excellence
of his bands but the versatility of his songwriting and guitar work.
In 2001 Sony Legacy, with Dan’s direct involvement, released
“The Very Best of Dan Fogelberg”, a complete and up
to date single disc greatest hits. Digitally remastered from the
original two track tapes, Dan feels that this collection represents
the best audio reproduction of his biggest radio hits.
Then in 2003 Fogelberg released his first new studio album of original
songs since 1993’s River of Souls. Celebrated by fans and
critics alike as one of his finest works and a return to his 70’s
and early 80’s acoustic based folk rock sound, Full Circle
seems to complete a long and marvelous musical journey. While not
even Dan knows where the journey will lead next, he expresses great
satisfaction in knowing he’s stayed true to his deepest impulses.
"You've got to just follow your heart and do your best work,"
he said. "For better or worse, I have followed my heart. There
is no doubt in my mind or heart that everything I've done is exactly
what I intended to do."