3. Randy Vanwarmer
I think those may be the two coolest pictures I ever featured on this blog. You know why? Self confidence. Sometimes I think that's all you really need to succeed in this world. A little bit of positive hubris. Probably explains why I never got anywhere.
I first encountered Randall Van Wormer back in the 70s when Terry Wogan made his heartbreaking ballad Just When I Needed You Most a huge UK hit. Sounding a little bit Chicago, a little bit Leo, it made a pretty big impact... if only because our Tel played it to death.
I didn't really know anything else about RVW until I looked into him for this feature. Apparently, his second album moved away from big sloppy ballads into "dark" and "alternative" territory. "Dark" like It Doesn't Matter Anymore, which opens like this...
I never figured out...and then gets much, much darker. "Alternative" like Terraform and 21st Century which go all sci fi and downright weird.
Who put the tablets in my drink
The poison worked so fast
I poured the last drop down the sink
After that, he returned to ballads. He continued to release albums up until his death in 2004, but had more success as a songwriter for other people. Somehow he ended up in Nashville, writing a number of big country hits.
Now, those of you who were expecting this particularly Randy to make an appearance probably expected me to choose his big hit. And I probably would have done, had my research not revealed that he co-wrote this, one of my favourite songs by contemporary country star and former Mr. Miranda Lambert (soon to be Mr. Gwen Stefani), Blake Shelton.
I've featured this one here before in My Top Ten Mexico Songs, but I have no problem with playing it again because I love it. I'm guessing reactions to this post will be divided pretty evenly between "you should have played Just When I Needed You Most" and "you should have skipped him altogether", but I live to be surprised...
Randy Vanwarmer's cremated remains were sent into space along with the ashes of James 'Scotty' Doohan from Star Trek. I tell you what, the remaining Randies in this list are going to have to go some to beat that!