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The Music of Greg Kihn
Yesterday marked a holiday, affording me the leisure that most Americans embraced: a day spent predominantly in front of the television. Amidst a baseball game that held my attention, a swell of retro delight washed over me as Greg Kihn, an icon of 80s rock, stepped up to render a heartfelt rendition of "God Bless America" during the 7th Inning Stretch of a San Francisco Giants Game. Naturally, this brief musical interlude propelled me straight to my trusty computer, eager to corroborate my existing knowledge of Mr. Kihn and, naturally, unearth some new facets of his journey.
The saga of Greg Kihn and The Greg Kihn Band initiated in the bygone year of 1975, a tale told through their album releases spanning until as recent as 1996. A total of 15 albums etched their sonic legacy, each a testament to their enduring presence. Yet, it's the two distinct tracks that etched their imprint onto the charts and resonated through the airwaves and the visual medium of MTV, which cemented Greg Kihn's reputation.
First in line was "The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)," a creation nestled within the 1981 album aptly titled "Rockihnroll" – a testament to the wordplay that frequently adorned Kihn's album titles. This track, a poignant portrayal of heartache and separation, not only etched itself onto the tapestry of 80s rock but managed to climb to an impressive rank of number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Furthermore, its resonance extended to the Billboard Top Tracks chart, where it triumphantly claimed the 5th position that very year. The allure of this song was widespread, and its chorus echoed ceaselessly through my auditory landscape, courtesy of my older sisters' fervent affection for it. That year alone, it's safe to say I encountered the tune a staggering five million times.
The second “big hit” for the Greg and his band was released in 1983 on their album Kihnspiracy (yes!). It was a little song called Jeopardy, and it would hit number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Besides being a bona fide best-selling rock star. Greg is in rarefied company because Jeopardy had the honor of being parodied by Weird Al Yankovic on his album, In 3D, as I Lost On Jeopardy. If you watch the Weird Al video closely, you will even see that Kihn himself makes a cameo!
At present, Greg has taken on the role of a DJ at the esteemed KFOX station in the Bay Area, where he helms the aptly named "The Greg Kihn Morning Show." However, Greg's multifaceted endeavors extend far beyond the airwaves. Alongside his radio presence, his repertoire includes podcasting, a robust digital footprint, and engagement across various creative platforms. Notably, he has wielded his talents in writing books, crafting plays, and his distinguished 2007 induction into the San Jose Rock Hall of Fame is a testament to his enduring influence on the local music scene. For those seeking to connect, Greg can readily be found online at GregKihn.com, while his Twitter handle @gregkihn and his presence on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gregkihn also serve as points of engagement.
Take a moment to delve into Greg's current ventures, tracing the vibrant tapestry of his career. And while my pun skills might not be quite up to par, ensure that your musical collection boasts a couple of handpicked gems from Greg's body of work – an indispensable addition to your sonic landscape. Let's just say, explore the vast realm of "Kihnology" or perhaps "Kihnography" and make it an auditory journey to remember.