Monday, May 5, 2008

"Several Years Ago I Said Goodbye To My Own Sanity But..."

'I Don't Mind At All' was one of those rare creatures of 80s pop music, a stripped down bare bones song devoid of the excess that not only categorised the decade, but much of the music that went with it. Not that I minded that excess in regard to the music, in fact I loved it, but it was refreshing to be reminded that it wasn't essential in order to produce pop brilliance. Well, let's face it artists like Elvis Costello and Crowded House had proved that several times over.
The artist behind the 1988 hit 'I Don't Mind At All' was American West Coast quintet Bourgeois Tagg. Now when I first heard the song, saw the promo clip and bought the vinyl 45, I was under the misapprehension that the band's name was in some way a thinly veiled reference to the band's socio-economic origins. But as I later found out it was merely a clever marriage of coincidence between two surnames, those of vocalist/keyboardist Brent Bourgeois and vocalist/bass player Larry Tagg. I guess they could have used the surnames of the any of the other three members; guitarist Lyle Workman, synthesizer player Scott Moonor drummer Michael Urbano. Come to think of it Bourgeois Workman would have been catchy too - perhaps they thought that was too obvious.

'I Don't Mind At All' was a beautiful little acoustic ballad; vocals, acoustic guitar with a simple string arrangement in accompaniment. The poignant lyrics were, though I rarely say it, more appealing to me than the melody (as sweet as that was), sometimes a song just speaks to you in that way. It must have spoken to others too as the song reached #38 in the U.S., #43 in Australia and #35 in Britain. The single and album ('Yoyo') were both produced by the legendary Todd Rundgren, so quality was assured!
As a group it was Bourgeois Tagg's last entry on the singles charts but Brent Bourgeois reached #32 in the U.S. during 1990 with 'Dare To Fall In Love'. After two solo albums he went on to a be vice president of A&R with Word Records and is active in the Christian rock genre. Several other members of the group worked as members of Todd Rundgren's live band in the years following, and drummer Michael Urbano was a member of Smash Mouth for six years. According to Brent Bourgeois' website Bourgeois Tagg are reuniting for a one off live benefit concert in June '08.

In keeping with the song itself, the promo vid is a relatively simple affair but effective nevertheless:

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