When folks think of Rick Springfield, 9 out of 10 think “Jessie’s Girl”. However, that was far from his only hit single, and good as it is, it’s certainly not his best. He scored a fairly lengthy string of Top 20 singles from 1981-1985, with “State of the Heart” serving as almost the end of the line (he scored one top 40 hit three years later with “Rock of Life”.
A synth-pop ballad, “State” bears a resemblance to John Waite’s “Missing You” (itself a knockoff of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”). The fortunate thing, of course, being that “Every Breath You Take” was so good a song that even a second-generation knockoff is good stuff.
While I don’t know how many vocal sweeteners there were in 1985, something tells me at least a portion of his vocal is computer enhanced. When he performed at Live Aid that summer, he dropped the song down a full octave so he could hit the notes. So while there wasn’t an Auto-Tune, his vocals were either run through an Emulator of some sort OR simply sped up (I’m voting for the latter). Trickery aside, it’s a great song with a hilariously unhinged synth/guitar solo.
Since I couldn’t locate the actual video and I don’t care much for the Live Aid version, here is Rick
lip-synching performing it on a hit Eighties’ TV show.