Lonely Boy (Andrew Gold song)

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"Lonely Boy"
Single by Andrew Gold
from the album What's Wrong with This Picture?
B-side "Must Be Crazy"
Released 1977
Recorded 1976
Genre Soft rock[1]
Length 4:24
Label Asylum
Writer(s) Andrew Gold
Producer(s) Peter Asher
Andrew Gold singles chronology
"That's Why I Love You"
"Lonely Boy"
"Go Back Home Again"

"Lonely Boy" is an international hit song from 1977, written and recorded by Andrew Gold in 1976 for his album What's Wrong with This Picture? It peaked at number seven in both Canada[2] and the United States, and number 11 in the United Kingdom. While "Lonely Boy" would be Gold's biggest U.S. hit, his "Never Let Her Slip Away" achieved greater success in the U.K.

The second verse of the song features backing vocals provided by Linda Ronstadt (for whom Gold had previously worked as a producer and backing musician[3]).

The song follows the life of a child who feels neglected by his parents after the birth of a younger sister. Many assume this song to be autobiographical, yet Gold denied the implication, despite great similarities between the lyrics and his life. Regarding the verses' first lines: "He was born on a summer day in 1951" matches Andrew's August 2, 1951 birthday, "In the summer of '53 his mother/Brought him a sister" matches his sister Martha's July 22, 1953 birthday, and "He left home on a winter day, 1969" may well match the formation of Bryndle, of which Andrew was a member, in 1969.[4]

The strongly syncopated song was also released as an edited single, eliminating the vocal bridge and shortening the instrumental finale.

The song was featured in a number of films including Boogie Nights (1997) and The Waterboy (1998).

In February 2000, the Foo Fighters recorded a cover of the song to be used as a B-side for an upcoming single off their 1999 album There Is Nothing Left to Lose; however, it wasn't used as a B-side as planned.

In 2007, the song was covered separately by the bands Farrah and Lazlo Bane.

In 2013, rock band The Almost covered this song for their album Fear Inside Our Bones.



  1. ^ "Explore: Soft Rock | Top Songs | AllMusic". Web.archive.org. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  2. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.5254a&type=1&interval=50&PHPSESSID=i3nv5cvspmsr8gv3ftmc106820
  3. ^ "Bio". andrewgold.com. Retrieved July 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ After 25 Years, MusicMasters Brings Bryndle Debut. Billboard. 1995-08-12. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  5. ^ Andrew Gold- What's Wrong With this Picture? vinyl album liner notes. Accessed 12-16-2011.
  6. ^ Andrew Gold- What's Wrong With this Picture? LP @Discogs.com (fails to list Andrew Gold as having played piano and cowbell on the track, although he is listed as such on the album credits) Retrieved 6-11-2011.

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