Rock On (song)

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This article is about the David Essex song. For other songs with the same title, see Rock On (disambiguation).
"Rock On"
Single by David Essex
from the album Rock On
Released 1973
Recorded 1973
Genre Glam rock
Length 3:24
Label Columbia
Writer(s) David Essex
Producer(s) Jeff Wayne

"Rock On" is a song recorded in 1973 that was composed and sung by English singer/songwriter David Essex. In March 1974, it reached number one in Canada on the RPM national Top Singles chart[1] and was a Top 5 song (reaching the number five position) on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop-music chart. It was Essex's only Billboard Top 40 hit. Billboard ranked it as the No. 17 song for 1974.[2]

The song also reached the number three spot on the UK Singles Chart. "Rock On" was the title track to Essex's 1973 debut album and was also featured on the soundtrack album to the 1973 film That'll Be the Day, in which Essex had a starring role. The song is still frequently played on classic rock and oldies radio stations.

Essex later re-recorded the song in 1988 with an updated lyric. The version, which was remixed by Shep Pettibone, appeared on Essex's 1989 album Touching the Ghost. A single release of the updated version reached number 93 on the UK charts.

Michael Damian version[edit]

"Rock On" was covered by soap opera star and singer Michael Damian in 1989 and featured in the teen film, Dream a Little Dream, starring Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, among others. It became his first hit in eight years, since his 1981 cover of Eric Carmen's song, "She Did It".

Damian's version, which he also released from his independent album Where Do We Go From Here on the Cypress Records label, which A&M Records distributed, was a harder-edged interpretation that employed none of the vocal or instrumental distortion Essex's version had used. It reached the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, thus outperforming Essex's original Billboard ranking. However, the song did get to #1 for Essex in '74 on the US Cashbox charts, the same week it was at #11 on the Billboard Charts. In addition, Haim, Feldman, and Meredith Salenger all appeared in the music video for the song.

This version was ranked #99 on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s (despite the fact that Damian actually had four Billboard charting singles during the '80s).

Other versions[edit]

"Rock On"
Single by Def Leppard
from the album Yeah!
Released 2006
Format CD
Recorded 2006
Genre Hard rock
Label Bludgeon Riffola - Mercury
Writer(s) David Essex
Producer(s) Def Leppard
Def Leppard singles chronology
"No Matter What"
(2005)
"Rock On"
(2006)
"20th Century Boy"
(2007)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1974
  3. ^ "Rock On: Blondie: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
Preceded by
"A Love Song" by Anne Murray
Canadian RPM number-one single
(original David Essex version)

March 30, 1974 (1 week)*
Succeeded by
"Sunshine on My Shoulders" by John Denver
Preceded by
"Forever Your Girl" by Paula Abdul
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
(Michael Damian version)

June 3, 1989 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler

*Library and Archives Canada shows this single to attain the #1 position on the date and hold it for one week. There is no chart for March 23 available. The March 30 chart shows the previous week's position to be #2.