So What (Joe Walsh album)

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So What
So What.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 14, 1974
RecordedDecember 1973 – April 1974
Genre
Length35:57
LabelABC-Dunhill
Producer
Joe Walsh chronology
The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get
(1973)
So What
(1974)
You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind
(1976)

So What is the third solo studio album by the American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Walsh. It was released in late 1974 on ABC-Dunhill Records.

It contains hard rock songs such as "Welcome To The Club" and a remake of the Barnstorm track, "Turn To Stone". It also contains more introspective material such as "Help Me Through the Night" and "Song For Emma".

On a few tracks, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner of Eagles contributed backing vocals. Over a year and a half later, Walsh would be drafted into Eagles to replace founding member Bernie Leadon, playing on their best-selling studio album Hotel California.

Production and recording[edit]

Two months before the release of the album, Walsh was asked about the album, and he said "I know this album's going to be an important one for me, but it's not easy to just crank them out anymore, I've got, what, six or seven albums out. I don't want the next album to sound like a bunch of outtakes from Smoker. I want it to be the difference between Revolver and Sgt. Pepper. I've held back [the album's release] until that development was there, even though the record company's been screaming for it. I want it to be a big, big step… in thoughts, vocals, playing and maturity."[1]

Don Henley wrote the lyrics for "Falling Down" with Henley providing backing vocals and "Falling Down" and "Time Out". The album features three of the four members of Eagles; Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Randy Meisner providing backing vocals for "Turn to Stone" and "Help Me Through The Night". This would be the first time that the band members would appear on an album with the future Eagle.[2]

"Song for Emma" was written as a memorial for Walsh's three year old daughter who had been killed in a car crash the previous year.[3] The accident was caused by a drunk driver who hit the Porsche driven by his girlfriend with Emma in the car. Later, Stevie Nicks wrote "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You" for Walsh after visiting Emma's grave with him.[4]

Producer Bill Szymczyk had the following written on the run out groove of the vinyl "THAT'S NO BANANY, THATS MY NOZE" on the first pressings of the vinyl.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars [5]
The Village VoiceC+[6]

Writing retrospectively for AllMusic, critic Ben Davies wrote of the album "A number of classic Walsh tracks are featured, including a more polished version of "Turn to Stone," originally featured on his debut album, Barnstorm, in a somewhat more riotous style... Most of the nine tracks feature solos of unquestionable quality in his usual rock style. The classic rock genre that the man so well defined with his earlier albums is present here throughout, and it is pulled off with the usual unparalleled Joe Walsh ability."[5]

Release history[edit]

The album was re-issued by MCA Records in 1979. In appeared in 2011 in Japan in a limited edition miniature replica sleeve in the SHM-CD format.[7] Audio Fidelity released the album on the Super Audio CD format in 2015.

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

All tracks written by Joe Walsh, except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Welcome to the Club" 5:14
2."Falling Down"Walsh, Don Henley4:56
3."Pavanne for the Sleeping Beauty"Maurice Ravel1:56
4."Time Out"Walsh, Terry Trebandt4:28
5."All Night Laundry Mat Blues" 0:58
6."Turn to Stone"Walsh, Terry Trebandt3:47
7."Help Me Through the Night" 3:35
8."County Fair" 6:43
9."Song for Emma" 4:20
Total length:35:57

Cassette tape DSC-50171[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Welcome to the Club" 5:01
2."Turn to Stone" 3:45
3."Falling Down"Walsh, Don Henley4:49
4."Time Out"Terry Trebandt, Walsh4:06
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."All Night Laundry Mat Blues" 1:02
2."Help Me Through the Night" 3:35
3."Song for Emma" 4:20
4."Pavanne for the Sleeping Beauty"Maurice Ravel2:03
5."County Fair" 6:41

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

AlbumBillboard (United States)

Year Chart Position RIAA
1975 Billboard Pop Albums 11 Gold

SinglesBillboard (United States)

Year Single Chart Position
1975 "Turn to Stone" Pop Singles 93

Certifications[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rolling Stone #181: Joe Walsh - The Uncool - The Official Site for Everything Cameron Crowe". www.theuncool.com.
  2. ^ a b "Joe Walsh - So What". Discogs.
  3. ^ [1] Archived September 30, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Hay, Carla (August 23, 1998), "The Eye", Billboard, Nielsen Business Media, Inc., 110 (36), ISSN 0006-2510
  5. ^ a b Davies, Ben. "So What > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 17, 1975). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "So What [Cardboard Sleeve (mini LP)] [SHM-CD] [Limited Release] Joe Walsh CD Album". cdjapan.co.jp.
  8. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". riaa.com.