Friday, March 27, 2009
England Dan, 1948-2009
Dan Seals, purveyor along with John Ford Coley of some of the blandest pop of the 1970s, dead at the age of 61. Seals was from Texas, but got stuck with the nickname "England Dan" for his impersonation of the Beatles' accents. His older brother, Jim, supposedly was in the Champs, of "Tequila" fame, for a while, though frankly I have my doubts, then paired up with Dash Crofts in Seals and Crofts.
And England Dan and John Ford Coley somehow managed to come up with an even more vanilla variation on the Seals and Crofts style, hitting it big with the ultrasmooth "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," which went to Number Two in the summer of '76. Like a lot of second-tier acts, Dan and Coley had a hard time making their lyrics fit their melodies, so that in the line "I'm not talkin' 'bout movin' in," the "-vin'" got overstressed, and they managed to break a line right in the middle of the word "blowin.'"
Not that it hurt their career much. They hit throughout the late Seventies with "Nights Are Forever Without You," "It's Sad to Belong," and "We'll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again." Their final Top Forty hit, 1979's "Love Is the Answer," was written by none other than Todd Rundgren. In all, they had four Number One hits on the Adult Contemporary chart.
After ED&JFC split up, in 1980, Dan went solo. He cut two albums as England Dan, both of which stiffed, then put out a country album, Rebel Heart, in 1983. That one was a hit, and Seals would go on to have three Number One country hits, including "Bop" and "Meet Me in Montana," a duet with now-divorced Mormon Marie Osmond.
Dan Seals ran for Congress as a Democrat in the 10th District of Illinois in 2006 and 2008, losing both times. However, this was a different Dan Seals, unrelated to the singer.
Dan Seals' last words were "Michael Johnson lives on, but he's bluer than blue."