Turning Back the Clock to: The Wallflowers’ Bringing Down the Horse
Earlier this week, singer-songwriter Jakob Dylan sat down with Rolling Stone and discussed the future of his once-megaband The Wallflowers. The band intends to hit the studio in January and cut their first record together since 2005’s Rebel, Sweetheart. Hard to believe it, but it’s been 15 years since the band released their hit LP, Bringing Down the Horse in 1996. The Wallflowers’ second record together, Bringing Down the Horse peaked at number four on the charts and has since been certified platinum four times in the U.S. Of the albums’ four singles to crack the top 50, the timeless “One Headlight” was the number-two single in the U.S. for five weeks and the first ever to top the Adult Top 40, Mainstream Rock, and Rock charts simultaneously. Not to be left out – “6th Avenue Heartache,” “The Difference,” and “Three Marlenas” also charted extremely well.
Several notable musicians contributed to Bringing Down the Horse, including Sam Phillips, Adam Duritz (The Counting Crows), Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), and Matt Chamberlain (who drummed on Pearl Jam’s seminal record Ten). As for The Wallflowers themselves, they never matched the commercial success of Bringing Down the Horse, only releasing three records since then. Their 1998 David Bowie cover of “Heroes” for the film Godzilla was their only other single to net a top ten ranking on the charts.
Bringing Down the Horse has held up well over time, you can still play “One Headlight” in a bar and get the majority of the establishment to join in on the chorus (loudly). I still love the drums on “The Difference” and the liquid slide guitar of “6th Avenue Heartache.” I also have to confess to knowing more words to more Jakob Dylan songs than those of his father.
I know I’m guilty of two-Springsteen related posts this week, but here is a clip of The Boss and The Wallflowers’ collaboration at the 1997 MTV awards: