Song Review: Concrete Blonde – “Joey”

“Joey” was released as a single from Concrete Blonde’s 1990 album, Bloodletting. The single peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I was 15 years old and just about to start my sophomore year of high school when I first heard “Joey” on pop radio. It was an interesting song to me, because it sounded different from the other songs on the radio at the time, yet it still sounded commercial. I could also hear the sincerity in lead singer Johnette Napolitano’s voice. I think it was the combination of the music, the lyrics, and Johnette’s vocal performance that ultimately sold me on this song. Another thing about this song is that it may be over 25 years old now, but it doesn’t sound dated. The song holds up just as well now as it did when it was originally released.

The music video for “Joey” is on the simplistic side, but that was pretty much the standard for the alternative music videos that were being released at that time. It basically intercuts footage of Concrete Blonde performing the song at a club and footage of a man (who I assume is supposed to be Joey). Sometimes, we see him in the club watching the band, while other footage shows him staggering around. The music video works with the feel and lyrics of the song.


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