It’s still hard to believe that David Cassidy is gone. Here at Rebeat we are still heartbroken after his sad death last November. So today, on what would have been his 68th birthday, we decided to remember his extraordinary talent by looking past the obvious hits and delving a little deeper into his brilliant back catalogue.
When The Partridge Family debuted in 1970 with their wholesome image and family-friendly pop songs, they were the perfect antidote to the turbulent 1960s. The TV Show was The Brady Bunch meets The Monkees, and David Cassidy became an instant sensation with his soothing, reassuring tenor and natural, innocent good looks. Their first (and only) #1 single “I Think I Love You” made a promise to hopeful viewers across America.
With that in mind, let’s explore some of Cassidy’s lesser-known hits both with the Partridge Family and as a solo artist.
5) “Ricky’s Tune” Cherish (1972)
Cassidy’s debut solo album showcased how effective his soft vocals were but also his writing talents, as heard here. What makes this song stand out is that this is not a typical love song one would expect from the heartthrob. Instead, it is a painful farewell to his current girlfriend and son “Ricky” as he makes the decision to return to his first love. His vocals are both tortured with his decision and sincere as he acknowledges that this is the right thing to do for himself.
4) “Can’t Go Home Again” Dreams Are Nuthin’ More Than Wishes (1973)
Cassidy was at it again, writing a song of heartache and heartbreak, this time joining forces with couple Dave Ellingson and Kim Carnes (“Bette Davis Eyes”). As the title suggests, it is a melancholy account of him visiting his home town and how nothing is the same. It is an interesting juxtaposition against the wild ride he enjoyed as both a solo artist and part of the Partridge Family. The stripped-down musicology only highlights his disappoint and loneliness. His imagery of the old picture show and drug store are a painful reminder of growing up and away.
3) “Where Do We Go From Here?” Bulletin Board (1973)
This is the one song from the Partridge Family’s final studio album not to be featured in the TV Show’s fourth and final season. It is the question the show’s stars would eventually be asking themselves. The overall mood is a far cry from the sunshine feeling of their early albums, suggesting a maturation of both the songs and the state of the TV series. Cassidy interprets the lyrics beautifully and is backed by intricate guitar riffs and horns.
2) “Somebody Wants To Love You” The Partridge Family Album (1970)
This tune from their debut album is as well crafted as its A-side “I Think I Love You.” Its promise of affection is indicative of the messages the pop band delivered to its fans at a time when the country was seeking it. Cassidy sings the message with sincerity and affection. Times were changing, and the Partridge Family was ready to sing songs of optimism at the dawn of a new decade.
1) “My Christmas Card To You” A Partridge Family Christmas Card (1971)
This original song by Tony Romero, who also offered “I Think I Love You,” is perhaps one of the most endearing Holiday songs you’ve never heard unless you purchased this album, released during the program’s second season. It sounds as if Cassidy himself is making up the words as he goes along and writes his letter while doing so. The song takes the listener on an emotional journey that never stoops to being overly sentimental. It’s a simple wish for all of your days being happy, “to you and all your family, your neighbors, and your friends.”