In the midst of their 30th anniversary tour and celebration, Restless Heart has just released “Playlist: The Very Best of Restless Heart,” via RCA/Legacy. Guitarist Greg Jennings says that the release comes at a fortunate time. “It’s nice to have something out to market the 30th anniversary,” he told Billboard. “We’re lucky to have had a stable of great songs that we can play every night that the fans seem to enjoy, so we’re very excited.” The tour has been well received by the fans, who Jennings says are the reason the band is still at it. “You enjoy getting to let people escape and have a fun night. That’s what we love doing.”
Jennings related that the band had some great song people around them, such as producer Tim DuBois and RCA label head Joe Galante. “We had a lot of people around us that helped us make good choices as far as song selection goes, That added to our longevity, and kept us working this many years.”
To commemorate the album, and the 30th, Billboard asked Jennings his thoughts about some of the tracks:
“That Rock Won’t Roll” (1986)
That was our first number one. I was at a radio station in Philadelphia when we found it made it to the top. It was a big celebration that day. It was a very traditional period, and radio was very traditional-oriented. We were kind of surprised by it. I remember going back on a couple of songs before “That Rock Won’t Roll,” and having to change guitar parts because it was considered too cutting edge. I had to go back and tone things down a little bit.
“I’ll Still Be Loving You” (1987)
Tim DuBois really pushed for us to cut that song. I remember that we were very hesitant because of the lyrics. If you really examine the lyrics — “I’ll be yours until the sun doesn’t shine, Til’ time stands still;” Really, we were going to cut this? But, he pushed us to do it, and it worked. The initial arrangement was very different than ours. It was all fret-less bass and synthesizers, and ours was more acoustic. It was a great song for us –- the wedding song of 1987.
That’s a fun one to do on stage. Dave Loggins wrote that, and we’ve cut several of his songs. It’s a big crowd pleaser because it’s all energy. They really feed off of it.
“The Bluest Eyes In Texas” (1988)
That was written by some good friends of ours, Tim DuBois, Van Stephenson and Dave Robbins. We loved that one the first time we heard it. When we first started out, we had a tough time playing in Texas. Country was so traditional at the time. But, when we came out with that one, we were able to work nonstop in Texas for weeks at a time.
“When She Cries” (1992)
That was a real blessing at the time. Larry had just left the band, and we had cut the “Big Iron Horses” album without him, and it was the first release for us as a four-piece band. It turned out to be one of the most successful songs we ever had. It was a great career boost for us at that time.
In addition, the disc contains two newly-recorded tracks:
That’s a Larry Stewart song that he wrote with Dave Robbins and Lonnie Wilson. I think he was trying to capture that classic Restless Heart sound.
That’s one written by Paul and Dave that is the show-stopper. It touches so many people, because they have either been in the military, know someone, or have family. We always get comments from people coming up after the show thanking them for writing that song.
The band is currently working on two projects – a Christmas record for 2013, plus an album of covers featuring Peter Noone, Jim Messina, and Dave Loggins.