Listen: Friends Again / Janis Ian JanisIanFriends.mp3
I also find it hard to believe I love this record, given my dislike for the female singer/songwriter, should have never quit nursing school types. When I did A&R at Columbia in the early 90′s, with acts like Jewel and Sheryl Crow gaining huge success stories, there were an endless stream of wannabe-light versions coming by to play their demo – or worse yet – perform for you in the office, while manager and occasional friend/sister/brother tapped their toes and smiled along with the music. I got smart fast and soon, before they’d even start, I’d say “Are you as good as Joan Armatrading?”. Of course they would consistently wither out a “no” – so I’d politely say let’s not bother. Made it easier for everyone.
Still, I do play ‘Friends Again’ often. It wasn’t a hit, never even graced the Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart. Expecting more political songwriting risk post her ‘Society’s Child’ smash, I suppose this just seemed like fluff. But it’s a happy song about friends, and everyone wants them, so what’s the problem? At least my local Top 40 played it a few times (see chart below). That’s how I heard it. And at 1:42, it never wears out it’s welcome.