Top 40 Smash Near Misses — “Easy Come Easy Go”


Whatever other plentiful complaints can be lodged against the hair metal band Winger, they deserve admiring credit for the novelistic perfection of this detail: Their final single to place on the Billboard Hot 100 bears the title “Easy Come Easy Go.”

Hailing from New York City and named for frontman Kip Winger, the band benefited from the boom in glossed up, expertly moussed hard rock bands that struck the U.S. music market in the late nineteen-eighties. Much as they might have liked to, MTV couldn’t fill the programming day with Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home” on endless repeat, so other bands with the right sound and the right look — especially the right look — had ample opportunity to rattle up interest in the marketplace. Winger’s self-titled debut album landed in later summer of 1988, and two of its singles — classically gross underage girl anthem “Seventeen” and power ballad “Headed for a Heartbreak” — made it into the Billboard Top 40. The band also quickly became an MTV staple, even playing the annual New Year’s Eve live extravaganza.

The band’s sophomore album, In the Heart of the Young, was released in 1990 and including their highest charting single, “Miles Away,” which peaked at #12. Utterly generic hard rock number “Easy Come Easy Go” served as the follow up.

In the manner of the day, the requisite music video also served as an advertisement for the band’s concerts. The clip opens with Kip Winger’s stage banter, which offers Paul Stanley a challenge in the competition for yelped inanity. (There’s no beating the champ, though.) “How many of you people have been tryin’ all your life for somethin’ and it ain’t happened yet?” shouts Winger, pausing to grin at the raucous cheers. “Yeah, I know what you mean, man. But I tell ya, if things get goin’ just a little bit too bad just remember one thing.” Then Winger yells, “Easy Come,” and the crowd finishes, “Easy Go!”

I can’t quite parse the meaning of Winger’s advice, but the fans seemed to like it. I hope some of them eventually got to see that thing they were trying all their life for come to fruition.

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