Our top 10 Autograph songs list presents ten of the best songs by an ensemble that achieved fair success in the rock and metal scene back in the ‘80s. Autograph is one of the many acts that sprouted in the early ‘80s when the glam metal and hard rock scene flourished. Its founders were former Silver Condor guitarist and vocalist Steve Plunkett.
Steve Plunkett initiated the idea of forming a new band inviting friends he had performed with playing in other acts. The other original members of Autograph include guitarist Steve Lynch, bassist Randy Rand, keyboardist Steven Isham, and drummer Keni Richards. Autograph started playing as a five-piece band in late 1983.
The band settled for the moniker Autograph, a name suggested by its founder Steve Plunkett. Steve didn’t need to look further to get inspiration on what name to give the band. His idea to name the band Autograph followed after listening to “Photograph,” a 1983 hit by English rock stars Def Leppard.
Soon after the band’s inception, its members hit the studio to record demos. However, these demo songs were never released. Instead, the band members played them to their close buddies. The demo songs would eventually attract the attention of legendary rock producer Andy Johns. Andy Johns helped the band re-record the demo songs for no cost at Record Plant Studios.
The band was invited to tour with Van Halen as an opening act. Autograph got the invitation after its drummer played the demo songs to Van Halen’s lead singer David Lee Roth. In return, Roth found Autograph to be Van Halen’s perfect opening act in their tour to promote the album 1984. 1984 is one of Van Halen’s top-selling albums. The album received a Diamond-certification in the US for selling over ten million copies.
Autograph rose to fame after playing over forty-five shows with Van Halen. Eventually, the band attracted the attention of RCA Records. The band signed a recording contract with RCA Records, where it released its debut album in 1984 entitled Sign in Please. The album Sign in Please was a success, peaking at number twenty-nine on the Billboard 200.
The album is also home to the band’s most acclaimed song, “Turn Up the Radio.” Sign in Please (1984) was Gold-certified both in the US and Canada. The band’s record sales were credited to the fame that Autograph had amassed even before the album’s release. Autograph hit the studio to release its sophomore album, That’s the Stuff in 1985.
The album That’s the Stuff managed to peak at number ninety-two on the Billboard 200. Some of the musical gems from the album include “Blondes in Black Cars,” “Winning Is Everything,” and “That’s the Stuff.” After the release of That’s the Stuff, Autograph went on tour alongside Heart and Mötley Crüe.
Autograph hit the studio to record its third LP, Loud and Clear. The album was released in 1987 and was produced by Andy Johns. Loud and Clear (1987) is the band’s last effort to make it to the Billboard 200 Chart. “She Never Looked That Good For Me” and “Dance All Night” are some of the best Autograph songs from the album. Loud and Clear (1987) was the band’s last album release under RCA Records.
The band saw some of its members leave, forcing the remaining members to disband in 1989. Autograph came together between 2002 and 2005 only to disband after releasing two LPs. The band later reunited in 2013, but its founder Steve Plunkett snubbed the reunion. Since then, Autograph has been active on the glam metal and hard rock scene. Here are the best Autograph songs that prove that the band was more than just a one-hit-wonder.
#10 – You Are Us, We Are You
Ushering us to the top 10 Autograph songs list is the charming hit “You Are Us, We Are You.” The song is featured on the band’s most recent album, Get Off Your As#. Initially, the song was featured on the band’s EP Louder. Autograph brings the best of its hard rock vibes after quite a long time without releasing music. The song feels a little heavier swing to the lack of keyboards on the album, like in the band’s first three releases.
#9 – Souls on Fire
“Souls on Fire” is the latest release by Autograph. The song was released as a single in 2020. “Souls on Fire” finds the band singing about reaching for the things we all crave in life. The song is the first to feature lead guitarist Jimi Bell, who replaced Steve Lynch.
Autograph proved to be an empathetic ensemble after pledging that a portion of the song’s download sales would be dedicated to the fight of Covid-19. The Christian rock band Third Day featured All Sons & Daughters in releasing its 2015 hit under the same name (but with different lyrics).
#8 – When I’m Gone
The number eight track on our top 10 Autograph songs is the intoxicating hit “When I’m Gone.” “When I’m Gone” is one of the most alluring hits from the band’s album Missing Pieces which was released in 1997. Initially, the songs on the album were recorded years before Autograph disbanded.
“When I’m Gone” and other songs on the album proved that the band still got some hard rock and glam metal vibes to share. This instigated a reunion of the band members in 2002 to awaken the Autograph’s musical pursuits. “When I’m Gone” is praised by critics and fans for the awe-inspiring vocals by Steve Plunkett and moving guitar skills by Steve Lynch.
#7 – She Never Looked That Good for Me
“She Never Looked That Good for Me” is a lively glam metal track from the band’s third LP, Loud and Clear released in 1987. The song finds the vocalist singing about the newfound beauty and glamour in a woman he used to date. Unfortunately, he never requited her love since he found her not good enough for him.
In the song, he confesses that the woman seems to be happier in her new life where she seems to have found her right match. However, he didn’t see their breakup coming since he remained in his comfort zone. Indeed, you never know what you’ve got till you lose it.
#6 – That’s the Stuff
Number six on our top 10 Autograph songs list is the dazzling hit “That’s the Stuff.” The song is the album title track to Autograph’s sophomore LP. “That’s the Stuff” is a four-minute song whose true worth lies in the incredible vocals by Plunkett and the moving backing vocals from Lynch, Rand, and Isham.
#5 – Send Her to Me
“Send Her to Me” is a raving hit that proves the band’s worth, especially in its career beginnings. The song is one of the musical gems from the band’s debut album. “Send Her to Me” finds the singer reiterating that he is the guy worth a lady he should have treated better. The song is not much different from “She Never Looked That Good for Me,” where the guy loses a lady out of his negligence.
#4- Blondes in Black Cars
“Blondes in Black Cars” is among the songs from That’s the Stuff (1985) that one can never discount. Thanks to its fast-paced tempo and great instrumentation, the song is filled with energy. In this song, Keni Richards unleashes some powerful drumming skills that have him almost rising from his drum stool! The song finds the singer appreciating how his Saturday night was turned around by some “Blondes in Black Cars.”
#3- All I’m Gonna Take
Coming in at the third position on our top 10 Autograph songs list is the hit, “All I’m Gonna Take.” This rhythmic hit is featured on the band’s debut album Sign in Please (1984). “All I’m Gonna Take” features some smooth keyboard melodies that supplement the song’s rhythmic feel. Steve Lynch delivers a mind-blowing guitar solo while Plunkett proves to be one of the finest hard rock vocalists of the ‘80s.
#2 – Loud and Clear
“Loud and Clear” is the album title track to Autograph’s third LP. Like most of the songs on the album, “Loud and Clear” is a cheerful feel-good party rocker! Once more, Keni proves to be an enthusiastic drummer now that he can’t join in the band’s backing vocals with Isham, Lynch, and Rand. Steve Lynch, on the other hand, delivers some magnificent guitar licks that add to the song’s liveliness.
#1 – Turn Up the Radio
Number one on our top 10 Autograph songs list is the exquisite track “Turn Up the Radio.” The song is the most popular and acclaimed song by Autograph from the album entitled Sign in Please. “Turn Up the Radio” features an anthemic refrain that brings out the true vocal quality of the band members. The song catapulted the band to mainstream success, peaking at number twenty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100. “Turn Up the Radio” was featured on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City CD.
Top 10 Autograph Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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