Magnet And Steel by Walter Egan (Columbia, 1978)

Walter Egan did the stroll all the way up into the Top 10 in the Fall of 1978. The 50s feel on this 45 fit perfectly in a format of a like-minded hits from the Grease soundtrack and My Angel Baby by Toby Beau. Produced by Lindsey Buckingham & Rumours producer Richard Dashut, the smooth sound made for an easy-going listening experience.

That Egan ended up a one-hit wonder is either a testament to a crowded field of 45s or the fickle nature of the pop world. Because with that pedigree of producers as well as various members of Fleetwood Mac helping out on the album, Walter should have had a few more chances. F Mac was super huge after a big 1977 and anyone who touched them felt their success by association. Just ask Bob Welch or John Stewart. So maybe Walter wouldn’t have even gotten the airplay if it wasn’t for the Maccers. But I doubt it. This tune is just too good.

Magnet & Steel was even inspired by Stevie Nicks. She had been working on Walter’s first album and something inside him hit a button one night after looking at her. Not sure if the weed was right or it was Stevie’s gypsy spell, but Walter put the song together on a ride home from the studio. It also happened that he was riding behind a car with the licence plate ‘Not Shy’, which ended up being the title to his second LP.

But I’m not sure if Walter actually had a relationship with Miss Nicks or if this was his imagined version. Even in his dreams, he can’t hope to hold you so long cause she’s a woman who’s lost to [her] song.. Wonder if he did show her the way he feels or just handed her a 45.

Movie alert: When watching Boogie Nights, they play this song in the background as Jack, Dirk & Reed are talking in the van about a new character series…for porn.

Misheard lyrics: Even to this day when I sing this tune at the chorus, I sing ‘With you by my side’ when it’s With you I’m not shy. Sorry Wally.

Leave a comment


  1. Al

     /  May 28, 2012

    Stevie Nicks sings backup on this one (although she’s not in the video). You really want to see what Walter thought of Stevie? Check out his song “Tunnel Of Love” again with Stevie on background vocals/moans!!

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