“HACKENSACK” (WRITERS: CHRIS COLLINGWOOD–ADAM SCHLESINGER)
ARTIST: FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE
RELEASED 2003 ON WELCOME INTERSTATE MANAGERS LP
This song is from Fountains of Wayne’s third album. Since first hearing it, I’ve felt it was one of the saddest songs in the world.
Everything about “Hackensack” is in place: the tragicomic lyrics of a lost soul forgotten by time, yearning for an impossible past; the wide-ranging melody; the harmonies, sensitive drumming, tremeloed guitar, and sweet/sour dashes of electric piano…
In future generations, people may not know what a record store was. Or who Christopher Walken was. But they'll hear the dreaming, the regret, and the emptiness of this song.
Even had Fountains of Wayne never recorded another track, this would have written their name in rock’s Book of Life. If there was such a thing.