First Hit #1: March 14, 1987
Jacob’s Ladder is a weird song, about trying to brush off evangelists in the verses, and just having a pretty catchy chorus about climbing a ladder in the chorus. It’s got the sound of a typical Huey Lewis song – the band had perfected their formula by this point and weren’t going to risk changing it – but lyrically it’s a pretty much a better Imagine. I know that people are going to object to that, but it’s actually a more thought out version of the idea that you don’t need salvation, and you don’t need what people are hawking around you. The declaration that wanting tomorrow to simply be better than you are today is just as simple and direct as anything, but it is a pretty clear message of self actualization and gives something to strive for as a short term message. Jacob’s Ladder strives for profundity under the layer of being a pretty typical Huey Lewis number, and it’s pretty strong for it.