Archive for June, 2013

The Essential 80’s Vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 210000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Vol. 4

Love Will Tear Us Apart Again [Joy Division]—-With this track, considered the only close to hit release in the US, this band gained a cult following until Ian Curtis’ death. The band went on to become New Order and conquer the world….but this is where it all started. This bleak and dark tome to love never tires on me.

Wishing [A Flock Of Seagulls]—-The second single from the self titled debut release, this was a bit longer than the average radio single…but played in the dance clubs rather well. The sound is so comforting and familiar I just have to sit here and listen to the entire thing again and again. The space age feel is everywhere on this track!

Der Kommissar [Falco]—-The only hit single for Falco in the US [unless you include the oft heard Amadeus], this track was played every where and even covered by the American band After The Fire. I prefer the German version….its more fun to guess the sentiment. This is another track that never wears on me.

I Love Rock And Roll [Joan Jett]—-Branching out on her solo career after the demise of The Runaways, Jett scored a gigantic hit with this harder rock track then we were accustomed to hearing on 80’s radio. This has energy, aggression and you can dance to it. We love Joan!!!

Supersonic [ JJ Fad]—-Not so much a radio hit as a cult classic, play this for your friends and remind them when Electro really started. Not only is the beat incredible but the vocals are fantastic…..the speed these girls manage to twist words by is mind numbing. A true classic 80’s track.

The Breaks [Kurtis Blow]—-I was never familiar with Blow until I heard this on the soundtrack from Def Jam [?]. Blow has a vocal that is distinct and instantly recognizable. I love how he always sounds like he is out of breath when he raps….this is classic old school!

The Roof Is On Fire [Rock Master Scott And The Furious Three]—-Any one familiar with the origins of rap and the beginning of the movement knows all about this track. If you don’t, become familiar with this house rocker!!!

I’m Not Having It [Special K]—-Built on simple beats and relying on the give and take of the vocal flow, this track was overplayed and feels a little bit old for me…..it’s an ok track…but it has been done over and over before.

Just A Friend [Biz Markie]—-There is nothing redeeming about this song…..I just don’t like it or Biz!!!

Jenny/867-5309 [Tommy TuTone]—-The saddest thing about this single was the simple fact that no one considered listening to the rest of this album….which is damn exceptional. This is a bona fide 80’s hit….but TuTone still records and tours….playing this whether he wants to or not.

Situations [Cetu Javu]—-I know a lot about the 80’s decade, but I sure don’t know this song!!! It is poppy and reminds me a bit of Men Without Hats. It has a very distinct British sound….there is no denying it should have been heard much more…..

Funky Cold Medina [Tone-Loc]—-Built on the distinct vocal of Tone, that deep baritone is instantly recognizable. This was more of a 90’s hit….but it is on here despite that. Following a few hit singles, Loc now does voice-overs on cartoons.

Treat ‘Em Right [Chubb Rock]—-1990…..I won’t argue over brass tacks though. The beat is pure NYC…the flow is slick and smooth. Still a whole lot of fun to listen to!!

 

*** out of 5

The Essential 80’s Vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 210000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Vol. 3

Round And Round [Ratt]—-Another of those classic hair bands that really made a huge splash thanks to the distinct vocal flair of Stephen Percy and the unique guitar style of the band. This track is still contagious, infectious and instantly recognizable. This is a track that despite the bands differences, will never fade.

Lost In Your Eyes [Debbie Gibson]—-Along with Tiffany, Gibson was one of the original teeny boppers that had huge singles in the 80’s. Thanks to MTV, shopping mall tours and media exposure we became saturated and tired of them quickly. This song is still pretty quaint and sweet in its way though….it’s a keeper.

Cherry Pie [Warrant]—-Finding huge success in the 80’s thanks to sexy videos and a damn good-looking lead singer, Warrant scored 4 or 5 top ten hits and then the band imploded around drug abuse and in fighting. We are still left with nice gems like this though…..thanks for the memories!!!

It Takes Two [Rob Base]—-Built on a beat that is indelible, the familiarity of this song remains unforgettable. Sampled time and time again in modern rap tracks, that annoying squeal has become part of American culture……and the amazing thing….I like it all over again.

Everytime¬† You Go Away [Paul Young]—-Paul Young always had a sweet, sexy and sultry sound to his voice. He reminds me of a slight blues singer trapped in the wrong body. This track…..also recorded by 80’s darlings Hall & Oates, I think Young did a much better job. This always gives me that melancholy feel. A true vocal master.

Living On Radio [Trans X]—-Not incredibly familiar with this band for some reason, I have only heard the off track here and there. They seem to be almost pre-goth in the sound…..the vocal a bit distorted and rather dark. None the less, the song is damn danceable and rather contagious.

No Parking [Dazz Band]—-The 80’s allowed for a huge influx of R n’ B on the dance floor as well. Picking up where Disco left off, this music transported across class and color lines to make indelible hits. This track has all the flavor necessary to keep it in rotation even today.

Dancing In Heaven [LaDouce]—-This is a re-make of the original track, but plays just as well. Another track that had a huge impact on the dance floor and across color lines this was just pure fun….a bona fide hit before falling into obscurity.

Walking In L.A. [Missing Persons]—-Powered by great guitar playing and the irresistible squeak of Dale Bozzio’s voice, Missing Persons managed 3 or 4 top ten hits before the band disintegrated. This speaks to the L.A. culture and the music movement that was going on there at the time. I never get tired of this track. Exquisite!!!

I Got It Made [Special Ed]—-The 80’s were a simple time when it came to rap music. Most songs were all about money and flow style. The gang/crack wars were years away. Special Ed gave us a comfortable beat followed up with understandable vocals and a slight story to go along with the entire thing. Oh….such a simpler time!

Oh Sheila [Ready For The World]—-Formed from a conglomeration of artists, this was music simply made to dance too. The groove is infectious and manages to still stay stuck in your head after all these years with just one simple listen. Long live perfect pop music!!!

Fascinated [Company B]—-With a hype beat right from the onset, this track has a dated but distinct sound. The female vocal reminds me of Expose or one of those other generic bands….this is fun and relaxed….a great track to dance to!!! And might I mention….an irresistible chorus!

The Promise [When In Rome]—-Hands down, my favorite song from the 1980’s decade. This song has a nice soft air to it that can make you sad if you need it or jubilant if that is the mood you are in. The vocal is a classic 80’s sounding voice and the sentiment is never aging. I consider this particular song a masterpiece!!!

I Go To Work [Kool Moe Dee]—-Another rapper who made his major impact in the mid 80’s, Moe Dee scored a nice smash with this entire lp. The vocal is a bit more street and hood, but the message is simple and you can feel the groove for hours after you listen to it.

 

**** out of 5

The Essential 80’s Vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , on 190000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Vol. 2

Don’t Stop Believin’ [Journey]—-Released during the true hey day of this band, it reminds us once again that the 80’s were not just full of synths and swirls. No voice could ever quite match Steve Perry and this song is proof of that. The voice literally soars. With the guitar from Neil Schon, this song is still a classic…..ummmm and karaoke favorite!

Take My Breath Away [Berlin]—-Berlin and Terri Nunn were bona fide stars before hitting this track out of the ballpark. taken from the Top Gun soundtrack, it was hard not to get through a day without hearing it at least once. This still plays so well today. The synth swirls are magic and the emotion is incredible!

She Talks In Stereo [Gary Myrick]—-This is not a track I’m really familiar with, although it does contain all the needed 80’s qualities from the onset. I think maybe someone else sang this at one time or another. This has a familiar sound and a classic 80’s feel. I’ll keep it!!!

Bette Davis Eyes [Kim Carnes]—-CLASSIC!!!!! Delivered with a nice gravel tone, Carnes made everyone aware of who Bette Davis was and scored a huge hit at the same time. This track has a timeless sound….it feels fresh to me every single time I hear it. The slight synth, the guitar and the voice….a great recipe!

I Melt With You [Modern English]—-The definition of the US one hit wonder, this song really was driven by MTV and the stark video. The vocal is incredible….managing to sing but still hang on to that English accent, this is one full CD that I do not yet own. Perhaps soon…and I’ll review it here of course. Still one of my very favorite 80’s songs.

Flashdance [Irene Cara]—-The title track from the timeless movie Flashdance, the song never gets old. Combining an 80’s sound with the still lingering Disco beat this song literally drove people to the dance floor. Not even the best song from the soundtrack, but a staple even in retro clubs today. Classic!!!

Send Me An Angel [Reel Life]—-From the onset, the synths remind you of the decade we are immersed in. The UK slant to the vocal gives the song even more life. This is classic….but has been over played, over mixed and worn out. I still love the sentiment though.

Only The Lonely [The Motels]—-Led my Martha Davis, this band never received the attention that it deserved. The sound was both modern and retro at the same time…always bringing a smile to my face. I listen to the 4 releases they made still today….you can’t escape that sexy sultry voice that Davis has.

Walking On Sunshine [Katrina And The Waves]—-I’m sorry……I hate this song…..even more after the hurricane. NEXT!!!

Salt In My Tears [Martin Briley]—-Another of those rare 80’s tracks I really do not know very well. I love the voice although the music is a bit generic. This reminds me of a weaker Tubes or Loverboy. The chorus is magnificent….the rest of the song falls a bit flat for me.

Honestly [Stryper]—-Known mainly for being a Christian band who threw bibles to the audience, Stryper became a household name with this ballad that still gives me goosebumps to this day. Michael Sweet had a soaring vocal that has withstood the decades incredibly well. A masterpiece of a song!

Cum On Feel The Noize [Quiet Riot]—-Beneath the synth driven 80’s, hair metal was alive and well with bands like Quiet riot…..it made for great MTV programming. This song still holds up well….vocalist DuBrow passed away a short time ago….but he left a great legacy in the music.

Pass The Dutchie [Musical Youth]—-Coming from the poorest parts of the world, this group of young boys made a huge splash in the US with this little track. The success was fleeting but the song is instantly recognizable even today and has stood the test of time incredibly well. The slight reggae feel seemed to appeal to everyone…this is great!

Dream Warriors [Dokken]—-Another hair band that dug the trenches in the 80’s, Dokken scored this hit from the soundtrack of the same name. I never saw the movie and was never a huge fan of the band….the fights and the constant break-ups destroyed the fan base. Still some of the music they produced remains fresh and viable…this….not so much.

Total Eclipse Of The Heart [Bonnie Tyler]—-Just like Meatloaf, Tyler’s career was built on the music of genius Jim Steinman….the sound is all over every track she sang on. This is a great video…the vocal is perfect and the mood is all Steinman. I never tire of this song!

Love On A Real Train [Tangerine Dream]—-So, I’m slow…..I never even knew that this was an 80’s song….oh well….live and learn. This has enough synth to fit in the decade, but the sound is much more New Age than synth-pop. I don’t dislike this stuff, I just need to be in the mood for it.

Let The Music Play [Shannon]—-An accountant turned performer, Shannon scored a number of dance hits in the post-disco era of crowded and sweaty dance floors. The voice draws you in….she sings with gusto and true feeling…it is hard not to get caught up in the energy. Still touring today, Shannon manages to show up on the club charts from time to time….but nothing equals this instant classic!!!

 

**** out of 5

 

The Essential 80’s vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , on 190000006UTC 12 by marky7235

The 1980s saw the emergence of pop, dance music and New Wave. As the term disco fell out of fashion in the decade’s early years,[1] genres such as post-disco, Italo disco, Euro disco and dance-pop became more popular. Rock music continued to enjoy a wide audience; sub-genres such as New Wave,[2] soft rock,[3] and glam metal emerged and developed a significant following.[4] Adult contemporary,[5] quiet storm,[6] and smooth jazz gained popularity. The 1980s are commonly associated with the usage of synthesizers, thus, synthpop music and other electronic genres featuring non-traditional instruments exploded in popularity. Also during this decade, several major electronic genres were developed, including electro, techno, house, freestyle and Eurodance, rising in prominence during the 1990s and beyond. Throughout the decade, R&B, hip hop and urban music in general were becoming commonplace, particularly in the inner-city areas of large, metropolitan cities; rap was especially successful in the latter part of the decade,[7] with the advent of the golden age of hip hop. These urban genres, rap and hip hop particularly, would continue their rise in popularity through the 1990s and 2000s. A 2010 survey conducted by the digital broadcaster Music Choice, which polled over 11,000 participants, revealed that the 1980s is the most favored music decade of the last 50 years

Vol. 1 The Look Of Love [ABC]—-Forever suave and debonair in fancy suits and accompanied by horns, ABC left an indelible mark with this track. Full of slight movements, vocal blends and great percussion this remains one track from a fantastic release that will just not die.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades [Timbuk 3]—-What can I really say about this track….I hated it. Truly a one-hit wonder, this southern infused track got on my nerves and stayed there.

One Thing Leads To Another [The Fixx]—-Another band with a debonair look, Cy Curin was the master of cool with an unforgettable voice as well. With many of the songs relying on social issues, the band trudged through many releases and still tours on occasion. This is probably the biggest hit in the catalog….but by no means my favorite. Never gets old though!

Everyday Is Halloween [Ministry]—-This track from pre-Industrial Ministry is still a favorite of mine. It is amazing how a band can change in such a short time. Jorgensen still has that slight evil tone to his vocal, but this is classic dance all the way.

You Spin Me Round [Dead Or Alive]—-Full of Euro-Trash beats and tons of androgyny, this song was guaranteed to be a massive hit. The speed of the song is incredible and drove people to the dance floor around the world. There were more hits to follow, but nothing as massive as this track. It still sounds magnificent today!

Take Me Home Tonight [Eddie Money]—-Not really an essential 80’s track for me, I could take or leave Eddie Money. The song is much more of a straight up rock track without the familiar new wave flavor of many 80’s hits. It still lives on and Money always opens the outdoor music season in Detroit.

Naughty Naughty¬† [John Parr]—-Not really familiar with the title of this track, but the moment I heard it I felt right at home. Parr had a number of hits from popular teen movies, but managed to make an impact solo as well. The track has a nice rock/new wave mix to it that still works today!

What’s On Your Mind [Information Society]—-The epitome of a one hit wonder, this band, in all of their odd get-up costumes gave a whole new feel to electronic and synth music. Perhaps the band was meant to be visual…on record, the songs are just typical. Live, this band is killer!!!

Missing You [John Waite]—-This former lead vocalist for the 70’s band The Babys, Waite made a huge impact with his debut release and this lead-off single. The song provides a nice break from the constant swirl of 80’s synth and gives us a nice ballad to fall back on in those private moments. Waite has a killer voice and great stage persona.

I Ran [A Flock Of Seagulls]—-Taken from the playbook of MTV stars, this band had an odd look but also the chops to back it up. This contagious, spacy track was the first of many hits for the band before they imploded. The band has reformed from time to time…releasing a new CD about 5 years ago. The sound is the same and this track stands the test of time. Classic!!!

Sister Christian [Night Ranger]—-Reminding us that the 80’s decade was not all swirls and synths, Night Ranger put themselves on the map with this tear jerking ballad. It contains every element necessary…..great guitar….a sad sound and fantastic vocals.

The Roof Is On Fire [Rockmaster Scott & The Furious Three]—-The rap movement in the 80’s literally exploded….but was alive and well in the decade before. I’m not even sure this classic track was released in the 80’s but it still plays well today. The technology and realm of Rap has changed…but the basic formula remains. Flow and Hype!

I Want Candy [Bow Wow Wow]—-Sung by the 16-year-old mohawk Annabelle, this video made the song a bona fide hit all over the world. With classic 80’s sound and a bit of a punk attitude, the band was never able to follow the success of this track…but we have this forever to remember them by!

Tainted Love [Soft Cell]—-Perhaps one of the songs that literally defined the 80’s music movement, this song is still played everywhere and all ways. Remade and covered by dozens of people, no one can come close to the sound of Marc Almond’s distinct sound. This was and is a gay club staple….expect to hear it every time you venture out.

Lean On Me [Club Nouveau]—-Revamping this 60’s classic, Club Nouveau gave this track a whole new life. Filled with a slow, fun groove and a fun style I fell in love with this track from the first listen. The band managed to stick around for a bit, but fell into oblivion that is the 80’s. Still sounds great!

Desire [Gene Loves Jezebel]—-One of my favorite bands from across the pond, this band never received the US support that it deserved. These twin brothers managed a score of hits in Britain but were much more hit and miss here. This track is not an all time favorite, but still plays very well even today. The track has immense energy, a nice sexy feel and an unforgettable vocal.

Everybody’s Working For The Weekend [Loverboy]—-A classic working mans pop metal band, these guys toured endlessly to get the name known. A nice string of top ten hits kept them alive for quite sometime. This is a weekend song for sure…..reminds me of swimming, beer and girls. There you go….a perfect recipe!!!!

 

**** out of 5

 

Continue reading

Life Happens

Posted in Uncategorized on 180000006UTC 12 by marky7235

I’ve been gone from this blog site for quite some time. Life happens and sometimes priorities change for a short time. Life has resumed order and I intend to begin blogging again with a frenzy of new material. To those of you who read…thanks for waiting. For new readers….please give me feedback.