Archive for 80’s

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

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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

 

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The Human League / Credo

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 200000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Credo

Credo is the ninth studio album by The Human League. It is their first studio album since Secrets in 2001.[1] It has been produced by fellow Sheffield act I Monster[2] and is released on Wall of Sound.

The first single from the album, “Night People” was released on 22 November 2010. Follow up single “Never Let Me Go” was released on 1 March 2011. “Egomaniac” was the second single in Germany, Austria and Switzerland because The Human League secured a slot on a major German TV show for a performance of ‘Egomaniac’. The TV programme aired on Friday 4 March and the single was released the same day. In those three territories the album itself was released on Friday 11 March in order to narrow the gap between the TV airing and the album being available. In the rest of the EU the album was released on Monday 21 March in order to narrow the gap between the release in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the rest of the continent. The third single, “Sky” was released on 25 July 2011.

Credo was digitally released in the United States on August 16, 2011, with a physical release one week later.

The Analysis:

Never Let Me Go—-It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since the release of Secrets, but from the opening strains of this first track, it seems now like yesterday! The synth lines are so damn familiar and comforting….Phil sounds ageless and the girls add their trademark vocals like they have never lived 30 years since we first heard them. This has a fantastic melody!!!! Simply wonderful!!

Sky—-This second single from the release, is yet another synth heavy but familiar sounding track that transports you back in time effortlessly. Oakey sounds so incredible with his deep baritone…the overdubs are fantastic and the ladies quip in here and there making it yet another classic track in an endless career of pure pop pleasure!!!

Into The Night—-This is brilliant…layered with nice synth lines that play over each other wonderfully well, but the song seems a bit empty to me…..lacking a true inspiration…..none the less, this is the League and the track is all you need it to be.

Egomaniac—-My favorite track on this release, this reminds me of all the best tracks from all the best releases. This is wonderfully produced…full of a deeper synth line and an energy that makes me want to dance for days. The underlying blips and beeps that are included makes this even more classic…a true return to form!!!

Single Minded—-Another of those tracks that seems more filler than inspiration, this is still delivered with fantastic instrumentation and allowing Oakey to sing in his higher tone which has always really made me smile! This is wonderful!!!

Privilege—-Deep and stripped almost bare, this has an almost mysterious and down trodden feel to the whole damn. The lyrics are fantastic and the overdubs of Oakey’s vocals are outstanding!!! A classic, different but wonderful track!

Breaking The Chains—-This begins a bit slow…making me wonder where this track was going…but once the chorus smacks you in the face, you will have a smile. this is infectious and full of pop hooks running through the whole song…this is brilliant!

When The Stars Start To Shine—-This has a marching vibe to this song….a bit of a muted vocal and a most infectious melody. Combine these together and you have yet another classic League track….I love the chanted chorus…..making you remember it for days after you hear it the first time…..this is magic!

Get Together—-A brilliant synth line begins this track and allows the entrance of Oakey and his melodic baritone. This is wonderfully brilliant…the girls add to the chorus and allows this track to become huge during the main chorus…this is brilliant!!!

Night People—-Although this lead off single never charted here in the States, I’m convinced it is brilliant none the less. This song moves!!! The synth line is delivered fast and at a frenzied pace…..with a contagious synth line that takes you back in time. The straight ‘clean’ vocal is so infectious. This is brilliant!!!

****1/2 out of 5

Madonna / MDNA

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30000006UTC 12 by marky7235

MDNA

MDNA is the twelfth studio album by American recording artist Madonna, first released on March 23, 2012 by Interscope Records. It is also Madonna’s first album not to be associated with Warner Bros. Records, the label she was signed to since 1982. As well as Madonna producing the album she worked with a variety of producers such as Alle Benassi, Benny Benassi, Demolition Crew, Free School, Michael Malih, Indiigo, William Orbit, Martin Solveig.

The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Upon its release, it debuted at number one in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Madonna set a new record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist in Australia and the United Kingdom, but also achieved the largest second-week percentage sales drop for a number-one debuting album of the Nielsen SoundScan era in the United States.

The album’s lead single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’“, was released on February 3, 2012. The single became her 38th top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, extending her record as the artist with most top-ten singles in that chart’s history. The second single “Girl Gone Wild” was released digitally on March 2, 2012. Prior to the album’s release, Madonna performed at the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show on February 4, 2012. The album is promoted by her MDNA Tour.

The Analysis:

Girl Gone Wild—-You have to love the intro to this track…..it all hearkens back to the glory days of the original master! The beats on this track are classic…the slow ebb and the heavy bass…the magical way it ebbs and flows…with the slight french influence. this is a classic Madonna track….it will remain one of my favorites for quite sometime….her voice sounds as youthful and as full of energy as it ever has…and it just proves she still has her finger on the pulse of modern dance music!

Gang Bang—-Only Madge could get away with a song title such as this!!! The track begins with an almost apocalyptic feel……Madonna delivers a vocal that is pushed far to the back of the mix filled with lots of echo…nice production!!!! The track is not as necessarily catchy life the previous…but it is still genius…..showing again the genius of the artist…this is not a favorite…but not a throwaway by any means either!

I’m Addicted—-Full of a deeper house sound and lots of erratic keyboards, it still allows the vocal to really be in the front of the mix. This is another throwback classic track….the fans would expect nothing less. The way the song builds and builds and then ebbs is so reminiscent of 90’s classic by the First lady….the song..to me, shows relevance and a continued drive…I love this!

Turn Up The Radio—-It has been a long time it seems since i have such a pure vocal from Madonna…..this is brilliant and perhaps my favorite track on this release…..the voice is left pure and alone and never, ever falters…still carrying the slight child like voice that made her famous to begin with. The instrumentation is high energy and full of effects, but it is simply the voice that carries this song…this is damn near brilliant!!!!

Give Me All Your Luvvin’—-I must say it…..I don’t understand this track…I don’t like this track….but every release has one of those. I only listen to it for MIA!!!!

Some Girls—-Returning to more modern and almost Dub oriented sound, this is another favorite track of mine…if only for the DEEP sound of energy. I love the way the song magically switches….between a deep experimental sound to a more conventional ‘clean vocal’ and then back to a robotic distorted sound. This is energetic and hypnotic….I’m sure the clubs are thumpin’ this track…as it should be….a magical fun track!

Superstar—-I am wonderfully enamored with this track…it reminds me of the classic and glory days of Madge and convinces me that she is still dedicated to her craft. This is energetic…full of classic Madonna sentiments and phrases…a cleaner vocal and a damn catchy chorus that will live in your brain for weeks at a time. This is brilliance…I love this return to form!!!! Wonderful!!!

I Don’t Give A—-This is just a FUN track…reminding me of the classic stuff Madge did with Jellybean…..the beats and breaks are SHARP and there is a noise involved that I find ver attractive. This is brilliant…the delivery is rapid fire…the melody is catchy as hell and I want to sing it over and over in my brain all day. This is wonderful…fantastic and damn near brilliant. And Nicki….is pretty brilliant!

I’m A Sinner—-Another track that surprised me…simply because of the unadulterated vocal that Madge delivers. The voice is amazingly pure as it was at the beginning….she sounds 20…is it possible Madonna is 50!!!!???? The music hearkens back a few releases ago…but it works with the whole flow of the CD….thank God for great production…this is a masterpiece…catchy as hell!!!!

Love Spent—- Odd from the very onset…it is exciting at the same time. The track quickly looses the oddity and becomes a rather generic track….kind of surprised me….not really a favorite track…I would have preferred something more deep and intense at this point…but it is as it is!

Masterpiece—-Allowing a bit of a respite, this is a much-needed and thirsted for track…the sound is deep intense and sad…reminding us how much the woman has been through in the past few years. This is a beautiful and wonderfully revealing track…..just what I needed…..the hurt of love betrayed…..

Falling Free—-rounding out the release with a rather magnificent orchestrated track, Madonna delivers a vocal full of pain and real betrayal. I sit back and listen….and examine the word FREE which is repeated over and over through the song…..reminding me that despite fame and fortune…..free is the same to me as it is to her. hurt is universal…..interesting!

****1/2 out of 5

Duran Duran / All You Need Is Now

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 260000001UTC 12 by marky7235

All You Need Is NowAll You Need Is Now is the thirteenth studio album by the British pop/rock band Duran Duran. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Mark Ronson, a truncated version of the album was released as a download on 21 December 2010. It is the band’s first album not released by a major record label; it appeared on the band’s own label, Tapemodern, and Mark Ronson’s Allido Records in the UK. A physical package was released on March 21, 2011 in Europe on the Tape Modern label (distributed by Edel[1]), and on March 22, 2011 in the USA and Canada on S-Curve Records (distributed by Universal),[2] coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the band’s first release. According to Hits Daily Double, the physical release moved 14,642 units in its opening week. [1] Duran Duran are currently promoting the album through the All You Need Is Now Tour.

The Analysis:

All You Need Is Now—-Taking a huge step back into the classic days of the 80’s……peppered with the brilliant production of Ronson and bolstered by Simon Le Bon sounding better than he has in years, the kick off to this release is simply brilliant. I smile every single time i hear this…it is both retro and a step ahead in the new direction of music….simply fantastic!

Blame The Machines—-This begins with a huge retro beat that takes you back to the glory days of this band…do any of you remember when Duran Duran was the biggest band in the world? This is the sound that propelled them to that status…this is reminiscent of that great sound. The vocal overlays are fantastic and the updated technology allows them to sound even more important….this is great!!!

Being Followed—-Carrying a much more typical Ronson sound at the onset of the song, this track quickly falls back into the sound of a OO7 track with an edge that makes you think of an action film. the classic Duran sounding guitar finally emerges and you realize that this band has never gone anywhere. the Ronson touch gives to track a bit of an Euro-Trash sound that makes me smile!!!

Leave A Light On—-Duran Duran was always masterful at delivering a heartfelt ballad in the mix of all the electro driven sound of the 80’s….this song is no exception…it falls perfectly in the ballad catalog. Le Bon delivers a vocal that is a bit deeper and more sedate…but the emotion magically comes through in his voice…this is classic!

Safe [In The Heat Of The Moment]—-This track seems to borrow bits and pieces from every Duran song that managed to crack the top ten and adds a bit more with the Ronson tweak. Le Bon still delivers a vocal that belies his age, and the slight funk of the band is in full swing with the backdrop of female vocalist…..giving the song a nice lift. This is great!

Girl Panic!—-Again, the band returns to the sound of it’s very first LP with what seems like little effort. The guitar is in full swing…Duran always had a very particular guitar sound and it never seems to have left…just got lost for a bit. this is old school 80’s New Wave with the new Ronson touch…why was this not huge? Oh, I forgot….duran is not cool anymore…I still love it!

A Diamond In The Mind—-Much darker from the onset, Ronson seems to add layers and layers on instrumentation to the song…picking a few snippets from the intro track…this is a brilliant interlude…I am floored with this built-in remix!

The Man Who Stole A Leopard—-Slow to begin with, the song never really goes to far for me. This is too soon for another predictable and somewhat boring ballad…there is too much of a morose sound to the song…although there are some bright spots mired throughout…if you have the patience to sit through it.

Other People’s Lives—-Wow…..the onset of the track reminds me of DEVO!!!! As soon as Simon opens his mouth and the familiar Taylor guitar sound begins to surface, you are transported right back to 1983. This is a really cool updated retro sound for this band….I am not disappointed with this…in fact I love it!

Mediterranea—-Another slowed tempo track that is a surprise to me…this soon. But the saving grace are the layers of sound that allow this to remind me of classic Duran Ballads once again….Le Bon sings in that upper strained register of his…reminding me that he is still the King Of Drama…..this is full of drama, and memories…this should have been the sequel to the very first record!

Too Bad You’re So Beautiful—-Once more, the magic direction of Ronson seems like a permission slip for Duran to step way back in time and take us on another retro trip. this is fantastic…reminding me of Rio and Girls On Film at the same time…this has an overt sexual overtone and a magical classic return trip to a decade that is looked upon with scorn….this is brilliant!

Runaway Runaway—-This track is rather generic for me…although the classic guitar sound really shines through the mix of the song and Simon sounds rather fantastic. The track just lacks a substance for me…otherwise it is pretty …well…..Duran Duran……LOL!

Return To Now—-Just Brilliant….this orchestrated version of All You Need Is now is even more emotive with instrumentation and no vocals…a fantastic interlude!!!!

Before The Rain—-Ending this release with another ballad, Simon sounds forlorn and sad and full of emotion…perhaps telling a story of the past decade to us out loud. This is sedate and without pretension…this is heartfelt and touching……a fantastic way to end this release!

**** out of 5