Archive for new wave

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 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

The Cars / Move Like This

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 130000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Move Like ThisMove Like This is the seventh album by American rock band The Cars. The album is their first since 1987’s Door to Door and features all of the original band members except for bassist and vocalist Benjamin Orr, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2000.

The Analysis:

Blue Tip—-Even as you digest the opening instrumental to this track, you can’t help but be transported back to 1987! When Ocasek opens his mouth, he defies age and years…sounding as comfortable as he ever did behind his shades. This is energetic, magic, throwback and entirely overdue. A triumph!!!!

Too Late—-A bit more relaxed out of the gate, this is still classic Cars…..one of the songs where Benjamin would have really come in handy [RIP]. This still has the magical energy and emotion all wrapped up in one huge track…I can just imagine this playing outside on a huge sunny day with 1000 of my best friends. I love the energy and the nice positive vibe!!! Stellar!!!

Keep On Knocking—-With a huge synth line that again magically takes you back in time, I only hope that there will be fun and futuristic videos to follow-up this great music. The most amazing thing to me is how fresh Rik manages to sound after all of these years…this is like a natural progression. The band has never been gone in my eyes…just on a huge extended hiatus…welcome back guys…and what a return it is. The synth and bass line on this track are huge…propelling me onward and upward!!!

Soon—-Slowing things down quite a bit, this is reminiscent of some of the classic slow material this band produced but really never comes close to Drive. This is has an aching melody that sticks in your brain and refuses to leave you alone…the intricate phrasing of Ocasek makes it even more melancholy. This is pretty fantastic!!!

Sad Song—-Really? This is anything but a ‘sad song’, full of driving synth that takes you back in time and fills you with a magical energy. This is exceptional…Ocasek has never sounded better and the band employs the classic handclap sound that formed the back drop of so many of their songs….this is fantastic…in love all over again!!!!

Free—-Another of those tracks that is so familiar yet remarkably predictable that you will lose it in the release if you don’t force yourself to pay attention to it. The wonderful thing about this song…the vocal harmonies on the chorus and the irresistible synth line that refuses to leave your brain if you really let it settle in…this is great!!!

Drag On Forever—-A bit more straight on Rock n’ Roll that first formed the foundation of the band, the tambourine sound in soooo important to the track. Ocasek delivers that lazy type of vocal that just makes you feel lax about the entire thing…but the deepness of the sound and the laid back almost blues style is exceptional. I love this release!

Take Another Look—-With a slow intro that makes me think of Time After Time, Ocasek enters with his laid back and lazy style that allows you to revisit the old days but still yearn for Orr…I’m sure songs like this were difficult for the band to record. Again, the band displays a huge harmony when singing together that allows for the absence of Benjamin. This is exquisite…a long dong for the band and full of lots of little intricate sounds. Wonderful!!!!

It’s Only—-Energetic and propelled by a nice beat that won’t leave your brain easily, this has such classic Cars sounds to it…that propulsive synth line is so intact it is like they have never been gone. I’m telling you…seriously….1987 is alive and well. this is exceptional…and again…the harmonies only add to the huge sound of the song. This sounds like a band that is very happy to be back together!

Hits Me—-Beginning much in the expected style, this has a nice bass propulsion that is a bit surprising without Orr present. Rik again delivers that laid back but expressive vocal that sucks you in…even though the release is perhaps two songs too long. The progressive synth delivery is remarkable though…I wish more bands were making music like this…I’m in heaven…..again!!!

**** 3/4 out of 5

Gary Numan / Archive 2

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 700000011UTC 12 by marky7235

Archive, Vol. 2

Gary Numan (born Gary Anthony James Webb on 8 March 1958) is an English singer, composer, and musician, most widely known for his chart-topping 1979 hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (with Tubeway Army) and “Cars“. His signature sound consisted of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals.

Commercially unsuccessful for many years of his career, Numan is nevertheless considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music.[1][2] His use of themes from science fiction, and his combination of aggressive punk energy with electronics, have since been widely imitated.

The Analysis:

In A Glass House—-Continuing much in the vein that the first Archive release left off, this again revisits the Numan era where faux jazz and an unresponsive style seemed to pervade most of his releases. this is not a terrible song, but it re-plays countless songs that were released over a three album span that all sounded the same…unsucessful, unremarkable and a bit boring.

Confession—-Delivering a live track, probably taken from the Skin Mechanic CD, I would have to check. this is again laden with a faux funk that really never mixed well with the mystic and removed vocal of Numan. All of the backdrop female vocals only serve to distract and take away from what could have been a damn catchy song. to me, this material was ignored for a reason…that brief time period when Numan really let me down!!!

Down In The Park—-Why this is repeated from the first Archive release is beyond me…this is the same old song…nothing new or fresh. Still a stellar piece of music, it is nice to hear but I would have preferred something else.

Tricks—-Again with the unnecessary saxophone and dramatic movement away from the synth mastery that made this career so monumental!!! This is a weak excuse of a filler song that falls so flat listening back to it now. This lacks energy and direction. The vocal that Numan delivers does not fir the hyper faux jazz driven music..although it is still as removed and cold as ever. The females enter and fuck up the entire thing. This was a huge error in the Numan career.

Rumour—-This is a huge and wonderful return to form!!! Numan delivers a vocal that is so forlorn and sad…removed from the more upbeat music..to leave you with the coldest and saddest feel that you received from the man in quite sometime. Even with the addition of the female back drop vocals, you never lose the sadness and melancholy…even pain that comes across in the vocal. This is wonderful!!!

I Die; You Die—-Revisiting one of the earliest hits by the Man, this live version brings so much live, electric energy to the song that I play it over and over before moving on. This is laden with the mystical and alien vocal that Numan built a career on. This is machine oriented…laden with science fiction references and enough cold feelings to keep Iceland in glaciers despite global warming!

The Sleep Room—-A song, that to tell you the truth, I really tend to forget about from time to time. This is full of majestic synth lines and a removed and cold vocal…but an incredible melody line that causes me to smile every single time I hear it. this is magical….full of cold and steely vocals..but wonderfully delivered with an emotion you can barely escape. This is one of those few moments from this time period that are like huge shining beacons of light and restitution.

My Breathing—-This is magnificent!!! Full of synth lines that are as worthy as the very best of numan material, this is addictive and a damn good song to boot. The rhythm lines that the band combined with the machines produce are incredible…and that is even before the vocal begins. Numan enters delivering his vocal is a higher tone than normal..simply screaming of emotion and need. This is a favorite…I freakin’ love the energy and the desolation of the track!

This Is Love—-Tender and intense from the onset, Numan sings in a tone that accessible and full of pain..this is sooo laden with naked emotion. This song has the ability to immediately deflate your mood if the timing is right. This is stark and the occasional saxophone line only adds to the loneliness of the whole damn thing. This is remarkable!

We Need It—-Almost sounding like an extension of the previous track, this is another track that begins with a huge melancholy sound…but bursts out at the seams with a return to the jazz influence and smashes the sedate feeling that you entered the track with. This is remarkable..if only for the vocal. I could do without all of the added horns…Numan has always done very well with his machines, but this manages a nice mix that plays very well all of these years later. Very Nice!!!

Emotion—-Beginning with a really nice bass line, the song is a bit ruined for me as it sinks back into the female vocal laden Bowie-esque sound that never really worked for him either. This is a miss in my book…the lyrics are really typical Numan, but the delivery is too crowded and convoluted.

Time To Die—-Just freakin’ BRILLIANT!!! This has all of the classic sounds of the songs that get on my nerves, the saxophone, the female backdrop vocals…but the entire thing is wrapped in a synth blanket of sadness that seems to go along with the sudden weather change of fall turning to winter. This is cold and detached, but delivered with more emotion that i sometimes have in my entire being…this is freakin’ BRILLIANT!!!

I Can’t Stop—-I should hate this song!!! This is full of all the annoying sounds from this Numan incarnation that i steadily complain about…yet, for some reason..this remains one of my favorite Numan songs EVER!!! I love the energy…the fun that Numan seems to be having and the middle finger that he strongly gives to everyone who thought he was long a thing of the past. This is fantastic.

Here I Am—-With a heavy 80’s synth line, this is classic stuff right here!!! This kind of Numan reminds me why I fell in love with this man. It is amazing the natural progression of tastes that I have followed…the obsession and fascination with Bowie…the introduction of Numan..the progression to bands like Ultravox…the gravitation to Morrissey…the utter fascination with The Pet Shop boys…it all seems like a natural growth or magical musical time line to me…this is the reason why…songs like this convince me I am right!

The Need—-Ending this release with an obnoxious track, there is no need to listen to the entire thing as I know it will leave a foul taste in my mouth. This is so crowded  with saxophone..deep bass guitar and female ‘soul’ singers that it is a general waste of time…and the fact that it goes on for a full 7 minutes…no thanks!!!

***3/4 out of 5

Gary Numan / Archive

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 300000011UTC 12 by marky7235

Archive

Gary Numan (born Gary Webb on 8 March 1958) is an English singer, composer, and musician, most widely known for his chart-topping 1979 hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (with Tubeway Army) and “Cars“. His signature sound consisted of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals.

Commercially unsuccessful for many years of his career, Numan is nevertheless considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music.[1][2] His use of themes from science fiction, and his combination of aggressive punk energy with electronics, have since been widely imitated.

The Analysis:

Are ‘friends’ Electric [Live]—-Still one of the crowning moments of Numan’s career and best experienced live, this song , recorded in 1978 still manages to sound fresh and invigorating to me. Even now, with the much heavier Industrial delivery that Numan gives the song, it still leaves you with a cold and detached feeling that speaks to those who are disenfranchised and lost….this track never gets old, never sounds dated and never makes me think of old days..because it magically remains relevant. For me, this song has always spoke of the fragility and passing of human friendships…the availability of people to take that ‘best friend’ status and Numan’s idea that you have friends that are available just when you need them…you only need to plug them in to get what you need from them when you need it from them…just my impression.

Me! I Disconnect From You [Live]—-Continuing his tales of alienation and Sci-Fi ideals, Numan gently reminds us how nice it would be to end a relationship by simply disconnecting from another and moving on….perhaps that is a bit romantic!!! This is stale, sordid and delivered in a classic Numan monotone that allows you to feel cold and unconnected. Masterful!!!

U Got The Look [Live]—-Numan attempts to bring the ‘funk’ in this cover of the Prince/Sheila E. cover….to me, this is abysmal and is one of those rare missteps the man has made in his career. But, I try to accept the good with the bad.

Berserker—-One of those songs that Numan released when he was experimenting with a mass of background female vocalists…it was never heard by anyone except for me…I love this because it has an exceptional energy… while Numan seems to take a back seat and delivers a vocal that is as cold as a deep January night. This is remarkable…the emotion that runs through the music is undeniable…all the while Numan seems to be standing two rooms away and delivering his vocal…this is magical!

The God Film—-With a much deeper and plodding bass sound to the song, there is still an air of the jazz experimentation that Numan went through in the early 90’s. Although this was not a favorite ‘period’ of mine, the curators of this collection was careful with the song selection on this release….issuing tracks that were more accessible than most for the fans. For me, the highpoint of this song is only when Numan reaches high into that register of his…this delivers an emotional component that is undeniable.

We Are Glass [Live]—-Yes, this is a classic…Yes, this is a song that reeks and almost screams of human frailty and emotions. but I really have never cared for this song…I’m not sure why….there is just not much genuity and/or melody involved….sorry….

Poison—-This is remarkable….delivering a slight Depeche Mode Industrial sound with the laden female vocal in the backdrop, Numan delivers a vocal that is very much in the front of the mix and very accented. I love the cold and detached feel…I hate all of the added extra vocals..they were never needed. This is nice, but so many other things could have been included in its place.

Creatures—-Wow, this is so full of magical atmosphere at the onset of the song, but it losses almost all of the genuity once the bass falls away. The track has a remarkable chorus though…this is a song that can magically pop in my head based on my stress level or a certain feeling that I get at any point in any given day. This has a melody that is undeniable…Numan delivers the coldest and most detached vocal..only the female back drop singers warm the song…perhaps I would love this even more without all of the pretense. This is a secret favorite though!

Cars [Live]—-A song that will have a life as long as human beings are alive, this was the beginning of the Numan catalyst for me, so I can’t hate too bad. I would be happy never to hear this song again…but in this live setting it has a nice renewed energy that I can live with. an undeniable piece of Pop Music history.

Call Out The Dogs [Live]—-This compilation seems to be heavy on material from the string of 5 releases that no one in the US bought except for me….I like this song quite a bit. The natural progressive bass line is natural rather than machine made…the drums are very present and the vocals..aided by female backdrop singers come together to produce a really great sound. This has real high points and remains another of those songs that pops in my head from time to time with no reason!

God Only Knows—-This has a really nice epic musical sound that really appeals to me. Numan seems even colder and more detached than ever on this track. This was back in the days when Gary would stand in front of a microphone with a spotlight and never move through the entire show…this was cold, robotic and more mechanical than you could imagine. Superb!

Down In The Park [Live]—-Another of those crowning career moments that most people in the US are oblivious to. Covered by dozens of bands since it’s release, this has been cited as an influence more than even Cars. This is a cold, calculated story that if given the chance to read the lyrics will send shivers down your spine…beore the God Complex of modern-day Numan, there was a fascination with Robots and pure Science Fiction!

We Take Mystery [To Bed]—-Although this is not listed as ‘live’. indeed it is and in the process picks up far more energy than you get on the regular recorded version. Numan manages to talk/sing his way through songs..keeping his attractive accent in full form. This is a fantastic, energetic track that causes me to sit here and smile like I never thought possible…I love this cold. detached incredibly in tune man!!!

My Shadow In Vain—-Originally recorded with his quasi-punk band The Tubeway Army, Numan still delivers this song live in his most current sets. This is energetic and in its original form damn raw and electric!!! This is another uncredited live track….but the live setting allows this song to be noisy as hell and delivered with a raw energy that reminds me of how abrasive the first record actually was….now this..as opposed to Cars…is historic!!!

Love Isolation—-This piano based track…full of pre-ambient sounds that almost bring you to tears is incredible. Numan sounds more lost and lonely than he has ever been…seeking direction, love and a filling for the emptiness that his music transports. This is intense as hell…hard to adapt to after the energy of the previous track…but more telling than any other song on this record! When Gary sings the line “I’ll die for you….” you damn well better believe it.

Generator—-Wow….whatever….I know that I must have the orginal version of this track around somewhere, but it is obvious I did not like it then either because I sure can’t remeber this kind of disappointment. This is just sloppy filller that I’m convinced Numan recorded in order to relieve himself of contractual agreements…right before he started Numa Records. This is wasteful!!!

**** out of 5

Now That’s What I Call The 80’s [Various] Part II

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2500000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Now That's What I Call The Eighties

The Analysis:

She’s A Beauty [The Tubes]—-This has always been a very favorite track of mine…I love the great use of real instrumentation and the subtle inclusion of synth sounds as well. the vocal is just classic 80’s..the song has a great energy and a fantastic video to go along with it.

Too Shy [Kajagoogoo]—-This band literally defines the term one-hit wonder! It did not help that the band fired Limahl as their lead singer after finally gaining world-wide success and recognition. This is classic 80’s synth pop…the band appealed to the masses because of the pretty boy look and syrupy sweet synth sounds that made up the body of this song…too good to last, it didn’t.

Total Eclipse Of The Heart [Bonnie Tyler]—-This Jim Steinman penned and produced smash hit fir the vocal style of Tyler to a tee. I would love to hear Meatloaf sing this song…just one time. this has that huge epic sound of Steinman all over it…the video is bizarre enough to keep your attention and the smoky vocal from Tyler with that classic 80’s hair all were ingredients for a worldwide smash!

A Million Miles Away [The Plimsouls]—-One of those rare 80’s tracks that I’m really not familiar with. this is a nice rocker…the real instrumentation fas exceeds and kind of synth delivery. The vocal is classic 80’s and the chorus is huge fun. When you hear the chorus, you know that you have heard this many times but never really attributed it to any band name. This is nice…a bit generic but lots of fun.

True [Spandau Ballet]—-A timeless classic from one of the most suave and sophisticated bands of the 80’s, this was also later sampled rather successfully by art-rap group PM Dawn. This is so smooth..delivered with huge piano sounds that are lush and endearing…a vocal that is loaded with finesse and style…this was a huge track for this band in the US..although rather huge overseas, the band never really repeated this success again in the States.

One Thing Leads To Another [The Fixx]—-Cy Curnin and Co. had a pretty great career in the US throughout the 80’s and early 90’s delivering nice rock-based tales of politics and alienation. There was a remarkable contagious quality to the band that was evident from the very first release and this carried them through right up to about 92 or so when the disappeared. They now tour the nostalgia circuit and sound as brilliant as ever. This is not a favorite track of mine from the band, but this is probably the highest charting single from them.

Rockit [Herbie Hancock]—-A fantastic blend of Electro and synth laden hyper beats that only served as a warning to what the future might be capable of. Hancock made a BRILLIANT video to go along with this track…the energy is freakin’ amazing…you can dance to it or you can just sit back and enjoy the hyper driven beats…a really great memory.

All Night Long [Lionel Ritchie]—-One of many in the string of hits from this former Commodore, Lionel was unstoppable in the 80’s delivering track after track of brilliant dance inspired R n B. This is fantastic…the video was pretty fun as well. There has rarely been such a silky smooth singer that has crossed over to all genres of music as easily as Ritchie…still recording and touring, Ritchie is best known these days as the father of Nicole Ritchie!

Uptown Girl [Billy Joel]—-Joel continued to deliver chart singles well into the 80’s even after he fell out of popularity with most music listeners…let’s face it, he did not really fit in the New Wave/Synth driven bands of the 80’s. None the less, a stellar voice and great music helped to keep Joel on the charts until the mid-80’s when he seemed to slow down and take a break…by then, the climate of music had changed to much to welcome him back. Still, this golden throat singer forever has a place in popular music history!

Girls Just Want To Have Fun [Cyndi Lauper]—-The emergence on Lauper on video and the charts was almost as shocking as that of Boy George…many people were really not sure what to make of this pip-squeak voiced oddity. None the less, the public adored this release…providing a platform for Lauper and a number of Top Ten singles. This quirky little single began it all and Lauper still records and has a pretty magnificent career…talent somehow manages to shine through!

Rebel Yell [Billy Idol]—-Building a career based on appearance and attitude, Idol continued much in the vein of his former band Generation X. This song was HUGE…as was the album of the same name…spawning 4 top ten hits and a career for the peroxide blond punk rocker. this track has huge doses of attitude and enough rock elements to cross over to all audiences. this is brilliant…still!

Footloose [Kenny Loggins]—-Proving that there was life after the meanderings of Loggins & Messina, this title track to the ever endearing musical has always grated my nerves a bit. None the less, this was a huge song and the Soundtrack itself spawned numerous top 10 hits. Loggins still enjoys a great career, but this is his shining moment.

No More Words [Berlin]—-Terri Nunn and Co. delivered a debut release that was filled with numerous top ten singles..this follow up continued the streak of New Wave inspired music that culminated in the sap from Top Gun and the eventual end of the band. This song, is a nice little track…it shows Nunn’s vocals off masterfully…the slight anger that rides through the voice as well as the passion…combined with the synth/guitar based instrumentation…how could you not love this?

Sister Christian [Night Ranger]—-One of the bands that made a huge splash during the Hair Metal phase of the 80’s, this single managed to cross over to all audiences with mass appeal. The track is just pumped up enough to remind you that this is rock, delivered by a pretty band and full of lyrics that are touching. The chorus is fantastic…and the end of the song just rips me to shreds….I love this piece of nostalgia.

I Can Dream About You [Dan Hartman]—-Hartman had a pretty fair solo career, but he is probably best known for writing huge songs for other people. This track was a favorite on dancefloors every where. The video was great fun…showing off the showmanship of Hartman…he continued to write and produce for others until his death in the early 90’s from AIDS related complications.

What’s Love Got To Do With It [Tina Turner]—-Turner struggled musically after her split from Ike until the release of Private Dancer…I’m not sure even she was ready for the worldwide acclaim that this album would provide. Delivering I believe 2 #1 singles and 4 Top Ten hits, this elevated the career of Ms. Turner to a whole new level…and righly so…this is fantastic R n B with a huge crossover sound that played well on white radio as well.

Sunglasses At Night [Corey Hart]—-This Canadian made a big splash on the charts with this track and a few follow-up singles…mainly based on his remarkable voice and good looks that caused girls to swoon all over the world. This is a great reminder of why he did so well for a bit…the voice has a unique sound..one that has not often been repeated…what ever happened to……

Missing You [John Waite]—-Gosh, this is a fantastic memory. Waite had one of those voices that had emotion all over it…released at a time when cross over hits were happening everywhere, this pleased the pop rock crowd as well as the big shoulder pad groups that flooded the dance floors as well. At the time…I was all about Pink Floyd, but this track managed to filter through and find a place in my permanent memory bank.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go [Wham]—-I was never a big Wham fan…truth be told I could not stand them!!! But you can not deny the irresistible pop sensibility of many of their songs. The pretty boy image carried them a long way…to me, they were too much of a Duran copycat…been there done that.

Obsession [Animotion]—-A Human League rip-off band that gets my vote for one of the ugliest 80’s bands ever, I can barely watch this video without cringing. This song never did anything for me…perhaps provided a momentary distraction…but that is all.

Don’t You [Forget About Me] [Simple Minds]—-Simple Minds are one of those bands that flew under the radar of most popular musical genres, although they managed to maintain a hard-core of super fans that have continued to support them to this day. This is typical Euro-80’s pop/rock…ala Big Country. This sounds so fresh as I listen back on this now though…a band to investigate further.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World [Tears For Fears]—-Hailing from Britain and capturing the charts worldwide with this debut release, the band rode high with this album and single for a few years. This was another band that managed to capture the top ten numerous times with the first release. The band roared back and proved they were much more than one-hit wonders. Perhaps one of my most endearing favorites from the decade of excess, this band continues to tour and record and produce songs just as big as this…legendary at this point!

Walking On Sunshine [Katrina And the Waves]—-Ugh….nothing about this song appeals to me…next…PLEASE!!!

What About Love [Heart]—-Heart managed to find a huge following in the mid 80’s by producing somewhat sappy hit singles that toned down the classic rock element, but delivered huge doses of sentiment none the less. This is emotional and shows the talents of bot Wilson sisters in a magnificent way…if this does not conjure up memories, perhaps you have none left.

The Power Of Love [Huey Lewis And The News]—-Currently on a 25th Anniversary tour, this is one of the few Huey songs that i actually liked. something about this guy and the style of music always grated on my nerves…not to dispel the fact that he had a mas appeal…this band managed quite a success in the 80’s…just not for me.

Oh Sheila [Ready for The World]—-I actually think that this was more of a 90’s song, but that is just nit-picking. this is one of those generic R n B bands that seemed to crop all over in the late 80’s/early 90’s. The song is catchy…the singer is a flamer and the beat is fun…but never really stuck with me for more than a moment.

We Built This City [Starship]—-It is amazing to think that the legendary Jefferson Airplane evolved into this pop/rock band that scored hit after hit in the 80’s. This is syrup…with extra sweetener. The vocal is outstanding…I perhaps like that the best about this. Otherwise, there are so many other better tracks they could have put on this comp….just sayin’.

Broken Wings [Mr. Mister]—-another of those generic singles that seemed to ride the charts high for quite sometime. the band managed a few top 10 hits from this release, but seemed to fall off the radar as tastes began to change. This is nice and lush…delivered with emotion and a musical soundtrack that is almost as powerful as the lyric itself. The recipe worked…for awhile.

Conga [Gloria Estafan]—-Ugh….Ugh….Ugh……just sayin’

Addicted To Love [Robert Palmer]—-RIP to one suave ass Mother Fucker. Palmer had a recipe down pat that appealed to mass audiences across the world and the ability to make videos that became even more popular than his recordings. The voice is golden and not likely to be thought of when you think of the 80’s, but he hit his stride at the right time and the right place and the rest in indelible history. Incredible!!!

Something About You [Level 42]—-Laden with classic Euro-Trash beats…I was hooked from the first listen. although this band really struggled to follow-up to this mastery, there are a smattering handful of songs that remind me why I love this band so much. This combines the suave Euro style with synth laden music that played very well on MTV and in US clubs…brilliant!!!

Your Love [The Outfield]—-This has always been a very favorite band of mine…the voice on this guy is freakin’ amazing. The debut and follow-up release did so well for this band…then they managed to disappear into nothingness after that. I would love to hear if this guy can still deliver vocals like this…this is simply amazing!

 Higher Love [Stevie Winwood]—-Rarely has an artist enjoyed so many resurgent career highs as Winwood. This can only be attributed to stellar songwriting and a remarkably accessible voice. I never get tired of listening to Arc Of A Diver….this is a fantastic track…it inspires in me an elation that is almost uncontrollable…fantastic!!!

Word Up [Cameo]—-another band that was a permanent imprint of the 70’s and enjoyed a huge career boost in the 80’s thanks to the video age and a remarkably sexual video. This track is addictive as hell, plays really well even today and is a funk filled blast that will last well into eternity.

Walk Like an Egyptian [The Bangles]—-Another all girl-group from the 80’s, The Bangles never really found the huge success that was graced upon The Go-Go’s. This is a favorite track of mine…only because I change the lyrics to Walk With An Erection…LMAO!!! This band never really did too much for me, but it is nice to have this on this collection.

Everybody Have Fun Tonight [Wang-Chung]—-Another of those songs that seemed to have mass appeal to everyone but me…I guess this had a bit too much of a mainstream sound to it. The video was lots of fun, but I could never take this too seriously. The hooks are grand, but they fall from my memory after the final note.

I Just Died In Your Arms Tonite [Cutting Crew]—-This is one of those songs that seemed to hit just at the right time in my emotional development…I still swoon whenever I hear the tender vocal and the intense lyrics that are delivered. We have all been there and we can all relate…this is masterful synth pop that still sounds as grand today as it did when it was released.

Head To Toe [Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam]—-Full of deep funk Euro-trash beats and a striking vocal, this has so many remixes available it could keep you dancing at the time into the next millennium. This features those great breaks that were just emerging at the time and a chorus that sucked you in from the very first listen…especially if you were in love!!!

Here I Go Again [Whitesnake]—-allowing Coverdale to deliver another of his trademark Plant impersonations, this was a hair metal hit that managed to cross over into the mainstream thanks to a great sexy video. Whitesnake continued with hits for a time after this but the hair metal curse eventually took them into the depths of darkness as well.

Heaven Is A Place On Earth [Belinda Carlisle]—-Carlisle stepped away from The Go-Go’s to release a solo record that produced this single, that really, was not that much different from the band. Allowing her quivering vocal to be in the spotlight even more, Carlisle still danced the same way, acted the same way…the only thing missing was the leadership from Weidlin!!!

Push It [Salt N’ Pepa]—-What can I possibly say about this single that has not been said already? This was groundbreaking, innovative and responsible for bringing rap to the top 40 charts along with Run DMC. This all girl ensemble pushed things even further…allowing themselves to deliver sexual innuendo to the public while still providing everyone with great beats and scratches. This is historic!

Hands To Heaven [Breathe]—-Taking the suave and sophistication of Spandau Ballet to a whole new level, Breathe produced a number of singles that were so emotion laden that they almost brough tears to your eyes. This was a remarkable band….allowing room for strings and orchestration as well as synth lines and a vocal that ripped your heart open…fantastic!!!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy [Bobby McFerrin]—-Ugh…..this is so played out,,,never much for those annoying, quirky novelty hits!!! NEXT…….

Every Rose Has It’s Thorn [Poison]—-I’ve never been much of a Poison fan….but, this song stands very well on its own. This is one of those requisite Metal ballads that were on every Metal release in the 80’s and still stands up very well today. This is magnificent…proving Michaels and Co. had their genius moments.

Straight Up [Paula Abdul]—-Former Laker girl and choreographer Abdul proved she had great ghost writers and an adequate enough voice to make her impression on the charts for about a year in the Decade Of Excess. The eventual superstar never quite managed to re-create her mastery though. This still plays amazing today…depite it all!

****3/4 out of 5

Now, That’s What I Call The 80’s [Various] Part I

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2400000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Now That's What I Call The Eighties

In the First World, this decade saw the emergence of pop music, as well as various forms of rock music, such as new wave, soft rock, and glam metal. The 1980’s are commonly associated with the use of synthesizers, and was the introduction of sampling and hip hop/rap. “80’s music” is a broad term, and can refer to 80’s new wave (sometimes referred to as synthpop) popularized by various European groups and artists, 80’s soft rock popularized by bands such as Foreigner and The Police, 80’s hard rock/heavy metal (sometimes referred to as glam metal) popularized by bands such as Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC, or 80’s pop music popularized by artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson.

The Analysis:

Billy Jean [Micheal Jackson]—-One of the numerous tracks from Thriller that made a statement and produced a decade of popularity for Jackson that perhaps did him more harm than good. This track was an instant hit and was only rivaled by other songs from the Thriller release..this is a defining song and sound of the 80’s decade.

PopMusik [M]—-Not officially an 80’s song, I believe this was really popular in late ’78 or ’79…but helped to spell the trend that was about to occur in the coming new decade…along with numan, M proved that there was more to life than soft ballads and guitars..adding huge synth sounds that at the time seemed futuristic and incredible fun. this is and always will be a true classic…the beginning of the Korg age!!!

Escape [The Pina Colada Song] [Rupert Holmes]—-Another of those songs that is not officially an 80’s track, this is a soft rock supersmash that was all over the newly emerging FM radio in the late 70’s. The sentiment is nice…the tale of two people cheating through personal adds and surprisingly answer each others ads!!! Sounds like the computer age to me…this is nice, has huge memories but also marked the end of the soft ballad era in the US.

Video Killed The Radio Star [The Buggles]—-A fulfilling prophecy, this is the first video ever played on the brand new MTV and spelled the future out far more accurately than anyone could have imagined. This comes from a remarkable release, it’s too bad the US audience never grabbed a hold of this futuristic band that featured future members of Yes and a past member of Genesis!

Call Me [Blondie]—-Coming out of the Post-Punk scene with a New Wave mentality, Debbie Harry & Co. scored a pretty big career in the late 70’s to mid 80’s. Still recording and touring today, and sounding better than ever. This is a classic Blondie track..with just enough guitars to retain its credibility and enough synth sounds to make a lasting impression, this is a classic track!

What I Like About You [The Romantics]—-To be honest with you, I can’t stand this Detroit based band. although they still tour to this day on nostalgia style tours, this still gets on my nerves and is as it always was…crap!

Hit Me With Your Best Shot [Pat Benatar]—-Classical trained vocalist Benatar emerged in the 80’s to give some rock credulity among the heavily synthesizer bands of the decade. Showing her range and attitude, the guitars are aggressive and have that classic 80’s sound all over them. Although this was not the best of her output, this is a great example of why she rode the charts so high in the 80’s decade.

Celebration [Kool & the Gang]—-Blasting forth with this single, Kool & The Gang reminded us that disco was not dead, R n B had a place in the 80’s and that there was lots of room for great fun dance floor tracks. This is a huge track…the fun feeling you get from this track is remarkable…even more remarkable is the fact that this is as popular now as it was upon its release.

Keep On Loving You [REO Speedwagon]—-After kicking around on the club circuit for years, REO hit it huge with the release of Hi-Infidelity. This release still plays really well today, as does this single from that album. Cronin delivers a vocal that is heartfelt and real…the band has some nice blistering moments and the video still looks great….all in all, this is a great piece of musical history!

Bette Davis Eyes [Kim Carnes]—-Featuring a vocal from one of the smokiest singers of the decade, Carnes has always delivered those kind of vocals that allows me to lose myself in. this was a great single and rode high on the charts for months. the video was pretty great as well. The gravelly tone of her voice makes you think of Davis…and the hair was pretty magnificent. I love this..just enough synth to appeal to me…but a bass beat that also allows you to dance as well…magnificent!

Jesse’s Girl [Rick Springfield]—-Never one of those songs that really resonated with me, this sounds nice after not hearing it for so long. Springfield rode the 80’s wave pretty high for quite sometime and then fell out of favor…none the less, the soap opera circuit gave him an alternative career. and the ladies still swoon after him…ummmm…whatever.

You Make My Dream [Hall & Oates]—-Hall & Oates are one of those guilty pleasures of mine…I never get tired of listening to that nice blend of Philly soul mired with synth sounds and good old Rock n’ roll. Hall delivers a classic vocal..it soars when necessary and delivers emotion when it is called for as well. This is a favorite and still pleases me today.

The Stroke [Billy Squier]—-Overtly sexual and containing enough guitars to immerse itself across all lines of the music listening public, this song finds Squier delivering enough innuendo laden lines to score a porn flick…although he rode the wave for a while, most of the further output from Billy can now be found in the bargain bin…none the less, this still plays really well.

Queen Of Hearts [Juice Newton]—-This is another of those tracks that rides the fine line between the late 70’s and very early 80’s. Newton delivers a great vocal on this single…just enough of a country sound to make a huge splash in Nashville and enough of an accessibility to allow herself good airplay on top 40 radio, this was short-lived as she quickly disappeared…where is she now?

Lunatic Fringe [Red Rider]—-Delivering as much atmosphere and as great a sound as 80’s Pink Floyd, I’m still amazed that this band was not HUGE. With a nice keyboard laden sound but enough guitars to maintain credibility, this song is so damn addictive!!! I love this!!!

Centerfold [J. Geils Band]—-This song and video took this obscure bar band with a loyal following and shoved then into the spotlight whether they wanted to be there or not. This is a much more accessible sound than the band normally produced…this is a much more blues based band in its original sound. This track is fun, but was played so much that I almost hate it to this day.

867-5309 [Jenny] [Tommy TuTone]—-A huge hit for TuTone, you can not deny the instant addictive qualities of the song. I just with that the general public would have paid more attention to the rest of this release…this is damn good record. This produced many midnight callers…prompting hundreds of people to have to change their phone numbers. this is a novelty hit…but only if you ignore the record that this release came from.

We Got The Beat [The Go-Go’s]—-Backed with a great pogo New Wave sound, a great video and the novelty of being an all girl band, The Go-Go’s inspired and made possible many bands careers. This was only one of many hits for the quintet. the energy is still damn infectious, the vocal for Carlisle still one of her best and Weidlin delivers a guitar sound that belonged to the band alone.

Don’t You Want Me [The Human League]—-Coming from Sheffield like a tornado, Oakey and company delivered a synth hit that really set the standard for the early to mid 80’s. the vocal was cold and removed…the synth base remarkably accessible and the video helped to propel this to #1 all over the world…this is a classic piece of history that still gets good club play.

Only The Lonely [The Motels]—-Martha Davis has one of the best voices to ever emerge in the 80’s. The band delivered a nice mix of very real instrumentation, a slight soul feel and just a bit of synth sound. This sound insured them chart success for three releases before they feel from sight. This was one of my favorite bands form the 80’s…simply becuase they were really a band…and their sound was genuine as hell.

Abracadabra [Steve Miller Band]—-Who would have expected Steve Miller and Co. to produce such a huge hit smack dab in the middle of the 80’s synth movement…but indeed he did. This is an infectious song…really not sounding like the classic rock that carried and still carries Miller to this day. This really reminds me of Greg Kihn!!

Eye Of The Tiger [Survivor]—-Ugh….another of those 80’s songs that had little substance and a futile sound…I could do with never hearing this song again and be very happy!!!

Words [Missing Persons]—-Dale Bozzio had one of the most recognizable voices of the 80’s…generated naturally but full of squeaks and squeals like none other, this band was much more visual that artistic. I love the video for this track..I love the retro feel that it carries with it today and the energy is remarkable. Bozzio still tours under the Missing Persons moniker, but the hit making days seem far behind her.

I Ran [So Far Away]—-A Flock Of Seagulls—-another of those synth pop hits that seem to define the 80’s decade, Mike score delivers a vocal that is so disembodied and removed that it is more than sterile. This is a great atmospheric song..full of technology that most people were not even aware existed..all the while including real instrumentation…including some great drums. The melody of the song is addictive as hell…and even though I have heard it 1000’s of times…I never tire of it.

Mickey [Toni Basil]—-Long time choreographer Basil delivered a cheerleader video that conjured up lots of fantasies, as well as a synth track that is freakin; irresistible as hell. You will be hard pressed to get this song out of your brain upon hearing it…that is when it becomes annoying. At any rate, this is a defining 80’s song that still has a killer, silly as hell video.

I’m So Excited [The Pointer Sisters]—-Another song that gently reminded us that Disco was not that far gone from our peripheral vision. This is a huge dance floor romp that is still played in clubs everywhere. The melody is infectious and the chorus and energy are huge. Another one for the history books.

Rock This Town [The Stray Cats]—-UGH……..next!

Sexual Healing [Marvin Gaye]—-Is this an 80’s song??? I’m confused on that…none the less, Gaye had one of the warmest, most intriguing and sexy voices of our time. he rolled in a seductive way even when he was not trying. This is a remarkable record…onje can only wonder how Gaye would view the world and the music scene in 2010?

Africa [Toto]—-Another of those bands that is really a secret pleasure of mine, I never tire of that trademark AOR sap that they so often produce. The melody of this song is incredible…the chorus is huge and the synth is minimal….and it still managed to be a world-wide smash.

I Know There’s Something Going On [Freda]—-A top 40 smash from the former ABBA member, this song has such an emotional tone to it…all the while Freda manges to deliver a cold and removed vocal. Even the video has a cool and detached feel to it…too bad the US never heard anything more from her…although she continues to record sporadically.

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me [Culture Club]—-I won’t rehash content from past reviews of this song…I will tell you that there was a remarkable fresh and innovative sound about this band when they first hit the States. The slight Reggae flavor to the music that was produced by real instruments was exciting. The fact that you could actually dance to it made it even better. Oddity aside, the band managed some really great music!

Hungry Like The Wolf [Duran Duran]—-At the time that this single was released, this band was well on its way of becoming a worldwide phenomenon. The synth lines are incredible and delivered with a delicious sound. The vocal is remarkable…one of Simon’s best and the real instrumentation made the sound huge…how could this not be a hit? Duran are set to release a new CD at any moment!

She Blinded Me With Science [Thomas Dolby]—-Another of those songs that defined a Decade, Dolby delivered this manic song backed by a video that contained even more hilarity than the song. The sound bites are classic and the synths are very progressed for the time this was released. Still a favorite…Dolby is also due to release a new CD at any time now.

Let’s Dance [David Bowie]—-If Scary Monsters [& Super Creeps] served to remind us that Bowie was still here and relevant, Let’s Dance gave him a pole vault to leap over our heads and do somersaults. This single and ensuing album was perhaps the pinnacle of this decades ling hit maker. The 80’s were very good to David….and also very bad…

**** out of 5