Sunday, December 28, 2014

Uummmmmm....Just Wow.

Poor Eddy Murphy....

I know he thought he was starting a singing career, and having seen him on Saturday Night Live, we all knew he COULD sing. But for some odd reason he thought he could start a proper singing career and for an even odder reason he chose to enlist the help of Rick James. While Rick had his fair share of hits back in the late 70's and early 80's, including the always awesome Super Freak, his star had started to wane by 1985.

If you watch this video or even listen to this song, you'll know that Rick was involved......and by involved I mean he wrote the song, he produced the song, he sang on the song, he played on the song, he co-stared in the video......he may have even run the camera. Its sad that Eddie thinks this is his big chance...but Rick has another idea. If this doesn't look like Rick's attempt to restart his career, then I don't know what this is....but it sure ain't good.

Please try to enjoy Eddie Murphy's (or is it Rick's) Party All The Time

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Greatest 80's Christmas Song Of All Time

Wham!.....Last Christmas.

Released December 10th, is the best 80's Christmas song ever. It captures the timelessness of that era at the same time it encapsulates a moment in time that can never be repeated. Wham! was at the top of its game. Only a year and a half later, the band would break up (a mutual decision that no one understands) and the chart dominance of George Michael would begin.

But this song was unleashed upon the world that Christmas season and reached #2 in the UK. It holds the record as the highest selling song to NOT reach #1 in the UK as the song that held the top spot that holiday season was none other than the hugely famous Do They Know Its Christmas? by Band Aid.

To this day this song consistently charts during the month of December in England, reaching as high as #26 back in 2011.

The video captures another moment in time....and that would be the big hair era of the 80's. The hairspray budget on this video must have been astronomical. But what's up with George's ex-girlfriend in the video giving Andrew Ridgeley the broach pin that George gave her just the Christmas before?? That seems kinda cold, don'tcha think?

The video was shot in the small village of Saas-Fee, Switzerland. And if you look that village up, you may come across a blog post written by someone that lives there and is very upset that they don't properly show the correct layout of the village (he would go crazy if he lived in Los Angeles and saw how messed up TV and Movies portray that city).

In the mean time, please enjoy Last Christmas by Wham! (<-------mobile user click here to see video)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Songs That Need Our Love....Part 8


Yep....another 2 Tone band.

SKA was one of those styles of music that was just perfect for dancing and partying. Plus the clothing styles were ultra cool. Add to that the fact that most of the SKA bands could write some great songs and you have a winner. Madness were the English SKA Kings. They looked like a group of guys you'd want to have a few pints with and they were funny. Their videos were some of the more entertaining ones on MTV.

House Of Fun was one of those videos. They look like they're having fun the whole way through the video.....just imagine the hours of running around England being silly. They were obviously big fans of Monty Python (so was I and most of my friends) so they HAD to be cool. The subject matter of the song was mostly unknown to me for most of the 80's but I've since been enlightened. "Box of balloons with a feather light touch / Pack of party poppers that pop in the night". Were talking about condoms here people. The song tells the story of a young man trying to buy his first pack of condoms at the local chemist but since he's using slang to describe what he intends to buy, the chemist sends him to a joke shop called "The House Of Fun".

The song was Madness's only # 1 song in the UK. And while the song was never released as a single in the US, the video was shown on MTV enough that the band became a fan favorite among the SKA movement.

Please enjoy House Of Fun by Madness. Party hats NOT included.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Songs That Need Our Love....Part 7

The Specials

The band was formed in Coventry, England in 1977 as part of the SKA movement and were sometimes called a 2 Tone band in that they combined SKA and punk, were a band that combined white and black members and (usually) wore black and white outfits (all 3 things would be considered 2 Tones...get it?). They were part of the mod scene and helped to introduce that style to American kids (along with Madness).

A Message To You, Rudy was a cover song but the band used it as a tribute to some of its (watch the video and see a few of them). I love the fact that this song has a steady, bouncy beat that makes beer drinking fun. The band has broken up and reformed so many times its hard to know where one version begins and another ends but they still play and get the fans dancing and drinking, so that's fun.

Now to cover any controversy......this song might be just outside the realm of the 80's in that the song was released in 1979...but lets all agree that this was much of what became the 80's/new wave sound that dominated all of our lives (trust me, we'll be coming back to plenty of songs from this grey area and I'm fine with this being considered 80's).

Please enjoy A Message To You, Rudy by The Specials

Friday, November 14, 2014

Albums of 1984 You Should Own...Part 2

Purple Rain by Prince

The soundtrack to the film of the same name was Prince's 6th album and he was on fire with this one. The film (which I will cover in a later post) was great but the music was stellar!! This album is listed as the #2 album of the 1980's and it earns that title. Let's Go Crazy, When Doves Cry, and the title track Purple Rain, all charted really high with two #1's and a #2 among them. The album charted #1 in the US and has sold over 13 million copies. Not bad for a little guy with more talent in his little finger than most have in their whole body.

But look at the other tracks....Take Me With You, The Beautiful Ones, I Would Die For U, the live track Baby I'm A Star, and my personal favorite, Computer Blue. That song has one of the best solos on record that I can recall. It makes that song soar like you wouldn't believe.

Take a few minutes and enjoy Computer Blue....'cause its awesome!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Albums of 1984 You Should Own...Part 1

Some Great Reward by Depeche Mode

It was only their 4th album but they were light years ahead of where they started. All 9 songs on this album can be considered classics.

Master And Servant, which explores alternative relationships and a bit of bondage.

People Are People, which conveys the message of tolerance and understanding.

The strangely hypnotic Somebody. Sung by songwriter Martin Gore (apparently he sang it while completely nude...let that image stick with you when you listen to it from now on), it was THE song that summer for all teenage romances.

Blasphemous Rumors was one of those songs that teenagers love to unnerve their parents with, with its images of death and suicide. But that just scratches the surfaces on this masterpiece of an album.

If You Want has a great groove and is really atmospheric.

Stories Of Old has a really catchy synth riff.

It Doesn't Matter addresses the uncertainty of modern relationships.

Something To Do has one of those great dance beats that you can't fight no matter what you do.

But my personal favorite is Lie To Me. From this song we get the album title and its the polar opposite of the ballad, Somebody, in that instead of a heartfelt kind of love, the song cries out for those fleeting, momentary promises made for convenience.

There you go. If you don't own this album already then go get it as soon as possible.

But until then, please enjoy Lie To Me.....then go get the album.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

It Is, Indeed, A Mad World.

Tears For Fears

These two guys made some incredible music in the 80's. Their hair......maybe not so incredible, but lets talk about them and their early attempts at music videos.

Curt Smith (on the left) and Roland Orzabal (on the right) formed Tears For Fears in 1981 and by the spring of 1983, they held the #1 spot in the UK album chart with their first release, The Hurting. Pretty impressive.

Well, if Roland's dancing was part of the equation, they may have never gotten a record contract. I know, there was plenty of strange dancing in the 80's but this may take the cake....and stomp all over it with his dance moves. His dancing in the video for Mad World is........unusual? I'm not sure if he's trying to signal for a stolen base or if he's directing planes out at the airport. I can assure you, this is not a dance step that EVER caught on in the 80's.

But lets not just shine a light on the bad dancing, lets also take a moment and look at one of those moments in a video that makes you say WTF!!!!!?? Watch the video for Pale Shelter (one of my all-time favorites) and watch very late in the video as a paper airplane takes out Roland....perhaps the paper airplane saw him dance and just had to take action.

Mad World

Pale Shelter

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Best John Hughes Film You've Never Seen.

Some Kind Of Wonderful

This 1987 film starred Eric Stoltz, Lea Thompson and Mary Stuart Masterson. Its one of those films that somehow slipped through the cracks....well, not mine, but a lot of people never saw this film (which is a shame) but in this day of instant, no-wait, see-it-when-ya-want-to entertainment world, you can see this film.....right after I tell you how great it is.

This film has a few of the typical John Hughes characters: Hardy Jenns (played by Craig Sheffer)

He just looks like the school jerk....and he was. He's dating Amanda Jones (cue Rolling Stones song she was named after) (played by Lea Thompson) but they just broke up and to make Hardy jealous, she agrees to go out on a date with Keith (played by Eric Stoltz). Keith is not a cool guy and not in Amanda's league, which his tomboy best friend, Watts (played by Mary Stuart Masterson) tells him more than a few times.....but (spoiler alert) Watts really is in love with Keith.

Along the way, Keith befriends the tough-guy punk, Duncan (played by Elias Koteas)

Its Duncan that steals this film for me. He reminds me of someone I knew that befriended me back in school but once again, I digress. This is the character that shows you that you really can't judge a book by its cover. Trust me, you'll love this guy by the end of the film.

Now, you can't have a John Hughes film without great music and this one has fantastic music. The best song in this film is the background of the most pivotal scene of the film.....the first kiss. The song plays through out the whole scene but it really drives the turning point of the scene and the movie when you realize the relationship between Keith and Watts is much more complicated than we all suspected.

Watch and enjoy the great song and the little piece of the film to spark you interest in this unsung great film.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

These guys ruled MTV?????

Duran Duran!!!!

Most people credit this band for making MTV a thing to watch. The band understood the marketing theory of making a great video to help sell a good song to a willing public......well, this video in no way proves that theory.

It really does, but I think the whole video suffers from a touch of what I like to call....Overacting!! Simon Le Bon, who, I will admit, only has to sing along with the song while looking like the teen heartthrob that he was, totally misses the mark here. He must have thought that their whole career is resting on this one video, 'cause man, is he acting his ass right off the screen while he poorly lip syncs to his own song.

Take a moment and watch this lowlight in their stellar video career. And ask, What We're We Thinking??

Here's Careless Memories.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Songs That Need Our Love...part 6

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know what you're thinking. Pass The Dutchie....well, you'd be WRONG. Have patience, my young Padawans.

Musical Youth were exactly what their name implies...young musicians. They were made up of two sets of brothers, the Grant brothers and the Waite brothers. The lead singer isn't related to anyone else in the band but again, I digress....Most people mistakenly think they're from Jamaica. They're actually from England. They released only 2 albums and they really only had that one big hit...but their other song that was released off their first album was a personal favorite. Watch closely and see what happens when you try to steal a kiss from a Jamaican girl if you're a bass player.

Please enjoy Never Gonna Give You Up by Musical Youth.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Songs That Need Our Love.....part 5

John Waite......

Now here's a guy that understood what kind of fun you could have with music videos. He often added little in jokes during the videos for his fans to look for. In this video he has a moment that carried over to his next hit, Missing You, where he walks by a crowd of people looking up (go look for it on youtube after you watch this song)....this is one of those great songs that just rocks from the get-go.

But just to give you some background....

John Waite first hit it big with the band The Babys....I'll be honest here and tell you I couldn't tell you anything about The Babys other than John Waite was their lead singer and Jonathan Cain (who later played keyboards for Journey...Yeah, that guy) played keyboards. But it was as a solo artist that John found a bit of success. After a few albums he would join a supergroup (which I will post about at a later date). But lets get back to this gem that needs our love..

Please enjoy Change by John Waite.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

He Looks To Have A Promising Career.

Every so often I will sit down and watch old music videos from the 80's (its called research, people) and I'll often come across something that makes me laugh, makes me say What The Hell??? or even say Wow, How'd I miss that before? This video falls into all 3 categories.

This is a video by the band Scandal. Patty Smyth was the singer and they had a few hits, including Goodbye To You and The Warrior. But this is from before fact legend says that it was from this demo video that the band got signed to a recording contract. Very impressive. The song, Love's Got A Line On You, is significantly different from the released album version with this version not having the rockin' groove of the later version but the part that stands out from the video is the rhythm guitarist....ITS JON BON JOVI!!!!!!

Look for the future multi-million selling artist playing guitar in a silly looking purple shirt and ask the question....What We're We Thinking???

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Songs That Need Our Love...part 4


Ok...I bet you're wondering who these guys are. Well, you wouldn't be the first.

Camouflage is a band from Germany and I'm about to introduce you to the only song they ever charted. And it did very well back in 1987 when it topped the US dance charts for 3 weeks. After that accomplishment.....nothing. Ok, that's not entirely true. They have continued to record, creating 8 studio albums....but no hits, other than this one.

I can tell you that I've purchased 3 copies of their debut album. 2 versions on vinyl and 1 on cd. The first copy was not returned to me be an ex-girlfriend (Shannon...if you're out there...can I have my records back?). But I think this song is worth every dime I've spent on tracking it down.

Take a look at the video and tell me that "Propaganda Man" isn't really Jools Holland.

BTW....the girl in the picture above is Paula Yates. She was once married to Bob Geldof and was Michael Hutchence's girlfriend when he died. But I digress.....

Please enjoy The Great Commandment by Camouflage.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Songs That Need Our Love...part 3

Pat Benatar!!!

You want vocal power? You want commanding stage presence? You want skin tight leather pants?

On August 1st, 1981 just a few minutes after midnight Eastern time, MTV went on the air. The first video to air for those of us who actually got to see the start of the worlds first all music television channel....Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles. I see what they thought they were doing with that selection but they improved their cool ratio 3-1/2 minutes later when they put on Pat Benatar's rendition of an old Rascals song called You Better Run........and indeed you should. She looked amazing. She looked like a rock star, she acted like a rock star and she sang with the power of a woman that was in charge....and she wore those leather pants so tight, it made you forget your own name for a minute. The video, while not first to be aired, can claim several firsts of its own. First guitarist, first solo artist, first female artist and first super hot pair of leather pants (I wonder why I like this video?).

Take a moment and watch how the world really changed that hot August night.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Now you see you don't...

Spandau Ballet.......

Let those two words sink in for a moment.......

Ok, you've either gone to get a Q-tip to clean the thought out of your brain or you're thinking..."hey, they were a good band". Well, if you're in the second group and love the band, (or in the first group and want something to laugh at) hang on to your double breasted suits, 'cause I've got some fun for you.

But first, a bit of history:

Spandau Ballet were formed in England in the late 70's and is considered to be the biggest band of the New Romantic era.....well, except for that other band called Duran Duran. But we're here to talk about Spandau Ballet.........hmmmmm......well......there's this song and it made them really popular....or really reviled depending on how you feel about the song (I love the song). But while watching the video I couldn't help but notice something that was missing....and then showed up....and then went missing again. Now its all I can see when I watch the video.

And now I'll share the magic with you.......

When you watch the video....and you will....keep your eye on the microphone cord....or occasional lack there of. It will be all you can focus on. And while I realize that not only is there no cord in the guitar or in the electronic drums...all I can focus on is the microphone cord. And now you will too!

Please enjoy True by Spandau Ballet

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vince Clarke might just be a Genius

Not many musicians can claim to be part of a huge band. Vince Clarke can claim to be part of 3 huge bands. He was a founding member of Depeche Mode when he and Andy Fletcher were old school mates in Basildon, England. That's Vince there below on the right.

After recording only one album with Depeche Mode, Vince decided to quit the band. To this day, no one really knows why he left but the music of Depeche Mode did turn a bit darker after his departure.
Here's the video for the Vince Clarke penned Just Can't Get Enough:

After leaving Depeche Mode, Vince teamed up with Alison Moyet and formed Yazoo (or as they were called in the US, Yaz)

I do have to ask....What Was Up With Vince's Hair??? Yazoo was one of those great bands that had killer, catchy songs and a great lead vocalist. Here's The video for Don't Go:

Yazoo split up after only 2 albums with Alison going on to a successful solo career. Next up for Vince was a few singles with a smaller band called The Assembly but in 1985 he teamed up with vocalist Andy Bell after putting an ad in a music magazine looking for a singer. The band Erasure was formed and Vince finally seemed to find his musical partner at last.

Erasure has released 16 albums in the last 3 decades, including in the late 80's/early 90's having four #1 UK albums in a row. But one of my favorites is their first album, Wonderland, which contained this great song, Oh L'amour:

Not a bad career for a guy from Basildon who seems to be a good judge of talent.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


They were fun, they were cute, they were a bit tomboy-ish...and they made some good pop music. Cruel Summer, Really Saying Something and I Heard A Rumor all helped to earn them a Guinness Book of World Record as the all-female group with the most chart entries. Not bad for 3 lasses from England.

In 1986 they recorded a cover of a song by Shocking Blue that was a #1 hit back in 1970 called Venus. The song went to #1 for Bananarama as well, proving that a great song is always a great song.

The video for the song featured a more mature and stylistic look for the fact it can be said that the girls looked like supermodels ......but you won't hear me complain....well at least not about their looks. But I will take issue with the song being used by the Gillette company to sell women's razors. I admit, I approve of well manicured lady parts but What Were They Thinking????

I know it can't be undone but lets all enjoy the video to take away a bit of the razor burn (see what I did there?)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

.....Songs That Need Our Love. Part 2

What can you say about the band Divinyls?

They were an Australian band with a crazy female lead singer, Chrissy Amphlett, who often wore school girl uniforms and torn fishnets on stage. She jumped around and stalked the stage like a woman possessed, looking for her next kill victim. But she could sing.

They scored a few hits, among them Pleasure & Pain and their biggest hit, I Touch Myself (which made a lot of guys stop and take notice). In later years Chrissy would take up a more fashionable onstage look and became the Queen of Australian Rock. Sadly Chrissy passed away in 2013 of breast cancer. The Cancer Council in Australia launched a campaign in her honor in 2014, called the I Touch Myself Project, it encourages women to get breast exams and perform self checks.

But take a look at this early video, Boys In Town, and see the powerhouse in action......its ok to be a bit afraid.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What Were We Thinking...when we didn't listen to these songs more often? Part 1

I thought I would occasionally give a shout out to a few of the unsung songs of the 80's (well, someone sung them but were we listening?). Some of these will be from bands that obviously made a big impact in the 80's....but not with these songs and some will be from bands that maybe few have ever heard of. Most of these I still own on vinyl, by the way.

First up is INXS. They made it really big in the 80's with hits like Never Tear Us Apart, Devil Inside and Need You Tonight. At one point they were huge. But lets look back on their earlier days. They still had great tunes and the girls love a lead singer that looks like Michael Hutchence (I admit, I tried to grow my hair out like him to attract the didn't work). I thought this song was amazing and I must have played it about 900 times in a row on my car stereo the day I bought it.....years later I would nearly duplicate that amount of replays when I added it to my ipod....but I digress.

Please Enjoy Don't Change by INXS and RIP Michael.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

No One From Bushwood Would Wear That!!!!

Members Only!

Yeah, it was a thing. For a while in the early 80's, people actually wore a hideous jacket that claimed to be for "Members Only". Well the joke was on them. No one really wanted to be caught wearing this un-exclusive fashion misstep but there they were....wearing the ridiculous things.

For no reason that anyone can explain, these became popular. I never had one (and thank the 80's Gods for that) but for a few years, they were everywhere. A bit of research tells the tale of them being developed by a company called JR Apparel World in 1975 and brought to America by a company called Europe Craft Imports in 1980 (both deserve equal billing for this act of fashion hate perpetrated against humanity) . The jackets came in many colors and could be purchased in leather or some kind of rip-stop fabric. They had epaulettes (I guess in the unlikely event you needed to be pulled from your burning Pontiac Fiero) and they were uncool.

This guy wore one back then....

....and he wasn't cool....

Now this guy wears one....

....I think I've proved my point when I say...

What Were We Thinking?????

Monday, September 1, 2014

Billy, Billy, Billy....

I love Billy Idol. He came to us at the perfect time. He crossed the line between Punk and Pop and threw in a bit of Metal to make our hair spike up and our fists start pumping. He made some of the most iconic videos from the 80's. Who doesn't hear White Wedding and picture the nails getting driven into the coffin on the drum beats? And could Billy have looked more bad ass? The spiked hair, the post apocalyptic outfits, the sneer. Billy was just too cool to look at......but What Were We Thinking when the video for Dancing With Myself was pitched to him? I get that the subject matter of the song is a bit difficult to portray in a music video (if you don't know, its about "Self Love") but explain to me why the mutants down on the street climb up the side of the building only to have Billy blast them off with electrical shock waves? And then they climb back up....and its a dance party?? Was the video director not aware that the mutants...which I assume are fans...wouldn't want to be launched off a 30 story building in the middle of such a great song?

Take a look and see for yourself and ask the question....What Were We Thinking??

Sunday, August 31, 2014

What Were We Thinking???!!!

I Love The 1980's!!!!

Now that I've said that....let me quickly tell you that sometimes what we loved wasn't always awesome...but then again...maybe it was after all. Its my goal with this blog to point out all that was embarrassing AND awesome from the 1980's. And let me assure you...there's plenty of both. While what I say my bring up some hostility from a few select people, let me be the first to say that I hear you and in most cases, I agree with you, but I'm here to remind and enlighten you. If I bash or mock something you loved, keep in mind that I loved it too or I wouldn't be writing about it now. Everything is open game; Music, Movies, TV, Fashion, you name it, I'm going to point at it and laugh. But I'll be laughing at myself for loving it just as much as you do.
With all that behind us....lets have some fun reliving the best decade EVER!! And ask the question....What Were We Thinking???