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.