Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It Wasn't A Girl...It Was A Band...Named After A Girl

Sade. It wasn't the name of the singer, it was a band....that was named after the singer. Helen Folasade Adu, professionally known as Sade Adu or simply Sade. She insisted that it was the name of the band but lets be honest, she was the whole reason anyone was listening. She had a brief career as a fashion designer and model (and rightly so) but as a singer she was in a league above most. Silky voiced and exotically beautiful, she jazzed her way up the charts with the first album, Diamond Life, which reached the top 5 in the US and sold over 6 million copies world wide. 2 hit singles and stylish videos helped with that success.....and of course, there was Sade, herself. She looked great and sounded amazing back in the 80's but seen during her most recent tour in 2011, she still looks and sounds amazing, like few days have gone by.

My favorite track from the first album was Your Love Is King....please enjoy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bothering People On The Train...And A Good Tune.

Something About You by Level 42

A top 10 hit in the US & the UK. Its one of those well crafted songs that delivers on all fronts.

Formed in 1979, the band had spent the early 80's establishing itself as a phenomenal live band. The release of the 1985 album Running In The Family brought the band its first success. They continued through out the late 80's and have survived into the present (with a 7 year break in the middle), still playing live across Europe to big crowds.

But the video for the song.....everyone in the band seems to be dating the same girl and they all treat her like crap...but have no fear, there's a creepy clown-type carnival barker guy following them around and laughing at all of them. When he's not doing that, he's bothering riders on the train...including the band members. In the end, the song is all that matters.

So please enjoy Something About You

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Songs That Need Our Love....Part 20

Bed Of Lies by Cruzados

Released in 1987 this was a great song that had a great beat and blues feel to it (all things I like). The band was from Los Angeles and they sounded great. This would be from their second and final album. The metal scene was in full form and there was few bands that made it out of that era. But this song was and is great. It deserves our love.

Please enjoy a (slightly) live version of Bed Of Lies

Sunday, May 22, 2016

You Will Like This Song...Uh uh uh, uh uh uh uh uh

The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em) by Greg Kihn Band

Released in 1981, this is one of those great rock songs. Its instantly recognizable and its fun. Greg Kihn is one of those 2-time one-hit wonders and he loves that moniker. He still plays concerts all over the US and he always plays this song, 'cause it rocks.

Enjoy it 'cause its awesome.....and I said so.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

When Is A Michael Jackson Song Not A Michael Jackson Song?

....When its a Rockwell song....featuring Michael Jackson. It must be nice when you're a young musician wanting to get into the music business and your childhood friend is Michael Jackson and your Dad is the owner of Motown Records.

Rockwell, actually Kennedy Gordy, released this gem of a song in early 1984 and it topped out at #2 on the Billboard charts. With the hottest singer on the planet at the time as your backup singer, its hard to imagine why it reached that high but truthfully, the song is great. Ok.....you can stop laughing at the lyrics 'cause they're not Jackson quality but the song has a great hook and a great beat (and you can dance to it) but lets be honest, its Michael Jackson that really makes this song.

The video is full of great horror movie references...but no Michael. No matter. Its still enjoyable.

So go watch it...before someone watches you (see what I did there?)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Albums of 1986....Part 5

Raised On Radio by Journey

The bands 9th album, it followed the widely successful Frontiers album from 1983. After singer Steve Perry had released a solo album, Street Talk, which had spawned two top 20 hits, Perry had considered leaving the band but came back at the request of keyboardist, Jonathan Cain. Perry produced the album and it racked up 4 top 20 hits and reached #4 on the album charts. The band faced some uphill battles with the recording as the bass player and drummer were fired over creative differences and studio musicians were hired to complete the album.

Even with that kind of drama, the songs are top-notch. The first single was The Girl Can't Help It. The video is great because it shows the band in concert and highlights how great they are live. Steve Perry's vocal mastery is on full display here....he really is amazing. And yes, the bass player is Randy Jackson from American Idol.....he sounds pitchy, dog.

Please enjoy The Girl Can't Help It.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Which Came First, The Song Or The Film?

The Final Countdown by Europe

Hair Metal had arrived by 1986 in a major way....and here's the proof.

Released in February of 1986, the song reached #1 in 25 countries and reached #8 in the US. The band, from Sweden, were working on their 3rd album when the lead singer pulled out a demo he had worked on based around a keyboard riff. The band was reluctant to record the song (and have since acknowledged their mistake) but it turned out to be the bands biggest hit. And what a hit it was. Its 30 years later and the song was recently used in a commercial and the band rocks out in the commercial.

Take a look at the video....wow!! We rocked out to this and grew our hair long and dressed like this!!! But the girls in the front row made us want to go see these shows....we were in our late teens, don't judge.

Of course, the song has nothing to do with the 1980 film of  the same name starring Martin Sheen about a time traveling nuclear aircraft carrier. But wouldn't it have been cool if this had been the theme song for that film? Ok....maybe not.

Please enjoy The Final Countdown...hairspray, tight leather pants and metal chicks not included.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Songs That Need Our Love ....Part 19

Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) by Icicle Works

This is one of those songs that, for the life of me, I can't figure out why everyone doesn't love. Its great from top to bottom.

Released in 1984, the song was a US top 40 and the video was a staple on MTV. The band was from Liverpool, England so they had a lot to live up to musically.

Please Enjoy....

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Teenage Angst And A Nice Tune

How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths.

Probably one of the biggest bands of the early 80's, The Smiths were formed in Manchester, England in 1982. Their debut album (titled The Smiths.....how original) was released in 1984. They released a new album every year after that until 1987 when the band broke up over creative differences (in the years since, we've all realized the breakup was really because Morrisey was weird). That's 4 studio albums in 4 years. 3 of those albums reached #2 on the UK album charts and the 4th reached #1. So it makes little sense why there has been 10 different "greatest hits" collections.

Their songs had a darkness and complexity to them that spoke of the angst of teenagers. While no generation of teenagers is immune to this angst, few generations had a band like this as a soundtrack to their version of angst....and for that, its their loss.

How Soon Is Now? was a single from the Meat Is Murder sessions but did not appear on that album. But if you had a radio in 1985 you probably heard this song......a lot. The lyrics speak of the sadness of being unloved....or at least thinking you're unloved. Morrisey is bringing the whole room down but he's reminding us that its part of growing up. "I am human and I need to be loved / just like everybody else does"......deep. Add in the rising and falling wave of the guitar and you can feel like you're lost on an ocean of despair. But lets let the song remind us of the times that make us stronger for living through them.

So enjoy How Soon Is Now? and enjoy the better place your life is in.