PLAY: Prince – Pop Life
Probably one of my favorite cuts from the purple one, and probably because you don’t hear it all that often. Plus I’m a pop kid! So obviously the theme speaks to me and is reflective in this blog.
Released in ’85, this track was actually a hold over from the Purple Rain era and sessions. From what I understand, he felt the sound on this tune was going in a different direction musically than that of the material involved with Purple Rain, and I can see his point. For this track and the album Around The World In A Day do take on a funkier shape and sound.
Great guitar and bass groove which holds the piece together, with my favorite part being the harmony vocal done by Revolution members Wendy and Lisa. My least favorite being that annoying chatter break at 3 minutes in. Sorry Prince, that was a bad idea and botches up the song!
I’m so used to the sing version and don’t particularly care for any of the remixes that were ever done for this tune, I go with the standard hit version today. Enjoy!
PLAY: George Harrison – Love Comes To Everyone
Remembering the great George today.. I feature a cheat from 1979, the opening cut off his totally awesome self-titled LP George Harrison.
Next to his solo masterpiece of All Things Must Pass (1970) this self-titled album is my favorite record of his. It was actually the only other one of his my parents had on vinyl when I was growing up. Well, we did have Cloud 9 on CD and eventually Best Of Dark Horse, but that was a bit later.
The record opens with this track, “Love Comes To Everyone” and it’s the perfect offering which sets the stage for an album of great songwriting and production. It’s a positively uplifting track which features excellent vocals and guitar work from George. I have fond memories of popping this record on the turntable after gazing at the cool looking Dark Horse label, and this song just jumping out of the speakers at me :)
PLAY: Bobby Brown – On Our Own (Extended Club Mix)
The official theme song to Ghostbusters II. A brilliant film and follow up to the original, and one of which I remember seeing in the theater back in ’89.
I don’t know exactly how this one came to be, or why Ray Parker Jr. wasn’t called for a follow up cut :) I guess because Bobby Brown’s career as a solo artist was really hot at the time, the powers that be thought it would be a guaranteed hit single if he was on the soundtrack. And it was a hit, being top 10 in most markets, number 1 on the R&B charts.
Bobby even appears briefly in the film, as a doorman asking if he could get one of those proton packs for his kid brother. To which Egon (Harold Ramis) replies, “The proton pack is not a toy” :)
This is the “extended club version” as released on the 12″ single. Enjoy all.
PLAY: Pat Benatar – Shadows Of The Night
I was surprised to see Pat Benatar turn up on one of the floats aboard the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York yesterday! Coincidentally, I had this post already set up for today. A classic cut and hit from Pat Benatar from her Get Nervous album from 1982.
The 80’s Man learns something new all the time.. I had no idea this was a cover, and in fact it is. It was recorded by two different artists the year prior (Helen Schnieder and Rachel Sweet) both of who released versions that didn’t quite make the grade until Benatar gave it the kick it needed for hit status. So much so she won a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Rock Performance on it’s merit the following year.
Please share this 80’s rock classic with someone cool today, you must know someone don’t you? :)
PLAY: Dream Academy – Power To Believe (Instrumental)
In the traditional of all American Thanksgivings comes the eve with the TV airing of the Steve Martin & John Candy classic Planes, Trains, & Automobiles. ( Check your local listing 80’s kids, o fire up that DVD or stream :)
Last year I featured the closing theme, Blue Room’s “Everytime You Go Away”.. but this time I want to take it a step back.. “Power To Believe” which one could also call “Dell’s Theme”, is the moment when Neil (Martin) is alone and riding on the train back and he’s thinking about this madcap journey he just had with Dell (Candy) and he comes to a shocking realization. The hauntingly poignant music used in this retrospective sequence was a brilliant synthesizer piece from the Dream Academy.
There’s actually a full length vocal recording of this song available, but I have to say I don’t care for it at all. Maybe my opinion is because this moment is so connected with that instrumental piece, the lyrics are completely in the way, and annoying. Therefore I play it for you as I appreciate it, the instrumental. Especially since I haven’t featured an instrumental here on the blog in awhile.
The 80’s Man wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it.
PLAY: Fleetwood Mac – Gypsy (Extended Version)
The second hit single off Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage album from 1982.
Your typical Stevie Nicks composition with mystical elements, expertly complimented by the bands instrumentation and Lindsey’s brilliant guitar work, particularly towards the end. This song remains an adult contemporary radio staple to this day.
Apparently this song pre-dates the Mirage era, as Stevie wrote it sometime in ’79 and later considered it for possible inclusion on her solo LP Bella Donna. Ultimately it be a Fleetwood Mac tune, and I’m so glad it did, as it probably would have had a completely different feel had it been done with session musicians.
According to the excellent and must read book VJ: The Unplugged Adventures Of MTV’s First Wave, the video for “Gypsy” is original VJ Nina Blackwood’s favorite!
Everyone who reads this post please share it with 5 other people, I’d love you for it!
PLAY: Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me
A classic hit from Mr. Billy Joel from his 1980 album Glass Houses. While my parents had Bill’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 double LP, which I know I played to death as a kid and this song was on that.. I also bought the 45 from my DJ neighbor across the street at one of his yard sales. Mint condition with picture sleeve, 25 cents, great deal! “Through The Long Night” on the B-Side, a delightful mellow track as well :)
This is Billy’s o mage to the music scene of the time. While the styles and sounds were changing in various ways, to him the attitude and heart of it all was still very “rock and roll”. I gotta give props to the real drive behind this track, the drumming by Liberty DeVitto. Great deep sound on those drums! And a solid shout out to Richie Cannata for the saxophone solo. Man we need saxophone solos back don’t we!!
This beloved #1 record will forever be a classic in this artists impressive catalog of material. Please share it with a friend today.