Soundtrack Selection!!

PLAY: Michael Sembello – Rock Until You Drop (From “The Monster Squad”)

What with it being Halloween and wanting to break out something timely, I’ve had this soundtrack selection from the 1987 movie The Monster Squad on my mind for a month now!

michael_sembello_rock_until_you_drop_1987_the80smanI used to watch this movie constantly back in the day, taped off of good old HBO. The story of a group of teens who form a club to battle the evil’s of Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy and some sort of Swamp Thing. Oh and Frankenstein is in there too (but I think he was a good guy!) It’s been easily 2o plus years since I’ve seen it last, so some of the scene recall is a little fuzzy.. but the one thing that has stayed in my mind was this great track from “Maniac” Michael Sembello that was used during a classic 80′s music video sequence where the boys are getting all prepared to go up against the face of darkness making silver bullets, and wooden stakes. You know the kind of stuff that an 80′s kid would think is cool :)

I don’t think there was ever an official soundtrack for this outside of a score, so needless to say this track is an old school dub found out there on the inter-web. It’s not high quality, but fortunately it has a completeness in time stamp thanks to someone’s clever editing.

A nice Happy Halloween treat from an otherwise cult classic!

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PLAY: Men At Work – Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive

The first cut off Men At Work’s sophomore release Cargo from ’83, and a single that was on the Top 40 that October.

men_at_work_dr_heckyll_and_mr_jive_1983_the80smanI fondly remember this track being played a lot in my home when I was growing up. Mom really liked this tune for some reason, or maybe I just liked it and bugged her to play it, either way it got plenty of spins on the living room stereo system back then.

It’s definitely a silly song, a little spooky, a little weird.. the character cross play of the inspirational Dr. Jeckle and  Mr. Hyde now being these scientific accident prone Heckyll and Jive  characters..

Interesting irony, that song I posted the other day for England Dan & John Ford Coley was from an album titled Dr. Heckyle And Mr. Jive. Weird right!

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PLAY: England Dan & John Ford Coley – Love Is The Answer

So this is an obvious cheat (1979) but it’s relevant in yet another childhood memory of your favorite 80′s Man.. and another car moment.

I was really young so I couldn’t even tell you exactly when it was, but it was probably prior to 1984… My grandparents (my father’s parents) must have been babysitting me and my father came to pick me up. I think it was night, though I’m not sure.

England-Dan-John-Ford-Coley-Love-Is-The-Answer-1979-the80smanAnyway he used to drive this great 1973 Chevy Nova hatchback (actually both my Mother and Father had two different Nova’s at this time, but I don’t remember which one it was this particular time). There was a stack of binders on the passenger seat (Dad worked for a bank at that time, so they probably had something to do with that). So I got strapped into the back seat, all by myself.

Now this was back in the day before “real” stereo systems that we’ve come to know for the hot car stereo enthusiasts (i.e. amps & subwoofers and the like). So Dad either had house speakers in the hatchback or some kind of Radio Shack jobby screwed into a plywood box (which I recall in one of the cars as well).

We’re riding along and then a song came on the radio that Dad seemed to dig enough to jack up the volume to an.. ahem, above average level :) I remember this flash of a memory very distinctly for some reason and managed to retain just a fragment of notes, or phrasing or something..

Fast forward some twenty years and this song is playing on the overhead stereo in a small record store I used to frequent in NYC. Without any shadow of a doubt, THIS was the song that was playing that day in Dad’s car!! England Dan & John Ford Coley’s “Love Is The Answer”, the last note worthy hit from this melodic duo, and it was written by Todd Rundgren.

In retrospect, it’s an obvious choice for Dad to dig.. that soft rock type of stuff, that was especially prevalent in the late 70′s and early part of the 80′s. So this song was right on the money. It’s just amazing that I managed to hold onto this little piece of nothing in my head for decades.

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PLAY: Simple Minds – Alive And Kicking (Album Mix)

simple_minds_alive_and_kicking_album_mix_1985_the80smanFor a song that cracked into the Top 5 of Billboard, it’s interesting that it’s often not well remembered, or even regarded as a Simple Minds track.

Hot on the trail of the success of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from The Breakfast Club soundtrack, another tune was pulled from this Scottish bands debut LP as a single “Alive And Kicking” which quickly rose high on the charts.

It’s a solid track. Slightly different in sound to their previous hit, this one’s melody shifts vastly and has that catchy “ba-da-da, da-da” singalong. Kind of has a U2 feel about it doesn’t it. In fact I’ll bet the average 80′s passerby would mistake this song for one of theirs!

This is the full length album mix as opposed to the single edit. If you haven’t heard this one in ages, give it a few listens and just glide on back to ’85.

PS.. Posting a song like “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” yesterday, backed with a song like “Alive And Kicking” was totally intentional :)

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PLAY: Cutting Crew – (I Just) Died In Your Arms (Extended Mix)

The signature song from Cutting Crew! A huge hit for them.

cutting_crew_I_just_died_in_your_arms_extended_version_1986_the80smanEverything about this song is just killer! From the haunting chords intro (kind of like a flute or woodwind / organ synth sound gelled into one) to the hauntingly gut wrenching lyrics of love, loss and regret perfectly complimented by these expertly produced guitar parts which are like cries out in the night.

One of those tracks I originally had on one of those mini Pocket Rocker cassettes that only played a little more than half a song! As I said in The Songs That Stay The Same Regardless I still remember exactly where the fade was and still hear it in my mind whenever the songs LP version plays :)

But here today I give you the “extended mix” from the 12″ single.

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PLAY: Kenny Loggins & Steve Perry – Don’t Fight It

kenny_loggins_steve_perry_dont_fight_it_1982_the80smanKenny Loggins would have a few pretty good duets to his credit with female singers over the years; “Whenever I Call You Friend” with Stevie Nicks, “Return To Pooh Corner” with Amy Grant, “Double Or Nothing” with Gladys Knight. But it’s this kick ass duet with the voice Steve Perry that rarely get’s the props it deserves.

It’s 1982 and Kenny is feeling pretty good about his footing as a solo artist with his High Adventure album, and Steve Perry is still riding high with Journey, so this duet between the two coming to fruition is interesting. Given the material, a bouncy up-tempo pop rocker, I think these two singers complimented each other quite nicely. With all the energy in this performance, you practically get the feeling that they are genuine good buddies having a sing along.

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PLAY: Fleetwood Mac – Seven Wonders (Extended Remix)

fleetwood_mac_seven_wonders_extended_remix_1987_the80smanOne of the great cuts and singles off the Mac’s critically acclaimed Tango In The Night album from ’87, and I must say one of the better Stevie Nicks performances on a Fleetwood Mac album from the 80′s.

For me this one is all about that synthesizer hook. It’s brilliantly perfect, mystical and alluring, and oh so 80′s awesome! Were this catchy little part missing, I doubt I would pay much attention to the song honestly, though it carries along quite well in your typical mid-tempo way.

Like all the singles off that record, this one too got the remix treatment which I present to you here from the 12″ single.

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Yello – Oh Yeah! (1985)

October 22, 2014

Soundtrack Selection!! PLAY: Yello – Oh Yeah Somehow someway this oddball new wave track became a fixture of 80′s pop culture. Released in late ’85 by the Swiss band Yello, it would clock in at #51 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 even making it to #36 on the dance chart. Used in […]

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Doobie Brothers – Real Love (1980)

October 20, 2014

PLAY: The Doobie Brothers – Real Love The Doobie Brothers were once prided long haired-blue jeans rockers known for their good ‘ol boy quality with hits like “Listen To The Music”, “Black Water”, and “Long Train Runnin” to name but only a few from their impressive early catalog. Once the man, Mr. Michael McDonald joined […]

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Madonna – Like A Prayer (Extended Remix) (1989)

October 19, 2014

PLAY: Madonna – Like A Prayer (Extended Remix) First let me superficially preface this post by saying I much prefer bleach blonde Madonna better than brunette Madonna :) The lead single and title track from Madonna’s 1989 release, “Like A Prayer” is a dramatic departure from the more bubbly pop stuff she was doing previously. […]

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