Soundtrack Selection!!

PLAY: Eric Carmen – Hungry Eyes

eric_carmen_hungry_eyes_dirty_dancing_1987_the80smanI know I said this in a previous post, maybe the one for Swayze’s song from Dirty Dancing, I always thought it was a little odd  that for a movie that was suppose to take place in 1963, the soundtrack would variate from classic songs of the era with that of modern music, some written and recorded specifically for the film. Fortunately for all of us, this mesh of the old and the new worked!

“Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen was one of the new selections, utilized during the multi-shot collage of dance rehearsing between Patrick, Jennifer Grey, and help from Cynthia Rhodes.

For Carmen, this song was a huge success. His biggest since “All By Myself” many years earlier, and light years away from his stuff with The Raspberries. It’s a great mid-tempo cut with it’s synthesizers and saxophone work, and a great melody to the vocal verses.

We should have been treated to an official “special mix” for this one, but to my knowledge no such true recording was issued.

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Soundtrack Selection!!

PLAY: Donna Summer – On The Radio (Long Version)

donna_summer_on_the_radio_long_version_1980_foxes_the80smanHave you ever seen the movie Foxes starring Jodie Foster. The 1980 teen angst flick set in Hollywood during that era. I appreciate this film for a few reasons. One, there’s a grittiness to the piece which is fairly accurate depiction in terms of youth culture and the trials and tribulations they go through, some more dark than others. Two, Jodie’s acting as the central character of strength amongst her peers is superb (as it’s usually been over the tenure of her extraordinary career). And three, the film work.. back when we shot on film! There’s harsh lighting at times, and kind of a powdery look to the whole picture which gives the movie an interesting depth of feel. A product of a place and a time. Overall a recommended choice for my fellow 80′s kids.

The otherwise theme song used was Donna Summer’s classic “On The Radio” which was featured in a few incarnations throughout the film. It’s definitely the tail-end of the disco era, as is the film in a lot of ways, and although this song was out prior to the movie, it wasn’t until the soundtrack and Donna’s On The Radio: Greatest Hits 1 & 2 double LP was this “Long Version” available to the masses.


 [ passe' (pa-sa') adj.  french derived meaning- 1. out of date; old-fashioned  2. rather old :]

The initial title of this post was “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times”, which for those of you who don’t know was the title of a Beach Boys song from the 1966 Pet Sounds album.. It’s a title and a concept that I tend to cling to as the world and all it’s advancements continue to rapidly evolve beyond my understanding or enthusiasm. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to acknowledge the awkward feeling of being left behind. Or more so, why in the world of all the generations that came before me was I put on this planet in these times??

I’ve been called many things in my life, but on the subject such as this I prefer an old soul. There’s really no denying the fact that I’m homesick for the simplicity of the 80′s  (for the 90′s even -  pre-millennium). If I had any life experience in eras prior to that time, I’d probably long for those as well.

When you are a devote fan of all things retro, to the point where you feel a sense of sadness over most things that are current, and clearly define facts and circumstances of the past as superior… you can really find yourself at odds with the status-quot.

Take for instance the worlds reliance on technology, specifically computing technology. Now granted I’m a business man and blogger and obviously use this technology regularly to facilitate that which I wish to obtain or express, (though if you read one of my favorite Common Thread posts titled “Digital Sabaticals And Why You Need To Take One” you’d know that I’m not always plugged in to the matrix, in fact I make it a point to schedule not being connected). This aside, if I was offered the option of a world without such so-called luxuries (such as that of the 1980′s or otherwise) I would, without any hesitation, be gone!

Tell this to a Millennial and they would look at you as if you were crazy!

There can be times when you really do feel as though you’ve hit a discord. A moment when people are discussing the most current of trends or absurd of subjects and in your mind you can’t help but crumble inside with dismay; “Is this really the world that I live in, it’s so ridiculous! Doesn’t anybody else see how ridiculous some of this stuff is?” Often times they don’t. And it can be a lonely business standing in opposition of the masses. But I think it would be far greater a tragedy to pretend that you are cool with everything and go with the flow than deny one’s self, the uniqueness that truly makes them awesome. I’m speaking fairly abstractly here, but I think you get the point.

Does it make me hypocritical to express such things as I type away here? Perhaps. But one thing is certain, you wouldn’t find me typing away in the presence of physical company. Those who deserve my full attention just the same as I do.

So for those of you readers who at least feel a little bit as I do, who long for the “good old days” of past decades and sometimes feel a little out of place in the modern world, know that it’s ok and you’re not alone. I truly believe that there are others out there as like minded individuals and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being perfectly proud in being passe’ :)

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Lost Gem Alert!!

PLAY: Lindsey Buckingham – Mary Lee Jones

lindsey_buckingham_mary_lee_jones_1981_the80smanThis is a great cut off Lindsey’s first solo record Law And Order from 1981. Depending on what part of the world you are from it was either a single, or a B-side, but for me it’s always been a key album cut off that record and definitely a Lost Gem worth shedding some light on.

While Lindsey’s solo work usually tends to stray from the signature sounds of Fleetwood Mac, to me the tone on this song is kind of a hybrid. Great melody changes with harmonic vocals, and an infectious rhythm thanks to those drum rolls! While it’s easy to see why this might be considered lighter fare in comparison to some of the other things that were coming out at the time, maybe even a little dated, I still think it should have had a bit more acclaim. Cool little track indeed :)


PLAY: Janet Jackson – Escapade (Shep’s Good Time Mix)

janet_jackson_escapade_sheps_good_time_mix_1989_the80smanOne of the more popular cuts and singles off Janet’s Rhythm Nation LP back in ’89. While firmly rooted in the rugged new tones of the late 80′s (something that I often refer to as “industrial” for some reason) there’s still an upbeat pop sweetness here reminiscent of the Control days.

I’m usually pretty dismissive of most of what Shep Pettibone touches. I don’t go clubbing, I  don’t do drugs nor do I have brain damage therefore even the concept of “house” music eludes me. Somehow he magically got it right on this 12″ mix by not even going there. Not only preserving the pop element of the original cut, but by not shit smearing a loop of redundant club beats all over it. In this particular case, “good time mix” it really is.

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PLAY: Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight

phil_collins_in_the_air_tonight_1981_the80smanIt’s interesting how things remain in people’s memory as a result of pop culture. I think for a lot of people this song from Phil Collins will always have a connection to Miami Vice, even though it was just one single scene from the pilot episode featuring (then cutting-edge cinematography for television) night time panning shots of Crockett’s Ferarri.

Getting a little technical here.. I remember when I was in audio recording school, we had a discussion on Phil Collins drumming and the distinct sound he created by utilizing gated-reverb effects on his tom tom’s. Depending on the setting, the reverb creates an echo effect on the beat while the gate cuts the decay of the tone off before a certain threshold. The end result being that precise “smack” sound that we always associate with the Phil Collins drum sound, and a sound that was thereafter used (or attempted :) by many throughout the 80′s.

In ’88 there was a pathetic remix of this track issued which basically added repetitive drum beats throughout the songs. By doing this it basically diminished the impact of that epic drum part that the tune is known for by trashing the sullen build up which is crucial. Hence, I’m going with the album cut here!

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PLAY: Steve Winwood – While You See A Chance

steve_winwood_while_you_see_a_chance_1980_the80smanOne of the interesting aspects I find about songwriting when it comes down to lyrics, is that sometimes the message is all wrapped up in some kind of a riddle. You hear a song and you think to yourself, “I get it… but how did all these little fragmented bits become a song”?

“While You See A Chance” is typical melodic pop from Steve Winwood of this era. Those awesome keyboard notes that were a signature of his during this time period. Lyrically we are on an exploration of not missing out on  opportunities. Realizing the potential of these brief fleeting moments in their moment, even though the timing may not be the greatest or that you may be wounded from your past experiences.

There’s several really good lines in here that make you look inward, and then outward in a more aware state; “When some cold tomorrow finds you, when some sad old dream reminds you, how the endless road unwinds you” i.e. How everyday, whether we like it or not, we may be reminded of our pasts which isn’t always easy. “When there’s no one left to leave you, even you don’t quite believe you, that’s when nothing can deceive you” i.e. when all you’ve got is you, you can eventually find strength. “And that old gray wind is blowing and there’s nothing left worth knowing, and it’s time you should be going” i.e. you’ve been there, you’ve done that, you’ve lived-you’ve learned, now it’s time to head elsewhere. So while you see a chance.. take it! Easier said than done right.

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T’ Pau – Heart And Soul (Dance Mix) (1987)

September 20, 2014

PLAY: T’ Pau – Heart And Soul (Dance Mix) The big hit and most well known track from T’ Pau. This one had a lot of radio circulation as I recall, and honestly I’ve never really understood why. I mean it’s a decent cut, obviously so for me to feature it here, but a big-big […]

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Survivor – The Search Is Over (1984)

September 19, 2014

PLAY: Survivor – The Search Is Over So I don’t know how in the hell I missed this unfortunate news.. I seriously JUST learned that the lead singer of Survivor, Jimi Jamison died on Aug. 31st of a heart attack at the age of 63. Needless to say this is extremely disappointing, first that I […]

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Roberta Flack – Together Through The Years (Theme from “The Hogan Family”) (1986)

September 18, 2014

Soundtrack Selection!! Roberta Flack – Together Through The Years (Theme from The Hogan Family) So Valerie Harper is most recognized by her signature character of Rhoda on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and her own spin-off series Rhoda, but to us 80′s kids she was the title character and star to one of the […]

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