PLAY: Foreigner – Say You Will (Extended Remix Version)
The first single released off Foreigner’s Inside Information LP from 1987 and a Top 10 hit for these boys on the charts.
I don’t normally quote other critics when it comes to musical selections, but I like what Allmusic had to say about this band in regards to this particular track by saying it’s a “good example of the band’s balancing act as the guitar-heavy style of their early work gave way to slick arrangements that pushed electronics to the fore…temper(ing) its rock guitar edge…and Lou Gramm’s quasi-operatic vocals…by thick layers of chiming synthesizers and an array of electronic textures”. Well said :)
This is the “extended remix” from the 12″ single release. Nice variation on this 80’s cut!
PLAY: John Fogerty – Centerfield
John Fogerty was experiencing a bit of a comeback in the mid 80’s as a solo artist (hence compared to the days of his extreme popularity of that with Creedence Clearwater Revival).
“Centerfield” is a novelty song to my ears, but I accept the fact that it’s a big deal to a lot of people out there. It’s even managed to make it’s way into the Baseball Hall Of Fame for crying out loud! While it does have a bit of country guitar twang in the pop rock vein, yee-ha meets old school rock ‘n’ roll (after all it is Fogerty) this track from the album of the same name has endured among that of the sporting enthusiast. “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play, today”… Is this not a favorable track of baseball fans or what! 80’s sports fans will also recall this one being featured in the Bull Durham movie starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon.
Key Album Cut Alert!!
PLAY: Wham! – Heartbeat
“Another summer, another vacation is over. It’s September now here with the sun and the smell of the clover. Down by the gate we sit and we watch all our friends go by. And pretend we don’t hear the bell that rings through the summer sky”
Oh how I loath September!!! It’s like a part of my heart dies just like all the flowers and trees around me into a cold grey bleakness that last many many months. Granted we are not there yet thankfully, but just turning the calendar page is enough to scare me into anticipated depression :(
The should have been an A-side single release (and hit I say!) from Wham’s Make It Big record from ’84, is another fine example of the superb songwriting abilities of George Michael, for this is an expertly crafted pop tune. Structured, catchy, and meaningful. Interesting use of the piano on this one, not just as the hook but also the grand piano instrumentation towards the end. Not a common application and perfectly done here.
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PLAY: Go West – One Way Street
One of the lesser known tracks off the awesome Rocky IV soundtrack. This one goes by pretty fast during a scene where Rocky is washing his car. A Lamborghini no less :)
Go West had a really cool sound if I do say so myself. I mean take this track for instance, it’s a really clean production. A blend of synths and guitars. Actually we’ve got sharp guitars hooks here, and a saxophone solo. (Gotta love the sax!) And the guys voice is just so rich, really makes the track.
How often in life have we felt we were on a “one way street moving in the wrong direction”.. great and hooky line that’s totally understandable.
Lost Gem Alert!!
PLAY: Bill LaBounty – Look Who’s Lonely Now
Another great lost gem right out of that golden era of the early 80’s a.k.a. “The Soft Rock Era” as I sometime refer to it. Much like the Jim Photoglo album, I picked this one up because I dug the guys name.. LaBounty! And for some reason was curious of it’s surprisingly dull cover :)
Bill LaBounty who’s origins were in multiple bands before embarking on a solo career, would dabble in both the soft rock and country genres. This track’ “Look Who’s Lonely Now” off his 1982 self-titled LP is a great jam! There’s a number of great tracks off this album (the most popular I think being the opening track which is called “Livin’ It Up”) but this tune is a favorite of mine off the record. Fantastic instrumentation and an overall solid, and catchy groove to an otherwise forgotten gem.
Noteworthy musical tid-bit, this guy was also the co-writer of “Hot Rod Hearts” with fellow soft rocker Robbie Dupree. Another fav of mine from this time period.
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PLAY: Squeeze – Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)
One of the most popular tracks from UK new wavers Squeeze from the start of the decade.
It’s funny, I remember the first time I acknowledged this songs existence. It was playing on some new radio station while I was on the way to a record show. I’m sure I had heard the song before, but for whatever reason this was one of the first times I heard it from beginning to end, and played it at full blast in my car! As was customary of me (even to this day) I wrote the artist and title down on a scrap of paper to try and track it down at some point (remember this was before the internet was a big deal).
Get the the record show, and there in one of the first bins I look through is Squeeze’s classic best of compilation Singles – 45 and Under. How much?? A buck! Sold!!!
PLAY: Don Henley – All She Wants To Do Is Dance (Extended Dance Remix)
A Top 10 hit and the second single released off Don Henley’s Building The Perfect Beast album from 1984.
A musical expression of the warped polarity between glamour and excess and that of real social issues, “All She Wants To Do With Dance” was probably the most commercial release from Henley at the time. Miles away from his stuff with the Eagles, which was much more rich in instrumental artistry in my opinion. But this one seems to be a fan favorite for a group of 80’s fans, despite it redundancy of a chorus.
This is the “extended dance remix” that was issued on the 12″ maxi single release.