Key Album Cut Alert!!
PLAY: Van Halen – Feels So Good
This is one of those tracks I really have to be in the mood for.. if I’m looking for typical hard hitting Van Halen than this isn’t a go to track for me. But if I’m open to something a little more middle of the road and this comes on, I’m totally into it. This happened the other day so I had to take advantage of it for a post.
While this did show up as a single, I’ve always considered it more of a key album cut off the OU812 album from ’88, “Feels So Good” plays more on the melodic side of the Hagar era of VH.. with it’s bold and uplifting futuristic synths as the main foundation for the track.. Sammy’s more subdued vocals complimented by the the “so good” backup vocals from Ed and Michael Anthony. And once again a modest guitar solo from Edward on this cut.
Hopefully this tune makes you feel good today! And is so please share it with someone you love and help make their day just as good :)
PLAY: Wham! – I’m Your Man (US Extended Version)
This was the much anticipated Wham! single from late ’85.
After enormous pop success in ’84, closing out the year with “Last Christmas” (as well as contribution to the “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” charity single) and continuing the Make It Big tour through most of ’85, with a performance at Live Aid that summer.. demand was high for the next new Wham! material.
When “I’m Your Man” was released that November, it was a huge global chart topping success! And led us to believe the duo was to continued to be hit makers. Interestingly enough, six months after this single came out, they decided to call it quits!
While this was initially released as a one-off single, it was put out in various mixes.. one such mix (foully titled “extended stimulation”) has lewd dialogue through a pitch-changing voice over, talking about getting into a magic car and otherwise.. well, forget it.. it just stupidly ruins the song. But my favorite version would be the clean edit of this extended mix which was featured on their US only album release Music From The Edge Of Heaven which is what I have posted for you hear. It is by far the best version of this classic track.
PLAY: Bruce Hornsby & The Range – The Way It Is
The big hit and big debut album from the great Bruce Hornsby back in 1986.
This signature song is a brilliant piece of music both instrumentally and lyrically. Hornsby’s cascading piano dances straight into a combination of drum machine and actual drums, combined with some subtle synth bars that fill out the foundation of this track to create the perfect soundscape, and a most recognizable hook.
Lyrically the message is deep. Shinning a light of the unfortunate power and class struggle that existed and continues to flourish today. The chorus is a resounding internal debate, at one end of the spectrum we think “accept it, this is the way it is, and things are never going to change” but the heart and soul and the willingness to not accept such circumstances says to just brush it off with an “ah, don’t you believe them”.
If you enjoy this classic as I do, please share it with someone today.
PLAY: David Foster – Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire (instrumental)
“I can’t remember who met who first… or who fell in love with who first… all I can remember is the seven of us always together..”
St. Elmo’s Fire, 1985
PLAY: Madonna – Borderline (Immaculate Mix)
A Madonna classic!
One of the great singles off Madonna’s self-titled dance debut album back in ’83 that quickly helped her win the hearts of many fans across the globe. Particularly here in the US where the music video featuring a dancing Madonna plucked from the streets to be the subject of a photo shoot, garnered heavy rotation on MTV.
This is one of the more innocent tracks of hers from the early days. Cute pop, as I say. And this particular mix comes from the famed Immaculate Collection which features a slightly different mix from the album and original single version.
It’s funny when I hear this song I can’t help but think of this great old interview where Mark Goodman asks Madonna “So you’ve got a new record coming up that you worked with Nile Rodgers (Like A Virgin) when are we going to get to hear that?” and Madonna replies “As soon as Borderline fizzles out.. (praying) please, please!” and Goodman is like “I don’t think I’ve ever heard an artist ask that their record fizzle out”. That’s Madonna for you!
PLAY: Stevie Nicks – Stand Back
So I have mixed feelings about the solo career of the mystical Stevie Nicks. I mean it’s alright, and she had a few good duets in there, but overall I’d lean more towards the Fleetwood Mac stuff which I think is supreme.
However, I’ll give “Stand Back” a decent plug as I think it’s the most powerful hit of her solo tenure. Released off her second solo album The Wild Heart in 1983, I’m convinced this is a Mac-track not only in spirit but in execution.. tell me that’s not Lindsey Buckingham (uncredited) yelling “stand back” toward the end.. it’s probably not, but I like to think it is :)
The downside here in no extended mix! I had the 12″ vinyl of this and there was absolutely nothing special about it as it was the standard mix. Why on earth would you do this? I think it did play at 45rpm which is good for better sound, to a degree, but they could have put together a different mix for us people who dig that type of stuff.
Key Album Cut Alert!!
PLAY: Peter Cetera – How Many Times
In 1981, at a time when the band Chicago was kind of on the slide (or at least taking a brief hiatus) singer and bass player Peter Cetera would make his first attempt at chipping out a solo career with an LP release all his own.
While the resulting record gained little fanfare by comparison to the later success Peter would have as a solo artist in the 80′s and into the 90′s, it did feature some quality cuts on it that really haven’t had the exposure they deserve.
One of my favorites off this album is this track called “How Many Times”. It’s a bit of a slow rocker, and I’d even say it has an early new wave slant to it. Definitely not mainstream rock by any stretch, yet it has a quality to it that is worth exploring.
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