Category: Albums of 1978

Angel City “Face to Face”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#943 in the Series) is Angel City, Face to Face. When locating the epicenters of rock and roll, music fans instinctively fixate on New York, California, London, and (maybe) Manchester, England. Very few look down under to Australia. How could people overlook the home of AC/DC, Midnight Oil, The Saints, Triffids, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Hoodoo Gurus, The Church, and Birthday Party? For a nation of less that 23 million people, this is quite an impressive output of quality bands. For me, though, Angel City, also known as the Angels, ranks with any band from any place. Formed in 1974 in Adelaide, Angel City is a no frills kick you in...

Billy Joel ’52nd Street’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#931 in the Series) is Billy Joel, 52nd Street While 52nd Street is not Billy Joel’s most popular album, that honor goes to The Stranger with the mega-hits “Just the Way You Are”, “Scenes in an Italian Restaurant”, “Only the Good Die Young”, and the rest, or his most socially aware album, that would certainly be The Nylon Curtain with the brutally honest social commentary of “Allentown”, and “Goodbye Saigon”, and it was by far not the worst, clearly An Innocent Man gets that dubious honor, but it is in some circles, including mine, simply the best. In the interests of full disclosure, my view of this album may be somewhat influenced...

Nina Hagen Band ‘Nina Hagen Band’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#913 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Nina Hagen Band. There’s a great scene in Paul Rachman’s terrific documentary “American Hardcore” that discusses the differences between early punk and early hardcore.  While I don’t remember the specific verbiage, the gist of the thing is that early punks came up playing glam rock and turned to punk later in life, whereas early hardcore kids heard punk rock and picked up instruments; while they couldn’t play worth a damn, the primal energy of punk rock was a universal.  This attitude seems to be widely held, and time hasn’t been kind to “punks that could play”: the classic image of punk rock is fast,...

Tuff Darts ‘Tuff Darts!’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#898 in the Series) is Tuff Darts, Tuff Darts!  In the spring of 1979, I was a freshman in high school in a little Appalachian town in Western Maryland and a few of my older friends in the Media Department at the local community college were putting on a Saturday Night Live type show titled “Media Madness.” Just like SNL, they did live sketches interspersed with prerecorded pieces that you could see on TV monitors around the auditorium.  It was a very funny and well done show and one of the videos was by a guy I did not know and never really met but I remember his name was Dave Thomas because...

Jethro Tull ‘Heavy Horses’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “No Lullaby” by Jethro Tull By 1978, Jethro Tull had been an entity for ten years and they were at the brink of irrelevancy due to the onslaught of punk rock. One would have thought that a veteran band like Tull would have either thrown in the towel, or tried its best to keep up with the times (and they did a few years later on the album A). But ever the contrarian, Ian Anderson and company dug their collective heels in and returned to the English countryside for musical and lyrical inspiration, making a somewhat ornate British folk album that made them completely out of step with the musical climate....

Wreckless Eric ‘Wreckless Eric’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Whole Wide World” by Wreckless Eric “If it ain’t Stiff, it ain’t worth a f*ck.” “The world’s most flexible record label.” “Undertakers to the industry.” “We came. We Saw. We Left.” “In ’78 everyone born in ’45 will be 33-1/3.” “When you kill time, you murder success.” “If they’re dead, we’ll sign them.” The above non-sequitors were all slogans for one of the coolest record labels to be associated with the late 1970s punk rock movement. Stiff Records established itself by not only having a roster that included Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, The Damned, Wreckless Eric and Ian Dury, but by the hyperactive media antics they pulled off in the name...

Peter Gabriel ‘Rockpalast Live 1978’

  Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “On The Air” & “Moribund The Burgermeister” by Peter Gabriel (Live from Rockpalast, 1978) By the time of the broadcast from this 1978 Rockpalast show, Peter Gabriel was three years past his Genesis days and was out on the road promoting his second solo record, Peter Gabriel (which also goes by the names Peter Gabriel II and Scratch because of its album jacket image). I’ve already written several pieces on Peter Gabriel’s second album and its unique relationship with two other Robert Fripp productions, Sacred Songs by Daryl Hall and Fripp’s own Exposure , but a nice pro-shot concert from this era is a real find worth sharing. The video...

Blondie ‘Parallel Lines’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Picture This” by Blondie There was nothing new about punk and new wave. It came about as a reaction to the bloated excesses of progressive rock groups like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis and Yes and their seemingly obligatory side-long multi-part suites of music.  (Not that there was anything wrong with that…) Groups like Ramones and Blondie brought back the sounds of the early 1960s. They simplified things, kept their songs under three minutes and created sugary-sweet melodic gems that were bashed out on guitars and drums. But being from New York, Blondie were just as inspired by the Broadway scene, and you can feel the presence of Broadway all...

Tom Robinson Band ‘Power in the Darkness’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Long Hot Summer” by Tom Robinson Band The album was a total rallying cry…a call to arms, so to speak, where the arms were guitars and the ammunition was the lyrics. At least, that’s how Tom Robinson Band’s debut album, Power In The Darkness, struck me when I first heard it back in 1978. TRB formed in England in 1976, right at the dawn of the punk explosion. While not a true punk band, they managed to adopt the punk rock ethos and mix their political views into the mix, making a big splash in their native UK. The original lineup of the band included Tom Robinson on bass and...

Big Star ‘Third/Sister Lovers’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#800 in the Series) Big Star, Third/Sister Lovers This one goes down as one of the great enigma’s of rock music, an album by a band which had pretty much split up by the time it was recorded, which had no title and which didn’t even have a finalized track listing. For years it was, just like The Beach Boys “SMiLE”, more of a rumour, a myth, than an actual record. Thankfully it was eventually released, in an albeit limited capacity, and fans were finally able to hear what all the fuss was about. Was it worth it? Hell yeah. Big time. Big Star were founded in Memphis by  three friends who were deeply...

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