Category: Albums of 1981

King Crimson ‘Discipline’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#936 in the Series) is King Crimson, Discipline. King Crimson is quite the unique musical act. They’ve completely reinvented themselves numerous times.  This was probably the most straight forward of those reincarnations. Contributing to the straight forward sound was the newly slimmed down line up. King Crimson was now a tight little four piece. This would be the debut of two members that would eventually be considered King Crimson mainstays. They would be Adrian Belew on guitar, lead vocals and Tony Levin on bass and Chapman stick. Bill Bruford returned on drums along with the main man, Robert Fripp on guitars and “stuff.” Discipline also received a decent amount of airplay for a band that...

Randy Hansen ‘Randy Hansen’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#908 in the series) is the self-titled debut from Randy Hansen. 1980 was a bit of a hazy year for me. Turning twenty-one will do that! Looking back, there are definitely many question marks. However, Randy Hansen’s debut that year was an exclamation point in my life for several reasons. I previously had heard of Hansen as yet another in an endless line of Jimi Hendrix impersonators. No offense, but… yawn. On a lark, I bought his debut, and continue to play it, 34 years later. Side note- you probably have already heard him- his guitar histrionics are on the Apocalypse Now soundtrack. Side one opens with the energetic “Champagne And Cocaine,”...

Silver Condors ‘Silver Condors’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#847 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Silver Condors Silver Condor is one of those bands that didn’t develop much of a following. With some of the ingredients of their first album, it is kind of amazing that it went as unnoticed as it did. First of all, the lead guitarist was Earl Slick who played on John & Yoko’s Double Fantasy album and David Bowie’s Young Americans and was on the Diamond Dogs Tour. Slick was introduced to Joe Cerisano, vocalist and principal songwriter for Silver Condor, by Ian Hunter from Mott the Hoople. To finish it off, the album was produced by Mike Flicker, who is credited with...

Elvis Costello & The Attractions ‘Good Year For The Roses’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Good Year For The Roses” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions – They were young, drunk, marketed as punk rockers and cut loose in Nashville, Tennessee, behaving very badly. Such was the backdrop for Elvis Costello and the Attraction’s album-length foray into straight-ahead Country music back in 1981. Costello was coming off a white-hot streak of records including 1977’s My Aim Is True, followed by “This Year’s Model” in 1978, Armed Forces in 1979, and both Trust and the 20-track Get Happy record in 1980, all stuffed to the gills with self-penned classic songs. Add to that the 20-track Taking Liberties album that gathered up the rest of the stray...

The Blasters “The Blasters”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#707 in the Series) is the The Blasters. How strong of a debut album this is! Some might not consider it The Blasters debut; they did have one earlier with many of the same songs,  but we’re calling it their major label debut at least. Oddly enough, this wasn’t originally a major label album. It was picked up by the Warner Brothers -distributed Slash label (BoDeans, Rank and File etc.) as word about The Blasters and their hot live shows got out. Just think….a new band playing a retro sound in the early 80’s, and they throw five hits at you!  It’s very rare to see success like that. Part Americana, part rockabilly...

Novo Combo “Novo Combo”

Posted 15 Mar 2012 in 80s, Albums of 1981, Albums of the 80s, Rock + Roll

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#654 in the series) is the self-titled debut from Novo Combo. This is yet another album of the day that you just can’t find any longer. Why more cut-outs aren’t on at least iTunes, I’ll never understand. I can see not printing any issues of some of these great nuggets, but at least toss the master up on a download site and let us buy away! “Novo Combo” was released in 1981. It was a combination power pop/new wave production. Besides some wonderful music, Novo Combo was mostly known for their drummer, former Santana member, Michael Shrieve. (Think Woodstock and Soul Survivor!) Pete Hewlett handled guitars and some vocals. He went on to do some...

Prince “Controversy”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#629 in the Series) is Prince, Controversy I have wanted to do a piece on one of these early Prince albums for a while now. In fact I started doing Dirty Mind a while ago and decided to do an about-face and present a piece on Controversy instead. We’ll get to Dirty Mind someday as I consider that also one of his best, but today it’s Controversy. Controversy was released in 1981 just a year after the previously mentioned Dirty Mind. Did have some controversial pieces in it? You could say somewhat, but there is nothing totally outrageous here in my opinion. He takes a look at social protest in three tracks,...

The Tubes “The Completion Backward Principle”

Posted 21 Jan 2012 in 80s, Albums of 1981, Albums of the 80s, Rock + Roll

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#611 in the Series) is The Tubes, The Completion Backward Principle. “As I mentioned near the close of the last record, this record you are now playing is another example of the completion backwards principle. If you can possibly manage the time, please play both sides at one meeting.” When you plopped this on your turntable in the early 80s those lines were the first sounds you heard, and I can tell you that in most cases,yes, I did manage the time to play both sides because it was just too darn hard to stop listening. The Completion Backwards Principle is one of The Tubes most popular albums. No, it  wasn’t as crazy nor...

Bobby & The Midnites “Bobby & The Midnites”

Posted 18 Jan 2012 in 80s, Albums of 1981, Albums of the 80s, Rock + Roll

Today’s Cool Album of the Day(#609 in the Series) is the self titled album by Bobby and The Midnites. Are you familiar with this one? You should be. Talk about a great grouping of musicians. Bobby is Bob Weir ( guitar, vocals) of the Grateful Dead. This was one of his many side projects. Released in 1981, the rest of the band features one of the greatest drummers that ever put wood to skin, Billy Cobham. Bass duties were held by another heavy weight, Alphonso Johnson. Bobby Cochran on guitar and vocals. Keyboards? Brent Mydland of the Dead. Even with the jazz influences, this was still a rock and roll record. Tons of great tracks, including ‘Too Many Losers,...

Joe Jackson “Jumpin’ Jive”

Posted 20 Jun 2011 in 80s, Albums of 1981, Albums of the 80s, Swing

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#410 in the Series) is Joe Jackson, Jumpin’ Jive Now THIS my dear friends is the absolute definition of a “Cool Album.”  Joe Jackson released this album of many big band, swing tunes in 1981.  It’s Cool and it’s fun.  I didn’t get a chance to see this tour, but I did see Mr. Joe play a lengthy medley of these songs on his Big World Tour in 1986.  He and they were marvelous. What Joe did here was release an album of well-known cover tunes that were originally released by the classic of era. Performers like Louis Jordan and especially Cab Calloway made careers of playing this music. I would have loved...