Category: 80s

Randy Hansen “Randy Hansen”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#1002 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,”...

The Waterboys “This is the Sea”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#992 in the Series) is The Waterboys, This is the Sea. Hands up all those who remember “The Big Music?” Don’t worry, you could easily be forgiven if you don’t! You’ll know the bands associated with it though. The Big Music was a description thrown about in the early 80’s (here in the UK at least) and it was applied, mostly, to a small grouping of bands who were just starting to make an impression on the music buying public and who were all deemed to be making a similar grandiose, epic, “reaching for the sky” type music. You or I would probably just have settled for the term Stadium Rock to be...

George Winston ‘December’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#989 in the Series) is George Winston, December.  There’s really not a ton more that you can say about this album that hasn’t been said previously?  It’s an all-time Hall of Fame Christmas season album, how’s that. I read a few reviews on this album while looking for information on it. They all basically said the same thing, how this album set the tone for a whole new genre, and how for years and years others would try and recreate what George Winston created in 1983.  It’s just a man and his piano and that’s it. One of the most difficult things in all of music has been to record a new...

Missing Persons “Spring Session M”

Posted 01 Oct 2018 in 80s, Albums of 1982, Albums of the 80s, Dance, Techno

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#983 in the Series) is Missing Persons,Spring Session M. (Capitol) I don’t know many bands that would 100% fill the term “Cool” better than Missing Persons.  Not only did they have the “look” but they definitely also had the “chops” to go with it. They were one of the original bands that received a huge boost by MTV. The hot look of lead singer Dale Bozzio had a ton to do with that, especially when the ex-bunny dressed in only bubble wrap. Hot looks only take you so far without musicianship however, and as good as they looked, they played even better. Dale Bozzio’s “other half” was drummer Terry Bozzio.  This man...

Tim Finn ‘Escapade’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#965 in the Series) is Tim Finn, Escapade By the time 1982 ended, the Split Enz where a hot band.  Their album Time and Tide had done quite well for them, thank you.   Neil Finn was looking forward to getting a follow up on the street. His brother Tim had other ideas. Tim wanted to get a solo release into the market.  Both things ended up happening. In later 1983, the Split Enz would release Conflicting Emotions, while Tim released, Escapade.  Both fine albums.  As it turned out, Tim did spend much of his time completing this album. This left Neil to pretty much completely compose Conflicting Emotions. I’ve always loved this Escapade. I...

10,000 Maniacs ‘The Wishing Chair’

Posted 07 Mar 2018 in 80s, Albums of 1985, Albums of the 80s, Rock + Roll

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#963 in the Series) is the 10,000 Maniacs, The Wishing Chair. I actually remember when I first purchased this album. I was looking for something different. Local radio played a few tunes off this and I loved the sound.  I distinctly remember making the trip to trusty ole’ Hegewisch Records to see if they had it. It was good news/bad news when I got to the store. It was a little more popular than I expected. The vinyl was sold out so I had to buy it on cassette. Okay, I didn’t have to but I did. Say what you want about those old cassettes, but there was actually something good about...

Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms”

Posted 19 Apr 2015 in 80s, Albums of 1985, Albums of the 80s, Rock + Roll

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#957 in the Series) is Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms. Brothers in Arms was one of the first albums that was completely digitally recorded. It was released in May of 1985. Right about this time I was itching to get my first CD player.  They had just started to get to a price level that ‘cattle’ like myself could afford one.  I knew the day was coming soon where I would have a player, so I grabbed a couple CDs that I could bring when I went player searching. I needed two discs that I liked. I needed two discs that had a sound quality so good, that when I heard them blasting...

Various Artists “Tribute to Steve Goodman”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#944 in the Series) is Tribute To Steve Goodman. 30years. It’s hard for me to believe that Steve Goodman has been gone for almost 30 years. It’s seems like yesterday that I was seeing him at Harry Hopes or Braden Auditorium in Bloomington, Illinois. Steve passed away in September of 1984.  Shortly after his passing, many of his friends gathered at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago.  They told stories, played some of his music and some of theirs as well. I was lucky enough to be there. For those who weren’t, we’re treated to this recording. One of Steve’s closest friends was John Prine. We get lots of John here!  He opens...

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...

Philip Bailey ‘Chinese Wall’

Posted 08 May 2014 in 80s, Albums of 1984, Albums of the 80s, Funk, Funk Rock

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#930 in the Series) is Philip Bailey, Chinese Wall. Chinese Wall is Earth, Wind and Fire vocalist Philip Bailey’s second solo album. It was released in 1984 and it follows Continuation from the previous year. Continuation did…. OK, but not great. It peaked at #72 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart.  Chinese Wall reached #22.  Why the difference? Well, mainly it was because of Phil Collins, but we’ll also say that it did have a bunch of good songs on it too. So what did Phil Collins have to do with the success? For one, he produced the album. Secondly, he plays drums on the entire album, but he also sang the...

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