Category: Albums of the 80s

Was (Not Was) “Born to Laugh at Tornadoes”

Posted 17 Jan 2012 in 80s, Albums of 1983, Albums of the 80s, Funk, Funk Rock

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#608 in the Series) is Was (Not Was), Born to Laugh at Tornadoes.  You can look for years and years and all kinds of music and you’d be hard-pressed to find a band and a sound more interesting than that of Was (Not Was.) They brought a combination of so many different things that their uniqueness may never be topped. What makes these guys interesting and unique? Well, how about the fact that they’re a hard-funk band led by two white Jewish guys from Detroit. There’s a great start. The unbelievably high level of talent of the two bandleaders Don Was and David Was was just fantastic. Don Was has gone well...

Suzanne Vega “Solitude Standing”

Today’s Cool Album of The Day (#606 in the Series) is Suzanne Vega, Solitude Standing. Solitude Standing was singer – songwriter Suzanne Vega’s second release.  It contained the hit song, “Luka.” I always thought that it was a song about spousal abuse. As I did my research on the album, I actually found out that it’s about child abuse. These are Suzanne’s own words… “          A few years ago, I used to see this group of children playing in front of my building, and there      was one of them, whose name was Luka, who seemed a little bit distinctive from the other children. I always remembered his name, and I always remembered his face, and I didn’t know much...

John Fogerty “Centerfield”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#594 in the Series) is John Fogerty, Centerfield This is another one of those albums that may not be looked upon the same way as it did when it was released. I think the overplaying of the title cut may have caused a little “album fatigue” that changes the overall perspective of this album. I’m writing this looking back to what I felt and what it felt like listening to this album back in 1985. In 2012 you might not realize how much of a big deal this album was, but this was a big deal! You have to go back and look at the whole history of John Fogerty and remember...

Michael Penn “March”

Posted 27 Dec 2011 in 80s, Albums of 1989, Albums of the 80s

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#589 in the Series) is Michael Penn, March. This was a real pleasant surprise for me.  I knew that actors Sean and Chris Penn had a musician brother, but that was the extent of it. It was 1989 when an RCA rep walked into my office and tossed a cassette of this album on my desk. I was told to ‘check it out. ‘I listened to it a little at the office and then played it more than once while stuck in traffic on 294 between Elk Grove Village and Oak Lawn. Did I like it, well….Yeah! In fact, before I got home, I stopped at good ol’ Wind Records on 95th street...

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Will The Circle Be Unbroken-Vol. II”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#588in the Series) is The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Volume II. Will The Circle Be Unbroken Vol II is, obviously, the follow up to the 1971 album. If you’re not familiar with the two, they were a pair of albums released by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that featured a roomful of guest stars. The original album gave us names like Roy Acuff, Merle Travis, Vassar Clements etc. Volume II continued the tradition. Some wonderful names are on this release. Here we find, Johnny Cash, Sam Bush, Bruce Hornsby, EmmyLou Harris, Levon Helm, John Denver (Before he made a big splash), John Hiatt, John Prine, Rosanne Cash, Randy Scruggs, Roger...

The Church “Starfish”

Posted 21 Dec 2011 in 80s, Albums of 1988, Albums of the 80s

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#585 in the Series) is The Church, Starfish. (Arista) The Church was/is an Australian band that, although still together and touring, had their most success in the late 80s, early 90s. That success was surrounded by the wonderful album, Starfish. When I was thinking one day if I should feature this album, my friend Terry Witmer mentioned “Sure, You never heard anything like that on the radio at that time.” That made me think, “yup.  Gotta do The Church.” Starfish was The Church’s fifth full album released. They had a bunch of EPs tossed in there as well.  It held their highest charting single “Under the Milky Way.” When this was released in 1988,...

Peter Gabriel is Preparing Special 25th Anniversary Edition of his “So” Album, and He’d Like Your Help

  2012 marks the 25th anniversay of Peter Gabriel’s classic So album.  That’s the one that introduced us to songs like “Red Rain,” “Sledgehammer,” ” In Your Eyes,” ” Big Time,” and the Kate Bush duet “Don’t Give Up.” The Gabriel camp has announced that they will be releasing a 25th anniversary package and they’d like your help on it. Here’s what they’re looking for: “We would love to see your memorabilia from back in 1986. Do you have any original So merchandise, posters and tickets for the So tour? Your photos relating to the album release or the concerts? Even a diary entry from 25 years ago which tells a special story about the album release or So...

Asia “Asia”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#577 in the series) is eponymous debut from Asia. Well let’s see what’s going to happen with this choice of albums. I think some people may not find it as “Cool” as I did. Not that I feel like I need to justify any entry, what’s cool to one person might not be cool to another, and that’s cool, but I’m going to write this regarding how I felt about this release in early 1982. Not how I felt about it or them down the road years later. That’s not what I do. When I first head of this new band Asia I was so excited. Emerson, Lake and Palmer was one...

A Flock of Seagulls “A Flock of Seagulls”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#569 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from A Flock of Seagulls. A Flock of Seagulls were always one of my favorite “new wave, techno-pop,””what have you” bands of the early eighties.  Why did I like them? I think it was because I always felt a little connection to the progressive rock bands that I was listening to at the time. The biggest difference was the obvious, most of their music was played over a straight up dance rhythm, but I really believe that in the body of a dance band layed the heart of a prog band. Why do I feel this way? The main reason would be guitarist Paul...

The Monroes…. and the story about “What Do All the People Know”

Posted 01 Dec 2011 in 80s, Albums of 1982, Albums of the 80s, New Wave

  This is a little something different that I’m going to do today. No, this isn’t our Cool Album of the Day, in fact it wasn’t even an album, it was an EP. This is about The Monroes. They were the band that I think may just have had the best, new wave, pop song of the 80s, and how, if you don’t know about it or them, then you need to. The Song that I’m referring to is, “What Do All the People Know.”  A pure classic, a marvelous song, unfortunately, it also was a perfect example of what happens when you fall into bad label, bad contract hell. The Monroes recorded for a label called Alfa.  Alfa...

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