Category: Albums of the 80s

Jerry Garcia Band ‘GarciaLive Volume One’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Catfish John” by Jerry Garcia Band It was a tale of two Jerries. By 1980 Jerry Garcia had his day job with the Grateful Dead. During that year, the band released the somewhat weak studio album, Go To Heaven, and took to the road to promote it. While the 1979-1980 shows generally found the band in excellent form, in order to keep things interesting for the fans and themselves, they performed some very special shows. They kicked off their 15th anniversary celebration (1965-1980) with residencies at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and at The Warfield Theater in San Francisco. The shows revived the format of an acoustic...

Robert Fripp ‘God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Under Heavy Manners” by Robert Fripp with David Byrne After the demise of King Crimson in 1974, Robert Fripp spent several years laying low before entering a period of high activity from 1977-1980, resulting in some of his most interesting collaborations. Starting in 1977, Fripp joined Brian Eno in Germany to add guitar parts to David Bowie’s “Heroes.”  This was followed by Fripp’s production of albums for Daryl Hall (Sacred Songs), Peter Gabriel (his second album with the “Scratch” cover) and the eponymously titled album by The Roches, plus sessions with an amalgam of like-minded artists including Peter Hammill (of Van Der Graaf Generator), Brian Eno, Blondie (on Parallel Lines),...

Bread ‘Make it With You’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Make It With You” by Bread To some, Bread’s brand of soft rock was nothing more than insipid drivel. To others they were purveyors of well-crafted, easy listening staples that provided some of the greatest guilty pleasures to be heard on AM radio during the early ‘70s. To me, their songs were minor annoyances that didn’t make me rush to change the station when they used to pop up on the radio, but now their heavenly brand of melody-driven soft rock provides a welcome dose of nostalgia for the wonder years every time I hear them. When they released their first eponymously titled album in 1969, the band consisted of...

Herbie Hancock and Foday Musa Suso ‘Village Life’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Moon/Light” by Herbie Hancock and Foday Musa Suso In West African culture, a griot is a musician and storyteller who holds all of the keys to the history of his people. It is the griot’s place in society to share that history through music, entertainment and poetry. The kora is a 21-string instrument that is the chief instrument accompanying a griot. Foday Musa Suso was born in Gambia and is a direct descendent of the inventor who invented the musical instrument over four hundred years ago. Now anyone who’s ever heard the music of the kora, no doubt, has fallen under its spell. It is a string instrument that has...

George Winston ‘December’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#820 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...

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...

Boo Hewerdine and Darden Smith ‘Evidence’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#814 in the Series) is Boo Hewerdine and Darden Smith, Evidence It was 65 degrees here in Chicago a couple of short days ago. Within 10 hours it was down to 32. Yes, it was freezing.  I tell you that weather tale as I lead into a piece on this great album by Boo Hewerdine and Darden Smith titled Evidence.  Why you might have asked? I mention that because I’ve always had certain albums that I associate with the different seasons or even sometime more specifically a certain time of that season. I could never listen to Frank Zappa’s Apostrophe in the dead of summer because no one “trudges across the tundra” in...

Digital Sex ‘Essence’

Posted 15 Nov 2012 in Albums of 1985, Albums of the 80s, Alt-Rock, Indie

    Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#812 in the Series) is Digital Sex, Essence  Do you know this one? No you say? I somewhat expected that. No, not because the band wasn’t good enough or deserving enough because they indeed were. They were quite good but they were unfortunate to be another one of those talented acts that fell through the cracks. I don’t remember seeing them on MTV and that was the quickest and easiest way to get your name in front of people back in 1986. This was the indie rock of the time period. This was an Indie rock act back when you didn’t have the internet to help promote the little guy. It...

Yes ‘Drama’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#806 in the Series) is Yes, Drama I feel it necessary to give a disclaimer at the beginning of this review. Yes always has been and always will be my favourite band. Further, I believe Jon Anderson is not only the greatest singer of all time, but also my favourite songwriter and musician. I didn’t say he is the best, though I can’t think of a better harp player, but I’ve long felt that Steve Howe is the best guitarist. But if you listen to his body of work and include his solo releases, starting with Olias of Sunhillow, there are few artists that can fly so close to the sun. The...

Lyle Lovett ‘Pontiac’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#804 in the Series)  is Lyle Lovett, Pontiac I was a music distributor in 1987 and was sitting at my desk when a Senior Vice President named Dennis Sinclair walked in and tossed “Pontiac” on my desk. He said, “Check this out, This is all you. I think you’ll really like it.” Senior VPs always got their hands on the goodies first. As I jumped in my Pontiac and headed on Route 83 southbound I popped the disc into the player. The first song I heard was “If I had a Boat” second up was “Give Me Back My Heart” then “I Loved You Yesterday” and on an on. OK, Lyle, you got me!...

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