Wednesday, November 30, 2011
After his four song debut EP Don’t Stop (click here for that review) in 1981, rocker Billy Idol was ready to release his first full-length solo album. In July of 1982, the ten song album Billy Idol was released. The record reached number 45 on the US Billboard 200, becoming a gold seller. It also generated a pair of top selling singles.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Boston producer Maurice Starr was attempting to recreate the magic of when he discovered the guys who would become New Edition a few years earlier. In 1984, Jonathan along with brother Jordan, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood were chosen out of hundreds of audition to be assembled as a new musical group. Together, the five would become known as New Kids on the Block.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Let's get to the episode breakdown, shall we?
In the summer of 1989, Robinson along with Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones and Terry Ellis came together in Oakland, California, to form the modern day R&B girl-group En Vogue. Combining strong voices with beauty and intelligence, the ladies made a strong debut with their 1990 album Born to Sing which reached number 21 on the US Billboard 200 and number 3 on the Billboard R&B charts. Within six months, the album had sold over one million copies in the US alone.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
In 1985, Turner starred along with Mel Gibson in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the third film in the post-apocalyptic sci-fi series (the first film being Mad Max in 1979 which helped make the then-little-known Gibson an international star and Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior in 1981). Turner’s role in the film is Aunty Entity, the ruthless ruler of Bartertown.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
By 1975, the British-American band Fleetwood Mac had already been making records for eight years. Their tenth studio album Fleetwood Mac was a breakthrough record for them in a number of ways. It was their first album to go multi-Platinum and their first number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 200 album charts (after being on the charts for nearly a year). It was also their first album to feature Lindsey Buckingham on guitar and Stevie Nicks on vocals; the couple brought a lot to the band including writing six of the eleven tracks here (with Christine McVie involved in writing four solo herself).
Friday, November 25, 2011
Recording her first album Young and in Love at age twelve, the following year in 1980 she released her second Let Me Be Your Angel This record went to number 44 on the US Billboard 200 album charts and number 9 on the Billboard R&B charts. It also generated a trio of singles.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
When Chris Stein and Debbie Harry were forming the band Blondie in 1975, Burke was their choice as a drummer for the group. Though the band has broken up and reunited a few times, Burke has always been there to pick up the sticks again.
He has also played with other bands and artists like the Romantics, Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, the Eurythmics, Dramarama, the Fleshtones, Iggy Pop and Joan Jett.
For my review of Blondie's self-titled 1976 album Blondie, click here
For my review of Blondie's 1978 smash Parallel Lines, click here
The band also appeared on the 1980 soundtrack for American Gigilo which I reviewed here
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
In 1986 Hayes along with Clark Datchler (singer/keyboardist/guitarist) and Mike Nocito (guitarist/bassist) formed the Anglo-American pop/rock band Johnny Hates Jazz (Hayes and Datchler had previously been in a band Hot Club together). The new group’s first single was “Me and My Foolish Heart”, released in 1986.
Later that year they were signed with Virgin Records and in early 1988 they released their debut album Turn Back the Clock. The album entered the UK charts at the number 1 spot, quickly achieving double platinum sales status. In the US, the album reached number 56 on the Billboard Hot 200 album charts.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The California born Weymouth met up with future bandmates David Byrne and Chris Frantz at the Rhode Island School of Design. Frantz and Weymouth dated and eventually helped found the Talking Heads in 1975. Two years later, she and Frantz married.
To help cope with a long hiatus, the couple formed a side project called the Tom Tom Club in 1980. The bassist still is active in music.
For my review of the Talking Heads 1980 album Remain in Light, click here
For my review of the 1981 Tom Tom Club debut Tom Tom Club, click here
Monday, November 21, 2011
The band released their debut album Like Gangbusters in 1983, and it made its way into the top 20 on the UK Album charts. It also generated a trio of singles.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
In 1985, Joel Schumacher directed a coming-of-age film about seven Georgetown University graduates adjusting to their post-college lives and the responsibilities of adulthood. The cast was made up of prominent young actors and actresses that were part of the 80’s Brat Pack genre: Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Having not seen the film in decades, I decided to see if I could track down a copy. After all, this year was the fiftieth anniversary of the film's release. How hard would it be to track down a copy?
Turns out in the podunk town we live, impossible.
Lipsius was part of Blood, Sweat & Tears when the band released their second studio album in December of 1968. The self-titled Blood, Sweat & Tears was a commercial success, spending seven weeks (non-successive) at the top of the US Billboard 200 album chart and generating three top 5 hit singles. The album received the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1970. It also spent eight weeks total (non-successive) at the number 1 spot on the Canadian album charts. In the UK the album reached number 15 on the charts.
Friday, November 18, 2011
In the summer of 1981, she released her self-titled debut album Kim Wilde on the RAK record label in the UK. All of the songs were written by Kim's father Marty Wilde and her brother Ricky; she was backed by the UK symphonic rock band names the Enid. The record went Gold in the UK after reaching number 3 on those charts and Gold in Germany after reaching number 1. It also generated a trio of singles that did well in many countries across the globe.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Let's take a look at the details of the episode.
After New Edition broke up in the late 80’s, three of its members went on to form a group called Bell Biv DeVoe (taken from the last names of Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe). Their debut record Poison was released in early 1990 was a multi-Platinum seller and went to number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 1 on the US Billboard R&B charts. The record is one of those that pioneered the “New Jack Swing” sound of the early 90’s, by combining hip-hop, funk, soul and pop music together.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
On March 4th of 1983, UK band Spandau Ballet followed up their second album Diamond (click here for that review) with a record that would become a huge seller for them and finally give them a breakthrough in the US market. True, with a strong mixture of jazz, soul and R&B, went to number 1 on the UK charts, going Platinum there, number 1 on the New Zealand charts and number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 200.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Episode eight is entitled "Unscheduled Departure" where in the crew has to alter their course from Venezuela to Haiti due to a medical emergency. Let's take a look at the details.
In 1984, he was signed to Tabu records. In 1985, he put out his self-titled debut album Alexander O'Neal which reached number 92 on the US Billboard 200, number 21 on the US R&B chart and number 19 in the UK. The record produced four singles which did well on the R&B charts.
In 1982, she returned to solo work with an album in English. Something's Going On was produced by Phil Collins and sold very well. It also produced a hit single "I Know There's Something Going On" which was a number 1 hit in Belgium, Costa Rica, France and Switzerland, and a top five hit in Austria, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. In the US the single reached number 13 and was the twentieth biggest selling single in the US that year. It features Collins' amazing drums.
Frida continues her music career to this day, showing few signs of slowing down. In September 2010 she released her most recent album Reconnection. She is also involved in charity work and in environmental protection efforts.
For their self-titled 1975 album ABBA, click here
For the group's final album from 1981 the Visitors, click here
Monday, November 14, 2011
Building upon the success of the previous two albums Quick Step and Side Kick and Into the Gap (reviewed here and here respectively), the Thompson Twins continued their run with the 1985 release Here's to Future Days. The album reached number 5 on the UK charts and number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 200. It was also a Platinum seller in Canada. The incomparable Nile Rodgers co-produced this one with Tom Bailey.
Here is the links to reviews of Run's albums I have done:
For Run-D.M.C., click here
For Raising Hell, click here
For the Krush Groove soundtrack, click here
Let's get to the episode breakdown, shall we?
Sunday, November 13, 2011
In 1980, Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton starred in a film about a self-centered, superficial male prostitute in Los Angeles. With a budget of around $4.8 million, American Gigolo returned a tidy domestic box-office of almost $23 million.
The soundtrack recording did fairly well too. The album went all the way to number 7 on the US Billboard 200 Album charts. The cuts also spent a number of weeks in the top positions on the disco/dance charts. That is no surprise since Italian dance maestro Giorgio Moroder had his hand in writing all the tracks on the album.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Let's break it down for one final time...
After a strong selling debut album in 1977, Andy Gibb followed that up with his second studio album Shadow Dancing in April of 1978. The record was a solid seller across the globe; it went to number 15 in the UK, number 8 in Norway, number 7 in the US and number 1 in Canada. It also generated a trio of hit singles.
Friday, November 11, 2011
The Beat’s 1980 debut album I Just Can’t Stop It reached number 3 in their native UK; in the US the album went to number 142 on the Billboard Hot 200. The record was very popular among the alternative movements on college campuses, and it was also critically well received.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Let's take a look at the details of the episode.
In 1989, at age twenty four, she released her debut album Raw Like Sushi which did well across the international charts (number 7 in Austria, 10 in Germany, 4 in the Netherlands, 3 in Sweden, 6 in Switzerland, 2 in the UK and 40 in the US). It also generated five singles.
Sunday, November 13th, is the birthday of drummer Bill Gibson who has been with Huey Lewis and the News since the beginning. He's always felt that the highpoint of his career was when the band was asked to be part of the "We Are the World" project in 1985.
Here are the links to the reviews of a couple of albums Mario and Bill did as part of Huey Lewis and the News:
For the band's self-titled debut album Huey Lewis and the News, click here
For 1982's Picture This, click here
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Having the opportunity to review this two-disk package this week, I thought I would share my thoughts with you all.
Episode seven is entitled "Truth or Dare" which starts out with an entertaining game of that title between the four ladies. Sadly, it doesn't stay there that long. Let's take a look at the details.
Monday, November 7, 2011
To go along with the CD, Gabriel filmed two performances in March of 2011 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London to be released as a 3D film experience as well as on DVD and Blu-Ray. I had the opportunity to check out the DVD of the concert this week and thought I would share my thoughts with the readers here.
This week's episode was entitled "Snow Falls", as we get more details of the first meeting between Snow White and Prince Charming. Let's get to the episode breakdown, shall we?
Sunday, November 6, 2011
It was the summer of 1985 and I was working my college co-op job in Randolph, NJ. I spent a lot of my weekends at the local movie complex at the mall in Dover. One of the biggest films was the fantasy comedy-adventure Back to the Future starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. Little did I know then that this was the opening volley of a trio of films that would become all-time favorites of mine.
This week's episode is "Black Hat Angels", written by Douglas Petrie who wrote episode three. The episode opens with the police in pursuit of a man on foot who they then arrest. Turns out the arrested party is Bosely who says he has been framed. Cue the theme music...
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Glenn Frey, who is celebrating a birthday tomorrow November 6th, first teamed with Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner as a backing band for Linda Ronstadt on her debut album in 1971. They performed with her once live before going off to form their own band the Eagles. By the summer of 1972, they were ready to release their self-titled debut record Eagles, an album that did very well. It reached number 22 on the US Billboard Pop Charts and number 13 on the Canadian charts, and it also generated three Top 40 hit singles. The record was also popular with the critics; Rolling Stone magazine has ranked it at number 374 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time.
Friday, November 4, 2011
In 1984, Kool & the Gang released Emergency, their eighteenth album and one of their best sellers. The record went to number 13 on the US Billboard 200 chart and number 47 in the UK. It also produced four hit selling singles.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Let's take a look at the details of the episode.
Their self-titled debut album A Flock of Seagulls, released in April of 1982 sold well. It went to number 32 on the UK charts and number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 200. It also generated a number of international hit singles. Musically, the song is a concept album about alien abduction with the songs forming a sequential story line.
Since 2010, Adam Ant has been back in the music arena, performing live shows and working on a new album.
In the early part of 1984, during my freshman year of college, I very briefly dated a photography major who was very into Adam Ant. She had photo albums full of pictures she had taken of him from his music videos as they played on MTV on her television. I kid you not. Suffice to say that relationship didn't last too long. How could I compete with that devotion?
The following are reviews I have done of Adam's earlier albums:
For Kings of the Wild Frontier, his 1980 album with the Ants, click here
For Friend or Foe, his 1982 solo album, click here
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The US version of the release had a slightly different track listing for the second side of the album. Two of the tracks from the European release were replaced with different songs. For this review I will focus on the US track listing.
Episode six is entitled "The Genuine Article" and we see that plotlines are continuing nicely from previous weeks. Let's take a look at the details.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
After the successful collaboration on Meat Loaf’s debut album Bat Out of Hell (click here for that review), Steinman was ready to work on a follow up album. Unfortunately, Meat Loaf suffered some problems with his voice that made recording not an option.
Steinman decided to record the songs he had been writing as a solo project, with a little musical help along the way from Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg from the E Street Band, Rory Dodd, Todd Rundgren and Karla DeVito . The result was the 1981 album Bad For Good. The record did well, reaching number 63 on the US Billboard Hot 200 album charts and number 14 on the Swedish charts.
Despite a tragic car accident when he was just 21 years old, Allen overcame the complete amputation of his left arm and continued to be one of the best drummers in rock 'n roll history. He and his wife Lauren even co-founded the Raven Drum Foundation, a charity with a mission to serve, educate and empower veterans and people in crisis.
My son was born with a right brachial-plexus injury which basically was nerve damage to his right hand and the lower half of his right arm. Though he has had some nerve and muscle graft surgeries when he was a toddler, his usage of his right arm is much less precise than most of us. We've often used Rick Allen as an example for our son, to show him how someone can overcome a situation like this to pursue the career they love.
Here are a couple links to Def Leppard albums I have previously reviewed on the blog:
For Pyromania from 1983, click here
For Hysteria from 1987, click here