Friday, November 30, 2012

Michael Jackson - Thriller (30th anniversary)

Today (November 30th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Thriller, the sixth solo album by legendary American R&B star Michael Jackson.

This record was a number 1 seller is so many countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the UK and the US). It has gone multi-Platinum the world over as well.

For my track by track full review, please click here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sammy Hagar - Three Lock Box

Tomorrow (November 30th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Three Lock Box, the seventh solo studio album from American singer-songwriter and guitarist Sammy Hagar. It went Gold in the US, reaching number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 200, and features one of his biggest charting singles.

Joining Hagar on the record was Bill Church (bass), Gary Pihl (guitar) and David Lauser (drums). He also got some assist from Alan Pasqua (keyboards) and Richard Page of Mr. Mister (on backing vocals).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lene Lovich - No Man's Land

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of No Man's Land, the third full length studio album by American-born and England-based singer Lene Lovich. The 1982 release generated a pair of singles and reunited her with Thomas Dolby for one of the tracks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ozzy Osbourne - Speak of the Devil

Today (November 27th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Speak of the Devil, a live concert album by Ozzy Osbourne. What is interesting about this 1982 double-record release is that Osbourne chose to do all tracks from his days in Black Sabbath the decade prior. The album charted at number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 200, eventually going Platinum. In the UK, the album topped off at number 21 on the charts.

The record was mostly culled from recordings done at the Ritz in New York City on September 26th and 27th in 1982. Three of the tracks came from rehearsals with crowd noise added during the post-production.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Robert Hazard - Robert Hazard (EP)

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Robert Rimato changed his name to the stage name of “Robert Hazard” to write and perform music. This late musician (he passed away in 2008) is probably most known as the writer of the song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” which was made famous when it was covered by Cyndi Lauper on her debut album.

Robert Hazard and the Heroes (Ken Bernard on drums, John Lilley on guitar, Rob Miller on bass/vocals, Michael Pilla on guitar/vocals, and Jerry Weindel on keyboards) were big on the Philadelphia music scene in the late 70’s, but it took a number of years before the record labels and the rest of America to come to appreciate their sound.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Paul Simon - One-Trick Pony (soundtrack)

Welcome to another edition of Soundtrack Sunday.

On August 29th of 1980, Warner Brothers released One-Trick Pony, a film written by and starring singer-songwriter Paul Simon as a once-popular folk singer who has not had a hit in a decade. His co-stars were Blair Brown, Joan Hackett and Rip Torn.

The soundtrack for One-Trick Pony was the fifth solo album for Simon. The record went Gold in the US, peaking at number 12 on the US Billboard Album chart; it spent twenty-six weeks total on that chart. It also reached number 35 in Japan, number 23 in Canada, number 17 in the UK, number 15 in Australia, number 11 in France, number 9 in Sweden, number 8 in the Netherlands, number 6 in New Zealand and number 2 in Norway.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Queen - News of the World

Welcome to another edition of Seventies Saturday.

On October 28th of 1977, the English rock band Queen released News of the World, their sixth studio album. As had previous albums, this one too was a multi-Platinum seller in the US and Canada. Chart-wise, it went to number 15 in New Zealand, number 9 in Sweden and Austria, number 8 in Australia, number 7 in Germany, number 4 in Norway and the UK, number 3 in Japan and on the US Billboard Hot 200, number 2 in Canada, and number 1 in France and the Netherlands.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bruce Hornsby and the Range - The Way It Is

Today (November 23rd) we celebrate the fifty-eighth birthday of American singer/keyboardist Bruce Hornsby.

On August 1st, 1986, Hornsby and his band the Range (David Mansfield on guitar/mandolin/violin, George Marinelli on acoustic guitar, Joe Puerta on bass, and John Molo on drums) released their debut album The Way It Is. The multi-Platinum seller went to number 3 on the US Billboard Album chartand number 15 in the UK. Along with a number of successful singles, the album helped win the group the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1987.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Talking Heads - The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads

Happy sixty-second birthday today (November 22) to bassist and percussionist Tina Weymouth.

On March 24th of 1982, Talking Heads released their first live album. The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads was a double-album with seventeen tracks total. It charted at number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 200. It also reached number 32 in Sweden, number 22 in the UK and number 7 in New Zealand.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Members - Uprhythm, Downbeat

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Uprhythm, Downbeat, the third and final studio album from the British new-wave band known as the Members. In the UK, the record was released a year later under the title Going West.

The roster of the group in 1982 consisted of Nicky Tesco (vocals), Nigel Bennett (guitar, keyboards), Jean-Marie Carroll (guitar, keyboards), Adrian Lillywhite (drums), Simon Lloyd (keyboards, trumpet, saxophone), Chris Payne (bass), and Steve “Rudi” Thompson (saxophone).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Joe Walsh - There Goes the Neighborhood

Happy sixty-fifth birthday today (November 20th) to American singer-songwriter Joe Walsh. As a member of three bands (the James Gang, Barnstorm, and the Eagles) as well as a successful solo artist and session musician, he has been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as number 54 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All-Time.

On May 15th of 1981, Walsh released his fifth studio album There Goes the Neighborhood. It reached number 20 on the US Billboard Album chart (with an eighteen week total time on the chart) and generated a trio of popular tracks on the US Mainstream Rock charts.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Led Zeppelin - Coda

Today (November 19th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Coda, the final studio album from the legendary English rock band Led Zeppelin. Released two years after the disbanding that followed the death of drummer John Bonham, this 1982 record is a collection of outtakes from various recording sessions across the group’s twelve-year history. Jimmy Page explained the reasoning for this: since there was so much bootleg material already circulating, they felt they should put out the rest of the studio offerings for the fans.

The Platinum seller hit number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 200. Around the world, it peaked at number 43 in Denmark, number 18 in Norway and France, number 16 in Japan, number 9 in Australia, number 7 in New Zealand, number 4 in the UK and number 3 in Canada.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rank and File - Sundown

California brothers Chip and Tony Kinman formed the alternative country, also known as cowpunk, band Rank and File in the early 1980’s. They utilized a vocal harmony style of singing upper and lower octaves that gave the group a unique sound. Chip played guitar, harmonica and sang. Tony played bass and sang. Rounding out the group was Slim Evans on drums and Alejandro Escovedo (the uncle of Sheila E.) on guitar and vocals.

This month we mark the thirtieth anniversary of Sundown, the group’s debut album.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chaka Khan - Chaka Khan

Today (November 17th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Chaka Khan, the fourth solo studio album from the American R&B/soul singer. It charted at number 52 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 5 on the Billboard R&B charts.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Barry Manilow - Here Comes the Night

Tomorrow (November 17th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Here Comes the Night, the ninth studio album for American singer-songwriter Barry Manilow. This 1982 record was released in the UK under the title I Wanna Do It With You.

The album was a Platinum seller in both the US and the UK. In the former, it reached number 32 on the Billboard Hot 200. In the latter, it reached number 7 on the charts.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alexander O'Neal - Hearsay

Happy fifty-ninth birthday today (November 15th) to American R&B singer-songwriter and producer Alexander O’Neal.

After his self-titled debut album in 1985 (click here for that review), O’Neal put out his second studio album in 1987. Hearsay, which was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, has gone on to be his highest charting album to date. It went multi-Platinum in the UK where it peaked at number 4. It also hit number 26 in the Netherlands, number 22 in Austria and Germany, number 18 in Norway, and number 13 in Sweden. Here in the US, it climbed to number 29 on the Billboard Hot 200 and number 2 on the Billboard R&B charts. Rolling Stone magazine even recognized it as one of the influential albums of 1987 in their year-end review.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Night Ranger - Dawn Patrol

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Dawn Patrol, the debut album from the San Francisco rock band Night Ranger.

At the time, the band’s line up consisted of Jack Blades (bass, lead vocals), Jeff Watson (guitar), Brad Gillis (guitar), Alan Fitzgerald (keyboards), and Kelly Keagy (drums, lead vocals).

The album charted at 115 on the US Billboard Hot 200 charts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rachel Sweet - Blame It On Love

This month we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Blame It On Love, the fourth and final studio album from Rachel Sweet.

After its release, the then-twenty Sweet took a break from the business to resume her education, graduating from Columbia University with a degree in French and English Literature.

Monday, November 12, 2012

J. Geils Band - Showtime

Today (November 12th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Showtime, the thirteenth studio album from the J. Geils Band. Recorded in Detroit, Michigan, it was also the group’s third live album. Lead singer Peter Wolf left the band after this release to pursue a solo career.

Showtime was a Gold seller in the US and peaked at number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 200.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mental As Anything - If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?

Riddle me this: when is a thirtieth anniversary also not a thirtieth anniversary? When the album in question was originally released under a different title.

This month we are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the US release of If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too? from the Australian new-wave band Mental As Anything. However, the original third studio album Cats & Dogs (from which most of the tracks come) was released down under in September of 1981 where it hit number 3 in Australia and number 2 in New Zealand. Under the same title as the US release, the album hit number 44 in Canada.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rickie Lee Jones - Rickie Lee Jones

Welcome to another edition of Seventies Saturday.

Today, we are going to look at the debut album from American singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones. Released on February 28th, 1979, Rickie Lee Jones went on to be a Platinum seller in the United States. Chart-wise, it went to number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 18 on the UK charts.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Eddy Grant - Killer on the Rampage

Born in Guyana in 1948, Edmond Montague Grant moved to London with his family at a young age. He was lead guitarist for a group called the Equals in the late 1960’s, racking up his first number 1 song he had written with “Baby, Come Back”. The Clash recorded a version of his song “Police On My Back” for their 1980 album Sandinista!.

Eddy Grant started his solo career in 1975. In November of 1982, he released Killer on the Rampage, his sixth solo disk. It charted at number 9 in New Zealand, number 7 in the UK and number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 200. It featured a number of his most known hits, made popular thanks to music videos that ran often on MTV. Today we will look at this one on its thirtieth anniversary.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

the Waitresses - I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts (30th anniversary)

Today (November 8th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of I Could Rule the World I Could Only Get the Parts, a five song EP (extended play) from the Waitresses.

I have talked about this release on the blog previously (click here for my full review).

This album was definitely part of the mosaic that was my senior year of high school. It was one I listened to many times over from 1982 well through my college years. And with the holidays quickly approaching, I am sure "Christmas Wrapping" will get some extra plays as well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Jellybean - Just Visiting This Planet

Happy fifty-fifth birthday today (November 7th) to John “Jellybean” Benitez. Born in the South Bronx, this New York City songwriter, drummer, DJ and producer has done remixes over the years for a number of artists including Madonna, Debbie Harry, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and the Pointer Sisters. Today, Benitez is the Executive Producer of Studio 54 Radio which can be heard on Sirius XM satellite radio.

In 1987, Jellybean released his second album Just Visiting This Planet. Like his previous release, he composed a number of dance tracks and spotlighted some upcoming singers on them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

After the Fire - Der Kommissar

After the Fire was a British rock band that moved from playing progressive rock at the start of their career in the early 70’s to a more new-wave sound by the early 80’s. The group’s line up shifted a bit over that time but it was always anchored by keyboardist and singer Peter Banks.

Today we mark the thirtieth anniversary of Der Kommissar, a compilation of tracks from three earlier albums along with the new title track. In the US, this was the only release by the group and it went under the title of ATF. During the period covered here, the group consisted of Banks, Andy Piercy on bass, John Russell on guitar and Pete King on drums.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Siouxsie and the Banshees - A Kiss in the Dreamhouse

Today (November 5th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of A Kiss in the Dreamhouse, the fifth studio album from England's Siouxsie and the Banshees. The record went to number 47 in Sweden, number 19 in New Zealand and number 11 in the UK.

At the time, the group was a quartet. Siouxsie Sioux sang while Steven Severin played bass and Budgie played drums and harmonica. Although guitarist/keyboardist John McGeoch performed on the album, he left the band shortly after this release.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Donnie Iris - The High and The Mighty

During the 70's, the Pennsylvania born rocker Donnie Iris was part of the Jaggerz and Wild Cherry before going solo in 1980. Today we are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of The High and the Mighty, the third solo album from him and the Cruisers. This release, however, barely pierced the US Billboard Hot 200, topping out at number 180.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

JD Souther - You're Only Lonely

Welcome to another edition of Seventies Saturday. This weekend we wish a very happy sixty-seventh birthday to American musician, singer/songwriter and actor JD (John David) Souther.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Amarillo, Texas, he moved to Los Angeles, California, in the late 1960’s where he became roommates with Glenn Frey (of the Eagles) and lived upstairs from Jackson Browne. After his first solo record in 1972, he joined with Chris Hillman and Richie Furay to form the aptly-named group Souther Hillman Furay Band. He wrote many hits for the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Long After Dark

Today (November 2nd) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Long After Dark, the fifth studio album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. As the first album by the group to feature Howie Epstein on bass and backing vocals, it charted at number 9 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 25 in New Zealand, and number 45 in the UK.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Phil Collins - Hello, I Must Be Going!

To follow up his highly successful solo debut Face Value (click here for that review), Phil Collins released Hello, I Must Be Going! in the fall of 1982. Today (November 1st) is the thirtieth anniversary for the album.

With a title that came from a song in the Marx Brothers' 1930 comedy Animal Crackers, this one too was a multi-Platinum seller. It charted at number 20 in New Zealand, number 15 in Australia, number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 200, number 7 in Sweden, number 6 in Germany, number 4 in Norway, number 3 in the Netherlands, number 2 in the UK and number 1 in Canada.