Monday, December 31, 2012

1982 - 30th Anniversary Wrap Up

With the final day of the year upon us, I thought I would give a quick list recap of all the albums from 1982 that I reviewed for their thirtieth anniversaries this past year. How many albums was that exactly? Would you believe...248!!

Below is the full list, alphabetically, in case you missed any. Just take a title and use the Search function of the blog to find that particular review.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ric Ocasek - Beatitude

Today (December 30th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Beatitude, the first solo album from American rocker Ric Ocasek, lead singer and primary songwriter for the Cars. Joining him on this 1982 record were Jules Shear, Stephen Hague, Greg Hawkes, Fuzzbee Morse, Stephen George and others.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Neil Young - Trans

Today (December 29th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Trans, the twelfth studio album from Canadian rocker Neil Young. This 192 release went to number 29 in the UK, number 23 in Australia, number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 200, number 10 in Canada, number 8 in New Zealand and number 6 in Sweden.

Young played guitar, bass and piano as well as did the lead vocals. On a bulk of the tracks, he also used a Vocoder to give his voice a more electronic sound. Joining him on the album were Nils Lofgren (guitar, piano, organ), Ben Keith (guitar), Bruce Palmer (bass), Ralph Molina (drums), Joe Lala (percussion), Frank Sampedro (guitar) and Billy Talbot (bass).

Friday, December 28, 2012

Favorite Things 2012 Edition

Even though the main focus of my blog has been music from decades back, I do have a few other things going on in my hobby circles. With the end of the year upon us, I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about some of the new things that I got into during 2012. Wherever applicable, I'll include some links if it sounds like stuff you want to check out too.

Let's take a look, in no particular order, at a few categories:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sonic Youth - Sonic Youth

In March of 1982, the alternative rock band from New York City named Sonic Youth released their self-titled debut record. At the time, the group was made up of Kim Gordon (bass and vocals), Thurston Moore (guitar and vocals), Lee Ranaldo (guitar and vocals) and Richard Edson (drums). Edson left the band before their next recording a year later.

Because of its short length, less than twenty five minutes total, the 1987 cassette re-release basically gives you the album twice - once on each side. However, the song order on the second side went from last to first, a rather interesting way to go. That certainly saved on rewinding back in the day, if that was your music format of choice.

Let’s take a look at this debut as part of its thirtieth anniversary celebration.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Foghat - In the Mood for Something Rude

October of 1982 saw the release of In the Mood for Something Rude, the eleventh studio album from the British hard rock band Foghat. The band roster at the time consisted of Dave Peverett (rhythm guitar, vocals), Erik Cartwright (lead guitar), Nick Jameson (bass) and Roger Earl (drums).

The album, which went to number 162 on the US Billboard Hot 200, takes a group of R&B and country tunes by other artists and puts them through a blues-rock spin-cycle. Today, we will take a look at this record as part of its thirtieth anniversary celebration this year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Bob & Doug McKenzie - The Great White North

Merry Christmas, eh?

On December 12th, 1981, The Great White North entered the Canadian album charts at number 3. Within a week, it rose to number 1 and remained there until January 23rd of 1982. Not a bad Christmas present for comedians Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, who portrayed the fictional Canadian television personalities “Bob and Doug McKenzie” on the sketch program SCTV.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Sugarhill Gang - 8th Wonder

On November 24th of 1982, the American rap group the Sugarhill Gang released 8th Wonder, their second full length studio album. The album peaked at number 50 on the US Billboard Hot 200, number 44 in New Zealand, and number 15 on the US Billboard R&B charts. It also generated a pair of singles. Today, we will take a look at this record from Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee as part of its thirtieth anniversary celebration.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Blues Brothers (soundtrack)

Welcome to another edition of Soundtrack Sunday.

In June of 1980, comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd took their characters from a Saturday Night Live musical sketch and spun them off into a full-length feature film. Directed by John Landis, The Blues Brothers told the story of Jake and Elwood Blues on “a mission from God” to save the Catholic orphanage they grew up in from being foreclosed. This led to a rollicking R&B road-trip with a number of amazing guest appearances from the pantheon of soul and blue music.

To go along with the film, the Blue Brothers released their second album as a soundtrack to the film. It was released on June 20th of 1980 and spent a total of nineteen weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 13. Today, we will give this one a spin on the virtual turntable.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DVD: Queen - Live In Budapest

On July 27th of 1986, British rock legends Queen performed at the Népstadion in Budapest, Hungary, becoming the first western act to perform in front of a stadium crowd behind the “Iron Curtain”. János Zsombolyai, one of the country’s leading cinematographers and directors, captured that landmark event on 35mm film.

Celebrating Robin and Maurice Gibb

Today (December 22nd) would have been the sixty-third birthday of brothers Robin and Maurice Gibb. Born thirty five minutes apart (Robin being the older of the twins), the two along with their older brother Barry would go on to make music for four decades as the Bee Gees.

Friday, December 21, 2012

DVD: Peter Gabriel - So (Classic Albums series)

2011 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release Peter Gabriel’s fifth album So and it was featured that year on the Classic Albums documentary series that ran at the time. In October of 2012, the episode was released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Eagle Rock Entertainment.

While I was very familiar with the album (click here for my review of the album), there was a lot I did not know about the behind the scenes of this landmark record. I had the opportunity to review this DVD this week and thought I would share a few of my thoughts on it.

Poco - Ghost Town

September 20th of 1982 was the release date of Ghost Town, the seventeenth studio album from California southern-rock band Poco. The album barely cracked the US Billboard Hot 200, stalling at number 195. At this time, the band was made up of Paul Cotton (guitar and vocals), Rusty Young (guitar and vocals), Kim Bullard (keyboards), Steve Chapman (drums), Steve Forman (percussion) and Charlie Harrison (bass). Today, we will take a look at this one for its thirtieth anniversary.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Alice Cooper - Zipper Catches Skin

On August 25th of 1982, American glam-rocker Alice Cooper released Zipper Catches Skin. As his fourteenth studio album, it only charted at number 94 in Canada. As part of this final month of recapping albums from 1982, today I will give this thirty year old album a spin.

Working with Cooper on the record were Duane Hitchings (guitar and synthesizer), John Nitzinger (guitar), Mike Pinera (guitar), Erik Scott (bass), Jan Uvena (drums), and Dick Wagner (guitar). Backing vocals were done by Jeanne Harris, Franne Golde, and Flo & Eddie. Patty Donahue, lead singer of the Waitresses, also provided vocals and sarcasm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Free Music - Ashton Lane

Looking for some free music? Check out Ashton Lane, a country-pop band out of Scotland that I recently started listening to. Click this link - Ashton Lane free music - and join their emailing list and you'll receive seven free songs. It's that easy.

Chris de Burgh - The Getaway

Today (December 19th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of The Getaway, the sixth studio album from British singer-songwriter Chris de Burgh. This 1982 album went to number 443 in ton the US Billboard Hot 200, number 30 in the UK and number 1 in Germany. A number of the tracks charted from it world-wide as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bad Company - Rough Diamonds

In August of 1982, the British rock band Bad Company released Rough Diamonds, their sixth studio album. It followed over three years after the previous one from 1979, and the sales seemed to reflect a cooling with the listening audience. Still, it charted at number 26 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and in Canada, and at number 15 in the UK.

It was also the last one by the group's original line-up of Boz Burrell (bass), Simon Kirke (drums), Mick Ralphs (guitar) and Paul Rodgers (vocals, guitar). As part of the thirtieth anniversary of the record, today we will take a look at the songs which it included.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Level 42 - The Pursuit of Accidents

As the 1980's were beginning, the British pop group Level 42 was formed. The line-up included Mark King (vocals, bass), Mike Lindup (vocals, keyboards), Rowland "Boon" Gould (guitars) and Phil Gould (drums, backing vocals).

This year marked the thirtieth anniversary of the release of The Pursuit of Accidents, their third studio album. It charted at number 17 in their native UK and number 31 in Norway. It also generated a trio of singles.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kurtis Blow - Tough

Today we will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Tough, the third album from American rapper Kurtis Blow, which was released on August 19th of 1982. With just five tracks clocking in at a little over twenty five minutes in total, this EP went to number 167 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 38 on the Billboard R&B charts.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chris Rea - Chris Rea

In March of 1982, English singer/guitarist Chris Rea released his fourth studio album. The self-titled Chris Rea charted at number 52 in the UK. To celebrate its thirtieth anniversary this year, we shall give this one a listen today.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Vandenberg - Vandenberg

In 1981, the Dutch rock band Vandenberg was formed. The group was made up of lead singer Bert Heerink, guitarist/keyboardist Adrian Vandenberg, bassist Dick Kemper and drummer Jos Zoomer.

In early 1982, they went to Jimmy Page's Sol Studios to record their debut album. The self-titled Vandenberg was released near the end of 1982 and climbed the US Billboard Hot 200 charts to number 65. Today, we will take a look at this record as part of its thirtieth anniversary.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wall of Voodoo - Call of the West

Call of the West, the second studio album from the Los Angeles based Wall of Voodoo, was released in the later part of 1982. It climbed the US Billboard Hot 200 charts all the way to number 45 in early 1983, thanks to a popular single and corresponding music video on MTV. Today, we will take a look at the album in celebration of its thirtieth anniversary.

The line-up of the band at the time of this album was Stan Ridgway (lead vocals, harmonica, and keyboards), Marc Moreland (guitars), Joe Nanini (drums, percussion, and spoken word) and Chas T. Gray (synthesizer, bass, backing vocals).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kenny G - Kenny G

Kenneth Bruce Gorelick came on to the American adult contemporary and smooth jazz scene in the early 1980's under his stage name of Kenny G. In the early 1970’s, while still in high school, he worked with Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra.

On August 1st of 1982, he released his first album. The self-titled Kenny G went to number 10 on the US Jazz charts and eventually went Gold. Today we will look at this record as part of its thirtieth anniversary celebration.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kansas - Vinyl Confessions

In the early 1980's, the American rock band Kansas was going through changes in direction. Kerry Livgren (guitars and keyboards) and Dave Hope (bass) both had converted to Christianity which was reflected in the lyrics of tracks that Livgren wrote. Lead singer Steve Walsh was not on-board with the new direction and left the band. After an audition process, John Elefante joined the group on vocals and keyboards.

The band released Vinyl Confessions, its eighth studio album, in June of 1982. It did well on the US Billboard Hot 200 chart, climbing all the way to number 16. Part of that was due to a handful of singles that were popular on the Mainstream Rock charts.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Jam - Dig the New Breed

Today (December 10th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Dig the New Breed, a collection of live performances from the English rock band the Jam. Spanning the years from 1977 to 1982, this compilation album reached number 2 in the UK and number 131 on the US Billboard Hot 200.

It was also the final release of “new” material by the band before they broke up that same month.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

George Clinton - Computer Games

On November 5th of 1982, funk-master extraordinaire George Clinton released Computer Games, his first solo album away from Parliament and Funkadelic (the bands were both formally disbanded by Clinton a year prior). Today we will take a look at the record as part of its thirtieth anniversary celebration.

Computer Games climbed to number 40 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 3 on the US Billboard R&B charts. Slant Magazine ranked it at number 97 on its list of the Best Albums of the 1980’s.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cher - I Paralyze

On May 28th of 1982, Cher released I Paralyze, her eighteenth studio album and only one on the Columbia label. John Farrar, who worked for many years with Olivia Newton-John, was one of the two producers of the record; the other was David Wolfert. Some of the musicians who also worked on the album include guitarist Steve Lukather (of Toto), guitarist Sid McGinnis (who would later go on to be part of the band for the Late Show with David Letterman, and jazz bassist and keyboardist Nathan East.

I Paralyze was only promoted on shows like American Bandstand and Solid Gold. It failed to make any major chart impacts though, leading to a five-year recording hiatus for the singer/actress.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tavares - New Directions

Back on August 24th, New Directions, the eleventh studio album from the R&B group Tavares, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. Since I missed reviewing it a few months ago, I thought I would talk about this 1982 release today from five talented siblings (Ralph, “Pooch” (Arthur), “Chubby” (Antone), “Butch” (Feliciano) and “Tiny” (Perry)).

It charted at number 137 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 30 on the Billboard R&B charts. It was also the first of two albums they recorded on the RCA label (the last and the group's final album would come in 1983).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

UB40 - UB44

September of 1982 was the released date of UB44, the third studio album from the British reggae/pop band UB40. Just as the band's name came from a British unemployment benefits form, so too does the name of this album (a UB44 means they missed their "signing on" appointment).

The record reached number 4 on the UK charts and number 15 in New Zealand. Today, we will take a listen to it to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Taco - After Eight

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of After Eight, the debut album by Taco. Born Taco Ockerse, this Indonesian-born Dutch singer started his career as a singer in Germany. His 1982 album was released in over forty countries, reaching number 59 in Germany, number 17 in New Zealand, number 11 in Austria, number 5 in Canada and number 4 in Norway.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Robyn Hitchcock - Groovy Decay

In March of 1982, English singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock released Groovy Decay, his second solo album after leaving the Soft Boys. Today, we will look at that album as part of its thirtieth anniversary celebration.

Performing along with Hitchcock on the album were Sara Lee (bass player from the Gang of Four), Anthony Thistlethwaite (saxophone player from the Waterboys), Rod Johnson (drums), and Matthew Seligman (bass). The record was produced by Steve Hillage, a former member of the Franco-British band Gong.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - The Distance

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Distance, the twelfth studio album from American rock singer Bob Seger. It was also the fourth and final album he would record with the Silver Bullet Band. This December 1982 release was a Platinum seller in both the US and Canada. Chart-wise, it reached number 45 in the UK, number 19 in Austria, number 16 in Germany and number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 200.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Amy Grant - Age To Age

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Age To Age, the sixth studio album from American singer-songwriter Amy Grant. The 1982 release helped her break through in the Contemporary Christian Music community. Topping Billboard's Christian albums chart for eight-five weeks, it was certified Gold in 1983 and Platinum in 1985.

It won the Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year and Recorded Music Packaging of the Year awards at the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards in 1983. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary in 1983. In 2001, the album was listed at number 92 on the CCM's 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grace Jones - Living My Life

As we start the final month of the year, I will be catching up on a few of the thirtieth anniversaries of albums released in 1982 that I failed to get to previously.

On November 7, 1982, Jamaican-American singer-actress Grace Jones released Living My Life, her sixth studio album in as many years. It reached number 46 in Germany, number 18 in the Netherlands, number 15 in the UK, number 13 in Norway, number 7 in Sweden and number 3 in New Zealand. Here in the US, it stalled at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 200 while it climbed all the way to number 19 on the Billboard R&B chart.