All-Time Favorite Albums - WEEK 7
In case you missed my first round of albums and are curious, you can find them here:
Holler! I'm back after an extended crazy summer break. Todd, I'm sorry I've dragged this out for SOOOOOO long, but I've made a commitment to your challenge and I promise I'll get it done. So without further adieu...
If I was to ask anyone this simple question: What group of songs or album / albums or a combo of the two would you classify as a soundtrack to some part of your life?
I'm sure it would open the floodgates to some serous discussion. For me, one answer to this question is this album compilation. See what I did there? I combined the best of both!
This album IS the soundtrack of my early childhood years, and it's truly a time capsule of where I was, what I was doing, and all the memories that come with it. I present to you:
This, this thing right here takes me back to the end of 3rd grade, spring of 83' to 4th grade, spring of 84'.
Man....was I spoiled! Little did I know at the time some of these would go in to become definitive classics of the decade, and others genre defining, responsible for paving the way of how Pop/ New Wave was going to sound.
The advent of synthesizers and drum machines becoming "affordable" contributed to this. I use the term "affordable" loosely, cause at that time, if you had a couple grand laying around (sometimes more) one of these could be yours.
It was a fantastic time to be young and malleable. Synthesizers = future and the music reflected that. It was the beginning of the Digital Age, and MIDI was just in its infancy. Also, the "battleship" consoles like Neve and SSL were in vogue. Combing that with analog tape, along with the various outboard gear contributing to sound sculpting, made a Petri dish of musical discovery defining the decade as we know it.
Take "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby...
What the hell IS this song? That's my 9-10 year old self asking that and other questions to follow, to put this rundown in perspective.
The drums alone are what is this groove and how did he do that? Top it off with that synth lead opening hook, holy hell.
"She blinded me with Science...(wherr-wor-wahr) Science"
I mean, if you know the song, my onomatopoeia alone should help hearing the chorus. It sounded so cutting edge, futuresque my mind was blown.
"Always Something There to Remind Me" by Naked Eyes.... why hello New Wave / Synth Pop!
Bells, I mean Synth Bells were used as a sonic characteristic of this song. With the song's syncopated feel, bouncing you along for the ride, one can't help to be caught in it's infectious groove.
So many others to list, for the sake of time, I'll just lay out the track listing here:
1. She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby
2. Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
3. Always Something There To Remind Me - Naked Eyes
4. Mirror Man - Human League
5. Cool Places - Sparks & Jane Wiedlin
6. Love My Way - Psychedelic Furs
7. China Girl - David Bowie
8. Twilight Zone - Golden Earring
9. Rock This Town - Stray Cats
10. The Walls Came Down - The Call
11. Lies - The Fixx
12. True - Spandau Ballet
13. Mexican Radio - Wall Of Voodoo
14. Why Me? - Planet P
15. I Melt With You - Modern English
1. Our House - Madness
2. Too Shy - Kajagoogoo
3. Burning Down The House - Talking Heads
4. Back On The Chain Gang - The Pretenders
5. Strip - Adam Ant
6. One Thing Leads To Another - The Fixx
7. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me - Culture Club
8. In A Big Country - Big Country
9. Working Girl - The Members
10. Jukebox (Don't Put Another Dime) - The Flirts
11. I Eat Cannibals - Total Coelo
12. Reap The Wild Wind - Ultravox
13. Talking In Your Sleep - The Romantics
14. Goodbye To You - Scandal
15. Rock-It - Herbie Hancock
As you can see, there are some heavy hitters on this compilation. "True" by Spandau Ballet. Featured in the John Hughes classic, “Sixteen Candles", I will always associate this song with the high school dance scene. It also stands to reason this song has a sound of its own, truly of its time, but yet timeless.
A couple of 80's staples, "Love My Way" by Psychedelic Furs, "China Doll" by David Bowie, and "Mexican Radio" by Voodoo to name a few.
Then there's some of these I don't even know where or how to classify,
“Come On Eileen” - Dexy's Midnight Runners, “Rock This Town” - Stray Cats, “I Melt With You” - Modern English, “Back On The Chain Gang” - The Pretenders, “Our House” - Madness….just a few that are standouts, but are uniquely their own.
The list speaks for itself, and here are a few of my own personal fav’s:
“One Thing Leads To Another” - The Fixx
“Talking In Your Sleep” - The Romantics
The last song I wanna to talk about is “Rock-It” by Herbie Hancock.
9-10 year old me had no idea who this guy was at the time, except his song blew the door off when it came to the dance fad known as Breakdancing. This song was standard repertoire if you were a breakdancer, and for good reason. The programming alone that went into this track was outstanding, and there’s a good reason for that. Herbie Hancock is a jazz giant, who always had an affinity to technology when it came to music. This song showcased his artistry and mastery of technology and music. Simply put, an 80’s mainstay.
I hope you enjoyed this album, stay tuned for #8, for it will be right around the corner….I promise!