Friday, July 29, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 24- Slang Teacher

Today's forgotten classic comes to us from former Adam and the Ants bass player, Kevin Mooney aka Wide Boy Awake. 'Slang Teacher' was the one notable hit from the band.

Slang Teacher- Wide Boy Awake (1982, RCA Records)

Slang Teacher- Wide Boy Awake

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 23- Hey Little Girl

Roxy Music knockoffs Icehouse had a top 40 hit with this slick little number in early 1983 . The song peaked at #31 and was one of several charting songs for the band including 'Electric Blue', 'Crazy' and 'Great Southern Land'. The Australian band is still active today.

Icehouse- Hey Little Girl (1983, Chrysalis Records)

Hey Little Girl- Icehouse
Bonus: Electric Blue- Icehouse

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 22- Guilty

Figured this fit today.

From the ashes of X-Ray Spex, Classic Nouveaux reached #43 on the U.K. charts with 'Guilty' in November of 1983. The band would go on to have six other songs to make the charts.

Classic Nouveaux- Guilty (1981, Cherry Red UK Records)

Classic Nouveaux- Guilty

Monday, July 4, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 21- 4th of July

We celebrate the 21st day of our 80's Days of Summer as well as our nation's 235th birthday with a no-brainer. X's '4th of July' from their 1987 album See How We Are. This was the first X album without founding member Billy Zoom on guitar.

The original, reunited lineup including Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake continue to perform to this day.

Havy Independence Day everyone.

X- 4th of July (Demo Versions, 1986)

4th of July - X

Sunday, July 3, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 20- A New England

So here we are, just hours away from Independence Day. I thought this might be a fitting song. And it's a two-fer.

Originally written and recorded by Billy Bragg in 1983, the song (with an additional verse) was also a hit for the late Kirsty MacColl just a year later. Produced by her husband Steve Lillywhite (of U2 fame, among others) it peaked at #7 on the U.K. charts.

Billy Bragg- A New England (Live, 1985)

Kirsty MacColl- A New England (1984, Stiff Records)

Billy Bragg- A New England
Kirsty MacColl- A New England

Saturday, July 2, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 19- Is Vic There?

Spending the extended holiday weekend at our annual family reunion. Most of the family is here, question is, Is Vic There?

One-hit wonder Dept. S asks the question and no one really knows the answer. Or cares. The song peaked at #22 on U.K. charts in early 1981.

Dept. S- Is Vic There (Top of the Pops, 1981)

Is Vic There-Dept. S

Thursday, June 30, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 18- What Do All The People Know

What do all the people know about the Monroes? Not much. These San Diego New Wavers fell off the map just as quickly as their 1982 hit put them on it.

For what it's worth, they did make it to Merv.

The Monroes- What Do All The People Know (Live 1982, Merv Griffin Show)

What Do All The People Know- The Monroes (1982, Alfa Records

80's Days of Summer: Day 17- Just Got Lucky

The British-American group JoBoxers 'Just Got Lucky' with this one-hit wonder from the summer of 1983 which made it onto both the U.S. and U.K. charts.

The band was never heard from again.

JoBoxers- Just Got Lucky ( 1983, RCA/Sanctuary Records)

JoBoxers- Just Got Lucky

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 16- Oblivious

By all means 1983 was a watershed year for New Wave. Hardly a day passed without the release of a drop-dead, instant classic. Today's 12-string, flamenco inspired opus provides a perfect example and comes to us via Glasgow's Roddy Frame and Aztec Camera. 'Oblivious' was the band's highest charting hit, reaching #18 after it's release in April of 1983.

The band would go on to have a few other minor hits before their break up in 1995. Today, Roddy Frame continues to produce and perform as a solo artist.

Aztec Camera- Oblivious (Live, 1983)

Aztec Camera- Oblivious (1983, Sire Records)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 15- Forever Young

Today's blast from the past comes to us from German synthpop trio Alphaville. The title track off their 1984 LP of the same name, 'Forever Young' (or as my wife Laura would say for-evaaah) has the distinction of being the very last song played on Long Island's iconic New Wave station WLIR before the infamous format change in 2004.

Irony notwithstanding, the song itself has enjoyed some measure of longevity. There were two different versions originally released, a slow ballad and a dance remix, the latter reaching #65 on the U.S charts in 1984 and also becoming a WLIR 'Screamer' in December of that same year. Over the years, it has maintained it's youthful charm through several updated remixes and featured appearances in commercials and films. Most notably in the 2003 Saturn Ion commercial 'Now Leaving High School', 2004's 'Napoleon Dynamite' and most recently in 2010, revamped and retitled as Jay-Z's 'Young Forever'.

Since I'm a sucker for sentimental songs of my youth as well as for embedding videos in my posts, I bring you 'Forever Young' in several iterations and adaptations.

FYI, The slow version is my fave.

Alphaville- Forever Young: Slow Version (1984, WEA Records)

Alphaville- Forever Young: Fast Version (1984, WEA Records)

Saturn Ion Commercial (2003)

Jay-Z/Mr. Hudson- Young Forever (2010, Roc Nation)

Forever Young- Alphaville

Monday, June 27, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 14- What I Like About You

So, I'm in the Motor City takin' care of business, yet another of the seemingly endless perks associated with a career in pharmaceutical marketing. What better way to celebrate this road trip then with the ultimate 80's power-pop party anthem 'What I Like About You' by Detroit's own Romantics.

Formed on Valentine's Day 1977, the quartet channeled the British Invasion sound of the 60's with charged 3 minute bursts just like this one. A little more polished than the the Ramones, the Romantics enjoyed a string of radio-friendly hits throughout the early 80's including 'Talking In Your Sleep' and 'One In A Million'.

This particular song, sung by spiky-haired drummer Jimmy Marinos originally peaked at #48 on the Billboard charts in 1980 but gained even more notoriety after being featured as the theme in Budweiser's consumer advertising campaign towards the end of the decade. The song also enjoyed the #16 position on WLIR's top 200 songs of the 80's.

The band, featuring two original members, guitarists Wally Palmar and Mike Skill are still performing to this day.

The Romantics- What I Like About You (1980, Nemperor Records)

What I Like About You- The Romantics

Saturday, June 25, 2011

80's Days of Summer: Day 13- Love Is A Stranger

Prior to their breakout hit 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)', which propelled the Eurythmics to international stardom, they released 'Love Is A Stranger' Featuring a clean, minimalist arrangement with their trademark synth sound. The song did not chart until it was re-released after the success of 'Sweet Dreams'.

It also marks the first time since Bowie that androgyny hit the Top 40.

Eurythmics - Love Is A Stranger (1982, RCA Records)

Eurythmics-Love Is A Stranger