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29
Jul

Propaganda – A Secret Wish (1985)

propaganda - a secret wish

Artist:  Propaganda
Title:  A Secret Wish
Released:  1985
Format:  LP
Label:  Island Records
Catalog#  207027

“A Secret Wish” was the 1985 debut album of synthpop band Propaganda, produced by Stephen Lipson and label boss Trevor Horn. The singles “Duel” and “Dr. Mabuse” were both Top 30 UK chart hits. The track “p:Machinery” was also released as a single and was featured in an episode of the 80’s TV show Miami Vice and also on the video “Drum” by Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon for his Whitbread Round the World Race in 1985.
With guests including David Sylvian, Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory, and Steve Howe, “A Secret Wish” is synth-rock with an eye toward orchestrated pop as well as a bit of sampler experimentation in the grand ZTT tradition of Art of Noise. There’s a distinct lack of songwriting on the album, and though the synth-grooves are tight enough to keep it flowing for most of its length, “A Secret Wish” occasionally falls flat from its own weight.

 

Side one
1.  Dream Within A Dream  (8:04)
2.  The Murder Of Love  (5:13)
3.  Jewel  (3:07)
4.  Duel  (4:41)

Side two
1.  P–Machinery  (3:50)
2.  Sorry For Laughing  (3:27)
3.  Dr. Mabuse (First Life)  (4:57)
4.  The Chase  (4:05)
5.  The Last Word / Strength To Dream  (3:00)

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29
Jul

Yazoo – You And Me Both (1983)

yazoo - you and me both

Artist:  Yazoo
Title:  You And Me Both
Released:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  Mute Records
Catalog#  540047

“You And Me Both” is the second and final studio album by British synthpop duo Yazoo (known in the US and Canada as Yaz), released in July 1983. The album’s title was an ironic reference to the fact that the duo had grown estranged from each other and recorded much of the album separately, and they announced their split a few weeks before the album’s UK release. The album gave the group a “posthumous” number one record. Singer Alison Moyet would soon begin a successful solo career, while Vince Clarke formed the short-lived project The Assembly with Yazoo’s producer Eric Radcliffe before going on to greater and long-lasting success with the synthpop duo Erasure.
As with the group’s debut album Upstairs at Eric’s the US version of You and Me Both differed slightly from the UK version, with the track “Happy People” replaced by “State Farm”, the B-side of “Nobody’s Diary” which was the only single to be released from the album before the band split.

 

Side one
1.  Nobody’s Diary  (4:30)
2.  Softly Over  (4:01)
3.  Sweet Thing  (3:41)
4.  Mr Blue  (3:24)
5.  Good Times  (4:18)

Side two
1.  Walk Away From Love  (3:18)
2.  Ode To Boy  (3:35)
3.  Unmarked  (3:34)
4.  Anyone  (3:24)
5.  State Farm  (3:35)
6.  And On  (3:12)

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29
Jul

Soft Cell – Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing (1982)

soft cell - non stop ecstatic dancing

Artist:  Soft Cell
Title:  Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing
Released:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  Vertigo Records
Catalog#  6359110

“Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing” is an album by English synthpop duo Soft Cell. It produced a top five hit, a cover of Judy Street’s 1966 song “What?”, as well as remixes of both sides of the band’s first single, “A Man Could Get Lost” and “Memorabilia”, B side of second single “Tainted Love” and two non-single tracks from the first album “Non Stop Erotic Cabaret”.
The album is widely recognised as being one of the first house records in the United Kingdom, as well as the first record in the UK to feature turntable scratches. However, it is notable that the scratch sounds heard on the record were not created on actual turntables but, rather, on producer Mike Thorne’s Serge synthesizer.
As the name implies, “Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing” was conceived, by the band’s own admission, under the influence of MDMA (commonly referred to as ecstasy). The album and its inspiration, “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret”, were both recorded almost simultaneously in New York City at a time when its gay club scene was just beginning to emerge. Vocalist Marc Almond later admitted in an interview, that the album’s sound, as well as the sound of the band, was influenced by a short stint working at The Warehouse, a popular nightclub in Leeds. The album is much more dance-oriented than “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret”, with extended versions and instrumental cuts of various songs from its predecessor as well as several new tracks.

 

Side one
1.  Memorabilia  (5:22)
2.  Where Did Our Love Go  (4:12)
3.  What  (4:33)

Side two
1.  A Man Could Get Lost  (4:05)
2.  Chips On My Shoulder  (4:26)
3.  Sex Dwarf  (5:15)

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29
Jul

Pablo Cruise – Reflector (1981)

pablo cruise - reflector

Artist:  Pablo Cruise
Title:  Reflector
Released:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  AMLK 63726

Pablo Cruise is a pop/rock band currently composed of David Jenkins (guitar and vocals), Cory Lerios (keyboards and vocals), Steve Price (drums) and Larry Antonino (bass and vocals) and formed in 1973.
“Reflector” is their sixth studio album. While the group doesn’t necessarily sound burned-out, there just simply isn’t a lot of spark to the record. Not that you’re looking for spark with Pablo Cruise they are, after all, a quintessential soft rock group but the songcraft doesn’t shine as it does on the previous albums “A Place in the Sun” and “Worlds Away”. That said, it does have its fair share of its moments, including the Top 20 single “Cool Love,” the really nice “One More Night,” and “Slip Away,” and the entire thing has an appealing early ’80s soft rock sheen, which will mean that it will satiate collectors of the genre and the group.

 

Side one
1.  This Time  (3:38)
2.  Cool Love  (3:52)
3.  Don’t Let The Magic Disappear  (5:14)
4.  One More Night  (3:58)
5.  Jenny  (3:45)

Side two
1.  Slip Away  (3:46)
2.  That’s When  (3:53)
3.  Inside/Outside  (3:07)
4.  Paradise  (2:58)
5.  Drums In The Night  (5:50)

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29
Jul

Rene & Angela – Rise (1983)

rene & angela - rise

Artist:  Rene & Angela
Title:  Rise
Released:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  Capitol Records
Catalog#  1A 064-4001821

René & Angela were an R&B duo consisting of artist/producers René Moore and Angela Winbush. “Rise” is the third album and was their last for the Capitol Records label.
With this being the last album the duo would record for Capitol, they still couldn’t manage to crack the Billboard R&B Top Ten. However, they did come close. Their first release was the dance single “Bangin’ the Boogie.” With its rapid rhythm and blaring horns, the twosome managed to carry the song to number 33 on the Billboard R&B charts. Their follow-up single, “My First Love, ” had an impressive outing. With its lush string arrangement, the pair deliver a passionate take on a serenely written number. While most of the album features uptempo songs, “Can’t Give You Up” is the only midtempo number, and it, like most of the album, suffers from production overkill.

 

Side one
1.  Rise  (3:57)
2.  Keep Runnin’  (5:16)
3.  My First Love  (5:07)
4.  Bangin’ The Boogie  (5:01)

Side two
1.  When It Comes To Love  (5:01)
2.  Wait Until Tonight  (4:20)
3.  Can’t Give You Up  (4:01)
4.  Take Me To The Limit  (4:16)

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24
Jul

UB40 – Present Arms (1981)

ub40 - presents arms

Artist:  UB40
Title:  Present Arms
Released:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Epic Records
Catalog#  EPC 85126

“Present Arms” is the second album by UB40 and was released in 1981. An album of original songs, it spawned two top 20 hits in “One In Ten” and “Don’t Let It Pass You By/Don’t Slow Down”.
Like their first album “Signing Off”, “Present Arms” contained many socially and politically charged lyrics, from the anti-militant title track to ‘Sardonicus’ which was linked to both President Ronald Regan and Risus sardonicus, an ironic smile on tetanus victims’ faces, The UK top-ten hit “One In Ten” was an attack on Thatcherism. The album also touches on a subject very dear to UB40’s heart: “Lamb’s Bread” and “Don’t Walk On The Grass” are written as part of the band’s longstanding campaign for the legalization of cannabis. Musically, the album continued in the heavy, reverb-drenched, mellifluous style of the debut.
The title track has been used to open UB40 concerts from the mid 90s onwards, usually with the blasting horn section beginning the concert.
A Dub version of this Album called “Present Arms In Dub” was released soon after.

 

Side one
1.  Present Arms  (4:08)
2.  Sardonicus  (4:29)
3.  Don’t Let It Pass You By  (7:45)
4.  Wildcat  (3:04)

Side two
5.  One in Ten  (4:32)
6.  Don’t Slow Down  (4:28)
7.  Silent Witness  (4:15)
8.  Lamb’s Bread  (4:48)

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24
Jul

Crosby, Stills & Nash – CSN (1977)

crosby, stills & nash - csn

Artist:  Crosby, Stills & Nash
Title:  CSN
Released:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  Atlantic Records
Catalog#  ATL 50369

“CSN” is a Crosby, Stills & Nash album released in 1977, the fifth album by the group, the second by the trio configuration and the first without Neil Young since his entry into the band. 2 singles taken from the album, “Just A Song Before I Go” and Stills’ “Fair Game”.
“CSN” featured strong writing from all three members, the last time for seventeen years that the band would compose songs and handle vocals without major assistance from outside sources. The production of the album fit in well with the ruling aesthetic of the time as featured in other blockbusters such as the Eagles’ Hotel California, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours: well-crafted, melodic songs played with precision and balance, essaying the personal travails of the authors.
Many of Stills’ songs on the album echo his marital problems, with “Dark Star” returning to the Latin rhythms he had favored all the way back to his Buffalo Springfield days. Crosby continued the existential probings consistent with much of his past work, and Nash offered both a radio-ready acoustic ballad with “Just a Song Before I Go”, and an elaborate set piece re-creating a vision of an LSD experience that he had in Winchester Cathedral with “Cathedral”. Many tracks were sweetened with a string section, a first on a CSNY project.

 

Side one
1.  Shadow Captain  (4:32)
2.  See the Changes  (2:56)
3.  Carried Away  (2:29)
4.  Fair Game  (3:30)
5.  Anything at All  (3:01)
6.  Cathedral  (5:15)

Side two
1.  Dark Star  (4:43)
2.  Just a Song Before I Go  (2:12)
3.  Run from Tears  (4:09)
4.  Cold Rain  (2:32)
5.  In My Dreams  (5:10)
6.  I Give You Give Blind  (3:21)

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24
Jul

Stevie Nicks – The Wild Heart (1983)

stevie nicks - wild heart

Artist:  Stevie Nicks
Title:  The Wild Heart
Released:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  WEA Records
Catalog#  250071-1

“The Wild Heart” is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks. Recording began in late 1982, shortly after the end of Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage Tour. After the death of her best friend, Robin Anderson, and with new appreciation for her life and career, the recording took only a few months and the album was released in June 1983, preceded by the single “Stand Back”, to much critical acclaim. The album was released on June 10, 1983, a year after Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage. It peaked at #5 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts.
The album is notable for its array of prominent guest musicians. Tom Petty made a return to write “I Will Run to You”, on which his bandmates from the Heartbreakers performed. Nicks’ Fleetwood Mac bandmate, drummer Mick Fleetwood, made an appearance on the track “Sable on Blond”. Toto’s Steve Lukather contributed some of the guitar work on what would become the album’s biggest hit single, “Stand Back”, which also features an uncredited contribution from Prince, who played the synthesizer track. Nicks also worked with friend Sandy Stewart, who wrote the music for three tracks on the album and performed on several. The album’s final track, “Beauty and the Beast”, features a full string section.

 

Side one
1.  Wild Heart  (6:08)
2.  If Anyone Falls  (4:07)
3.  Gate And Garden  (4:05)
4.  Enchanted  (3:05)
5.  Nightbird  (4:59)

Side two
1.  Stand Back  (4:18)
2.  I Will Run To You  (With Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers)  (3:21)
3.  Nothing Ever Changes  (4:09)
4.  Sable On Blond  (4:13)
5.  Beauty And The Beast  (6:02)

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20
Jul

Soundtrack – Xanadu (1980)

soundtrack - xanadu

Artist:  Soundtrack
Title:  Xanadu
Released:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  JET Records
Catalog#  JET LX 526

“Xanadu” is the soundtrack of the 1980 musical film of the same name, featuring the Australian singer Olivia Newton-John and the British group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
On this original LP release featured, on side one the songs of Newton-John, and on side two the songs of ELO. Although the film was a critical and commercial disappointment, the soundtrack was a worldwide success and received positive reviews from music critics. The hit singles “Magic” and “Xanadu”, peaked at number one in the U.K. and U.S.
The soundtrack featured songs on side one by the film’s star, Olivia Newton-John, written by her long-time producer, John Farrar. The songs on side two were written and performed by ELO. The title track which closed side two featured Newton-John as lead vocalist.
The Newton-John side also featured Cliff Richard, The Tubes and Gene Kelly.

 

Side one
1.  Olivia Newton-John – Magic  (4:25)
2.  Olivia Newton-John With Cliff Richard – Suddenly  (4:03)
3.  Olivia Newton-John With Tubes, The – Dancin’  (5:14)
4.  Olivia Newton-John – Suspended In Time  (3:52)
5.  Olivia Newton-John With Gene Kelly – Whenever You’re Away From Me  (4:15)

Side two
1.  Electric Light Orchestra – I’m Alive  (3:46)
2.  Electric Light Orchestra – The Fall  (3:34)
3.  Electric Light Orchestra – Don’t Walk Away  (4:48)
4.  Electric Light Orchestra – All Over The World (4:04)
5.  Electric Light Orchestra & Olivia Newton-John – Xanadu  (3:30)

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20
Jul

The Alan Parsons Project – I Robot (1977)

alan parsons project - i robot

Artist:  The Alan Parsons Project
Title:  I Robot
Released:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  Arista Records
Catalog#  AL 7002

“I Robot” is the second album by progressive rock band The Alan Parsons Project, engineered by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson in 1977. “I Robot” is an art rock album that draws conceptually on author Isaac Asimov’s science fiction Robot trilogy, exploring philosophical themes regarding artificial intelligence.
The album was intended to be based on the I, Robot stories written by Asimov, and Woolfson actually spoke with Asimov, who was enthusiastic about the idea. As the rights already had been granted to a TV/movie company, the album’s title was altered slightly by removing the comma, and the theme and lyrics were made to be more generically about robots rather than specific to the Asimov universe.
Three singles were released from this album: “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You”, “Don’t Let it Show” and “Day After Day (The Show Must Go On).” The LP track “Breakdown” went into heavy rotation on AOR stations and continues to be played on classic rock radio.

 

Side one
1.  I Robot  (6:06)
2.  I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You  (3:19)
3.  Some Other Time  (4:05)
4.  Breakdown  (3:50)
5.  Don’t Let It Show  (4:21)

Side two
1.  The Voice  (5:21)
2.  Nucleus  (3:35)
3.  Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)  (3:43)
4.  Total Eclipse  (3:05)
5.  Genesis Ch.1.V.32  (3:37)

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20
Jul

Sutherland Brothers & Quiver – Reach For The Sky (1975)

sutherland brothers & quiver - reach for the sky

Artist:  Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
Title:  Reach For The Sky
Released:  1976
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  69191

The Sutherland Brothers (Gavin and Iain Sutherland) originally performed as a folk and rock music duo in the British music scene in the early 1970s, and then from 1973 to 1978 joined with rock band Quiver to record and tour as Sutherland Brothers & Quiver. Under this combined moniker, the group recorded several albums and had a significant international hit single with the song “Arms of Mary” in 1976.
Plaintive pop groups the Sutherlands Brothers & Quiver collaborate on their third album
“Reach For The Sky” represents the pinnacle of the Sutherland Brother’s underappreciated output. Released in 1975, it contains 10 concise, melodic cuts and seems to exist well apart from its 1970s context. The recording is crisp and clear; the arrangements spare and invigorating. Includes their biggest hit ‘Arms Of Mary’, (which was later covered by the Everly Brothers on their 2nd comeback album), ‘When the Train Comes’, ‘Dirty City’, ‘Ain’t Too Proud’.

 

Side one
1.  When The Train Comes  (4:00)
2.  Dirty City  (3:33)
3.  Arms Of Mary  (2:35)
4.  Something Special  (4:05)
5.  Love On The Moon  (4:15)

Side two
1.  Ain’t Too Proud  (3:20)
2.  Dr Dancer  (4:40)
3.  Reach For The Sky  (3:10)
4.  Moonlight Lady  (3:06)
5.  Mad Trail  (3:54)

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16
Jul

Julio Iglesias – Emociones (1979)

julio iglesias - emociones

Artist:  Julio Iglesias
Title:  Emociones
Released:  1979
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  83703

Julio Iglesias is a Spanish singer and songwriter who has sold more than 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released more than 80 albums, and more than 2,600 gold and platinum records certified. According to Sony Music Entertainment, he is the best selling Latin music artist in history world’s best-selling artists of all time.
In 1978 he released “Emociones”, one of his greatest albums. The album spawned the hitsingles, “Quiereme Mucho” and Quiereme.

 

Side one
1.  Me Olvide De Vivir  (4:51)
2.  Voy A Perder La Cabeza Por Tu Amor  (4:37)
3.  Spanish Gir l (3:39)
4.  Pobre Diablo  (2:55)
5.  Quiereme (Basada En Las Danzas Polovtsianas De “El Principe Igor”)  (2:48)

Side two
1.  Preguntale  (4:55)
2.  Quiereme Mucho  (4:07)
3.  Con Una Pinta Asi  (3:23)
4.  No Vengo Ni Voy  (3:26)
5.  Un Dia Tu, Un Dia Yo  (3:04)

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16
Jul

Blue Öyster Cult – Fire Of Unknown Origin (1981)

blue oyster cult - fire of unknown origin

Artist:  Blue Oyster Cult
Title:  Fire Of Unknown Origin
Year:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  85137

Who would have thought that in 1981, after a pair of limp, unfocused studio offerings, and two mixed — at best — live outings, that the once mighty Blue Öyster Cult would come back with such a fierce, creative, and uncompromising effort as “Fire of Unknown Origin”. Here was their finest moment since Agents of Fortune five years earlier, and one of their finest ever. Bringing back into the fold the faithful team who helped articulate their earlier vision, producer Sandy Pearlman, Richard Meltzer, and Patti Smith all helped in the lyric department, as did science-fiction and dark-fantasy writer Michael Moorcock. The band’s sound was augmented by a plethora of keyboards courtesy of Allen Lanier, but nonetheless retained a modicum of its heaviness, and the sheer songwriting craft that had helped separate the band form its peers early on was everywhere evident here — especially the gloriously noir-ish Top 40 single “Burning for You,” written by Meltzer and guitarist Buck Dharma. Other standouts on the set include the plodding, über-riff pyrotechnics of “Heavy Metal: The Black and the Silver,” and the Mott the Hoople- and Queen-influenced glammed up roots rock of “Joan Crawford.” The terrifying images of desecration and apocalyptic war in “Veteran of Psychic Wars,” with words by Moorcock, feature huge synth lines, dual leads by Dharma and Eric Bloom — as well as a tom-tom orgy from Albert Bouchard — offered a new pathway through the eternal night of the Cult’s best work. “Fire of Unknown Origin” has aged well, and deserves to be remastered in the 21st century.

 

Side one
1.  Fire of Unknown Origin  (4:09)
2.  Burnin’ for You  (4:29)
3.  Veteran of the Psychic Wars  (4:48)
4.  Sole Survivor  (4:04)
5.  Heavy Metal: the Black and Silver  (3:16)

Side two
1.  Vengeance (The Pact)  (4:41)
2.  After Dark  (4:25)
3.  Joan Crawford  (4:55)
4.  Don’t Turn Your Back  (4:07)

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16
Jul

Janet Jackson – Dream Street (1984)

janet jackson - dream street

Artist:  Janet Jackson
Title:  Dream Street
Year:  1984
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  AMLX 64962

“Dream Street” is the second studio album by American recording artist Janet Jackson.
A listen to Janet Jackson’s “Dream Street” brings to mind remembrances of the then-teenaged singer’s appearances on American Bandstand, shyly answering questions from host Dick Clark, as well as her short stint as a regular on the syndicated series Fame. The first single, “Don’t Stand Another Chance,” was a family affair, produced by brother Marlon Jackson with vocal ad-libs by Michael Jackson. It was a Top Ten R&B hit during the summer of 1984. The extended 12? mix rocks, showcasing outstanding synth work by John Barnes. Other standouts are the smeary Minneapolis funk cut “Pretty Boy” produced by Jesse Johnson, and both “Hold Back the Tears” and “If It Takes All Night” are prime examples of pleasing ’80s pop.

 

Side one
1.  Don’t Stand Another Chance  (4:14)
2.  Two to the Power of Love  (3:06)
3.  Pretty Boy” Jesse Johnson Johnson  (6:32)
4.  Dream Street  (3:52)

Side two
1.  Communication  (3:12)
2.  Fast Girls  (3:18)
3.  Hold Back the Tears  (3:14)
4.  All My Love to Yo u (5:44)
5.  If It Takes All Night  (4:09)

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16
Jul

Randy Crawford – Abstract Emotions (1986)

randy crawford - abstract emotions

Artist:  Randy Crawford
Title:  Abstract Emotions
Year:  1986
Format:  LP
Label:  Warner Bros. Records
Catalog#  925423-1

“Abstract Emotions” is the 8th solo album from Randy Crawford, released in 1986.
Randy put together 10 outstanding cuts to define “Abstract Emotions.” Her vocals are first class Randy, emotional without being heavy handed (“Can’t Stand the Pain”), understated (the original version of “Almaz”), and joyful (“Higher than Anyone Can Count”). The song “Don’t Wanna Be Normal,” is a declaration of living life on your own terms, set to a driving beat. After hearing this jam, you wanna do as Randy says and “grab a little glory.”

 

Side one
01.  Can’t Stand the Pain  (6:05)
02.  Actual Emotional Love  (5:06)
03.  World of Fools  (5:00)
04.  Betcha  (4:32)
05.  Higher Than Anyone Can Count  (4:15)

Side two
01.  Desire  (5:27)
02.  Gettin’ Away with Murder  (4:05)
03.  Overnight  (5:20)
04.  Almaz  (4:07)
05.  Don’t Wanna Be Normal  (5:17)

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16
Jul

Soundtrack – Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

soundtrack - merry christmas mr. lawrence

Artist:  Soundtrack
Title:  Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Year:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  Virgin Records
Catalog#  205494

The film is notable for its soundtrack, by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The main score, which bears the same title as the movie, ranks among Sakamoto’s most well-known songs and made him known to a broader public. The soundtrack also contains the vocal version of this title track, better known as “Forbidden Colours” with lyrics sung and composed by David Sylvian.
“Forbidden Colours” was the single released to promote the movie. It sounds as if Sakomoto and Seigen Ono created the entire instrumental soundtrack in Tokyo, but then the western producer decided a vocal-based track was needed for the single. I would guess that the opening instrumental track was sent to David Sylvian (singer from the band ‘Japan’!), who then pasted his vocals over the top.

 

Side one
01.  Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence  (4:36)
02.  Batavia  (1:18)
03.  Germination  (1:49)
04.  A Hearty Breakfast  (1:22)
05.  Before the War  (2:15)
06.  The Seed and the Sower  (5:01)
07.  A Brief Encounter  (2:22)
08.  Ride, Ride, Ride (Celliers’ Brother’s Song)  (1:04)
09.  The Fight  (1:29)

Side two
01.  Father Christmas  (2:07)
02.  Dismissed  (0:09)
03.  Assembly  (2:17)
04.  Beyond Reason  (2:01)
05.  Sowing the Seed  (1:54)
06.  23rd Psalm  (2:02)
07.  Last Regrets  (1:43)
08.  Ride, Ride, Ride (Reprise)  (1:05)
09.  The Seed  (1:03)
10.  Forbidden Colours (Vocals by: David Sylvian)  (4:42)

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12
Jul

Jon & Vangelis – The Friends Of Mr. Cairo (1981)

jon & vangelis - the friends of mr. cairo

Jon and Vangelis is the collaborative effort between the singer Jon Anderson (the lead vocalist of the progressive rock band Yes) and the Greek synthesizer musician Vangelis Papathanassiou. Together they released a number of successful albums in the 1980s.
“The Friends of Mr Cairo” is the second album by Jon and Vangelis, released in 1981. There are two editions of this album, with different sleeves. Both versions were released in 1981 within a few weeks of each other. The title track, “The Friends of Mr Cairo”, peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian singles late 1981, though this track was not a hit elsewhere. The second edition of the album includes the single “I’ll Find My Way Home” and “State of Independence” was later a hit single for Donna Summer.
The title track and its accompanying music video serve as an ode to classic Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s. Most notable references are to the classic film noir The Maltese Falcon. The track incorporates sound effects and voice impressions of the stars of the era most notably Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and Jimmy Stewart.

Artist:  Jon & Vangelis
Title:  The Friends Of Mr. Cairo
Released:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Polydor Records
Catalog#  2383609

 

Side one
1.  The Friends Of Mr. Cairo  (12:04)
2.  Back To School Boogie  (5:06)
3.  Outside And Inside  (5:00)

Side two
1.  State Of Independence  (7:53)
2.  Beside  (4:08)
3.  The Mayflower  (6:35)

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12
Jul

Charlene – I´ve Never Been To Me (1982)

charlene - i´ve never been to me

Charlene Marilynn D’Angelo Oliver (born June 1, 1950, Hollywood, California) is an American R&B singer best known as Charlene. She is known mainly for her 1982 popular song “I’ve Never Been to Me”, and is considered a one-hit-wonder.
She was christened by her mother under the name Charlene Marilynn D’Angelo, which was later shortened to Charlene for her record label. In 1973, Charlene signed with Motown under the name “Charlene Duncan”.
Charlene originally recorded “I’ve Never Been to Me” in 1976, and the single reached #97 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1977. When released again in 1982, the single reached #3 in Charts.
In 1982, Tampa, Florida disc jockey Scott Shannon, then at WRBQ, started playing the song at the behest of a girlfriend, by which time Charlene had lost her recording contract, moved to England and was working in a sweetshop in Ilford, London. Audience reaction was impressive, resulting in the song’s second release with the original spoken bridge. The second release was a hit in England as well.

Artist:  Charlene
Title:  I´ve Never Been To Me
Released:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  Motown Records
Catalog#  542025

 

Side one
1.  I’ve Never Been To Me  (3:47)
2.  It Ain’t Easy Coming Down  (3:28)
3.  Can We Try  (3:46)
4.  Hungry  (3:23)
5.  Hey Mama  (3:33)

Side two
1.  I Won’t Remember Ever Loving You  (4:12)
2.  Johnny Doesn’t Love Here Anymore  (3:52)
3.  After The Ball  (3:28)
4.  I Need A Man  (4:16)
5.  If I Could See Myself  (2:47)

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10
Jul

Barbra Streisand – Superman (1977)

barbra streisand - superman

Artist:  Barbra Streisand
Title:  Superman
Released:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  86030

Appearing only seven months after “A Star Is Born”, “Streisand Superman” seemed to continue much of its rock-oriented feel, even including several songs that had been intended for the film. It was unusual in featuring all recently written songs, many first recorded here. Streisand co-wrote the rockish “Don’t Believe What You Read,” an attack on her negative press coverage, while Alan Gordon contributed both the disco-ish “I Found You Love” and the album’s Top Ten single ballad “My Heart Belongs to Me.” “Streisand Superman” seemed to be an unusually personal album for the singer, reflecting her feelings and viewpoints.

 

Side one
1.  Superman  (2:47)
2.  Don’t Believe What You Read  (3:37)
3.  Baby Me Baby  (4:26)
4.  I Found You Love  (3:50)
5.  Answer Me  (3:16)

Side two
1.  My Heart Belongs to Me  (3:21)
2.  Cabin Fever  (3:14)
3.  Love Comes from Unexpected Places  (4:10)
4.  New York State of Mind  (4:44)

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10
Jul

The Beach Boys – 15 Big Ones (1976)

the beach boys - 15 big ones

Artist:  The Beach Boys
Title:  15 Big Ones
Released:  1976
Format:  LP
Label:  Reprise Records
Catalog#  REP 54079

“15 Big Ones” is the twentieth studio album by American rock group The Beach Boys, released in July 1976. It was their first studio album in three years and the first Brian Wilson-produced album released by the band since “Pet Sounds”, ten years earlier. This is also the first album to feature the classic lineup of the Beach Boys (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Al Jardine) since the mid 1960s with Bruce Johnston’s mild departure from the group.
The album that followed, “15 Big Ones”, balanced covers of rock and doo wop standards with seven new Beach Boys songs (including five Brian Wilson compositions). Most of the covers are mistakes, part of a misguided attempt by the aging Beach Boys to recapture the energy of their youth. The “contemporary” production techniques and overly polished sound do nothing for these oldies, and effectively sap them of any energy they might once have had. And the choices including Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music,” the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love,” Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill,” Freddy Cannon’s “Palisades Park” are simply too well known to be reworked effectively, by anyone. The only one that succeeds is the closer, the lesser-known Righteous Brothers hit “Just Once in My Life,” given an emotional reading by Carl and Brian. Of the band originals, the good-time standard “It’s OK” and the quirky, endearing “Had to Phone Ya” are excellent, reminiscent of Brian’s odd pop songs on late-’60s albums like “Friends” and “20/20?. Most of the other originals are quite inferior though, including the silly history-of-music salute “That Same Song,” Al Jardine’s “Susie Cincinnati,” and the meditation primer “T M Song.”

 

Side one
1.  Rock And Roll Music  (2:26)
2.  It’s O.K.  (2:18)
3.  Had To Phone Ya  (2:13)
4.  Chapel Of Love  (2:34)
5.  Everyone’s In Love With You  (2:40)
6.  Talk To Me  (2:13)
7.  That Same Song  (2:14)
8.  T M Song  (1:34)

Side two
1.  Palisades Park  (2:29)
2.  Susie Cincinnati  (2:55)
3.  A Casual Look  (2:43)
4.  Blueberry Hill  (3:01)
5.  Back Home  (2:47)
6.  In The Still Of The Night  (3:01)
7.  Just Once In My Life  (3:34)

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10
Jul

Bee Gees – Main Course (1975)

bee gees - main course

Artist:  Bee Gees
Title:  Main Course
Released:  1975
Format:  LP
Label:  RSO Records
Catalog#  2479139

“Main Course” is the 12th album released by the Bee Gees in 1975 for the RSO label, under its distribution deal with Robert Stigwood. This album marked a change for the Bee Gees as it was their first album to include disco influenced songs, and it created the model for their output through the rest of the 1970s. “Main Course” was the first album to feature keyboardist Blue Weaver. The group’s earlier LPs, steeped in a dense romantic balladry, were beautifully crafted but too serious for any but hardcore fans. “Main Course” had a few ballads, such as “Songbird” and “Country Lanes,” but the writing was simpler, and the rest of it was made up of catchy dance tunes (heavily influenced by the Philadelphia-based soul music of the period), in which the beat and the texture of the voices and instruments took precedence over the words. The combination proved irresistible, and “Main Course” driven by the singles “Jive Talkin’,” “Nights on Broadway,” and “Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)” attracted millions of new listeners. It also repelled fans of the group’s earlier style, which was a bit ironic. Barry Gibb’s falsetto voice, introduced on this album, was startling at first, and became an object of ridicule in later years, but the slow break on “Nights on Broadway” and songs like “Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)” and “Baby As You Turn Away” were as exquisitely sung as “Lonely Days” or “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” and they had the same sense of romantic drama, leavened by a layer of sheer fun; one had less of a sense that the singer was dealing with the love of a lifetime, so much as a conquest for the evening, which was in keeping with the sexual mores of the mid-’70s. And the spirit of fun was no accident producer Arif Mardin, seeking to rescue the group’s stagnating career, had gotten the Bee Gees to turn their talents in a musical direction that they’d always loved but never embraced. Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb had been fascinated by R&B and soul for years. Not only didn’t they seem ridiculous, but they took to it as easily as they’d absorbed the Beatles’ harmony-based rock sounds in the late ’60s. It was a liberating experience for the entire group Blue Weaver, newly added to the lineup with an array of electronic keyboards and ideas that ended up shaping lots of the songs here; Alan Kendall, playing in a funky guitar style; and drummer Dennis Byron, playing more complicated patterns than he’d been asked to in years, were also delighted with the new direction, and they constituted the instrumental core of the band for the next six years. Years later, “Main Course” holds up as well as anything the group ever did, and with killer album cuts like “Wind of Change” (featuring a superb Joe Farrell tenor sax solo) and “Edge of the Universe” all over it, demands as much attention as any hits compilation by the group.

 

Side one
1.  Nights on Broadway  (4:31)
2.  Jive Talkin’  (3:43)
3.  Wind of Change  (4:54)
4.  Songbird  (3:35)
5.  Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)  (4:02)

Side two
1.  All This Making Love  (3:03)
2.  Country Lanes  (3:29)
3.  Come On Over  (3:26)
4.  Edge of the Universe  (5:21)
5.  Baby As You Turn Away  (4:23)

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10
Jul

Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)

iron butterfly - in a gadda da vida

Artist:  Iron Butterfly
Title:  In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Released:  1968
Format:  LP
Label:  Atlantic
Catalog#  ATL 40022

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is the second studio album by the American rock band Iron Butterfly, released in 1968. It is most known for the title track, a simple composition which, due to an extended jam, occupies the whole of Side B.
With its endless, droning minor-key riff and mumbled vocals, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is arguably the most notorious song of the acid rock era. According to legend, the group was so stoned when they recorded the track that they could neither pronounce the title “In the Garden of Eden” or end the track, so it rambles on for a full 17 minutes, which to some listeners sounds like eternity. But that’s the essence of its appeal — it’s the epitome of heavy psychedelic excess, encapsulating the most indulgent tendencies of the era. Iron Butterfly never matched the warped excesses of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” either on their debut album of the same name or the rest of their catalog, yet they occasionally made some enjoyable fuzz guitar-driven psychedelia that works as a period piece. The five tracks that share space with their magnum opus on In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida qualify as good artifacts, and the entire record still stands as the group’s definitive album, especially since this is the only place the full-length title track is available.

 

Side one
1.  Most Anything You Want  (3:44)
2.  Flowers and Beads  (3:09)
3.  My Mirage  (4:55)
4.  Termination  (2:53)
5.  Are You Happy  (4:31)

Side two
1.  In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida  (17:05)

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27
Jun

LaToya Jackson – Heart Don´t Lie (1984)

latoya jackson - heart don´t lie

Artist:  LaToya Jackson
Title:  Heart Don´t Lie
Release:  1984
Format:  LP
Label:  Private Records
Catalog#  540085

“Heart Don’t Lie” is the third album released by singer La Toya Jackson. It is her most critically acclaimed and commercially successful album to date.
The album was produced by Amir Bayyan, brother of Khalis Bayyan and Robert Bell of Kool & the Gang, who was hired after Joe Jackson, La Toya’s father and then-manager, heard his tapes. Jackson recorded the album sporadically over a six-month period.
Despite a very mild public response to her first two albums, Jackson showed no signs of giving up, moving to Private I and recording this album of youthful, highly danceable material. Whereas most of the instrumentation on the earlier albums was live and authentic, drum programming and overdubs entered the picture in a big way here but not to the total exclusion of the real thing. The title track, which became the most successful entry, is the most gimmicky.
The album features a plethora of musical guests, including Shalamar’s Howard Hewett and reggae-pop group Musical Youth on the title track, musicians from Kool & the Gang on several tracks throughout the album, and collaborations with her siblings, including Marlon, Janet, and Tito, who co-produced the track “Frustration”.
More believable and alluring are the sprightly, soulful “Bet’cha Gonna Need My Lovin'” and “Think Twice,” the latter featuring a surprisingly colorful trumpet solo. Amir Bayyan’s production gets a bit repetitive on occasion, resulting in a few sound-alike tunes, and Jackson’s presence isn’t as distinguishable as on previous output.

 

Side one
1. Think Twice  (4:36)
2. Heart Don’t Lie  (4:34)
3. Bet’cha Gonna Need My Lovin’  (4:26)
4. Private Joy  (4:45)

Side two
1. Hot Potato  (4:39)
2. I Like Everything You’re Doin’  (4:33)
3. Frustration  (4:45)
4. Without You  (4:05)

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23
Jun

Outlaws – Hurry Sundown (1977)

outlaws - hurry sundown

Artist:  Outlaws
Title:  Hurry Sundown
Release:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  Arista Records
Catalog#  AL 4135

Tampa, FL-based band the Outlaws released their third album, “Hurry Sundown”, in 1977, and it’s a fine work marked by strong songwriting and their unique country-based brand of Southern rock. All five members wrote material for “Hurry Sundown”: vocalist/lead guitarist Billy Jones, vocalist/guitarist Henry Paul, vocalist/lead guitarist Hughie Thomasson, new vocalist/bass guitarist Harvey Dalton Arnold, and drummer Monte Yoho. One significant influence on the album is producer Bill Szymczyk. It’s obvious his work with the Eagles sharpened the Outlaws’ harmony vocals on “Hurry Sundown”. “Gunsmoke” is a vibrant rocker with lots of guitar soloing; the Outlaws didn’t feature three guitarists for nothing. The bright country-rock chorus is the foundation of “Hearin’ My Heart Talkin’.” Arnold’s “So Afraid” is a strangely compelling country song with two distinctly different parts: emotionally fragile lyrics supported by happy-go-lucky music driven by Thomasson’s cheerful banjo playing. Thomasson’s excellent “Hurry Sundown”, an edgy story song with piercing guitar lines, was a minor hit single. “Cold and Lonesome” is a relaxed, swaying tune contributed by Arnold. The major discovery on “Hurry Sundown” is Jones’ startling “Night Wines.” This mournful, haunting song features a regret-filled protagonist drinking at night while lamenting the sad inevitability of aging. “Night Wines” must be at least partly autobiographical, because Jones, an obviously tortured soul, battled alcoholism before leaving the band by 1982 and, ultimately, took his own life in 1995 at age 45. About the first half of “Man of the Hour” is slow country with twangy electric guitars and Thomasson’s pedal steel guitar, but then the tempo shifts to a mid-tempo jam; along the way, guest Joe Vitale adds simple, effective synthesizer/strings fills.

 

Side one
1.  Gunsmoke  (4:19)
2.  Hearin’ My Heart Talkin’  (4:11)
3.  So Afraid  (3:17)
4.  Holiday  (4:03)
5.  Hurry Sundown  (4:05)

Side two
1.  Cold & Lonesome  (3:19)
2.  Night Wines  (4:52)
3.  Heavenly Blues  (3:48)
4.  Man Of The Hour  (6:13)

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21
Jun

Jeffrey Osborne – Jeffrey Osborne (1982)

jeffrey osborne - jeffrey osborne

Artist:  Jeffrey Osborne
Title:  Jeffrey Osborne
Release:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  AMHL 64896

“Jeffrey Osborne” is the self-titled debut album from Jeffrey Osborne, released in 1982 on A&M after leaving L.T.D. for a solo career.
As vocalist for the group L.T.D., Osborne’s booming voice led hits like “Love Ballad,” “Where Did We Go Wrong,” and “Shine On.” The group enjoyed constant success and offered a catalog of well-executed and classic albums including 1977’s Something to Love and Togetherness from 1978. In 1982 it came as a complete shock when Osborne made his solo bid. Unlike countless other acts who did the same thing, his self-titled release proves that it was a great decision. Producer George Duke offered Osborne an up-to-the-minute sound with a collection of great studio players ranging from drummer Steve Ferrone to bassist Louis Johnson. That being said, a few of the tracks here don’t play to Osborne’s strengths as a committed and slightly quirky vocalist. “New Love” and “Eeenie Meenie” are so proficient yet by the numbers anyone could have sung them. The best tracks on this album give him the needed challenges that make him soar. The first single, the moody and rhythmic “Really Don’t Need No Light,” co-written by Osborne and David “Hawk” Wolinski, benefits from a string arrangement from George Del Barrio. The ballad “You Were Made to Love” not only perfectly captures Duke’s uncluttered and precise production style, it also plays to Osborne’s emotionality. The last track, “Congratulations,” is a great tearjerker that has Osborne’s reserve and intellect making it that much better. This is an impressive solo debut from one of R&B and pop’s best vocalists.

 

Side one
1.  New Love  (4:10)
2.  Eenie Meenie  (4:23)
3.  I Really Don’t Need No Ligh t (3:40)
4.  On The Wings Of Love  (4:00)
5.  Ready For Your Love  (3:59)

Side two
1.  Who You Talkin’ To  (3:51)
2.  You Were Made To Love  (3:11)
3.  Ain’t Nothin’ Missin’  (4:09)
4.  Baby  (4:18)
5.  Congratulations  (2:56)

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