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1
Nov

U2 – The Unforgettable Fire (1984)

u2 - the unforgettable fire

Artist:  U2
Title:  The Unforgettable Fire
Release:  1984
Format:  LP
Label:  Island Records
Catalog#  206530620

“The Unforgettable Fire” is the fourth studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was released in October 1984.
In many ways, U2 took their fondness for sonic bombast as far as it could go on “War”, so it isn’t a complete surprise that they chose to explore the intricacies of the Edge’s layered, effects-laden guitar on the follow-up, “The Unforgettable Fire”. Working with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, U2 created a dark, near-hallucinatory series of interlocking soundscapes that are occasionally punctuated by recognizable songs and melodies. In such a setting, the band both flourishes and flounders, creating some of their greatest music, as well as some of their worst. “Elvis Presley and America” may well be Bono’s most embarrassing attempt at poetry, yet it is redeemed by the chilling and wonderful “Bad,” a two-chord elegy for an addict that is stunning in its control and mastery. Similarly, the wet, shimmering textures of the title track, the charging “A Sort of Homecoming,” and the surging Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute “Pride (In the Name of Love)” are all remarkable, ranking among U2′s very best music, making the missteps that clutter the remainder of the album somewhat forgivable.

 

Side one
1.  A Sort of Homecoming  (5:28)
2.  Pride (In the Name of Love)  (3:48)
3.  Wire  (4:19)
4.  The Unforgettable Fire  (4:55)
5.  Promenade  (2:35)

Side two
1.  4th of July  (2:12)
2.  Bad  (6:09)
3.  Indian Summer Sky  (4:17)
4.  Elvis Presley and America  (6:23)
5.  MLK  (2:31)

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1
Nov

Roger Hodgson – In The Eye Of The Storm (1984)

roger hodgson - in the eye of the storm

Artist:  Roger Hodgson
Title:  In The Eye Of The Storm
Release:  1984
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  AMLX 65004

Vocalist/guitarist Roger Hodgson must have really felt stifled toward the end of his tenure in Supertramp in the early ’80s, despite co-writing and singing many of the band’s biggest hits because his solo debut, 1984′s “In The Eye Of The Storm), is a remarkable work of explosive creativity. Hodgson wrote, sang, arranged, and produced “In The Eye Of The Storm, but the real kicker is the fact that he played every instrument himself, with a few exceptions such as drums and fretless bass guitar on a few cuts. As a result, “InThe Eye Of The Storm” is easily the best synthesis of pop and progressive rock since, well, prime Supertramp. The spirit of traditional progressive rock experimentation is alive on this album; five of the seven songs exceed six minutes. The brilliant leadoff track, “Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy),” is nine minutes long. An edited single just missed the Top 40, but every second of the sound effects, driving piano, tasteful guitar, and Hodgson’s aggressive singing of this cynical song must be heard to be fully appreciated. “In Jeopardy” has a cha-cha, shuffle-like flavor and Hodgson’s monotone vocals provide a faintly creepy effect. The gentle ballad “Lovers in the Wind” is sweetly arranged. “Give Me Love, Give Me Life” is exuberantly optimistic and hyperactively bouncy. “I’m Not Afraid” fearlessly flows back and forth between darker sounding melodies and upbeat pop. The creamy “Only Because of You” can be favorably compared to the floating instrumental passages on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Without question, In the Eye of the Storm is an exceptional piece of highly listenable craftsmanship.

 

Side one
1.  Had a Dream (Sleeping with the Enemy)  (8:27)
2.  In Jeopardy  (5:59)
3.  Lovers in the Wind  (4:11)

Side two
1.  Hooked on a Problem  (5:10)
2.  Give Me Love, Give Me Life  (7:03)
3.  I’m Not Afraid  (7:30)
4.  Only Because of You  (8:40)

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1
Nov

Chilliwack – Wanna Be A Star (1981)

chiiliwack - wanna be a star

Artist:  Chilliwack
Title:  Wanna Be A Star
Release:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Millennium Records
Catalog#  BXL1-7759

“Wanna Be A Star” is the ninth album by the Canadian rock band Chilliwack, released in 1981. At this point, the band had collapsed into a trio, without a full-time drummer, but leader Bill Henderson and guitarist/keyboardist/drummer Brian MacLeod had become a powerful songwriting team during the interim. The album track: “My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)”, became the group’s first hit since the 1979.
Overall the album is something of a concept album about the “rock and roll” lifestyle and the pursuit of fame. The leadoff track “Sign Here” is a reference to Chilliwack’s new quest for mainstream success, tempered by their brush with fame on Mushroom. This was the first album they recorded with Solid Gold Records in Canada, a new Toronto-based label.

 

Side one
1.  Sign Here  (2:57)
2.  So You Wanna Be a Star  (4:29)
3.  Tell It to the Telephone  (3:14)
4.  Too Many Enemies  (4:39)
5.  Living In Stereo  (4:49)

Side two
1.  Mr. Rock  (3:51)
2.  My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)  (4:16)
3.  (Don’t Wanna) Live for a Living  (3:22)
4.  Walk On  (3:38)
5.  I Believe  (3:57)

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1
Nov

Cheap Trick – Dream Police (1979)

cheap trick - dream police

Artist:  Cheap Trick
Title:  Dream Police
Year:  1979
Format:  LP
Label:  Epic Records
Catalog#  EPC 83522

“Dream Police” is a 1979 studio album by Cheap Trick. It was their fourth studio release, and third in a row produced by Tom Werman.
“Dream Police” shows the band expanding into longer, more complex songs and incorporating orchestration on several tracks.
“At Budokan” unexpectedly made Cheap Trick stars, largely because “I Want You to Want Me” had a tougher sound than its original studio incarnation. Perversely and most things Cheap Trick have done are somehow perverse the band decided not to continue with the direct, stripped-down sound of “At Budokan”, which would have been a return to their debut. Instead, the group went for their biggest, most elaborate production to date, taking the synthesized flourishes of Heaven Tonight to extremes. While it kept the group in the charts, it lessened the impact of the music. Underneath the gloss, there are a number of songs that rank among Cheap Trick’s finest, particularly the paranoid title track, the epic rocker “Gonna Raise Hell,” the tough “I Know What I Want,” the simple pop of “Voices,” and the closer, “Need Your Love.”

 

Side one
1.  Dream Police (3:49)
2.  Way of the World (3:39)
3.  The House Is Rockin´ (With Domestic Problems) (5:12)
4.  Gonna Raise Hell (9:20)

Side two
1.  I’ll Be with You Tonight (3:52)
2.  Voices (4:22)
3.  Writing on the Wall (3:26)
4.  I Know What I Want (4:29)
5.  Need Your Love (7:39)

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1
Nov

Rose Royce – Jump Street (1981)

rose royce - jump street

Artist:  Rose Royce
Title:  Jump Street
Year:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Warner Bros. Records
Catalog#  WB 56958

Interestingly enough this album features the bands most cinematic and abstract takes on their music since Strikes Again four years earlier. It also seems the inspiration for their music had changed too. Always taking on a heavily arranged,almost operatic approach to their funk even after the cinematic soul/funk era came to an end this album is more stripped down,urban and in many ways focused on jazz. The title song opens the album on a surprisingly organic funk note with the horns taking presidents over the synthesizers. Same goes for the 11 minute album centerpiece “R.R Express”. And when the synthesizers do appear on these songs they are used in the most colorful,abstract sense-with rather warped melodic ideas. “Illusions” takes this to the next level with it’s jazz-fusion style arrangement and Richee’s scaling,almost vocalese style of delivery. The ballads here take on a totally different style than before-with “Famous Last Words” and “Tell Me That I’m Dreaming” taking on darker minor chords and eerie synth arrangements. “Please Return Your Love To Me” grafts the same approach to a more traditional Rose Royce ballad.
The vocals of Ricci Benson (who replaced original lead singer, Gwen Dickey, an album ago) are spot on.

 

Side one
1.  Jump Street  (3:59)
2.  Illusions  (3:54)
3.  R.R. Express  (11:58)

Side two
1.  Famous Last Words  (6:05)
2.  Tell Me That I’m Dreaming  (4:22)
3.  Please Return Your Love To Me  (5:18)
4.  Fight It  (3:27)

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10
Oct

A-Ha – Scoundrel Days (1986)

a-ha - scoundrel days

Artist:  A-Ha
Title:  Scoundrel Days
Release:  1986
Format:  LP
Label:  Warner Bros. Records
Catalog#  925501-1

“Scoundrel Days” is the second album by A-ha. It was released on 6 October 1986.
While not quite as strong as the band’s debut, “Scoundrel Days” is still a-ha succeeding as a marketed “pretty boy” band which can connect musically and lyrically as much as any musical sacred cow. The opening two songs alone make for one of the best one-two opening punches around: the tense edge of the title track, featuring one of Morten Harket’s soaring vocals during the chorus and a crisp, pristine punch in the music, and “The Swing of Things,” a moody, elegant number with a beautiful synth/guitar arrangement (plus some fine drumming courtesy of studio pro Michael Sturgis) and utterly lovelorn lyrical sentiments that balance on the edge of being overheated without quite going over. Although the rest of the disc never quite hits as high as the opening, it comes close more often than not. A definite downturn is the band’s occasional attempts to try and prove themselves as a “real” band by rocking out, as on “I’ve Been Losing You” there’s really no need for it, and as a result they sound much more “fake,” ironically enough. Other songs can perhaps only be explained by the need to translate lyrics “We’re Looking for the Whales” isn’t an environmental anthem, and neither is “Cry Wolf,” but both also don’t really succeed in using nature as romantic metaphor. When a-ha are on, though, they’re on “October” snakes along on a cool bass/keyboard arrangement and a whispery vocal from Harket; “Maybe Maybe” is a quirky little pop number that’s engagingly goofy; while “Soft Rains of April” captures the band at its most dramatic, with the string synths giving Harket a perfect bed to launch into a lovely vocal, concluding with a sudden, hushed whisper.

 

Side one
1.  Scoundrel Days  (3:56)
2.  The Swing of Things  (4:14)
3.  I’ve Been Losing You  (4:24)
4.  October  (3:48)
5.  Manhattan Skyline  (4:52)

Side two
1.  Cry Wolf  (4:05)
2.  We’re Looking for the Whales  (3:39)
3.  The Weight Of The Wind  (3:57)
4.  Maybe, Maybe  (2:34)
5.  Soft Rains of April  (3:12)

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10
Oct

Commodores – 13 (1983)

commodores - 13

Artist:  Commodores
Title:  13
Release:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  Motown Records
Catalog#  542045

“Commodores – 13″ is the tenth studio album by the Commodores, released in 1983. It is their first album after Lionel Richie left the group, and their last album with guitarist Thomas McClary before his departure from the band.
The lead vocals are handled by Walter Orange, Thomas McClary, and the Mean Machine’s Harold Hudson, who was an interim vocalist rather than an official full-time vocalist. Not surprisingly, the Commodores cover both their R&B bases and their pop bases, getting into everything from sleek keyboard funk (“Touchdown,” “Nothing Like a Woman”) to adult contemporary ballads (“Only You”). Meanwhile, “Ooo Woman You,” which McClary co-wrote with Melissa Manchester, is a catchy pop/rock number.
The song “Turn Off the Lights” was written as a sequel to 1981′s “Lady (You Bring Me Up)”.

 

Side one
1.  I’m In Love  (4:05)
2.  Turn Off the Lights  (4:20)
3.  Nothing Like a Woman  (4:56)
4.  Captured  (4:37)

Side two
1.  Touchdown  (4:30)
2.  Welcome Home  (4:20)
3.  Ooo, Woman You  (4:22)
4.  Only You  (4:10)

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8
Oct

Barry White – Change (1982)

barry white - change

Artist:  Barry White
Title:  Change
Release:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  Unlimited Gold Records
Catalog#  85788

Barry White’s third release (1982) on his own Unlimited Gold label is more an extension of the second, “Sheet Music.” The title cut touts a “change” in the Maestro’s musical direction but such a path doesn’t fit the trademark White sound. Restraining the use of strings and full orchestra, White goes for a funkier sound that, for this listener, just doesn’t work. It wouldn’t be until his end-of-the-decade releases on A&M that he would return to form that made him such a success in the seventies.

 

Side one
1.  Change  (6:12)
2.  Turnin’ On, Tunin’ In (To Your Love)  (5:13)
3.  Let’s Make Tonight (An Evening To Remember)  (5:09)
4.  Don’t Tell Me About Heartaches  (6:52)

Side two
1.  Passion  (6:58)
2.  I’ve Got That Love Fever  (5:11)
3.  I Like You, You Like Me  (5:30)
4.  It’s All About Love  (4:20)

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7
Oct

Kim Carnes – Mistaken Identity (1981)

kim carnes - mistaken identity

Artist:  Kim Carnes
Title:  Mistaken Identity
Release:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  EMI America Records
Catalog#  1A 062-400008

“Mistaken Identity” her 6th album, should have established Kim Carnes as a huge international star. Her Rod Stewart rasp, affiliation with Kenny Rogers, management by Ken Kragen when he was arguably at his peak, makes one wonder why the across-the-board success of “Bette Davis Eyes” couldn’t be duplicated. Val Garay certainly did a good job on “Mistaken Identity”. It’s not that the other Donna Weiss/Jackie DeShannon tune, “Hit and Run,” which follows “Bette Davis Eyes,” doesn’t have a good performance; it does. The problem with the “Mistaken Identity” album is that everything on it stands in the shadows of a masterpiece. Carnes is just brilliant on her solo composition, “Mistaken Identity, and it is subtle and smart enough to have crossed over to adult contemporary and jazz formats. Frankie Miller’s “When I’m Away From You” sounds like Rod Stewart doing “True Blue” those upfront snare drums and a hook as strong as an undertow.
“Draw of the Cards” plays like a mellow dance number, aimed at a new wave audience.
Wendy Waldman, Carnes, and her husband, Dave Ellingson, craft “Break the Rules Tonite (Out of School),” but it is just too much of a diversion on an album that tests the waters of different rock genres. Flirting with Leslie West-style hard rock is not as appealing to her audience as the beautifully crafted Tom Snow/Dean Pitchford tune “Don’t Call It Love.” Her other solo composition, “Miss You Tonite,” is more the style we expect, and Carnes’ beautiful piano work on Richard Stekol’s “My Old Pals” brings the album to a proper conclusion.

 

Side one
1.  Bette Davis Eyes  (3:47)
2.  Hit And Run  (3:17)
3.  Mistaken Indentity  (4:49)
4.  When I’m Away From You  (3:36)
5.  Draw Of The Cards  (4:54)

Side two
1.  Break The Rules Tonite (Out Of School)  (3:17)
2.  Still Hold On  (4:39)
3.  Don’t Call It Love  (3:09)
4.  Miss You Tonite  (5:12)
5.  My Old Pals  (3:19)

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7
Oct

George Benson – Give Me The Night (1980)

george benson - give me the night

Artist:  George Benson
Title:  Give Me The Night
Release:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  Warner Bros. Records
Catalog#  WB 56823

This 1980 release, the first on producer Quincy Jones’ Quest label, is one of George Benson’s best. “Give Me The Night” is an album packed with one great pop tune after another finding Benson at his vocal best. The hit songs range from “Love X Love” to “Moody’s Mood” to the title track, proving that he can do more than just make his guitar sing.
Benson’s guitar now plays a subsidiary role only two of the ten tracks are instrumentals but Q has him play terrific fills behind the vocals and in the gaps, and the engineering gives his tone a variety of striking, new, full-sounding timbres. The instrumentals themselves are marvelous: “Off Broadway” is driving and danceable, and Ivan Lins’ “Dinorah, Dinorah” grows increasingly seductive with each play.
He sings with versatility and sensitivity, rivaling just about any big jazz vocalist. Only two of the ten tracks are instrumentals, and those too are excellent pieces where Benson’s playing will make even a modern day jazz skeptic take note. This recording features a slew of heavyweights including Lee Ritenour, Herbie Hancock, Greg Philinganes and Patti Austin. Quincy Jones provides rhythm, synthesizer and vocal arrangements for several pieces.

 

Side one
1.  Love X Love  (4:45)
2.  Off Broadway  (5:23)
3.  Moody’s Mood  (3:24)
4.  Give Me the Night  (5:01)

Side two
1.  What’s On Your Mind  (4:02)
2.  Dinorah, Dinorah  (3:39)
3.  Love Dance  (3:18)
4.  Star of a Story (X)  (4:42)
5.  Midnight Love Affair  (3:31)
6.  Turn Out the Lamplight  (4:43)

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6
Oct

Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (1979)

michael jackson - off the wall

Artist:  Michael Jackson
Title:  Off The Wall
Release:  1979
Format:  LP
Label:  Epic Records
Catalog#  EPC 83468

“Off The Wall” is the fifth studio album by the American recording artist Michael Jackson, released August 10, 1979 on Epic Records, after Jackson’s critically well-received film performance in “The Wiz”. While working on that project, Jackson and Quincy Jones had become friends, and Jones agreed to work with Jackson on his next studio album. Recording sessions took place between December 1978 and June 1979 at Allen Zentz Recording, Westlake Recording Studios, and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, California. Jackson collaborated with a number of other writers and performers such as Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Rod Temperton. Five singles were released from the album. Jackson wrote three of the songs himself, including the Platinum-certified lead single, “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough”. The record was a departure from Jackson’s previous work for Motown.

 

Side one
1.  Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough  (6:02)
2.  Rock With You  (3:38)
3.  Working Day And Night  (5:12)
4.  Get On The Floor  (4:44)

Side two
1.  Off The Wall  (4:04)
2.  Girlfriend  (3:04)
3.  She’s Out Of My Life  (3:36)
4.  I Can’t Help It  (4:27)
5.  It’s The Falling In Love  (3:46)
6.  Burn This Disco Out  (3:38)

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5
Oct

AC/DC – If You Want Blood You´ve Got It (1978)

acdc - if you want blood

Artist:  AC/DC
Title:  If You Want Blood You´ve Got It
Release:  1978
Format:  LP
Label:  Atlantic
Catalog#  ATL 50532

AC/DC was fast becoming one of rock’s top live acts by the late ’70s. Few others could match the band’s electrifying live performances: Angus Young’s never-ending energy and wise-ass antics, Bon Scott’s whiskey-soaked vocals, and the rest of the band’s penchant for nailing simple, yet extremely effective and memorable, riffs and grooves. While most other rock bands of the era were busy experimenting with disco or creating studio-perfected epics, AC/DC was one of the few specializing in raw and bluesy hard rock, as evidenced by 1978′s live set, “If You Want Blood You’ve Got It”. Recorded during their world tour in support of their “Powerage” album, “If You Want Blood” contains many of AC/DC’s best compositions up until that point: “Bad Boy Boogie” (complete with the break-down section in which Young would “strip”), “The Jack,” “Problem Child,” “Whole Lotta Rosie,” “High Voltage,” “Let There Be Rock,” and “Rocker”.

 

Side one
1.  Riff Raff  (5:59)
2.  Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be  (4:10)
3.  Bad Boy Boogie  (7:29)
4.  The Jack  (5:48)
5.  Problem Child  (4:40)

Side two
1.  Whole Lotta Rosie  (4:05)
2.  Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation  (3:41)
3.  High Voltage  (5:05)
4.  Let There Be Rock  (8:33)
5.  Rocker  (3:24)

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4
Oct

Santana – Moonflower (1977)

santana - moonflower

Artist:  Santana
Title:  Moonflower
Release:  1977
Format:  2LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  88272

“Moonflower” is a 1977 studio and live double album by Santana. The recording features both studio and live tracks, which are interspersed with one another throughout the album. It is perhaps the group’s most popular live album. It displays a mix between the fusion of Latin and blues-rock styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the much more experimental and spiritual jazz fusion sound that characterized the band’s mid-1970s work. The live material was recorded during the supporting tour for the Festival album, which displayed a similar mix of styles, and many of the album’s songs are featured here namely, the three song medley which opens Festival.
A cover version of the Zombies’ mid-1960s hit song “She’s Not There” and “I´ll Be Waiting” were released as singles.

 

Side one
1.  Dawn/Go Within  (2:44)  (studio)
2.  Carnaval  (2:17)  (live)
3.  Let the Children Play  (2:37)  (live)
4.  Jugando  (2:09)  (live)
5.  I’ll Be Waiting  (5:20)  (studio)
6.  Zulu  (3:25)  (studio)

Side two
1.  Bahia (1:37) (studio)
2.  Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen  (6:32)  (live)
3.  Dance Sister Dance (Baila Mi Hermana)  (7:45)  (live)
4.  Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile)  (6:07)  (live)

Side three
1.  She’s Not There  (4:09)  (studio)
2.  Flor d’Luna (Moonflower)  (5:01)  (studio)
3.  Soul Sacrifice/Head, Hands & Feet  (14:01)  (live)

Side four
1.  El Morocco  (5:05 ) (studio)
2.  Transcendence  (5:13)  (studio)
3.  Savor/Toussaint L’Overture  (12:56)  (live)

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3
Oct

Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years (1975)

paul simon - still crazy after all these years

Artist:  Paul Simon
Title:  Still Crazy After All These Years
Release:  1975
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  86001

“Still Crazy After All These Years” is the fourth studio album by Paul Simon. Recorded in 1975.
Where Simon had taken an eclectic approach before, delving into a variety of musical styles and recording all over the world, Still Crazy found him working for the most part with a group of jazz-pop New York session players, though he did do a couple of tracks (“My Little Town” and “Still Crazy After All These Years”) with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section that had appeared on Rhymin’ Simon and another (“Gone at Last”) returned to the gospel style of earlier songs like “Loves Me Like a Rock.” Of course, “My Little Town” also marked a return to working with Art Garfunkel, and another Top Ten entry for Simon & Garfunkel. But the overall feel of Still Crazy was of a jazzy style subtly augmented with strings and horns. Perhaps more striking, however, was Simon’s lyrical approach. Where Rhymin’ Simon was the work of a confident family man, Still Crazy came off as a post-divorce album, its songs reeking of smug self-satisfaction and romantic disillusionment.

 

Side one
1.  Still Crazy After All These Years  (3:26)
2.  My Little Town  (3:51)
3.  I Do It for Your Love  (3:35)
4.  50 Ways to Leave Your Lover  (3:37)
5.  Night Game  (2:58)

Side two
1.  Gone at Last  (3:40)
2.  Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy  (3:14)
3. Have a Good Time  (3:26)
4.  You’re Kind  (3:20)
5.  Silent Eyes  (4:12)

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29
Sep

Rosie Vela – Zazu (1986)

rosie vela - zazu

Artist:  Rosie Vela
Title:  Zazu
Release:  1986
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  395016-1

When fashion model Rosie Vela branched out into singing and songwriting with her debut album Zazu, skeptics suspected that she was just another pretty face who was trying to get by on her looks. But truth be told, “Zazu” is a solid pop/rock effort that could be described as an interesting combination of Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan. Vela doesn’t have a great voice her voice is small and thin, but like jazz great Chet Baker, she demonstrates that you don’t have to have a fantastic vocal range to be expressive and deliver a meaningful album. Favoring a relaxed, cool-toned style of singing, Vela also demonstrates that she’s a talented songwriter in fact, she wrote most of the songs herself. Mitchell and Steely Dan are obviously major influences, and the strong Steely Dan influence isn’t surprising when you consider that Zazu was produced by Gary Katz (who is best known for his work with that group) and that former Dan members Donald Fagen (keyboards) and Walter Becker (guitar) play on many of the songs. Vela showed a lot of promise on this album, which wasn’t the big seller it should have been.

 

Side one
1.  Fool’s Paradise  (4:00)
2.  Magic Smile  (4:24)
3.  Interlude  (3:55)
4.  Tonto  (5:38)

Side two
1.  Sunday  (4:31)
2.  Taxi  (3:25)
3.  2nd Emotion  (4:46)
4.  Boxs  (3:52)
5.  Zazu  (4:46)

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8
Sep

The Alan Parsons Project – Eve (1979)

alan parosns project - eve

Artist:  The Alan Parsons Project
Title:  Eve
Release:  1979
Format:  LP
Label:  Arista Records
Catalog#  5C 062-63063

“Eve” is the fourth album by progressive rock band The Alan Parsons Project. It was released in 1979 .
For the most part, 1979′s “Eve” is somewhat overlooked as being one of the Alan Parsons Project’s finest work, when in fact it involves some of this group’s most intricate songs. The album’s concept deals with the female’s overpowering effect on man. Each song touches on her ability to dissect the male ego, especially through sexual means, originating with Eve’s tempting Adam in the beginning of time. Not only does this idea gain strength as the album progresses, but a musical battle of the sexes begins to arise through each song. The gorgeous “You Won’t Be There” spotlights man’s insecurity. Sung by Dave Townsend, its melodramatic feel sets a perfect tone. The classically enhanced “Winding Me Up” follows suit, based on a woman’s ability to dominate her mate and opening up with sound of a wind-up doll being cranked. Other gems include the bitter but forceful “Damned If I Do” sung by Lenny Zakatek, and the dominating fury of “Lucifer,” a powerful instrumental. Even the loutish “You Lie Down with Dogs” bears wit with its gender inclined mud-slinging. The female vocalists, Lesley Duncan and Clare Torry do a splendid job of representing the females point of view throughout the album. Not only does “Eve” solidify its main idea, but the songs are highly entertaining with catchy rhythms and intelligent lyrics. Musically, the tempo appealingly switches back and forth from slow to quick, as does the temperament of the album.

 

Side one
1.  Lucifer (instrumental)  (5:09)
2.  You Lie Down with Dogs (lead vocal: Lenny Zakatek)  (3:47)
3.  I’d Rather Be a Man (lead vocal: David Paton)  (3:53)
4.  You Won’t Be There (lead vocal: Dave Townsend)  (3:34)
5.  Winding Me Up (lead vocal: Chris Rainbow)  (4:04)

Side two
1.  Damned If I Do (lead vocal: Lenny Zakatek)  (4:50)
2.  Don’t Hold Back (lead vocal: Clare Torry)  (3:37)
3.  Secret Garden (instrumental)  (4:41)
4.  If I Could Change Your Mind (lead vocal: Lesley Duncan)  (5:49)

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8
Sep

Santa Esmeralda – Don´t Let Me Be Miss Understood (1977)

santa esmeralda - don´t let me be miss understood

Artist:  Santa Esmeralda
Title:  Don´t Let Me Be Miss Understood
Release:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  Philips Records
Catalog#  9101149

As disco became an important part of the international music business, European producers began working in exotic flavors into the disco beat to create unique and competitive recordings. A good example of this trend is Santa Esmeralda, a Spanish-themed studio group that wove elements of flamenco, salsa, and other Latin musical styles into its Euro-disco sound. Although the group’s sound was about as genuinely Spanish as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (Santa Esmeralda was the brainchild of French record producers), the result was a crossover success that spawned several club-favorite albums and a notable pop hit in the band’s Latinized cover of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”
Originally written in 1964 for Nina Simone, her understated version had failed to chart and the song was picked up by rock group The Animals the following year.

 

Side one
1.  Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood + Esmeralda Suite  (16:05)

Side two
1.  Gloria  (3:36)
2.  You’re My Everything  (5:40)
3.  Black Pot  (7:12)

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8
Sep

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Nine Tonight (1981)

bob seger - nine tonight

Artist:  Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Title:  Nine Tonight
Year:  1981
Format:  2LP
Label:  Capitol Records
Catalog#  400046

“Nine Tonight” is a live album by American rock band Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, released in 1981. The album was recorded at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan, in June 1980 and at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts in October 1980.
A live album, 1976′s exceptional “Live Bullet”, had launched Bob Seger’s career, and Seger returned to the format a second time five years later with 1981′s “Nine Tonight”. The album is comprised of versions of songs from Seger’s previous three best-sellers: 1976′s “Night Moves”, 1978′s “Stranger in Town”, and 1980′s “Against the Wind”. While Seger and his Silver Bullet Band can stretch out in a concert setting, the live versions here stick pretty close to their original studio versions. The cut of “Old Time Rock & Roll” included here proves to be even better than the original, while such Seger standards as “Against the Wind,” “Night Moves,” and “Rock & Roll Never Forgets” also prove to be highlights.

 

Side one
1.  Nine Tonight  (5:14)
2.  Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You  (4:03)
3.  You’ll Accomp’ny Me  (4:12)
4.  Hollywood Nights  (4:49)

Side two
1.  Old Time Rock & Roll  (5:17)
2.  Mainstreet  (4:12)
3.  Against the Wind  (5:27)
4.  The Fire Down Below  (4:47)

Side three
1.  Her Strut  (3:57)
2.  Feel Like a Number  (4:10)
3.  Fire Lake  (3:51)
4.  Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight  (2:59)
5.  We’ve Got Tonight  (4:55)

Side four
1.  Night Moves  (5:44)
2.  Rock and Roll Never Forgets  (3:35)
3.  Let It Rock  (10:36)

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8
Sep

Supertramp – Paris (1980)

supertramp - paris

Artist:  Supertramp
Title:  Paris
Release:  1980
Label:  A&M Records
Format:  2LP
Catalog#  AMLM 66702

“Paris” is a live album by progressive rock band Supertramp, released in 1980. The album was recorded on Supertramp’s Breakfast in America tour in November 1979 in Paris, France at the Pavillon de Paris, a venue which was once a slaughterhouse. The Paris album was originally going to be called “Roadworks” and to be recorded in Quebec City, Canada, but A&M wanted them to record in a “mainstream city
The album’s setlist contains almost all of Crime of the Century (except for “If Everyone Was Listening”), three songs from Crisis? What Crisis?, two from Even in the Quietest Moments, three from Breakfast in America plus one new track “You Started Laughing” (originally the B-side to the track “Lady” from Crisis? What Crisis?).

 

Side one
1.  School (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson with Rick Davies)  (5:41)
2.  Ain’t Nobody But Me (Lead vocals: Rick Davies)  (5:24)
3.  The Logical Song (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)  (3:56)
4.  Bloody Well Right (Lead vocals: Rick Davies)  (7:23)

Side two
1.  Breakfast In America (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)  (3:57)
2.  You Started Laughing (Lead vocals: Rick Davies)  (4:02)
3.  Hide In Your Shell (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)  (6:54)
4.  From Now On (Lead vocals: Rick Davies with Roger Hodgson)  (7:05)

Side three
1.  Dreamer (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson with Rick Davies ) (3:44)
2.  Rudy (Lead vocals: Rick Davies plus Roger Hodgson)  (7:08)
3.  A Soapbox Opera (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)  (4:51)
4.  Asylum (Lead vocals: Rick Davies plus Roger Hodgson)  (6:51)

Side four
1.  Take the Long Way Home (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)  (4:57)
2.  Fool’s Overture (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)  (10:57)
3.  Two of Us (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)  (1:25)
4.  Crime Of The Century (Lead vocals: Rick Davies)  (6:31)

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8
Sep

Val Young – Seduction (1985)

val young - seduction

Artist:  Val Young
Title:  Seduction
Release:  1985
Format:  LP
Label:  Gordy Records
Catalog#  ZL 72387

Val Young (also known as “Lady V”), is an urban/dance-pop artist from Detroit, Michigan, who achieved success during the 1980s.
She was discovered by George Clinton, who hired her as a background vocalist in 1977 for The Brides of Funkenstein, one of the many acts in his Funkadelic stable. In 1980, she recorded and toured with Roy Ayers, and became a background vocalist for The Gap Band.
It wasn’t until she met Rick James that she became popular. James promoted her as the “Black Marilyn Monroe” and brought Young to Berry Gordy, who signed her to Motown Records on James’ recommendation. Rick James produced her debut album “Seduction” which was released in 1985, it included the singles “Mind Games” and the title track “Seduction”, as well as “Piece of My Heart” and “If You Should Ever Be Lonely”, which were successful follow-ups in 1986.

 

Side one
1.  Mind Games  (4:01)
2.  If You Should Ever Be Lonely  (3:52)
3.  Let’s Fall In Love  (3:30)
4.  Tellin’ Me Lies  (3:36)
5.  Come Hang Out  (4:32)

Side two
1.  Seduction (Vocals: Rick James)  (6:40)
2.  Piece Of My Heart  (4:45)
3.  Waiting For You  (3:48)
4.  Make Up Your Mind  (4:46)

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8
Sep

Al Stewart – Time Passages (1978)

al stewart - time passages

Artist:  Al Stewart
Title:  Time Passages
Release:  1978
Format:  LP
Label:  RCA Records
Catalog#  PL-25173

“Time Passages” is the eighth studio album by Al Stewart, released in 1978. It is the follow-up to his 1976 album “Year of the Cat”. The album, like its predecessor, was produced by Alan Parsons.
“Year of the Cat” brought Al Stewart a genuine worldwide smash with its title track, and for its successor, he did make a few concessions. These, however, were slight — just a slight increase of soft rock productions, an enhancement of the lushness that marked not only “Year of the Cat” but also “Modern Times”. These happened to be welcome adjustments to Stewart’s sound, since they increased the dreamy continental elegance at the core of his work. And that’s why “Time Passages” is the equal of “Year of the Cat” — it may be more streamlined, but the adjustments to his sound and the concessions to the mainstream just increase the soft grace of his eloquent historical pop epics. It’s possible to view this as too precious, because it is pitched at an audience who believes the common-day concerns of pop are piffle, but this is exceptionally well-crafted, from Stewart’s songs, where even three-minute songs seem like epics, to Alan Parsons’ cinematic arrangements and productions. This added concentration on the texture of the recording, ensuring that it was clean, spacious, and gentle, with a welcoming surface. Of course, this means that “Time Passages” can work very well as background music, but it also reveals much upon concentrated listening.

 

Side one
1.  Time Passages  (6:41)
2.  Valentina Way  (4:04)
3.  Life in Dark Water  (5:49)
4.  A Man for All Seasons  (5:50)

Side two
1.  Almost Lucy  (3:43)
2.  The Palace of Versailles  (5:20)
3.  Timeless Skies  (3:34)
4.  Song on the Radio  (6:22)
5.  End of the Day  (3:11)

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8
Sep

Atlanta Rhythm Section – Quinella (1981)

atlanta rhythm section - quinella

Artist:  Atlanta Rhythm Section
Title:  Quinella
Release:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  85320

The group’s only release for Columbia is a superb piece of Southern rock, timeless in its lyrical sensibilities, which are all voiced in a smoothly raspy manner by lead singer Ronnie Hammond (backed by his own overdubs and Buddy Buie). Barry Bailey’s and J.R. Cobb’s guitars grind and crunch along, and Paul Goddard and Roy Yeager’s bass and drums provide a rock-hard foundation to this celebration of Southern manhood. The songs are just about perfectly crafted, never outstaying their welcome or lasting longer than they can sustain interest. A few of the more lyrical numbers, like the harmony-driven “Alien,” offer considerable melodic charm, almost venturing into CSN territory on their choruses (featuring Steve McRay as guest back-up singer) coupled with the first-rate playing, they’re the surprising highlights of this hard rocking classic.

 

Side one
1.  Homesick  (4:16)
2.  Quinella  (5:28)
3.  Alien  (4:55)
4.  Higher  (4:12)

Side two
1.  You’re So Strong  (5:02)
2.  Outlaw Music  (5:03)
3.  Pretty Girl  (3:31)
4.  Southern Exposure  (2:53)
5.  Going to Shangri-La  (3:44)

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8
Sep

Little River Band – Time Exposure (1981)

little river band - time exposure

Artist:  Little River Band
Title:  Time Exposure
Year:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Capitol Records
Catalog#  1C 064-400042

“Time Exposure” is the sixth studio album by the Little River Band.
It was the last album recorded with lead singer Glenn Shorrock before he was replaced with John Farnham. Incidentally, Shorrock would later return and record a few more albums with Little River Band. But “Time Exposure” marks the end of an era.
The album opens with the Wayne Nelson sung “Night Owls” and follows with two more hit singles “Man On Your Mind”, and “Take It Easy On Me”. And while none of the other songs on the album were released as singles, many of them including “Full Circle and “Just Say That You Love Me” easily could have been released as singles. In addition to Shorrock’s lead vocals the vocal tandem of David Briggs, Beeb Birtles, and Graham Goble provide harmonies so tight they sing as one. Where the Eagles were likely better musicians, I’d argue that Little River Band’s vocal harmonies were superior to those of the Eagles. There was a tightness, a cohesiveness that was pure vocal magic.

 

Side one
1.  The Night Owls  (5:16)
2.  Man on Your Mind  (4:14)
3.  Take It Easy on Me  (3:45)
4.  Ballerina  (4:02)
5.  Love Will Survive  (4:38)

Side two
1.  Full Circle  (1:54)
2.  Just Say That You Love Me  (3:59)
3.  Suicide Boulevard  (3:23)
4.  Orbit Zero  (4:27)
5.  Don’t Let the Needle Win  (3:57)
6.  Guiding Light  (3:36)

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8
Sep

Yes – Drama (1980)

yes - drama

Artist:  Yes
Title:  Drama
Release:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  Atlantic Records
Catalog#  ATL 50736

“Drama” is the tenth studio album by British progressive rock group Yes. It is the first of two Yes albums without vocalist Jon Anderson. In early 1980, after rehearsing music for the follow-up to the tepidly-received “Tormato”, both Anderson and Rick Wakeman departed the band over creative and financial differences.
For this one album, ex-Buggles Geoffrey Downes and Trevor Horn were drafted in to replace Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. It rocks harder than other Yes albums, and for classically inclined fans, it was a jarring departure; but it was a harbinger of Yes and Asia albums to come. A newly emboldened Chris Squire lays down aggressive rhythms with Alan White, and Steve Howe eschews his usual acoustic rags and flamenco licks for a more metallic approach, opting for sheets of electric sound. Prime cuts include the doom-laden “Machine Messiah” and the manic ska inflections of “Tempus Fugit.” Despite the promise of this new material, the band soon fell apart; Horn went into production, Howe and Downes joined Asia, and Squire and White toyed and then gave up on a pair-up with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, which was to be titled XYZ (i.e., Ex-Yes and Zeppelin).

 

Side one
1.  Machine Messiah  (10:27)
2.  White Car  (1:21)
3.  Does It Really Happen?  (6:35)

Side two
1.  Into the Lens  (8:33)
2.  Run Through the Light  (4:43)
3.  Tempus Fugit  (5:15)

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8
Sep

Bob Dylan – Slow Train Coming (1979)

bob dylan - slow train coming

Artist:  Bob Dylan
Title:  Slow Train Coming
Release:  1979
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  86095

“Slow Train Coming” is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s 19th studio album, released by Columbia Records in August 1979. Mark Knopfler and Pick Withers from Dire Straits are also contributed to this album.
“Slow Train Coming” was exactly that-this album was more inevitable than most people realized, and a turning point in the career of Bob Dylan, not just commercially but, obviously, spiritually.
“Slow Train Coming” is a joy to listen to because it finds Dylan finally at some form of peace. The last time he’d sounded this satisfied was probably on the laid-back country of 1969′s “Nashville Skyline.”
He had been singing about the elements found in this album for years. Only now, Dylan knew that it was God who gave him the gift to do so.. Dylan is more focused and diligent on “Slow Train Coming” than anything he had ever recorded before, and this clear-headed motivation would even carry into his albums of the 80s and 90s, whether they were Christian or secular. Songs like ‘When You Gonna Wake Up’ and the subtle-but-anthemic ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’ are no more “judgemental” than the lyrics of ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ As a matter of fact, none of his work was judgemental, they are simply Dylan describing the kinds of characters and truths life is full of. Tracks like ‘Precious Angel’ and ‘Slow Train’ meanwhile are the peaks of Bob Dylan’s goal on this album.

 

Side one
1.  Gotta Serve Somebody  ( 5:22)
2.  Precious Angel  (6:27)
3.  I Believe in You  (5:02)
4.  Slow Train  (5:55)

Side two
1.  Gonna Change My Way of Thinking  (5:25)
2.  Do Right to Me Baby (Do Unto Others)  (3:50)
3.  When You Gonna Wake Up  (5:25)
4.  Man Gave Names to All the Animals  (4:23)
5.  When He Returns  (4:30)

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