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22
Apr

Deniece Wiliams – Niecy (1982)

deniece williams - niecy

Artist:  Deniece Williams
Title:  Niecy
Year:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  85602

“Niecy” is the sixth is album by Deniece Williams, released in 1982.
Williams enlisted Philly soulmeister Thom Bell as her co-producer (and primary co-writer) a second time on this mellow 1982 release. Building upon the lush balladry of 1981′s “My Melody”, this set inevitably bears a few similarities to its predecessor, but manages a more diverse soundscape. The rock-influenced “Love Notes”; the soft opening verse and subsequently alternating degrees of percussive intensity on “How Does It Feel”; the moody “Waiting”; and the marching rhythm and glorious melodic structure of “Now Is the Time for Love” almost defy classification. Vocally, Williams is in top shape here and seems completely in sync with the material and arrangements. “Niecy” also gave the songbird her second Top Ten pop hit in a cover of the Royalettes’ 1962 hit “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle,” which she delivers capably, but not as intuitively as the original selections (all of which she co-wrote). Niecy is an essential addition to any Deniece Williams collection.

 

Side one
1.  Waiting By The Hotline  (3:40)
2.  It’s Gonna Take A Miracle  (4:10)
3.  Love Notes  (4:22)
4.  I Believe In Miracles  (2:52)

Side two
1.  How Does It Feel  (5:50)
2. Waiting  (4:32)
3.  Now Is The Time For Love  (4:09)
4.  A Part Of Love  (3:39)

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22
Apr

Jefferson Starship – Modern Times (1981)

jefferson starship - modern times

Artist:  Jefferson Starship
Title:  Modern Times
Year:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Grunt Records
Catalog#  BZL1-3848

“Modern Times” is a 1981 album by Jefferson Starship. Grace Slick appeared on this album after a three-year absence. She returned near the end of the recording sessions, providing background vocals on some tracks as well as lead vocals on the single “Stranger” as a duet with lead singer Mickey Thomas. Although not appearing in the band picture on the gatefold cover, she is listed on the back cover of the LP with the credit “Introducing Grace Slick” and her picture is on the lyric sleeve with the note “Grace Slick courtesy of Grace Slick.” She joined the band officially for the 1981 tour. MTV debuted in 1981 and this was the first Jefferson Starship album to have promotional music videos. The single “Find Your Way Back” reached #3 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
The song “Stairway to Cleveland” was inspired by a harsh review that Rolling Stone had given the album “Freedom At Point Zero”, inspiring Paul to wrap lyrics around a phrase he had heard from Paul Warren: “Fuck you! We do what we want!”

 

Side one
1.  Find Your Way Back  (4:15)
2.  Stranger  (4:44)
3.  Wild Eyes (Angel)  (4:02)
4.  Save Your Love  (5:58)

Side two
1.  Modern Times  (2:36)
2.  Mary  (3:37)
3.  Free  (4:34)
4.  Alien  (4:42)
5.  Stairway To Cleveland (We Do What We Want)  (3:58)

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22
Apr

Carlos Santana – Havana Moon (1983)

carlos santana - havana moon

Artist:  Carlos Santana
Title:  Havana Moon
Year:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  25350

“Havana Moon” is a 1983 album by Carlos Santana released as a solo project.
The third Carlos Santana solo album marks a surprising turn toward 1950s rock & roll and Tex-Mex, with covers such as Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love”, Chuck Berry’s title song. and also Carlos’ father Jose singing “Vereda Tropical” a song Carlos had first heard when his father was serenading his mother following an argument.
Produced by veteran R&B producers Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett, the album features an eclectic mix of sidemen, including Booker T. Jones of Booker T & the MG’s, Willie Nelson, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. “Havana Moon” is a light effort, but it’s one of Santana’s most enjoyable albums.

 

Side one
1.  Watch Your Step  (3:49)
2.  Lightnin’  (3:50)
3.  Who Do You Love  (2:54)
4.  Mudbone  (5:50)
5.  One With You  (5:17)

Side two
1.  Ecuador  (1:10)
2.  Tales Of Kilimanjaro  (4:51)
3.  Havana Moon  (4:11)
4.  Daughter Of The Night  (4:18)
5.  They All Went To Mexico  (4:59)
6.  Vereda Tropical  (4:58)

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22
Apr

The Power Station – The Power Station (1985)

the power station - the power station

Artist:  The Power Station
Title:  The Power Station
Year:  1985
Format:  LP
Label:  Parlophone Records
Catalog#  2402971

The Power Station was a supergroup formed by Robert Palmer, Tony Thompson (of Chic) and Andy and John Taylor from Duran Duran. They came together in 1984 to record a one-off album, as a respite from the relentless global touring and promotion of Duran Duran.
The original plan for this one-album project was for the three musicians (Taylor, Taylor and Thompson) to provide musical continuity to an album full of material, with a different singer performing on each track. Those who were approached included Mick Jagger, Billy Idol, Mars Williams (who eventually contributed brass to the album) and Richard Butler (of The Psychedelic Furs), and Mick Ronson.
The group then invited eclectic soul singer Robert Palmer to record vocals for the track “Communication”. When he heard that they had recorded demos for “Get It On (Bang a Gong)”, he asked to try out vocals on that one as well, and by the end of the day, the group knew that they had found that elusive chemistry which distinguishes successful bands. Before long, they had decided to record the entire album with Palmer.
However, the union was not to hold. By the time the band decided to take the 8-track set on the road, Palmer had left to record his solo album Riptide (which, likely because of the involvement of The Power Station participants Edwards, Thompson, and Andy Taylor, is very similar in sound to The Power Station album). He was replaced by Michael Des Barres (famed for co-writing Animotion’s “Obsession”).
During the promotion cycle for the album, EMI released three singles, including the cover of T-Rex’s “Get It On”, “Communication” and “Some Like It Hot”.

 

Side one
1.  Some Like It Hot  (5:05)
2.  Murderess  (4:17)
3.  Lonely Tonight  (4:00)
4.  Communication  (3:38)

Side two
1.  Get It On (Bang A Gong)  (5:29)
2.  Go To Zero  (4:58)
3.  Harvest For The World  (3:37)
4.  Still In Your Heart  (3:07)

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22
Apr

Luther Vandross – The Night I Fell In Love (1985)

luther vandross - the night i fell in love

Artist:  Luther Vandross
Title:  The Night I Fell In Love
Year:  1985
Format:  LP
Label:  Epic Records
Catalog#  EPC 26387

“The Night I Fell in Love” is the fourth studio album by American R&B/soul singer Luther Vandross, released in 1985. In 1986, it was nominated for one Grammy Award, “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male”, and two American Music Awards, “Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist” and “Favorite Soul/R&B Album”. The first single “‘Til My Baby Comes Home” is notable for featuring Billy Preston on organ.
Luther adapts a more laid-back, sophisticated approach on his fourth record, which is also a true masterpiece. The only tracks that really sound anything like the his previous three records are the singles “Til My Baby Comes Home” and “It’s Over Now,” and even these two numbers don’t have the bouncy timbre of his earlier single sides. Luther’s voice and delivery, as usual, are phenomenal, and his production and arrangements could not improved upon. However, it is his underrated songwriting ability that “The Night I Fell In Love” is really a showcase for.
In particular, the title track, “My Sensitivity (Gets In The Way),” and the haunting “Other Side Of The World” are brilliantly-composed and sound like long-lost jazz classics. Luther also covers Brenda Russell’s “If Only For One Night” and Stevie Wonder’s “Creepin’” (which are sequenced together), and his exceptional, titillating renditions of these songs are perfect compliments to the remainder of the album.

 

Side one
1.  ‘Til My Baby Comes Home  (5:31)
2.  The Night I Fell in Love  (6:06)
3.  If Only for One Night  (4:15)
4.  Creepin’  (4:04)

Side two
1.  It’s Over Now  (6:09)
2.  Wait for Love  (5:16)
3.  My Sensitivity (Gets in the Way)  (4:10)
4.  Other Side of the World  (5:58)

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22
Apr

Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie (1982)

lionel richie - lionel richie

Artist:  Lionel Richie
Title:  Lionel Richie
Year:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  Motown Records
Catalog#  542029

“Lionel Richie” is the debut solo album by R&B singer Lionel Richie after leaving the Commodores. It was released in 1982 on Motown Records. The first single, “Truly”, topped the Billboard Hot 100. The key to its success and the reason it was scorned by some Commodores fans is that Richie doesn’t even make a pretense of funk here, leaving behind the loose, elastic grooves of his previous bands (a move that makes sense, since his voice never suited that style particularly well), choosing to concentrate on ballads and sparkly mid-tempo pop, peppered with a few stylish dance grooves. The ballads, of course, provided two big hits with “My Love” and “Truly,” two numbers that illustrate that he was moving ever-closer to mainstream pop, since these are unapologetic AOR slow-dance tunes. The other big hit, “You Are,” is an effervescent, wonderful pop tune that showcases Richie at his sunniest; it’s one of his greatest singles. Throughout the first part of the record, the dance numbers are served up and they’re very good “Serves You Right” has a shiny, propulsive groove, while “Tell Me” jams nicely. After “You Are,” the record bogs down with a couple of ballads that are on the wrong side of adult contemporary too formless, too hookless to really catch hold but they don’t hurt the first seven songs, which form a dynamic mainstream pop-soul record, one of the best the early ’80s had to offer.

 

Side one
1.  Serves You Right  (5:08)
2.  Wandering Stranger  (5:36)
3.  Tell Me  (5:28)
4.  My Love  (4:05)

Side two
1.  Round And Round  (4:48)
2.  Truly  (3:19)
3.  You Are  (4:49)
4.  You Mean More To Me  (3:01)
5.  Just Put Some Love In Your Heart  (1:21)

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22
Apr

Talk Talk – The Party´s Over (1982)

talk talk - the party´s over

Artist:  Talk Talk
Title:  The Party´s Over (1982)
Year:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  EMI Records
Catalog#  1A 064-07646

“The Party’s Over” was the first album by Talk Talk. It was released in 1982 and produced by Colin Thurston, who was a former engineer for David Bowie but was better known for producing Duran Duran’s first two albums.
Talk Talk began life as a slavishly derivative, Duran Duran-styled new romantic synth pop band, as their debut, “The Party’s Over”, clearly shows. Much of the album seems to attempt to recreate Duran Duran’s debut, but even with their most blatant rip-offs, like the single “Talk Talk,” they do it with a naïve charm that makes for some really enjoyable music, even if it isn’t particularly innovative or groundbreaking.

 

Side one
1.  Talk Talk  (3:23)
2.  It’s So Serious  (3:21)
3.  Today  (3:30)
4.  The Party’s Over  (6:12)

Side two
1.  Hate  (3:58)
2.  Have You Heard the News?  (5:07)
3.  Mirror Man  (3:21)
4.  Another Word  (3:14)
5.  Candy  (4:41)

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22
Apr

Gary Numan – Telekon (1980)

gary numan - telekon

Artist:  Gary Numan
Title:  Telekon
Year:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  Beggars Banquet Records
Catalog#  660078

“Telekon” is the fourth studio album, and second album under his own name, by the British musician Gary Numan. “Telekon is also the third and final studio release of what Numan retrospectively termed the “Machine” section of his career, following “Replicas” and “The Pleasure Principle”.
“Telekon” would also turn out to be the last true classic Numan album, as monetary problems and an unfocused attempt to try different musical forms (as well as a short-lived retirement) would steer him away from his original vision. Although “Telekon” was indeed a strong album, it could have been even stronger if it included the U.K. Top Ten singles “I Die: You Die” and “We Are Glass” (both were recorded during the Telekon sessions). Numan experimented with funk for the first time in his career (“Remind Me to Smile”), but there were still plenty of chilling synth excursions to keep the Numan faithful satisfied “This Wreckage,” “The Aircrash Bureau,” “I’m an Agent,” and “I Dream of Wires” are all choice cuts.

 

Side one
1.  This Wreckage  (5:26)
2.  The Aircrash Bureau  (5:41)
3.  Telekon  (4:29)
4.  Remind Me to Smile  (4:03)
5.  Sleep by Windows  (4:58)

Side two
1.  I’m an Agen  (4:19)
2.  I Dream of Wires  (5:10)
3.  Remember I Was Vapour  (5:11)
4.  Please Push No More  (5:39)
5.  The Joy Circuit  (5:12)

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22
Apr

Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark – Organisation (1980)

orchestral manouvres in the dark - organisation

Artist:  Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark
Title:  Organisation
Year:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  Dindisc Records
Catalog#  202971

“Organisation” is an album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, released in 1980. As with all OMD’s early sleeve art, it was created by Peter Saville Associates and features a photograph by Richard Nutt of the cloud-covered peak of Marsco, in the Red Cuillin hills, overlooking Glen Sligachan on the Isle of Skye with Allt Dearg Mòr in the foreground. The album’s title refers to the band Organisation, a precursor to Kraftwerk. The album is notable for its melancholy tone. The band said that at the time they had been heavily influenced by Joy Division; this can be traced through Organisation’s use of jarring drum sounds and moody songs. “VCL XI” is a good example of this sound. Also notable is OMD’s move away from pure Gary Numan-Kraftwerk-ian pop, embracing a grander sound, an increasing use of acoustic instruments, and sound collages.
“Enola Gay” was the only single released from the album. It could be perhaps perceived as deceiving, as it had little in common with the style of the rest of the album, even though its subject matter is poetically grim. It bears much in common with the sound of the group’s debut album. Andy McCluskey is noted as saying it was written at the time of most of the debut was written. “Motion and Heart” was also considered for a single release, but was dropped.

 

Side one
1.  Enola Gay  (3:33)
2.  2nd Thought  (4:15)
3.  VCL XI  (3:50)
4.  Motion and Heart  (3:16)
5.  Statues  (4:30)

Side two
1.  The Misunderstanding  (4:55)
2.  The More I See You  (4:11)
3.  Promise  (4:51)
4.  Stanlow  (6:30)

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22
Apr

The League Unlimited Orchestra – Love And Dancing (1982)

the league orchestra - love and dancing

Artist:  The League Unlimited Orchestra
Title:  Love And Dancing
Year:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  Virgin Records
Catalog#  204696

“Love and Dancing” is a remix album released by the British synthpop band The Human League in 1982. It was released under the name “The League Unlimited Orchestra” as a nod to Barry White’s disco-era Love Unlimited Orchestra. The album was principally the idea and work of producer Martin Rushent and contained remixes of many of the songs from their multi-platinum selling album “Dare”, along with a version of the track “Hard Times”, which had originally been the B-side of the single “Love Action”. It was conceived and released to take advantage of the unexpected huge success of “Dare” and was also designed to buy the Human League time to work on new material.

 

Side one
1.  Hard Times  (5:40)
2.  Love Action (I Believe in Love)  (5:12)
3.  Don’t You Want Me  (7:18)

Side two
1.  Things That Dreams Are Made Of  (5:10)
2.  Do or Die  (4:36)
3.  Seconds  (2:25)
4.  Open Your Heart  (2:35)
5.  The Sound of the Crowd  (2:55)

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22
Apr

Carolyne Mas – Carolyne Mas (1979)

carolyne mas - carolyne mas

Artist:  Carolyne Mas
Title:  Carolyne Mas
Year:  1979
Format:  LP
Label:  Mercury Records
Catalog#  9111048

Carolyne Mas is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and producer. Mas broke out of the Greenwich Village music scene boom of the late 1970s, along with other artists such as Steve Forbert, The Roches, and Willie Nile. Although she remains relatively unknown in the United States, except for a loyal cult of fans, she managed to gain popularity in Europe and Canada, mostly due to the use of television as a promotional tool in these markets.
On this debut self-titled album from 1979, the opening track “Stillsane” has excellent saxophone.

 

Side one
1.  Stillsane  (2:46)
2.  Sadie Days  (3:08)
3.  Snow  (5:00)
4.  It’s No Secret  (3:28)
5.  Call Me (Crazy To)  (5:03)

Side two
1.  Quote Goodbye Quote  (2:28)
2.  Never Two Without Three  (4:01)
3.  Do You Believe I Love You  (3:11)
4.  Sittin’ In The Dark  (4:39)
5.  Baby Please  (5:22)

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22
Apr

Snafu – Snafu (1973)

snafu - snafu

Artist:  Snafu
Title:  Snafu
Year:  1973
Format:  LP
Label:  WWA Records
Catalog#  WWA 003

“Snafu” is the first album by Snafu. An unusual funky tone for what is essentially an R&B band.
Snafu was a British rhythm and blues/rock band, formed in 1973 by former Procol Harum and Freedom vocalist Bobby Harrison along with Micky Moody, formerly of Tramline, the Mike Cotton Sound and Juicy Lucy (later with Whitesnake). With Colin Gibson from Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Terry Popple from Mickey Jupp’s Legend, and session musician Pete Solley the line-up was completed. Gibson suggested the name Snafu, a term he lifted from a Captain Beefheart LP. The musical influences were mainly American and came from bands such as Allman Brothers and in particular Little Feat, one of Bobby Harrison’s favourite bands. The band’s first album is filled with well-played funky rock with the kind of edge you’d expect from guys who had their backgrounds. The opener “Long Gone” was the single, and a pretty good introduction to the style of the album: a quiet keyboard intro with guitar drifting in, funky mid-tempo drums, Harrison’s suitably raw but melodic and familiar-sounding rock’n’roll voice and a melody that’s easy to listen to. Other highlights include “Monday Morning”, peppered with Pete Solley’s fierce fiddle-playing, the country-rock number “Country Nest”, graced with a melody that hooks on you instantly the aptly titled “Funky Friend” with its kicking drum beat that’s left as loud as possible in the mix (and Solley plays fiddle on this one too), and the climactic closer “That’s the Song” with a dynamite chorus.
A balanced album by talented musicians, it forebode good things for Snafu, but sadly, commercial success was to elude the band.

 

Side one
1.  Long Gone  (5:15)
2.  Said He The Judge  (4:31)
3.  Monday Morning  (3:16)
4.  Drowning In The Sea Of Love  (5:50)

Side two
1.  Country Nest  (5:19)
2.  Funky Friend  (4:05)
3.  Goodbye U.S.A.  (4:22)
4.  That’s The Song  (5:55)

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19
Apr

REO Speedwagon – Hi-Infidelity (1980)

reo speedwagon - hi infidelity

Artist:  REO Speedwagon
Title:  Hi-Infidelity
Year:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  Epic Records
Catalog#  EPC 84700

“Hi Infidelity” is the ninth studio album by REO Speedwagon, released in 1980. It went on to become the biggest selling rock LP of 1981. Six songs from this album hit Billboard charts, including “Keep on Loving You” which was the band’s first Number 1 hit. In a way, the group deserved this kind of success. They had been slogging it out in the arenas of the U.S., building up a sizeable audience because they could deliver live. And then, in 1980, they delivered a record that not just summarized their strengths, but captured everything that was good about arena rock. This is the sound of the stadiums in that netherworld between giants like Zeppelin and MTV’s slick, video-ready anthems. This is unabashedly mainstream rock, but there’s a real urgency to the songs and the performances that gives it a real emotional core, even if the production keeps it tied to the early, previsual ’80s. And so what if it does, because this is great arena rock, filled with hooks as expansive as Three Rivers Stadium and as catchy as the flu. That, of course, applies to the record’s two biggest hits the power ballad “Keep on Loving You” and the surging “Take It on the Run” which define their era, but what gives the album real staying power is that the rest of the record works equally well. That’s most apparent on the Bo Diddley-inspired opener, “Don’t Let Him Go,” whose insistent beat sent it to the album rock charts, but also such great album tracks as “Follow My Heart,” the sun-kissed ’60s homage “In Your Letter,” and “Tough Guys.” What’s really great about these songs is not just the sheen of professionalism that makes them addictive to listen to, but there’s a real strain of pathos that runs through these songs — the album’s title isn’t just a clever pun, but a description of the tortured romantic relationships that populate this record’s songs. This is really arena rock’s Blood on the Tracks, albeit by a group of guys instead of a singular vision, but that makes it more affecting, as well as a killer slice of ear candy. It’s easy to dismiss REO Speedwagon, since they weren’t hip at the time, and no amount of historical revisionism will make them cool kitsch.

 

Side one
1.  Don’t Let Him Go  (3:47)
2.  Keep On Loving You  (3:22)
3.  Follow My Heart  (3:50)
4.  In Your Letter  (3:17)
5.  Take It on the Run  (3:59)

Side two
1.  Tough Guys  (3:50)
2.  Out of Season  (3:07)
3.  Shakin’ It Loose  (2:25)
4.  Someone Tonight  (2:40)
5.  I Wish You Were There  (4:28)

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19
Apr

Gruppo Sportivo – 10 Mistakes (1977)

gruppo sportivo - 10 mistakes

Artist:  Gruppo Sportivo
Title:  10 Mistakes
Year:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  Ariola Records
Catalog#  25464 XOT

Gruppo Sportivo is een Haagse popband, opgericht in 1976. Eind jaren zeventig behaalde de band op de eerste golven van de new wave een nationale populariteit. Creatieve kracht is Hans Vandenburg (gitaar en zang). Naast hem bestond de oerbezetting uit Max Mollinger (drums), Peter Calicher (toetsen), Eric Wehrmeyer (bas) en de gruppettes Josée van Iersel en Meike Touw (zang). De vaste formule van de band bestond uit popsongs, met veel aandacht voor relativering van personen en situaties, humor (knipogen naar), muziek-citaten en slapstick in de performance; vaak gingen de songs over een ‘antiheld’.
Wat opvalt is de invloed van bands als de B-52′s, maar vooral dat Gruppo Sportivo op momenten misschien nog wel leuker was. De nummers op “10 Mistakes” zitten goed in elkaar, met soms verrassende tempowisselingen, de dames zingen meer dan voortreffelijk en de humor is nog steeds leuk. En de nummers zing je nog steeds met gemak mee. Kortom: een aangename hernieuwde kennismaking met een band die weliswaar niet de faam heeft van de Golden Earring of Herman Brood, maar die met haar pretentieloze frisse en opgewekte rock beroemder verdient te zijn. Meer dus dan alleen maar een mooi tijdsdocument – gewoon een heerlijke popplaat.    http://www.bing.com/translator

 

Side one
1.  Beep Beep Love  (2:54)
2.  Superman  (6:24)
3.  Lasting Forever  (4:11)
4.  Girls Never Know  (3:18)
5.  I Shot My Manager  (2:48)

Side two
1.  Mission A Paris  (4:17)
2.  Dreamin’  (4:19)
3.  Henri  (4:22)
4.  Armee Monika  (4:57)
5.  Rubber Gun  (3:11)

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19
Apr

Van Halen – Women And Children First (1980)

van halen - women and children first

Artist:  Van Halen
Title:  Women And Children First
Year:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  Warner Bros. Records
Genre:  Hard Rock
Catalog#  WB 56793

“Women and Children First” is the third studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released on March 26, 1980 on Warner Bros. Produced by Ted Templeman. The album is the first to feature compositions written solely by the band, and the record where the group started to get heavier, both sonically and, to a lesser extent, thematically.
The opening track, “And the Cradle Will Rock…”, begins with what sounds like a guitar, but is, in fact, a phase shifter-effected Wurlitzer electric piano played through Van Halen’s 1960′s model 100-watt Marshall Plexi amplifier.
The album is somewhat different to their first two albums in the way that it features more studio overdubs. “Could This Be Magic” contains the only female backing vocal ever recorded for a Van Halen song; Nicolette Larson sings during some of the choruses. The rain sound in the background is not an effect. It was raining outside, and they decided to record the sound in stereo using two Neuman KM84 microphones, and add it to the track.
Only one single was released from the album, the keyboard driven “And the Cradle Will Rock…” Although the single was not a success like previous singles, the album itself was well received and further entrenched the band as a popular concert draw. The song “Everybody Wants Some!!” was also a concert staple through the 1984 tour, and continued to be played by David Lee Roth after he left Van Halen.

 

Side one
1.  And the Cradle Will Rock  (3:31)
2.  Everybody Wants Some  (5:05)
3.  Fools  (5:55)
4.  Romeo Delight  (4:19)

Side two
1.  Tora! Tora!  (0:57)
2.  Loss of Control  (2:36)
3.  Take Your Whiskey Home  (3:09)
4.  Could This Be Magic?  (3:08)
5.  In a Simple Rhyme  (4:33)

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19
Apr

Prince – Sign “O” the Times (1986)

prince - sign of the times

Artist:  Prince
Title:  Sign “O” the Times
Year:  1986
Format:  LP
Label:  Paisley Park Records
Catalog#  925577-1

Sign “O” the Times, is the ninth studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was Prince’s first “solo” album following his departure from The Revolution; the symbol between the quotes is a peace sign. The album’s music draws on funk, soul, psychedelic pop, and rock music. “Sign o’ the Times” features lyrical themes such as the depressing state of the world in the title track, gender identity/androgyny in “If I Was Your Girlfriend”, party funk in “Housequake”, sexual lust in “It”, replacing a loved one in “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”, and spiritual enlightenment in “The Cross”. The album also had an accompanying concert film of the same name. Two of the album’s songs were first recorded in 1982: “Strange Relationship” and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”. Prince did additional work on both for their placement on the Dream Factory project and involved the “Wendy & Lisa” partnership of Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman on the former. When the project was canceled, “Strange Relationship” was further updated for Camille. The remaining tracks were recorded between March and December 1986. The surviving Camille tracks feature a playful sped-up vocal. “U Got the Look” was also recorded in this manner, though it was not intended for the Camille album.
The double album was Prince’s most diverse album to date, featuring a wide array of musical styles rock, pop, soul and funk with various cues taken from dance, electronic, and jazz styles as well. The album marked a return to Prince’s self-contained recording process, with the artist performing and arranging nearly all the album’s music single-handedly. As a result, many of the tracks have a sparer, more funk-oriented, and at times, more electronic feel than Prince’s previous few records recorded with The Revolution. In addition to the album’s eclecticism, many critics have identified the record as one of Prince’s most adventurous, with radically minimalist, experimental arrangements on songs like “Housequake”, “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”, and “Forever in My Life”.

 

Side one
1.  Sign o’ the Times  (4:57)
2.  Play in the Sunshine  (5:05)
3.  Housequake  (4:42)
4.  The Ballad of Dorothy Parker  (4:01)

Side two
1.  It  (5:09)
2.  Starfish and Coffee  (2:50)
3.  Slow Love  (4:22)
4.  Hot Thing  (5:39)
5.  Forever in My Life  (3:30)

Side three
1.  U Got the Look”  (featuring Sheena Easton)  (3:47)
2.  If I Was Your Girlfriend  (5:01)
3.  Strange Relationship  (4:01)
4.  I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man  (6:29)

Side four
1.  The Cross  (4:48)
2.  It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night  (9:01)
3.  Adore  (6:30)

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19
Apr

The Dirt Band – An American Dream (1979)

the dirt band - an american dream

Artist:  The Dirt Band
Title:  An American Dream
Year:  1979
Format:  LP
Label:  United Artists Records
Catalog#  1A 062-82747

Any Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fan who thought the smooth soft rock of 1978′s The Dirt Band was a fluke was proven wrong by the following year’s “American Dream”, which took the template of its predecessor and improved it with a streamlined production and some very strong material. Chief among these, of course, was the title song, a winningly polished take on Rodney Crowell’s clever “American Dream” that became a hit, climbing all the way to 13 on the pop charts and thereby establishing the band in the public’s eyes as the soft rock act they’d become. It’s a brilliant single, one of the best Californian soft rock songs of its era, and American Dream the album delivers at least on the level of sound sonically, it’s a sleek and appealing collection of mid-tempo pop songs, ballads, and lazy jams. It’s the latter that hurt the momentum of the album; although the instrumental “Jas’moon” works better than “White Russian” on The Dirt Band, there are some really silly good-time numbers “New Orleans,” “Happy Feet” that deflate the mellow vibe of the record (as does the reggae-fied cover of “Wolverton Mountain” that closes the LP on a sour note). Though these are stumbles, they don’t hurt the record, since the rest of American Dream glides by on its smooth surfaces all electric pianos, slick guitars, saxophones, and glistening polish and songs as light but appealing as “In Her Eyes,” “Take Me Back,” “Dance the Night Away,” “Do You Feel the Way That I Do,” and “What’s on Your Mind.” This won’t win over the fans lost on The Dirt Band — it would be some time before they returned to the progressive country that made their reputation but this is another small late-’70s soft rock gem.

 

Side one
1.  An American Dream (Jamaica in the Moonlight ) (3:53)
2.  In Her Eyes  (4:16)
3.  Take Me Back  (3:03)
4.  Jas’moon  (3:27)
5.  Dance the Night Away  (4:21)

Side two
1.  New Orléans  (3:59)
2.  Happy Feet  (3:59)
3.  Do You Feel the Way I Do  (3:58)
4.  What’s On Your Mind  (3:44)
5.  Wolverton Mountain’  (3:16)

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17
Apr

Lee Ritenour – Rit (1981)

lee ritenour - rio

Artist:  Lee Ritenour
Title:  Rit
Year:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Elektra Records
Catalog#  ELK 52273

Session ace Lee Ritenour once more employs the cream of L.A.’s studio crop to come up with a drab, utterly unimaginative slab of nondescript pop. With guest vocalists like Eric Tagg and Bill Champlin (who also contribute as composers), Ritenour and his cohorts among them Jeff Porcaro, Harvey Mason, David Foster, Alex Acuña, and Richard Tee craft a pristine sonic foray into early-’80s production styles without a memorable song in ten. This is especially exasperating considering that Ritenour had the audacity to cover Sly Stone’s “(You Caught Me) Smilin’” and murder it. Simply lifeless and dreadful.
This album features a combination of fine guitar work, vocals and production values. Mr. Briefcase is a finely crafted piece of jazz-pop with lyrics that matter. There are many great songs on this record. It may be out of print and hard to find, but do yourself the favor of acquiring this album in some form. Ritenour’s work before and after “Rit” was decidedly jazzier, which might cause some to say this record is not representative. Whatever. This is a great collection of songs.

 

Side one
1.  Mr. Briefcase  (3:20)
2.  (Just) Tell Me Pretty Lies  (4:13)
3.  No Sympathy  (4:43)
4.  Is It You?  (4:25)
5.  Dreamwalk  (1:43)

Side two
1.  Countdown (Captain Fingers)  (4:21)
2.  Good Question  (3:41)
3.  (You Caught Me) Smilin´  (4:08)
4 . On The Slow Glide  (4:10)
5.  No Sympathy (Reprise)  (1:56)

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17
Apr

New Music – From A To B (1980)

new musik - from a to b

Artist:  New Musik
Title:  From A To B
Year:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  GTO Records
Catalog#  GTLP 041

New Musik’s debut album, “From A to B”, is one of the best and most influential electronic LPs of the ’80s. Its keyboards may sound dated, but there’s a freshness to these charming, unpretentious songs that hasn’t been spoiled by technological advances in computerized instrumentation. Many new wave revivalists have attempted to capture the nerdy vocals and quirky synthesized bleeps of “From A to B” and failed. This record is a product of its time, recorded when keyboards were viewed as eventually replacing guitar and bass as rock & roll tools. While many synth pop groups became mired in existential woe to show that they had emotions underneath the layers of Casio hiccups, New Musik is having a blast on “From A to B”. “With robot precision/We’re gonna be doin’ just fine,” sings Tony Mansfield (guitars, keyboards, vocals) with geek sincerity on the exhilarating “Straight Lines.” Like Kraftwerk, New Musik uses keyboards to create moods and not just to make feet move. The tracks on the LP are structured like traditional pop songs. There are no love ditties, but tracks like the soaring “On Islands” generate warmth and the group often utilizes acoustic strumming to prevent everything from seeming too mechanical. “Science” is nerdy sci-fi dance music years before Thomas Dolby.

 

Side one
1.  Straight Lines  (5:12)
2.  Sanctuary  (4:12)
3.  A Map Of You  (3:50)
4.  Science  (3:20)
5.  On Islands  (4:24)

Side two
1.  This World Of Water  (3:37)
2.  Living By Numbers  (3:28)
3.  Dead Fish (Don’t Swim Home)  (5:24)
4.  Adventures  (3:52)
5.  The Safe Side  (3:09)

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17
Apr

Robert Palmer – Pride (1983)

robert palmer - pride

Artist:  Robert Palmer
Title:  Pride
Year:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  Island Records
Catalog#  205240

“Pride” (Robert Palmer’s eighth solo album) certainly isn’t Robert Palmer’s finest hour due to a number of uncharacteristically weak tracks, but it’s interesting enough in spurts, thanks to Palmer’s eclectic nature. More than anything, the album works as an uneven middle ground between the crisp lo-fi electronics of Clues and the moody rock of Riptide. Perhaps here more than on his previous albums, the strong songs are forced to carry the weight of some lesser efforts. But the standout tracks are quite good: the invigorating and thoroughly catchy “Pride” shows an obvious Bahamian influence with its steel drums and unusual syncopation; “Deadline,” a clear sequel to “Looking for Clues,” is just as catchy and fun; “It’s Not Difficult” and “Say You Will” mine Gary Numan and Thomas Dolby territory, and both are fitted with addictive vocal passages. Palmer stumbles somewhat as producer, too often offering up cheesy synth horns and failing to end songs in a satisfying way. Too many of the songs simply stop on a dime, and others fade out randomly, giving the impression they’ve been edited for the airwaves or that they’re demos. Unlike most Palmer albums, “Pride” features some true stinkers: “Dance for Me” struggles awkwardly to be sexy; “The Silver Gun” makes no sense with its film score lite effects and Palmer singing in Urdu. Elsewhere, songs straddle brilliance and mediocrity. An example is the Kool & the Gang cover, “You Can Have It (Take My Heart),” which fails despite Palmer’s wonderfully droll delivery, because it’s desperately underproduced and lacking punch. “What You Waiting For” is a near-classic, with a great off-kilter chorus.

 

Side one
1.  Pride  (3:27)
2.  Deadline  (3:53)
3. Want You More  (3:26)
4.  Dance for Me  (3:42)
5.  You Are in My System  (4:20)

Side two
1.  It’s Not Difficult  (3:41)
2.  Say You Will  (3:46)
3.  You Can Have It (Take My Heart)  (3:07)
4.  What You Waiting For  (3:44)
5.  The Silver Gun  (5:33)

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17
Apr

Mark Knopfler – Local Hero (1983)

mark knopfler - local hero

Artist:  Mark Knopfler
Title:  Local Hero (Soundtrack)
Year:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  Vertigo Records
Catalog#  811038-1

“Local Hero” is Mark Knopfler’s soundtrack album for the 1983 film Local Hero, produced by David Puttnam, written and directed by Bill Forsyth.
Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler’s intricate, introspective fingerpicked guitar stylings make a perfect musical complement to the wistful tone of Bill Forsyth’s comedy film, Local Hero. This album was billed as a Knopfler solo album rather than an original soundtrack album, with the notation “music…for the film.” Knopfler brings along Dire Straits associates Alan Clark (keyboards) and John Illsley (bass), plus session aces like saxophonist Mike Brecker, vibes player Mike Mainieri, and drummers Steve Jordan and Terry Williams. The low-key music picks up traces of Scottish music, but most of it just sounds like Dire Straits doing instrumentals, especially the recurring theme, one of Knopfler’s more memorable melodies. Gerry Rafferty sings the one vocal selection, “That’s the Way It Always Starts.”

 

Side one
1.  The Rocks and the Water  (3:30)
2.  Wild Theme  (3:40)
3.  Freeway Flyer  (1:50)
4.  Boomtown (Variation Louis’ Favourite)  (4:10)
5.  The Way It Always Starts  (vocals: Gerry Rafferty)  (4:08)
6.  The Rocks and the Thunder  (0:40)
7.  The Ceilidh and the Northern Lights  (4:07)

Side two
1.  The Mist Covered Mountains  (5:13)
2.  The Ceilidh: Louis’ Favourite/Billy’s Tune  (3:42)
3.  Whistle Theme  (0:51)
4.  Smooching  (5:05)
5.  Stargazer  (1:31)
6.  The Rocks and the Thunder  (0:40)
7.  Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero  (4:55)

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17
Apr

Bette Midler – The Rose (Soundtrack) (1980)

bette midler - the rose

Artist:  Bette Midler
Title:  The Rose (Soundtrack)
Year:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  Atlantic Records
Catalog#  ATL 50681

“The Rose” is the soundtrack to the feature film of the same name starring Bette Midler which was released in 1980. Midler performs all the songs on the album, with the exception of the instrumental “Camellia”. The soundtrack was apart from the title track entirely recorded live and also features concert monologues, with Midler portraying the character “The Rose”, loosely based on legendary blues singer Janis Joplin. The soundtrack was produced by Paul A. Rothchild, who in fact also had worked with Joplin on what was to become her final album before her death in 1970, entitled “Pearl” and released posthumously. Midler’s portrayal of “The Rose”, which was her acting debut, earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in 1980 and became the start of her career in movies.
The first single to be lifted off the soundtrack was Midler’s rendition of Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” which became a moderate chart hit.
“The Rose” soundtrack also included one song that since its original release has become a mainstay in Midler’s live repertoire, Jerry Ragovoy’s despairing blues ballad “Stay With Me”.

 

Side one
1.  Whose Side Are You On?  (4:30)
2.  Midnight In Memphis  (3:44)
3.  Concert Monologue  (2:22)
4.  When a Man Loves a Woman  (5:20)
5.  Sold My Soul To Rock ‘N’ Roll  (3:42)
6.  Keep On Rockin’  (4:03)

Side two
1.  Love Me With A Feeling  (3:54)
2.  Camelia  (3:25)
3.  Homecoming Monologue  (1:23)
4.  Stay with Me  (5:42)
5.  Let Me Call You Sweetheart  (1:35)
6.  The Rose (Studio recording)  (3:42)

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17
Apr

Styx – Equinox (1975)

styx - equinoxe

Artist:  Styx
Title:  Equinox
Year:  1975
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  AMLH-64559

“Equinox” is the fifth album by Styx, released in December 1975, and produced Styx’s first single with A&M, the highly spirited “Lorelei,”. Although it was the only song to chart from “Equinox”, the album itself is a benchmark in the band’s career since it includes an instrumental nature reminiscent of their early progressive years, yet hints toward a more commercial-sounding future in its lyrics. “Light Up” is a brilliant display of keyboard bubbliness, with De Young’s vocals in full bloom, while “Lonely Child” and “Suite Madame Blue” show tighter songwriting and a slight drift toward radio amicability. Still harboring their synthesizer-led dramatics alongside Dennis De Young’s exaggerated vocal approach, the material on Equinox was a firm precursor of what was to come . After “Equinox”, guitarist John Curulewski parted ways with the band, replaced by Tommy Shaw.

 

Side one
1.  Light Up  (4:17)
2.  Lorelei  (3:19)
3.  Mother Dear  (5:25)
4.  Lonely Child  (3:47)

Side two
1.  Midnight Ride  (4:17)
2.  Born for Adventure  (5:12)
3.  Prelude 12 (Instrumental)  (1:21)
4.  Suite Madame Blue  (6:30)

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17
Apr

Sneaker – Sneaker (1981)

sneaker - sneaker

Artist:  Sneaker
Title:  Sneaker
Year:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Handshake Records
Genre:  Soft Rock
Catalog#  204361

The band Sneaker was formed in Los Angeles in 1973 and would probably not be remembered at all aside from their status as one-hit wonders and their association with Doobie Brother/Steely Dan guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. Featuring dual lead vocalists Mitch Crane and Michael Carey Schneider, guitarist Tim Torrance, keyboardist Jim King, bass player Michael Cottage, and drummer Mike Hughes, they were signed to Handshake Records, releasing a self-titled album of soft pop in 1981. In addition to Baxter’s involvement, David Foster and noted session player Paulinho da Costa also contributed. Their one shot at glory came in the form of the airy ballad “More Than Just the Two of Us.
Their first hit “Don’t Let Me In?” was a Steely Dan song, which Becker and Fagen never recorded it themselves.

 

Side one
1.  Don’t Let Me In  (3:45)
2.  More Than Just The Two Of Us  (4:20)
3.  One By One  (2:45)
4.  Jaymes  (3:42)
5.  In Time  (4:40)

Side two
1.  Get Up, Get Out  (3:33)
2.  Looking For Someone Like You  (4:08)
3.  Millionaire  (4:20)
4.  No More Lonely Days  (5:05)

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17
Apr

Xavier – Point Of Pleasure (1982)

xavier - point of plreasure

Artist:  Xavier
Title:  Point Of Pleasure
Year:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  Liberty Records
Catalog#  1A 064-400075

Xavier are an uptempo modern funk group, with a solid 80′s groove. Xavier Smith leads the group on vocals and guitar, and Ayanna little also sings lead vocals. Cuts include “What Goes Around”, “Truly Devoted”, “Work That Sucker To Death”, and “Love Is On The One”.
“Point Of Pleasure” is a disco/funk LP by the group Xavier released in 1982. Bootsy Collins and George Clinton both contributed to two tracks on this P-funk influenced record, the tracks “Work That Sucker To Death” and “Do It To The Max”. The last tune “love Is On The One” is probably the most favorite track. The bass line reminds a lot of M.J.’s “Off The Wall”.

 

Side one
1.  Work That Sucker To Death  (feat. Bootsy Collins, George Clinton)  (6:56)
2.  Rock Me, Sock Me  (5:25)
3.  Dial The Love Man  (5:22)

Side two
1.  Do It To The Max  (feat. Bootsy Collins, George Clinton)  (5:56)
2.  What Goes Around  (4:39)
3.  Truly Devoted  (4:28)
4.  Love Is On The One  (4:42)

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