Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, born 9 December 1950) is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist.
Artist: Joan Armatrading
Title: The Key
Label: A&M Records
Catalog# AMLX 64912
The Key is the eighth studio album by the British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading, released on 28 February 1983 by A&M Records (AMLX64912). The album was recorded at Townhouse Studios in Shepherd’s Bush, London; Polar Studios in Stockholm and also in New York.
The album spawned the single “Drop the Pilot”, which became one of Armatrading’s biggest hits, reaching number 11 in the UK Singles Chart over a 10-week stay. It also quickly became a staple of Armatrading’s live performances and has featured on many of her compilation albums.
Steve Lillywhite was commissioned to produce the album; however, A&M Records judged the album to be not commercial enough and asked Armatrading to come up with some additional, more commercial, material. She went away and wrote the tracks “Drop the Pilot” and “What Do Boys Dream”, both of which were produced separately in New York by Val Garay. These two tracks therefore used a completely different set of musicians, which serves to explain the length of the personnel list on this album.
Armatrading draws on a variety of musical styles for this album, from Stax style brass, rhythm and blues and punk, as well as the rock guitar of Adrian Belew, who had played with David Bowie on Lodger.
The album’s title refers to the door key which Armatrading habitually wore around her neck at that time and which is featured in the album’s photography. She is also pictured playing a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.
“(I Love It When You) Call Me Names” was written about two men in a band who were always arguing, and features a guitar solo by Adrian Belew. It was released as a single, though it did not chart. It subsequently became a staple of Armatrading’s live performances and has appeared on many of her compilation albums. Armatrading said of the song, “It’s come out as a man and a woman, but I was really looking at two guys. Not two gay guys, just two guys who are friends who tend to treat each other like this, always calling each other names. There’s sort of this love/hate relationship between them, but you get the feeling that they really enjoy this thing that they’re going through.”
1. (I Love It When You) Call Me Names (4:22)
2. Foolish Pride (3:17)
3. Drop The Pilot (3:42)
4. The Key (4:02)
5. Everybody Gotta Know (3:43)
1. Tell Tale (2:32)
2. What Do Boys Dream (2:57)
3. The Game Of Love (3:35)
4. The Dealer (3:18)
5. Bad Habits (3:46)
6. I Love My Baby (3:23)
Sir George Ivan Morrison, (born 31 August 1945), known as Van Morrison, is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and producer.
Known as “Van the Man”, Morrison started his professional career when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands covering the popular hits of the day. He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them.
Artist: Van Morrison
Title: Beautiful Vision
Label: Mercury Records
Beautiful Vision is the thirteenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in February 1982. It continued Morrison’s departure from R&B at the time, instead favoring Celtic folk and American jazz in its music. As with many of Morrison’s recordings, spirituality is a major theme and some of the songs are based on the teachings of Alice Bailey. Other songs show Morrison’s Celtic heritage and reminiscence of his Belfast background.
Beautiful Vision shares much sonically with its predecessor, Common One, being heavy on long, winding song-poems, moderate tempos, dense lyricism, and dated production. Still, this winds up being a stronger articulation of what Morrison was attempting to do on Common One — much like how Wavelength got A Period of Transition right. That doesn’t mean that this is a particularly easy album to warm to, since Morrison seems to be consciously creating an insular world here, only of interest to those willing to delve deeply into his own world, letting his elliptical melodies charm instead of frustrate, to let the leisurely pace seduce rather than lull. Once you do that, the record reveals such charming moments as “She Gives Me Religion,” “Beautiful Vision,” and “Cleaning Windows,” a skipping light R&B tune that became one of his latter-day standards. Too much of Beautiful Vision is the product of a willfully idiosyncratic yet oddly measured vision to make it essential for anyone other than diehards, but moments such as that make it worth a listen.
1. Celtic Ray (4:11)
2. Northern Muse (Solid Ground) (4:05)
3. Dweller on the Threshold (4:49)
4. Beautiful Vision (4:08)
5. She Gives Me Religion (4:33)
1. Cleaning Windows (4:43)
2. Vanlose Stairway (4:10)
3. Aryan Mist (4:00)
4. Across the Bridge Where Angels Dwell (4:31)
5. Scandinavia (6:41)
Ellen Foley (born June 5, 1951) is an American singer and actress who has appeared on Broadway and television, where she co-starred in the sitcom Night Court. In music, she has released four solo albums but is best known for her collaborations with rock singer Meat Loaf.
Artist: Ellen Foley
Title: Spirit Of St. Louis
Label: Epic Records
Catalog# EPC 84809
Spirit of St. Louis is the second studio album by American singer and actress Ellen Foley, released in March 1981. Foley is backed by The Clash on all songs. The album was recorded right after The Clash’s Sandinista! with the same musicians and engineers. Foley was dating Clash guitarist Mick Jones at the time. The album charted at #57 UK.
Ellen Foley evidently yearned to do something with more gristle than the rockist sturm und drang of her solo debut, Night Out. She got her wish, although titles like “The Death of the Psychoanalyst of Salvador Dali” surely puzzled fans who heard her breathless guest vocal on “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” Ironically, the press focused more on the assistance rendered by Foley‘s steady, Clash guitarist Mick Jones (whose production is credited to “my boyfriend”). His other Clash-mates also appear, as do members of Ian Dury‘s backing band, the Blockheads; this impressive array of talent gives the album a unity it might otherwise lack. Jones and fellow Clash-mate Joe Strummer co-wrote six songs. The standout is “Torchlight,” a duet with Foley on which Jones drops some characteristically glistening guitar. “The Shuttered Palace” and “Theatre of Cruelty” also work well, logically upholding the Sandinista! era’s dense, intricate wordplay. The other Strummer/Jones efforts are less distinctive. “Salvador Dali” is little more than an impenetrable grocery list of free associations, “In the Killing Hour” is a sketchy throwaway that needed a stronger arrangement, and “M.P.H.”‘s bumptious pub rock is fun listening, but hardly a classic. Strummer‘s old busking mate, Tymon Dogg, contributes three killer tunes himself: his affectionate “Beautiful Waste of Time” is the best one, bolstered by an inspired Payne sax line. (The song originally appeared on Dogg‘s 1976’s self-released Outlaw Number One album.) Foley is less convincing on a stiff remake of “My Legionnaire,” but fares better on her own propulsive original, “Phases of Travel.” The sound is lush and dreamy, although a little more consistent material and less artsiness would have gone a long way. Clash fans impatient for the old three-chord thunder couldn’t stifle their yawns, so the album bombed.
1. The Shuttered Palace (5:06)
2. Torchlight (3:00)
3. Beautiful Waste Of Time (3:00)
4. The Death Of The Psychoanalyst Of Salvador Dali (2:42)
5. M.P.H. (3:30)
6. My Legionnaire (4:32)
1. Theatre Of Cruelty (4:04)
2. How Glad I Am (3:35)
3. Phases Of Travel (4:13)
4. Game Of Man (3:55)
5. Indrestructible (3:47)
6. In The Killig Hour (2:39)
Spin is a spin-off band from Ekseption and was formed in 1974. Difference of opinion regarding the musical style of Ekseption made Rein van den Broek and Dik Vennik to form a new band. They also included Hans Jansen from Ekseption and Hans Hollestelle, who also played on an Ekseption album as a session musician, into the line up. The band was completed by Hans’ brother Jan Hollestelle and Cees Kranenburg.
Label: Ariola Records
Catalog# 27021 XOT
The music of Spin is less focused on the classics, but is more in a jazz-rock style. They recorded two albums, neither of them was very successful. Although the single “Grasshopper” was a minor hit in the US.
The music of Spin is much more straight forward than Ekseption’s music, they dropped the classical influences and the arrangements were much more focused on electric guitars and horns and even some funk elements here and there. Enthusiasts of jazz/rock fusion might find this album a little bit on the soft side though, but the songs are well balanced and feature some catchy horn arrangements. The first album released in 1976 by Ariola is a good ex of jazz with funky elements, not bad at all, at least for me, but they didn’t manage to get very much attention back then like today, they remain unknown to larger public.All pieces stands as good. The band disbands in 1977.
1. Grasshopper (4:39)
2. Spinning (4:03)
3. Excenter (5:18)
4. Sea And Seasons (4:57)
1. Little Bitch (4:57)
2. Sunday Afternoon’s Dream (4:57)
3. Flat Tyre (4:37)
4. Beautiful Queenie (3:32)
Jean-Michel Jarre (born Jean-Michel André Jarre; 24 August 1948) is a French composer, performer, and record producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, ambient, and new-age genres, and known as an organiser of outdoor spectacles of his music featuring lights, laser displays, and fireworks.
Artist: Jean Michel Jarre
Label: Polydor Records
Équinoxe (English: Equinox) is the fourth studio album by French electronic musician and composer Jean-Michel Jarre, released in December 1978 on the Disques Dreyfus record label, with license to Polydor.
Jarre had developed his sound, employing more dynamic and rhythmic elements, particularly a greater use of sequencing on basslines. Much of this was achieved using custom equipment developed by his collaborator Michel Geiss. The album is presented as two suites of music, each consisting of 4 parts and taking up one side of the vinyl release of the album. The separate tracks on the record smoothly segue into each other to this effect.
As the follow up album to Oxygene, Equinoxe offers the same mesmerizing affect, with rapid spinning sequencer washes and bubbling synthesizer portions all lilting back and forth to stardust scatterings of electronic pastiches. Using more than 13 different types of synthesizers, Jarre combines whirling soundscapes of multi-textured effects, passages, and sometimes suites to culminate interesting electronic atmospheres. Never repeating the same sounds twice, it is obvious that the science fiction hype of the late 70’s played a large part in the making of this album. Computerized rhythms and keyboard-soaked transitions scurry by, replaced by even quicker, more illustrious ones soon after. There is always a pulsating beat or a fluttering tempo happening somewhere in each of the tracks, which are titled as a numbered sequence one to eight. Each track harbors its own energy and electronic fleetness, but none are identical in sound or pace. So much electronic color is added to every track that it is impossible to concentrate on any particular segment, resulting in waves of synth drowning the ears at high tide.
1. Equinoxe Part 1 (2:15)
2. Equinoxe Part 2 (5:10)
3. Equinoxe Part 3 (5:35)
4. Equinoxe Part 4 (7:30)
1. Equinoxe Part 5 (3:50)
2. Equinoxe Part 6 (3:30)
3. Equinoxe Part 7 (8:10)
4. Equinoxe Part 8 (5:00)
Hermanus “Herman” Brood (5 November 1946 – 11 July 2001) was a Dutch musician and painter. In 1976, Brood started his own group, Herman Brood & His Wild Romance, (and started work with photographer Anton Corbijn) initially with Ferdi Karmelk (guitar), Gerrit Veen (bass), Peter Walrecht (drums), and Ellen Piebes and Ria Ruiters (vocals). They played the club and bar circuit, first in Groningen.
Artist: Herman Brood & His Wild Romance
Title: Go Nutz
Label: Ariola Records
Go Nutz is the third studio album by Dutch rock and roll and blues group Herman Brood & His Wild Romance. Three singles came from the album, “Love You Like I Love Myself,” “Hot Shot,” and “I Don’t Need You,” all of which charted in the Netherlands. On the Dutch album chart, the album reached #6 on 8 March 1980, and stayed on the chart for nine weeks.
In the summer of 1979, Brood tried to enter the American market, with support from Ariola’s US division, which was attempting to expand into rock music. Following on the success of Shpritsz, the band was booked as a support act for The Kinks and The Cars, playing in auditoriums.
Go Nutz, recorded in the United States, was supposed to follow up on the American success of the single “Saturday Night” (from Shpritsz) and a compilation called Herman Brood & His Wild Romance, made specifically for the American market. The Dutch market was ripe for another Brood album, since the single “Never be Clever” had reached #10 in the Dutch singles chart on 16 June 1979. However, the recording sessions were a disaster; the American producers replaced the rest of the band with session musicians, resulting in a disappointing album and the disbanding of the hitherto successful quartet of Brood, Lademacher, Cavalli, and Meerman. The album produced three charting singles in the Netherlands, but failed to chart in the US.
1. Go Nutz (3:05)
2. Love You Like I Love Myself (3:32)
3. I Don’t Need You (3:36)
4. I’ll Be Doggone (3:43)
5. Right On The Money (4:26)
1. Hot Shot (3:30)
2. Born Before My Time (4:28)
3. Beauty Is Only Skin Deep (2:58)
4. Easy Pick Up (4:33)
5. Laurie (4:05)
Tears for Fears are an English pop/rock band formed in Bath, Avon (now in Somerset since 1996) in 1981 by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Founded after the dissolution of their first band, the mod-influenced Graduate, they were initially associated with the new wave synthesizer bands of the early 1980s but later branched out into mainstream rock and pop, which led to international chart success. They were part of the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US.
Artist: Tears For Fears
Title: Songs From The Big Chair
Label: Mercury Records
If The Hurting was mental anguish, Songs from the Big Chair marks the progression towards emotional healing, a particularly bold sort of catharsis culled from Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith‘s shared attraction to primal scream therapy. The album also heralded a dramatic maturation in the band’s music, away from the synth-pop brand with which it was (unjustly) seared following the debut, and towards a complex, enveloping pop sophistication. The songwriting of Orzabal, Smith, and keyboardist Ian Stanley took a huge leap forward, drawing on reserves of palpable emotion and lovely, protracted melodies that draw just as much on soul and R&B music as they do on immediate pop hooks. The album could almost be called pseudo-conceptual, as each song holds its place and each is integral to the overall tapestry, a single-minded resolve that is easy to overlook when an album is as commercially successful as Songs from the Big Chair. And commercially successful it was, containing no less than three huge commercial radio hits, including the dramatic and insistent march, “Shout” and the shimmering, cascading “Head Over Heels,” which, tellingly, is actually part of a song suite on the album. Orzabal and Smith‘s penchant for theorizing with steely-eyed austerity was mistaken for harsh bombasticism in some quarters, but separated from its era, the album only seems earnestly passionate and immediate, and each song has the same driven intent and the same glistening remoteness. It is not only a commercial triumph, it is an artistic tour de force. And in the loping, percolating “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Tears for Fears perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the mid-’80s while impossibly managing to also create a dreamy, timeless pop classic. Songs from the Big Chair is one of the finest statements of the decade.
1. Shout (6:31)
2. The Working Hour (6:29)
3. Everybody Wants To Rule The World (4:09)
4. Mothers Talk (5:04)
1. I Believe 4:54
2. Broken 2:38
3. Head Over Heels 4:58
4. Broken (Live) 0:50
4. Listen 6:47
Atlantic Starr is an American band, formed in White Plains, New York by three brothers: lead singer/guitarist David Lewis, lead singer/keyboardist Wayne Lewis, and trombonist/percussionist Jonathan Lewis.
Artist: Atlantic Starr
Label: A&M Records
Catalog# AMLH 64883
Atlantic Starr hit its commercial peak in the late ’80s, when the bland, insipid adult contemporary ballad “Always” soared to number one on both the pop and R&B charts. That song put Atlantic Starr in the Whitney Houston/Lionel Richie realm — in other words, people who associate Atlantic Starr with “Always” think of them as a crossover act. But from an R&B standpoint (as opposed to a pop/adult contemporary standpoint), Atlantic Starr provided their best work in the early ’80s, when Sharon Bryant was still on board and the East Coast residents were being produced by James Carmichael. Released in 1982, Brilliance was the second of three albums that Carmichael produced for Atlantic Starr — and it is also one of the band’s finest and most essential releases. There is nothing not to like about this LP. The soul ballads “Your Love Finally Ran Out” and “Let’s Get Closer” are excellent, and so are up-tempo funk/dance numbers like “Sexy Dancer” and “Love Moves” (which features Wayne Lewis on lead vocals and has a Slave/Steve Arrington/Aurra type of appeal). Brilliance, however, is best known for Bryant’s soaring performance on the smash hit “Circles,” which is one of those songs that is great on the dancefloor but is equally appealing if you want to simply sit down and listen to it. Bryant also excels on the single “Love Me Down,” which wasn’t as big a hit as “Circles” (it reached number 14 on Billboard’s R&B singles chart), but is still a fine medium-tempo item. If you have only a casual interest in Atlantic Starr and only want to have a few of its albums in your collection, Brilliance should definitely be among them.
1. Love Me Down (4:50)
2. Sexy Dancer (4:51)
3. Love Moves (5:00)
4. Your Love Finally Ran Out (4:47)
1. Circles (4:52)
2. Let’s Get Closer (5:23)
3. Perfect Love (4:39)
4. You’re The One (4:12)
Artist: Richard ´Dimples Fields´
Title: Mr. Look So Good
Label: The Boardwalk Records
Sources differ as to whether he was born in New Orleans, Louisiana or San Francisco, California. However, he began singing professionally in the latter city in the early 1970s, purchasing a San Francisco cabaret, the Cold Duck Music Lounge, where he headlined. He took his nickname, “Dimples”, from a female admirer who remarked that he was always smiling. He began recording for his own DRK label, before signing to Boardwalk Records in 1981. His first minor hit was a cover of The Penguins’ “Earth Angel” that year. His first album for Boardwalk also featured the track “She’s Got Papers On Me”, the lament of a married man wanting his mistress, which was interrupted by his wife, played by Betty Wright, setting out her view of the situation.
Fields’ breakthrough single came in 1982 with “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another”, which reached number one for three weeks on the US Billboard R&B chart and number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100. He had first recorded and released the song for DRK in 1975, in which he lamented not only the world’s problems, but also those of his own life (from an ugly pregnant girlfriend to the need to read the Bible). Fields was persuaded to re-record and update it by an old friend, including it on his album, Mr. Look So Good!, before it was issued as a single.
1. If It Ain’t One Thing…It’s Another (6:50)
2. After I Put My Lovin’ On You (3:45)
3. Baby Work Out (4:19)
4. Mr. Look So Good (3:49)
1. Taking Applications (5:30)
2. (A Woman At Home And) A Freak On The Side (5:05)
3. Sincerely (3:59)
4. The Lady Is Bad (5:20)
James Edward Ingram (born February 16, 1952) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist.
Artist: James Ingram
Title: It´s Your Night
Label: QWEST Records
It’s Your Night is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter James Ingram, released by Qwest/Warner Bros. Records on July 27, 1983. The album was commercially successful, as it peaked at number 46 on the Billboard 200 album chart and reached number 14 on the Top Black Albums chart. It was later certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in early 1984, making this his highest-charting album and only album to be certified by the RIAA.
Ingram was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 1984 and 1985. The album cut “Party Animal” received a nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 26th Grammy Awards in 1984. It’s Your Night and the album’s second single, “Yah Mo B There” (a duet with Michael McDonald) received nominations for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group, winning in the latter.
It is also his first on Qwest Records, which was run by Quincy Jones. It features the song “Yah Mo B There“, which is a duet with singer Michael McDonald. It has been certified gold by the RIAA and is his highest-charting album ever.
The song Whatever We Imagine was used as the closing theme for both 1984 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and 1986 NBA Finals for CBS Sports.
1. Party Animal (4:55)
2. Yah Mo Be There (4:40)
3. She Loves Me (The Best That I Can Be) (3:40)
4. Try Your Love Again (4:25)
1. Whatever We Imagine (3:58)
2. One More Rhythm (4:05)
3. There’s No Easy Way (3:51)
4. It’s Your Night (3:37)
5. How Do You Keep The Music Playing? (Theme From Best Friends) (4:16)