Baccara was a female vocal duo formed in 1977 by Spanish artists Mayte Mateos (born 7 February 1951, Logroño) and María Mendiola (born 4 April 1952, Madrid). The pair rapidly achieved international success with their debut single “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie“, which reached number one across much of Europe. Their successful follow-up single was “Sorry, I’m a Lady”.
Label: CNR Records
Yes sir, they could boogie — all night long and, as it turned out, across an entire album. And, though Baccara never scored more than a couple of U.K. hits, the duo’s 1977 self-titled debut album suggests that, with a little extra marketing, they could have churned them out forever. Baccara‘s well-strung hybrid of post-Brotherhood of Man Eurovision pop and prepubescent bubblegum lyricism was certainly a catchy brew — like the similarly styled 2002 hitmakers Las Ketchup, it was not the words they sang that made Baccara so buoyant, it was the way they sang them. While the chorus has been burned into the brain, it was the verses to the U.K. number one “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” that set up the song, displaying a pent-up sensuality whose eventual release was like an orgasm for the dancefloor. Following almost precisely the same format, and sounding like an exotic Shangri-Las, “Sorry, I’m a Lady” followed its predecessor into the U.K. Top Ten and promised more than a simple pop-disco jingle ought to, rhyming the title with “I’d rather be a little shady” and leaving listeners in no doubt what they’re apologizing for. Elsewhere, the duo’s grip on “Can’t Help Falling in Love” may outrage classic Elvis fans, but does demonstrate the sheer versatility of a well-honed dance arrangement, while “Koochie-Koo” and “Cara Mia” rocket Baccara back to the duo’s continental dance club beginnings, to catch them letting rip with a passion that even the absence of English lyrics cannot disguise. All of which adds up to a remarkably enjoyable album, and an irresistibly contagious one.
1. Yes Sir, I Can Boogie (4:29)
2. Love You Till I Die (4:26)
3. Granada (4:17)
4. Gimme More (3:50)
5. Koochie-Koo (4:04)
1. Sorry, I’m A Lady (3:37)
2. Cara Mia (2:53)
3. Feel Me (4:20)
4. Can’t Help Falling In Love (3:26)
5. Number One (2:37)
6. Don’t Play Me A Symphonie (4:17)
Artist: Gerry Rafferty
Title: City To City
Year: 1978 LP
Label: United Artists Records
Catalog# 5C 062-60395
Gerry Rafferty is a huge talent, but a reluctant star. Management struggles and sundry other hindrances limited his output, but couldn’t avert the Scot from releasing two legendary singles — the Tarantino-ized “Stuck in the Middle With You” and the unforgettable “Baker Street,” the latter included on this record. Just a glimpse of John Patrick Byrne’s cool cover art lets the listener know City to City houses Rafferty’s day in the sun as he conquers the world one metropolis at a time, his guitar and amp in tow. Setting out in his apocalyptic “Ark,” each song radiates the confidence of a master craftsman cruising in his prime, constructing brilliant pop confections with top-flight support while awaiting the crunch of civilization. The dreamy reality check “Baker Street” rightfully remains one of the greatest cuts in pop history. Forever-lost B-side “Big Change in Weather” further demonstrates Rafferty was on a rare roll. Domestic valentine “Right Down the Line” snugly followed to the height of the charts, and third release, “Home and Dry,” while not of an immortal status, stands as a quality song. He even stomps out a smooth hoedown on the title track. Rafferty’s turns of phrase and tight composition skills create a fresh sound and perspective all his own. Any diverse style (and he attempts many) filters through his unique mindset, resulting in a classic platter buoyed by many moments of sheer genius. “Whatever’s written in your heart, that’s all that matters.”
1. The Ark (5:36)
2. Baker Street (6:01)
3. Right Down the Line (4:20)
4. City to City (4:51)
5. Stealin’ Time (5:39)
1. Mattie’s Rag (3:28)
2. Whatever’s Written in Your Heart (6:30)
3. Home and Dry (4:52)
4. Island (5:04)
5. Waiting for the Day (5:26)
Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band. They formed in Glasgow in 1977 and became the most commercially successful Scottish band of the 1980s.
Artist: Simple Minds
Title: Sparkle In The Rain
Label: Virgin Records
Sparkle in the Rain is the sixth studio album by Scottish rock band Simple Minds
In less than four years, Simple Minds produced and progressed like few other bands. They released six albums, including a pair of nervy post-punk classics in Real to Real Cacophony and Empires and Dance, as well as the lavish “new pop” triumph New Gold Dream. Their audience expanded, and dates opening for the likes of U2 and the Police placed them in stadiums. The band’s sound naturally became less subtle. For Sparkle in the Rain, they sought U2 producer Steve Lillywhite, whose approach helped shape their performances into a forceful, direct set of commercial rock designed to shake nosebleed seats. Despite frontman Jim Kerr‘s vaguest gesturing and most voluble bellowing to that point, the move worked. The pounding “Waterfront,” hurtling “Speed Your Love to Me,” and gleaming “Up on the Catwalk,” the album’s singles, all reached the Top 30 in the U.K., and by the end of the year, the band was headlining North American hockey arenas and amphitheaters. Apart from the brawling “The Kick Inside of Me,” which contains one of Kerr‘s least tethered turns, none of the album cuts matches the urgency heard in the singles. Relatively restrained moments, such as the absurdly titled “‘C’ Moon Cry Like a Baby” (“Could this be something we don’t understand,” indeed), resemble stiff stabs at re-creating tense drama akin to the tail end of New Gold Dream.
Sparkle in the Rain is a generally rock-oriented album, a departure from the new wave aesthetic of its critically acclaimed predecessor New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84). Kerr, before its release, described the forthcoming Sparkle in the Rain as an “art record—art without tears with masses of muscle”. The band’s new drummer Mel Gaynor, who had contributed for some tracks on the previous record, agreed on the album’s aggressiveness: “On this album I’m getting a few of my ideas across, not only in the drumming field but in other fields as well. It’s a lot different from New Gold Dream, both sound-wise and material-wise. The last one was very smooth, very polished. This album’s got a bit more dirt in it.” Regarding the role of producer Steve Lillywhite, Brian Hogg wrote that Sparkle in the Rain “captured the bravura of their in-concert sound” and Lillywhite “introduced a dynamic, often contrasting, perspective quite unlike the panoramic standpoint of its predecessor, but there was no denying the resultant brash excitement.” Adam Sweeting described how, during the recording process of “Up on the Catwalk”, “Forbes and Gaynor had combined to create a steamrolling rhythm track which came hammering out of the opening chorus like a runaway train.”
1. Up On The Catwalk (4:45)
2. Book Of Brilliant Things (4:21)
3. Speed Your Love To Me (4:24)
4. Waterfront (7:26)
5. East At Easter (3:32)
1. Street Hassle (5:14)
2. White Hot Day (4:32)
3. “C” Moon Cry Like A Baby (4:19)
4. The Kick Inside Of Me (4:48)
5. Shake Off The Ghosts (3:57)
The Stranglers are an English rock band, formed as the Guildford Stranglers on 11 September 1974 in Guildford, Surrey, they originally built a following within the mid-1970s pub rock scene. While their aggressive, no-compromise attitude identified them as one of the instigators of the UK punk rock scene that followed, their idiosyncratic approach rarely followed any single musical genre and the group went on to explore a variety of musical styles, from new wave, art rock and gothic rock through the sophisticated pop of some of their 1980s output.
Artist: The Stranglers
Title: La Folie
Label: Liberty Records
Catalog# 1A 064-83219
The Stranglers had initially been the most commercially successful band of the punk/new wave period in Britain, but by 1981, their success had waned noticeably. La folie was a conscious attempt to deliver a more commercial product. The band’s record company, EMI, sent them into the studio with the record producer, Tony Visconti, giving him a brief to “produce each song as if it was a hit single”.
The album’s French language title literally translates to “madness”. In various interviews, the band related that this referred to “The Madness of Love” and that conceptually, each of the songs on the album was intended to explore a different kind or aspect of “love”. The title track is also said to be based upon the story of Issei Sagawa. Hugh Cornwell related in The Stranglers – Song by Song that the correct title of the album’s opening track was “Non Stop Nun”, and he apparently had been unaware that the record company had printed it as simply “Non Stop”.
La Folie is a welcome album in the Stranglers‘ oeuvre, mainly a collection of tight, punchy songs that often suggest the forthright approach of American new wave bands. With one exception, the songs are shorter and more pointed, harking back to the comparative conciseness of some of the tunes on the band’s first two albums, Rattus Norvegicus and No More Heroes, though acidic lyrics still predominate. “Non-Stop” is a typical example, featuring a half-spoken vocal that suggests Lou Reed, a Cars-influenced organ sound, and a bouncy, dance-derived drum beat; this particular song is atypical, however, because it employs a blues-oriented progression. An interesting excursion is encountered in the song “Golden Brown,” a subdued, jazz-influenced number with purring vocals, a coolly executed synthesizer/harpsichord backing texture, and a periodically stumbling beat. Only the plushly understated title track suggests the sprawl typical of the group’s immediately preceding releases. This fine album is well worth purchasing.
1. Non Stop (2:28)
2. Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead (2:42)
3. Tramp (3:06)
4. Let Me Introduce You To The Family (3:06)
5. Ain’t Nothing To It (3:58)
6. The Man They Love To Hate (4:25)
1. Pin Up (2:49)
2. It Only Takes Two To Tango (3:40)
3. Golden Brown (3:30)
4. How To Find True Love And Happiness In The Present Day (3:08)
5. La Folie (6:10)
Ian Robins Dury (12 May 1942 – 27 March 2000) was an English rock and roll singer-songwriter, bandleader, artist, and actor who first rose to fame during the late 1970s, during the punk and new wave era of rock music. He was the lead singer of Ian Dury and the Blockheads and before that of Kilburn and the High Roads.
Artist: Ian Dury & The Blockheads
Label: Stiff Records
Catalog# SEEZ 30
Laughter is the third studio album by Ian Dury & The Blockheads; released in 1980, it was the last studio album Dury made for Stiff Records. It was also the last studio album he made with The Blockheads, until 1988.
The Blockheads had undergone a significant personnel change since the previous album, Do It Yourself. Chaz Jankel, who played keyboards and co-wrote most of that album’s songs, had left in the wake of a stressful tour. Jankel’s place on guitar was taken by Wilko Johnson of Dr. Feelgood. Johnson (real name John Wilkinson) had considered retiring from the music business until he was asked by Davey Payne and Dury, old friends from their pub rock days, to join The Blockheads. The new-line up first appeared on the ‘I Want To Be Straight’ single, which was released before the album, and reached number 22 in the UK pop charts.
Although Ian Dury was becoming harder to work with, the production of Laughter had started out as a relaxed affair, without the presence of Jankel and Dury. Rehearsals commenced in early 1980 at Milner Sound in Fulham, after keyboard player Mick Gallagher had returned from an American tour with The Clash. The group was, at that time, on hiatus after the gruelling promotional tour in support of Do It Yourself. Spurred on by recording commitments, Dury took over the rehearsals to form the basis of his new album and brought in Wilko Johnson, all without consulting the rest of the band.
At that time Dury was an alcoholic, and also addicted to Mogadon, a brand of sedative. Coupled with his bad reaction to celebrity, and his bouts of depression, these addictions caused him to be cantankerous, confrontational, argumentative and controlling. Although these traits had come out during the recording of the group’s previous album, they were at their peak during the record sessions for Laughter. Attempts to question Dury’s judgment would cause explosions of defensiveness and aggression. He also insisted on synchronising the instruments to a click-track, which aggravated a number of the musicians, especially Wilko Johnson. To make matters worse, guitarist Johnny Turnbull suffered a head injury and was afflicted with mood swings. He eventually had a nervous breakdown.
The album was preceded by the single “Sueperman’s Big Sister“, intentionally spelt wrong so to avoid any copyright issues with DC Comics. The 7″ release included an exclusive track “You’ll See Glimpses”, while the 12″ included the album’s final track “Fucking Ada”. The single, Stiff Records‘ 100th, employed the label for Stiff’s very first (Nick Lowe‘s “Heart of the City”) with the track names crossed out and the correct titles and artist (for “Sueperman’s Big Sister”) written in, as if by biro. Laughter was released the same month, November 1980, but the album was not well received by critics and its sales were mediocre. The “Soft As a Baby’s Bottom” tour to support it, however, was a sell-out success. Stiff and Ian Dury parted ways afterwards and he signed a short-lived deal with Polydor Records without The Blockheads.
A number of Laughter’s songs appear to deal with Dury’s personal problems and demons. Although he always denied that “Delusions Of Grandeur” was about himself, most who knew him at the time felt certain it was. Others, such as “Uncoolohol” (about alcoholism), “Manic Depression (Jimi)” and “Fucking Ada” (both about depression) also seem to make clear references to his troubles at the time. “Hey, Hey, Take Me Away” is confirmed to have been about the time he spent at Chailey’s Special School while stricken with polio.
In an interview years later, Dury admitted of the album: “I called it Laughter to cheer myself up.”
1. Superman’s Big Sister (2:29)
2. Pardon (2:38)
3. Delusions Of Grandeur (2:42)
4. Yes & No (Paula) (3:06)
5. Dance Of The Crackpots (2:35)
6. Over The Points (4:06)
1. (Take Your Elbow Out Of The Soup You’re Sitting On The Chicken) (2:32)
2. Uncoolohol (3:04)
3. Hey, Hey, Take Me Away (2:26)
4. Manic Depression (Jimi) (3:51)
5. Oh Mr Peanut (3:28)
6. Fucking Ada (5:56)
Santa Esmeralda is a U.S./French Disco group formed in the 1970s; perhaps best known for their hit disco remakes of the 1960s hits Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood and House of the Rising Sun. The group featured original lead singer Leroy Gómez in 1977 & 1978 and singer Jimmy Goings from 1979 until 1983.
Artist: Santa Esmeralda
Title: House Of The Rising Sun
Label: Philips Records
After the band’s first album, singer Jimmy Goings was brought in to replace Leroy Gomez. In 1977 Santa Esmeralda scored a top 20 disco hit with a dance version of another song made famous by The Animals, “The House of the Rising Sun“.
Having already assumed the onerous task of revamping the Animals’ classic “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” for the disco market — and making a success of it — Santa Esmeralda once again tackled the classics within this novel set. “The House of the Rising Sun,” the same band’s first international smash, certainly reinvented the classic sound. Keeping the crunch of the guitar and adding a disco beat and a horn section that crosses the border, the performance is anything but another tired old cover. And, although the strains of the aforementioned “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” do percolate up from the depths at times, “Rising Sun” ultimately comes off like a spaghetti Western crossed with Saturday Night Fever. Odd, but oddly compelling at the same time. That song segues into the accompanying “Quasimodo Suite,” making up a luxurious first side that completely overshadows the three tracks on the flip. “Dance You Down Tonight” is pure disco, but pulls out a few funk stops on the way, while the ballad “Nothing Else Matters” takes the preceding frenzy down a notch. The closing “Hey! Gip,” covering one of Donovan’s most hallowed oldies, is probably best forgotten. Santa Esmeralda may be remembered as nothing more than a novelty band — a product of its generation at a time when outrageousness ruled — but at least the band took a stab at creating something different. And while not necessarily successful, the group’s reinvention of the ’60s music scene certainly gave people something different to talk about.
1. The House Of The Rising Sun + Quasimodo Suite (16:30)
1. Dance You Down Tonight (7:00)
2. Nothing Else Matters (6:30)
3. Hey! Gyp! (3:30)
Artist: Golden Earring
Title: To The Hilt
Label: Polydor Records
On To the Hilt, Golden Earring fully gives themselves over to the prog rock tendencies that they had toyed with throughout the 1970s. The resulting album has a strong prog feel but lacks the characteristic sound and the solid material that defined the group’s best efforts to that point. The band puts in a typically energetic and thunderous performance, but their strong instrumental chops can’t overcome the self-indulgent nature of much of the album’s material: “Why Me?” and “Latin Lightning” are a few of the potentially interesting songs on To the Hilt that are undercut by dull, overlong sections of jamming. Said songs also lack the tight arrangements and the sudden, surprising instrumental twists that made the group’s past epics so interesting. The album’s rigorous pursuit of a full-blooded art rock sound results in this album lacking the distinctive, easily identifiable sound that infused Golden Earring classics like “Radar Love” or “She Flies on Strange Wings.” Despite these problems, some good songs shine through. The album’s best songs tend to be the shortest ones: “Facedancer” is a strong rocker built on an interesting blend of synthesizer and acoustic guitar and the title track pursues a galloping country-rock groove that made it a favorite in concert. However, high points like these are separated by long stretches of complex but faceless jamming that makes To the Hilt a chore to get through. As a result, this album is virtually guaranteed to leave the casual listener cold and can only be recommended to the most hardcore of Golden Earring fans.
1. Why Me? (7:15)
2. Facedancer (4:08)
3. To The Hilt (3:06)
4. Nomad (7:06)
1. Sleepwalkin’ (5:00)
2. Latin Lightning (7:15)
3. Violins (10:20)
Artist: Patti Austin
Title: Every Home Should Have One
Label: QWEST Records
Catalog# QW 56931
Every Home Should Have One is a studio album by R&B/jazz singer Patti Austin. Released on Qwest Records in 1981, it includes the number-one hit duet with James Ingram, “Baby Come to Me”, and the title track, which peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also scored a hit with “Do You Love Me?”
The talented Patti Austin launched a successful jazz album career on CTI by the mid-’70s. Working with Quincy Jones since 1976, Every Home Should Have One was her long-awaited solo album with Jones as a producer. The hit singles “Do You Love Me” and “Every Home Should Have One” are polished — pleasing but derivative. Rod Temperton — who did four songs here, including the smooth “The Genie” — comes up with a true gem, the classic Austin and James Ingram duet “Baby Come to Me.” The most telling aspect of Every Home Should Have One isn’t the L.A. pop/R&B Austin could do standing on her head, it’s the most meditative offerings. A cover of Thom Bell and Linda Creed‘s “Stop, Look and Listen” gets an effortless treatment. The album-closing “The Island,” with music from Ivan Lins and Vitor Martins and lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, seems best suited for Austin as she gives a sensual and flawless reading. Every Home Should Have One doesn’t possess Quincy Jones‘ all-encompassing production style of albums like The Dude and George Benson‘s Give Me the Night. While this seems like a debut album, it’s far from it, but it’s a perfect introduction to Austin and her more pop-orientated work.
1. Do You Love Me (3:24)
2. Love Me to Death (4:08)
3. The Way I Feel (4:19)
4. Every Home Should Have One (3:24)
5. Baby, Come to Me (duet with James Ingram) (3:31)
1. The Genie (3:57)
2. Stop, Look, Listen (3:06)
3. Symphony of Love (3:39)
4. Oh No Margarita (3:52)
5. The Island (3:46)
Title: New York London Paris
Label: MCA Records
New York – London – Paris – Munich is M‘s first album, released in 1979, the title being taken from a line in the chorus of the March 1979 hit single “Pop Muzik,” an extended version of which is featured on the album.
M is most known for the 1979 hit “Pop Muzik“, which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart in May 1979, and number one in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on 3 November 1979. Musicians who contributed to M at one time or another included Wally Badarou, Mark King, Phil Gould and Gary Barnacle of Level 42.
Scott first used the pseudonym M in 1978, when he released the single “Moderne Man”. His next single, “Pop Muzik,” featured Scott’s brother Julian on bass, his wife Brigit Novik on backing vocals, and Wally Badarou on keyboards. The album New York – London – Paris – Munich came out in 1979.
The sound of the record is more entertaining than the songwriting, but with its synthesized, danceable beats, big, catchy hooks, and glossy “futuristic” production, it’s a terrific new wave artifact.
1. Pop Muzik (4:56)
2. Woman Make Man (2:18)
3. Moderne Man/Satisfy Your Lust (6:32)
4. Made in Munich (5:36)
1. Moonlight and Muzak (5:36)
2. That’s the Way the Money Goes (4:27)
3. Cowboys and Indians (3:54)
4. Unite Your Nation (5:44)
Label: CBS Records
Catalog# 450394 1
“Freedom” is the fourteenth studio album by Santana.
By this recording, Santana had nine members, some of which had returned after being with the band in previous versions. “Freedom” moved away from the more poppy sound of the previous album, “Beyond Appearances” and back to the band’s original Latin rock.
“Freedom” marked several reunions in the Santana band, which was now a nonet. In addition to Carlos, the band consisted of percussionists Armando Pereza, Orestes Vilato, and Raul Rekow; returning drummer Graham Lear; bassist Alphonso Johnson; returning keyboardist Tom Coster, keyboardist Chester Thompson, and, on lead vocals, Buddy Miles, who had made a duet album with Santana 15 years before. Credited as an “additional musician” was keyboard player Greg Rolie, an original member. The music also marked a return from the hyper-pop sound of Val Garay on Beyond Appearances to a more traditional Santana Latin rock style. Thus, “Freedom” was a literal return to form, but, unfortunately, not to the quality of early Santana albums. And the group’s commercial decline continued, with the LP getting to only Number 95.
1. Veracruz (4:23)
2. She Can’t Let Go (4:45)
3. Once It’s Gotcha (5:42)
4. Love Is You (3:54)
5. Songs Of Freedom (4:28)
1. Deeper, Dig Deeper (4:18)
2. Praise (4:36)
3. Mandela (5:31)
4. Before We Go (3:54)
5. Victim Of Circumstance (5:21)