Category Archives: Artists

Remember That Song: 8/18/17

Can you name the artist and song:

We cannot live together
We cannot live apart
That’s the situation
I’ve known it from the start


Last Song: “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” by Belinda Carlisle from the album Heaven On Earth (1987)

Great job Andy (@Torahguy) and Kids Inc Daily (@kidsincdaily)!!!

When you walk into the room
You pull me close and we start to move
And we’re spinning with the stars above

 

If you’d like to purchase this song from Amazon, click on the album cover below:

Remember That Song: 8/17/17

Can you name the artist and song:

When you walk into the room
You pull me close and we start to move
And we’re spinning with the stars above


Last Song: “Cherish” by Madonna (who turned 59 yesterday) from the album Like A Prayer (1989)

Great job Vinnieh and Andy (@Torahguy)!!!

You are my destiny
I can’t let go
Baby can’t you see
Cupid please take your aim at me

 

If you’d like to purchase this song from Amazon, click on the album cover below:

Remember That Song: 8/16/17

Can you name the artist and song:

You are my destiny
I can’t let go
Baby can’t you see
Cupid please take your aim at me


Last Song: “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears from the album Songs From The Big Chair (1985)

Yay! Lots of winners!

Great job Lynne, AnnMarie, Drew (@ChristiedDrew), Jim (@JimVilk), and Candy (@candyissodandy)!!!

I wanted to be with you alone
And talk about the weather
But traditions I can trace against the child in your face
Won’t escape my attention

 

If you’d like to purchase this song from Amazon, click on the album cover below:

Remember That Song: 8/15/17

Can you name the artist and song:

I wanted to be with you alone
And talk about the weather
But traditions I can trace against the child in your face
Won’t escape my attention


Last Song: “Venus” by Bananarama from the album True Confessions (1986)

Great job southernhon (@peacesong464)!!!

Her weapons were her crystal eyes
Making every man mad
Black as the dark night she was
Got what no one else had

 

If you’d like to purchase this song from Amazon, click on the album cover below:

Crossover Event – Favorite 80s Music Videos, Part 2


I recently posted an article covering my favorite music videos as part of an ’80s Crossover event with the ’80s League. Now, Robert is sharing his favorite video. Please check out our fellow members of the ’80s League who participated in this event:

80s Reboot Overdrive – Podcast and Blog
Killer Kitsch – 1980s Music Videos

 


It Begins with a-ha’sTake On Me

by Robert Mishou

Recently (August 1) MTV celebrated its birthday. Thirty-six years ago the channel that changed pop culture and affected the way all of us listened to – and watched – music played the first notes of The Buggles Video Killed the Radio Star and followed that with Pat Benatar’s You Better Run. The rest, as they say, is history. The channel that many thought could never work definitely worked and influenced music sales for the next two decades. Not everyone liked the shows MTV would add later and not all of them were successful, but that beginning, that core of music videos, concerts, and interviews with the artists left an indelible impression on all of us who sat glued to that cable channel.

Personally, I did not truly watch MTV until I moved back to the United States after living on an army base in Frankfurt, (then) West Germany for six years. Music videos did become a very precious commodity, though. In those years before MTV Europe, friends and/or acquaintances would travel back to the United States for holidays and summer vacations. Whenever anyone came back to the U.S., they always returned to Germany with a six hour VHS tape full of MTV – commercials and all. Those tapes made the rounds and were dubbed and dubbed and dubbed. We watched these videos until the tapes broke. Do not forget that these were the days before YouTube and there was really no other way to get a hold of these sacred clips. I vividly remember the all night sessions of Atari video games (that would later evolve into Commodore 64) with these VHS tapes of MTV rolling in the background. We would be mashing the buttons on the joysticks and singing at the top of our lungs. And when it was not our turn to play, we turned around and watched those videos – and sing at the top of our lungs.

Like most teens in the ‘80s, MTV was a major part of my growing up and I do really miss it now. Just a month ago I was visiting my best friends in Louisville. We did not turn on MTV as that would be a futile effort today. We went to Youtube and found a playlist of ‘80s hair bands and feasted on those classics!

Simply put: MTV helped form me into the adult I am today. Now as I am faced with a crossover event with our fellow ‘80s brothers and sisters, I am able to write about my favorite ‘80s video. There are so many choices, but my choice is an easy one. To me, despite all of the possibilities, my favorite ‘80s video begins and ends with a-ha’s Take On Me.

Yes, I briefly considered a few others like, well, no I really didn’t. a-ha’s song was the first one that popped into my head and stayed there. Yes, I am an a-ha fan. Growing up in Germany in the ‘80s made this a natural. I saw the band in concert in November of 1986 at the Frankfurt Festhalle shortly after the release of their second album Scoundrel Days. I have always felt they have been unfortunately labeled as one-hit-wonders here in the U.S. I know it is true here, but they had twenty consecutive top ten hits on the European continent – just nothing else here. Despite their clearly European sound that is not a rousing success for many here in the States, the video propelled this song to number one for the week of October 19, 1985. I love the song, but there are better, for sure. In 1985 alone Money for Nothing, Power of Love, Shout, and Broken Wings all hit #1 and are all songs that are better. But the videos are not (although Money For Nothing is an extremely close second). Remind yourself and watch the video again:

The story is simple: lonely girl falls for a cute boy in a comic book; boy pulls the girl into the comic book; boy gets into trouble; boy helps girl get back to real world; girl sees boy get beat up; boy escapes the comic book and rejoins girl in real world – that old chestnut. The story is not a complex one, but I do have a preference for videos that tell a story. There is not much time to develop character or plot in three to four minutes, so the video’s creators must rely on archetypes and stock characters and situations, as this one does. It is the creative twist of enhancing a regular comic adventure and combining it with live action that makes this one stand out. The aspect that really makes this one jump out, though, is this combination of drawn scenes and live action scenes within each other – not just as clever cut away edits.

The hero (Hartek), after winking at the girl, reaches out and brings her into his comic book world.

In the above scene lead singer live action Morten Hartek sings the chorus to the comic book version of the girl.

Now reverse the scene as the girl looks amazed at a comic book Hartek. Note that in both stills the panels of the comic book remain, giving the viewer the sense of remaining in the comic book with the characters.

Here, the hero Hartek breaks out of the comic book and into the real world.

Clearly, technology today is way better than it was in 1985, but the creativity used in the creation of this video is a clear hallmark of what videos could be and what they will become. I give the slight edge to a-ha’s video over Dire Straits’ Money for Nothingbecause of the lack of the burgeoning computer technology. I absolutely love both the Dire Straits video and You Might Think by the Cars and the way computer graphics are used. Both are clever and original, but both are also missing the clear story and characterization. Neither have a clear series of events that lead to a true climax. To me, Take On Mecombines the “story-ness” that I love in videos with comic book cartoonish graphics, and live action that is cleanly originally blended in to heighten the overall video experience. All of this packed into a whopping 3 minutes and 43 seconds. It will always be my favorite video of all time.


Top 40 Songs This Week: August 8, 1987 – Songs 10-1

Welcome back everybody! If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. Today we wrap up this week’s countdown. What a great week of music! Let’s get right to it, Return to the week ending August 8, 1987, and conclude the countdown.


10. “Wot’s It To Ya” by Robbie Nevil


Robbie Nevil burst onto the music scene with “C’est La Vie”, and had a short string of hits, including this one. In the early ’90s he turned to producing.

9. “Alone” by Heart


I feel like this took over “Barracuda” as Heart’s signature song. As often as it get’s played, I still love it. Ann Wilson has one of the greatest voices in rock history, and it really shows with this song.

8. “Cross My Broken Heart” by The Jets


The Jets had a huge run from the mid to late ’80s. This is a fun song, featured on the Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack. The original band consisted of eight brothers and sisters (out of 17!). The band name is named after the Elton John song, “Bennie and the Jets.”

7. “Who’s That Girl” by Madonna


I like Madonna’s early work, but this is around the time I lost interest, until “Like a Prayer” came out. Of course, I now long for this stuff.

6. “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine


O eh, o eh, o eh, oo aah
O eh, o eh, o eh, oo aah
The rhythm got me! I’m still liking Gloria Estefan. I also love that she now does the theme song for the One Day at a Time reboot – a show that I can’t recommend enough. You should be interested in just the fact alone that the show has an actual theme song. If you miss the late ’70s/early ’80s sitcoms, check it out.

5. “Luka” by Suzanne Vega


Outstanding song, despite the depressing subject matter. Suzanne Vega paved the way for the big wave of female singer/songwriters from the late ’80s through mid ’90s.

4. “Heart and Soul” by T’Pau


I love this song. The geek in me makes me kind of partial as this band is named after a vulcan from an episode of the original Star Trek series. This band is still around, and just released a new album in 2015, called Pleasure & Pain.

3. “Shakedown” by Bob Seger


This is my favorite Bob Seger song! This Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack was flat-out awesome! This is the second song, from the soundtrack, in this top 10. And we aren’t done yet! This is a great song for that movie, and goes hand-in-hand with “The Heat is On” from the original movie.

2. “I Want Your Sex” by George Michael


This is the third song from the Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack. It was also off of George Michael’s legendary Faith album. This is another artist we lost too soon. I was really hoping for a comeback from him.

1. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2


This was the second song released from U2’s successful album, The Joshua Tree. This song is a critical darling, for sure. A lot of people had fallen off the U2 bandwagon by this point, but I would stay on board a while longer.


Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to hear what you think. I plan on doing more of these in the near future. Until next time, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Top 40 Songs This Week: August 8, 1987 – Songs 20-11

Welcome back everybody! If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. I don’t know about you, but I’m loving the countdown this week! And as usual, if you want to watch/listen to the YouTube video, you can click on the song title. If you’d like to listen to/purchase this song from Amazon, you can click onthe album cover. Now let’s Return to the week ending August 8, 1987, and continue the countdown!


20. “Seven Wonders” by Fleetwood Mac


I love all of Fleetwood Mac’s stuff, no matter who’s singing. But, Stevie Nicks is definitely my favorite. She takes the lead on this awesome song from Mac’s final studio album with the classic lineup, Tango in the Night.

19. “It’s Not Over (‘Til It’s Over)” by Starship


This is my favorite Starship song. And just as Fleetwood Mac had come out with their final album with the classic lineup, No Protection was Starship’s final album with Grace Slick. So, I guess it was over for her.

18. “Kiss Him Goodbye” by the Nylons


I had never heard this version of the song in my life, and I never heard of this group. But, I’m loving this! This a cappella group covers the classic Steam song, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” here. And I think they do a helluva job!

17. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston


This is Whitney’s second entry this week. This song was the first single released off of her second album, Whitney. This song proved that her debut album was no fluke.

16. “Back in the High Life Again” by Steve Winwood


Even though Steve Winwood had been around for a while, this was the first time I was aware of him. Even though I was more into hard rock in these days, I did like all of Winwood’s music. He also gets a little help from James Taylor on backing vocals in this song.

15. “The Pleasure Principle” by Janet Jackson


Janet was staying strong as this was the sixth single released from her classic Control album.

14. “Rock Steady” by The Whispers


Seven years after the Whispers had cracked the top 20, with “And the Beat Goes On”, they had an incredible comeback with this awesome hit.

13. “Only in My Dreams” by Debbie Gibson


And so begins Paul’s huge ’80s crush!

12. “Don’t Mean Nothing” by Richard Marx


In the previous song, while I was crushing on Debbie, I forgot to mention that “Only in My Dreams” was her debut single. And now we have another debut single. Richard Marx was already a great songwriter. But, he went on a great run, in the late ’80s, as a performer.

11. “La Bamba” by Los Lobos


This is the song that I mumble and struggle to the lyrics…until the chorus. Then I can sing the shit out of it at the top of my lungs!


That wraps up today’s list. I would love to hear what you think of these songs, and these countdowns in general. We will wrap up the countdown on Friday.

Top 40 Songs This Week: August 8, 1987 – Songs 30-21

Welcome back as the countdown continues. If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go back and check them out. In the early ’80s, radio was quite diverse. Disco was still winding down, and there were a lot of singer/songwriter, rock, and pop tunes. In the late ’80s, the Top 40 countdowns were still diverse. There was a good combination of pop, rock, and R&B. And today’s list is no exception. So, let’s go back to the good ole days, and Return to the week ending August 8, 1987, and go on with the countdown.


30. “Point of No Return” by Exposé


Often imitated, but never duplicated! This pioneering female freestyle group had an incredible start, landing four top 10 hits from their debut album, Exposure. And this was one of them.

29. “When Smokey Sings” by ABC


Am I the only one that thinks this video would be awesome if it featured Jackie Gleason, Burt Reynolds, and Jerry Reed from Smokey and the Bandit?

28. “Doing It All For My Baby” by Huey Lewis & The News


Not one of my favorite Huey Lewis songs. But man, were the videos fun back then! The music doesn’t even start until over 3 1/2 minutes in!

27. “Something So Strong” by Crowded House


Much like Exposé, Crowded House got off to a strong start, turning out hits like this and “Don’t Dream It’s Over” from their debut album.

26. “Hearts On Fire” by Bryan Adams


Yes, people born post ’80s, Bryan Adams had more hits than “Summer of ’69” and “Cuts Like a Knife”. For example…this song! I can’t get enough of it.

25. “Living In a Box” by Living In a Box


Often, the question comes up, Can you name a song with the same name as its artist? This, Night Ranger, and Danger Danger are always my go-to’s. This song has that classic ’80s pop sound.

24. “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Mötley Crüe


Meh. If you want to listen to some real Crüe, go back to their first 2 albums – Too Fast For Love and Shout At the Devil.

23. “Can’t We Try” by Dan Hill and Vonda Shepard


Music whiplash! We go from a rocker to a slow duet ballad. There were a lot of great duets in the ’80s, and this is definitely one of them.

22. “I’d Still Say Yes” by Klymaxx


Another ballad I remember slow dancing to back in those high school days.

21. “Love Power” by Dionne Warwick and Jeffrey Osborne


We wrap up today with a classy song. This song was written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. I love both Dionne Warwick’s and Jeffrey Osborne’s voices. And together, they sound great.


Well, we’re halfway through the countdown. What do you think so far? Do you have any favorites, or are there any surprises that you had forgotten about? Let me know.

Top 40 Songs This Week: August 8, 1987 – Songs 40-31

It’s been far too long. At long last, we Return to the Top 40 countdown. This week, we’ll go back 30 years, and see what the 40 most popular songs were. At this time, I was getting ready to start my senior year of high school. I have a ton of great memories, and I loved the music back then. So, let’s Return to August 8, 1987, and check out songs 40-31 today. You can click on the song title to watch the video, and you can click on the album cover to buy/listen to the song from Amazon.


40. “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” by Whitney Houston


She did have it all, then lost it. And we lost one of the greatest voices of our generation. This is a beautiful, sad song.

39. “Wipe Out” by The Fat Boys and The Beach Boys


For all the haters of Beach Boy ’80s songs, I bet you’re begging for Kokomo now!

38. “Funkytown” by Pseudo Echo


In my opinion, this is one cover song that is as good as the original. This version is a little more rock than disco.

37. “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” by Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett


A much overlooked tune from Jackson’s Bad album. A very nice duet.

36. “Mary’s Prayer” by Danny Wilson


No, Danny Wilson is not a person. It is a Scottish pop group. This is one of those songs that I had forgotten about until I just heard it for the first time in a while.

35. “Happy” by Surface


Finally, a Happy song I approve of! This R&B tune is way better than Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, which is a million times better than the recent song “Happy” by Pharrell.

34. “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake


When you hear the words ’80s Rock, this is one of the first songs that come to mind. Great song, and great video. So many of us teenage boys really wanted to be that car.

33. “Since You’ve Been Gone” by The Outfield


Future candidate of the Return to the ’80s podcast’s segment, ‘Play This, Not That.’ Sure, “Your Love” is a great song, but The Outfield has many other great songs, which never get played. This was one of them. It reached #11 and never gets played.

32. “Give to Live” by Sammy Hagar


This hit was off of the Red Rocker’s album I Never Said Goodbye, his only solo album released while he was with Van Halen. This is one of my favorites by him.

31. “Don’t Disturb This Groove” by The System


I love me some late ’80s R&B, and this is no exception.

And unfortunately, I will have to disturb this groove by stopping the countdown for today. We will be back with songs 30-21.


What do you think of this countdown so far? What were you doing this week in 1987? I’d love to hear from you.

Remember That Song: 8/7/17

Can you name the song and the artist who covered it in the ’80s:

Her weapons were her crystal eyes
Making every man mad
Black as the dark night she was
Got what no one else had


Last Song: “Fade To Black” by Metallica from the album Ride The Lightning (1984)

I have lost the will to live
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me
Need the end to set me free

 

If you’d like to purchase this song from Amazon, click on the album cover below: