Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Charting the Charts: Nick Heyward - North of a Miracle (1983)


Here's a look at how the 1983 album North of a Miracle fared in various publications:

Date Billboard 200 Cashbox 200
Jan 14 181
Jan 21 178 182
Jan 28 178 179
Feb 4 194 177
Feb 11 176
Feb 18
Feb 25
Mar 3
Feb 25

Rolling Stone, March 1, 1984, p. 51
Smash Hits, October 27, 1983, p. 19
Billboard, January 28, 1984, p. 24

Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music: ★★★

Friday, August 19, 2016

CD Longbox #13

Eagles - Hotel California (1976)

Exclusive photo courtesy of the Hambonian Archives.

For more information on the brief life of the CD longbox, go visit The Legend of the Longbox.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

32 years ago this month

It was in late August 1984 that I packed my Ford Maverick full of clothes, vinyl, and a brand spanking new stereo system before making the 350 mile drive from the scenic Gulf Coast of Texas to the not-so-scenic environs of East Texas State University, the only university to offer me a music scholarship. My major was music education, so I was required to participate in the marching band. This meant I showed up a week early for rehearsals. There's lots of stuff about that semester involving fraternities, hazing, chasing girls, and making friends, but more importantly, I met a beautiful young drum major. We celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary last week and will become "empty nesters" later this week as our youngest son starts his own college adventures. We didn't have cameras in our mobile phones back in 1984, but here's some pictures I've found that were developed from negatives.

Logo of ETSU, nicknamed the "flaming snail"
In 1996, the university was absorbed by the A&M system and is now named Texas A&M - Commerce.
The aforementioned Ford Maverick, AKA "The Markmobile"
In addition to the Pioneer cassette deck in The Markmobile, I listened to music on a
Fisher MC-725 stereo and WM-10, both high school graduation gifts.
That Fisher went through needles faster than I went through women. Hi-yoooo!
Some buddies and I hanging out after a marching band rehearsal on the hot blacktop.
I'm on the left in the English Beat t-shirt and Jams.
My home away from home, Berry Hall.
Marching band halftime performance. Note that there was no visitor side to the stadium.

If 32 year old memories can be trusted, here's some of the tunes the marching band performed that year:

and, because the university was affectionately known as "ET":

The beginning of the fall semester was full of new music and new artists, but the following four albums always remind me of that particular time:

Talk Show
The Go-Go's
Billboard #18
Cash Box #14
Access All Areas
Spyro Gyra
Billboard #59
Cash Box #79
Difford & Tilbrook
Difford & Tilbrook
Billboard #55
Cash Box #58
Modern Times
Steps Ahead
Billboard -
Cash Box -

But that's just me.  Here's a reminder as to what was topping the Billboard charts on August 25, 1984.
Top LP
Purple Rain
Prince and The Revolution
Hot 100
Ray Parker, Jr.
Rock Album
Heartbeat City
The Cars
Rock Track
"Missing You"
John Waite
Soul Album
Purple Rain
Prince and The Revolution
Soul Single
Ray Parker, Jr.
Dance Single
"The Glamorous Life"
Sheila E.
Country Album
Major Moves
Hank Williams, Jr.
Country Single
"Long Hard Road"
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Adult Contemporary 
"Stuck on You"
Lionel Richie
Jazz Album
Miles Davis
Spiritual Album
Straight Ahead
Amy Grant
Classical Album
Haydn Hummel Mozart Trumpet Concertos
Wynton Marsalis

Here's the top albums from Rolling Stone 429, August 30, 1984.

Since music videos were such a big part of our lives back then, here's a list of what was popular on the MTV at that time.

At the end of that semester I somehow made the Dean's List, even with a C in Biology. The portion I've redacted is my Social Security number, which doubled as my student ID number, an amazingly common practice at that time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Promo posters as seen on "WKRP in Cincinnati" #17

Albums: Front page of Black Sabbath promo booklet, The Ten Year War, issued to publicize Never Say Die!, below. (Warner Bros, 1978)
Episode:  Season 2, Episode 5, "Jennifer Falls in Love"
Original air date: Monday, October 29, 1979

Monday, August 15, 2016

Billboard Chart Scrapers: Albert Finney's Album (1977)

Second in a series.  To be considered a "chart scraper" album, an artist must have had only one album make the Billboard 200 album chart during the years 1976-85.  Said album spent no more than two weeks on the chart, placing no higher than 196.  They're all new to me.

Albert Finney's Album
Released: 1977 (Motown)
Produced by: Denis King

Side One Side Two
But I Was a Child
I'd Like It to Be Me
Crazy Song
When It's Gone
We'll Be Okay
How Do You Know?
Those Other Men
They Say
What Have They Done (To My Home Town?)
The Bird of Paradise
The Stream of Life
A State of Grace

September 3, 1977199

click photos to enlarge

Review links:
Washington Post

Psuedo-Broadway musical music written by Denis King with lyrics by Finney himself, who writes lyrics like a high school loner writes poetry, e.g.: "How do you know when it's there? Is there a hush in the air?" Even though it's on the Motown label, don't expect any soul to be found on this album. If you like Richard Harris's take on MacArthur Park, this may be just the album you're looking for.

For thoughts on the album from producer/composer/arranger Denis King, click here.