Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Random album ad #58

Talking Heads - The Name of This Band is Talking Heads (1982)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Rock Short Takes, August 1980

Click on the image below to open a pdf file of the "Rock Short Takes" album reviews from Musician magazine's August, 1980 issue. Artists include Grace Jones, Chaka Khan, and New Musik.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Aretha Franklin during My Favorite Decade (Albums)

The Blues Brothers, 1980
In the years 1976-85, The Queen of Soul almost averaged one new album release per year. I wasn't hip to almost all of these albums upon release, instead spending the time discovering and reveling in her '60s catalog. My loss; I'll make up for it.

SPARKLE (1976)

 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 20018
 Billboard R&B1
 Cash Box20


 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 20049
 Billboard R&B6
 Cash Box60


 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 20063
 Billboard R&B12
 Cash Box104

LA DIVA (1979)

 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 200146
 Billboard R&B25
 Cash Box109

ARETHA (1980)

 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 20047
 Billboard R&B6
 Cash Box46


 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 20036
 Billboard R&B4
 Cash Box37

JUMP TO IT (1982)

 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 20023
 Billboard R&B1
 Cash Box12


 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 20036
 Billboard R&B4
 Cash Box38


 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Billboard 20013
 Billboard R&B3
 Cash Box15

Thursday, August 16, 2018

MFD Not-So-Random Five #8

In which I select five songs from 1976-1985 based on an arbitrary theme. (Not to be confused with this blog's Random Five feature, a different exercise in arbitrariness). Today's theme, for the "dog days of summer:" songs that have the word "dog" in their title.

  1. "Do the Dog" by The Specials (1979, 2 Tone)
    A ska cover of Rufus Thomas' 1963 single "The Dog" which is more like a complete deconstruction of the song than a cover. But I still dig it.

  2. "Dog Eat Dog" by Adam and the Ants (1980, Epic)
    The first Adam and the Ants tune I ever heard was "Killer in the Home." It appeared on a 1981 Epic sampler cassette titled Exposed. I was intrigued. Then "Dog Eat Dog" came up on the second side of the tape and I was hooked. Purchase of the Kings of the Wild Frontier album quickly followed, and I stayed with Adam Ant until he teamed up with Phil Collins, then I quickly lost interest. But Kings of the Wild Frontier is one of my favorite albums of 1980 (even though I didn't hear it until later) and "Dog Eat Dog" is side 1, track 1 of that album.

  3. "Dog and Butterfly" by Heart  (1979, Portrait)
    When I was a kid, I thought this was an Olivia Newton-John tune (I never claimed I was a smart kid, just a smart ass). But Ann Wilson sure brings it with these vocals, don't she? The star of this show, however, is the laid back folkish songwriting and subtle arrangement. The song barely cracked the Top 40, peaking at #34, which is a damn shame. Of course, Top 40 at that time was mainly disco and country crossover, so there really wasn't room for a folk ballad, no matter how beautiful it was. (note: I just checked out the Hot 100 chart of March 31, 1979 and that's a helluva chart. Maybe that explains why "Dog and Butterfly" didn't get any higher: too much competition. Or maybe this song just lulled me into a nostalgic 7th grade daze.)

  4. "Dogs" by The Judy's (1980, Wasted Talent)
    The Judy's were a local band out of Pearland, Texas, just south of Houston. The trio would end up as opening acts for groups like Talking Heads and The B-52's (oddly enough, a then-unknown R.E.M. opened for The Judy's in Austin in 1981). They became a regional favorite, then me and my high school friends fell in love with them in the summer of 1982 with their album Washarama. "Dogs" comes from the EP released prior to Washarama, The Wonderful World of Appliances. Sung from the perspective of David Berkowitz, this song is an odd exploration of The Son of Sam. Far from my favorite tune by the band, it's creepy and catchy at the same time.

  5. "Atomic Dog" by George Clinton (1982, Capitol)
    When you read this set's theme, you probably guessed I'd include this song by Dr. Funkenstein. "Bow-wow-wow-yippee-yo-yippee-yay!" may be some of my favorite '80s lyrics. Amazingly, this 1982 single never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 (it "bubbled under" at 101, but it topped the R&B chart and peaked at #38 Disco). I didn't love this as much in the early '80s as I should have. Now a classic, being widely sampled in hip-hop music for the last 35+ years.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Beatles during My Favorite Decade (Singles)

While the group had officially broken up (Paul McCartney announced he was leaving the group) on April 10, 1970, the legendary group's selling power persisted by Capitol releasing a few singles during the years 1976-85. What follows is an overview of the official US single releases/re-releases during that time frame. I purchased the Movie Medley single and wish I still had it.


 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Cash Box3

"OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA" (1976)

 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Cash Box47


 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Cash Box92


 U.S. Album Chart Peaks:
 Cash Box14