Saturday, December 15, 2018

Smash Hits Album Ratings - 1981 [part 2 of 2]

Smash Hits was a British teen music magazine that was issued fortnightly. On a scale of 1-10, here's how the magazine's reviewers rated albums released in the second half of 1981. Hope you find something new that you missed back in '81.

July 9 issue
The Models Alphabravocharliedeltaechofoxtrotgolf 6
Pointer Sisters Black & White 7
Joe Jackson Jumpin' Jive 6
Wah! Nah = Poo - The Art of Bluff 8
Kiki Dee Perfect Timing 6
Polecats Polecats Are Go
Henry Badowski Life is a Grand... 8

July 23 issue
Jon and Vangelis The Friends of Mr. Cairo 8
The Equators Hot 6
Odyssey I Got the Melody 5
Angelic Upstarts 2,000,000 Voices 5
The Brothers Johnson Winners 7
Was (Not Was) Was (Not Was) 7
The Ramones Pleasant Dreams 5
Kim Wilde Kim Wilde

August 6 issue
Icehouse Icehouse 8
Pat Benatar Precious Time 4
Evelyn King I'm in Love 7
Delta 5 See the Whirl 8
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna 6
Foreigner 4 8
Kirsty MacColl Desperate Character 4
The Pretenders II 7

August 20 issue
ELO Time 5
The Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat 5
Philip Rambow Jungle Law
Dennis Bovell Brain Damage 9
Rickie Lee Jones Pirates
Any Trouble Wheels in Motion 8
Ian Hunter Short Back N' Sides 5
David Johansen Here Comes the Night 3

September 3 issue
The Korgis Sticky George 3
Blank Slate Sirens in the City 5
Hazel O'Connor Cover Plus 3
Simple Minds Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call 8
Desmond Dekker Compass Point 8
Cabaret Voltaire Red Mecca
Funkadelic The Electric Spanking of War Babies
Devo New Traditionalists 7

September 17 issue
Heaven 17 Penthouse and Pavement 8
Ian Dury Lord Upminster 8
Gary Numan Dance 9
Shakin' Stevens Shaky 8
Ultravox Rage in Eden 5
Crusaders Standing Tall 8
Altered Images Happy Birthday 6
The Comsat Angels Sleep No More 8
Meat Loaf Dead Ringer 9

October 1 issue
The Police Ghost in the Machine 6
Cliff Richard Wired for Sound 7
Bette Bright Rhythm Breaks the Ice
Tom Tom Club Tom Tom Club
Saxon Denim & Leather 4
Pete Shelley Homosapien 7
Genesis Abacab
Godley & Creme Ismism 4
Sheena Easton You Could Have Been With Me 5
Madness 7 8
The Passions Thirty Thousand Feet Over China
John Foxx The Garden 5

October 15 issue
The Human League Dare 8
U2 October 9
The Slits Return of the Giant Slits
Bow Wow Wow See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy!
Eurythmics In the Garden
Rose Royce Jump Street 7
The Cuban Heels Work Our Way to Heaven 6
Bob Marley Chances Are 5
Fingerprintz Beat Noir
Blondie The Best of Blondie
Carlene Carter Blue Nun 5
UB40 Present Arms in Dub 8

October 29 issue
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Architecture and Morality 9
Linx Go Ahead 6
Gillan Double Trouble
Elvis Costello Almost Blue 9
Martha and The Muffins This is the Ice Age
Vice Squad No Cause for Concern
Bauhaus Mask 4
Rex Smith Everlasting Love 2
Rachel Sweet And Then He Kissed Me 5
Imagination Body Talk 8
Joy Division Still 9
The Meteors In Heaven 7
Bad Manners Gosh Its's... 8

November 12 issue
Adam and The Ants Prince Charming 5
The Bee Gees Living Eyes 5
Japan Tin Drum 8
Prince Controversy 4
Depeche Mode Speak and Spell 7
RushExit...Stage Left 2
Diana Ross Why Do Fools Fall in Love
TV21 A Thin Red Line 5
Earth, Wind & Fire Raise! 7
Fad Gadget Incontinent 9
The Sound From the Lion's Mouth 5
Stray Cats Gonna Ball 7

November 26 issue
Soft Cell Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
Ian Dury & The Blockheads Jukebox Dury 9
The Teardrop Explodes Wilder
The Four Seasons Tonight! 8
Rainbow The Best of Rainbow 5
Skids Joy 5
David Bowie Changestwobowie 10
The Stranglers La Folie 8
Kool & The Gang Something Special 6
New Order Movement 8
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft Gold und Liebe 
Jacksons Live 8

December 10 issue
AC/DC For Those About to Rock 3
Modern Romance Adventures in Clubland 6
Durutti Column LC 8
Boney M Boonoonoonoos 4
10cc 10 Out Of 10 4
Chas Jankel Chasanova 7
Various Artists A Christmas Record 8
Jools Holland Jools Holland And His Millionaires 3
David Byrne Catherine Wheel
Tenpole Tudor Let the Four Winds Blow 6
Jerry Harrison The Red and the Black
Poison Girls Total Exposure 4

December 24 issue
No Album Reviews

h/t to Brian McCloskey over at Like Punk Never Happened

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

What videos were in rotation on MTV 35 years ago?

Here's your answer, according to Billboard magazine. I've highlighted a few of my picks on the list below.

Billboard, December 10, 1983, pages 29 & 46

Here's a selected sampling:

Herbie Hancock - "Rockit" from the album Future Shock

Talking Heads - "Burning Down the House" from the album Speaking in Tongues

Michael Sembello - "Automatic Man" from the album Bossa Nove Hotel

And one that's new to me:

Love Tractor - "Spin Your Partner" from the album Around the Bend

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Smash Hits Album Ratings - 1981 [part 1 of 2]

Smash Hits was a British teen music magazine that was issued fortnightly. On a scale of 1-10, here's how the magazine's reviewers rated albums released in the first half of 1981. Hope you find something new that you missed back in '81.

January 8 issue
Rocky Sharpe & The Replays Rock-It to Mars 6
Dollar The Paris Collection 6
Jermaine Jackson Jermaine 6
Showaddywaddy Bright Lights 5
Black Slate Amigo 5
Queen Flash Gordon 2
The Clash Sandinista!
Linton Kwesi Johnson LKJ in Dub 7

January 22 issue
Boomtown Rats Mondo Bondo
Elvis Costello Trust 9
The Runaways Flaming Schoolgirls 2
Steve Winwood Arc of a Diver 5
UFO The Wild, the Willing, and the Innocent 5
Basement 5 1965-1980 6
Gen X Kiss Me Deadly 2
Mtume In Search of the Rainbow Seekers 8
Rose Royce Golden Touch 6

February 5 issue
Sheena Easton Take My Time 7
Pearl Harbour Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost Too 6
Phil Collins Face Value 5
Heatwave Candles 8
The Stranglers The Meninblack 6
Mike Batt Waves 3
Splodgenessabounds Splodgenessabounds 3
Styx Paradise Theatre 2
The dB's Stands for Decibels 8

February 19 issue
UK Subs Diminished Responsibility 2
The Barracudas Drop Out with The Barracudas
Moon Martin Street Fever 6
Jets Jets 5
Nash the Slash Children of the Night 4
Walkie Talkies Surveillance 6
Joe Sample Voices in the Rain 7
The Boys Boys Only
The Selecter Celebrate the Bullet
Nine Below Zero Don't Point Your Finger 5

March 5 issue
Sister Sledge All American Girls 6
Stray Cats Stray Cats 5
Rainbow Difficult to Cure 7
Gang of Four Solid Gold
Eric Clapton Another Ticket 3
Marvin Gaye In Our Lifetime
Todd Rundgren Healing 6
Brian Briggs Brian Damage 7
Defunkt Defunkt
Spandau Ballet Journeys to Glory 7

March 19 issue
New Musik Anywhere
Russ Ballard Into the Fire 3
James Brown Rapp Payback
Detroit Spinners Labour of Love 6
The Spizzles Spikey Dream 6
Tata Vega Giving All My Love 4
Shona Laing Tied to the Tracks 3
The Vapors Magnets 4
Wilko Johnson Ice on the Motorway 4
Linx Intuition 8

April 2 issue
The Shakin' Pyramids Skin 'Em Up 5
Rico That Man is Forward 8
Change Miracles 5
Landscape From the Tea Rooms of Mars to the Hell Holes of Uranus 8
Chas'N'Dave Mustn't Grumble 4
Slade We'll Bring the House Down 6
The Who Face Dances 4
British Electronic Foundation Music for Stowaways 9
Diana Ross To Love Again 6
Status Quo Never Too Late 7

April 16 issue
Dave Edmunds Twangin
Incognito Jazz Funk 8
Public Image, Ltd. Flowers of Romance 8
Stiff Little Fingers Go for It 7
The Cure Faith 7
Whitesnake Come An' Get It
The Jags No Tie Like a Present 4
Cockney Rejects Greatest Hits, Vol 3 11
Roger Taylor Roger Taylor's Fun in Space 3
B.A. Robertson Bully for You 6

April 30 issue
Gillan Future Shock 4
Girlschool Hit and Run 5
Tenpole Tudor The Swords of a Thousand Men 7
REO Speedwagon Hi Infidelity 4
The Keys The Keys Album 5
Quincy Jones The Dude
Sharon Redd Sharon Redd 8
Snips La Rocca 6
The Isley Brothers Grand Slam 5
The Scars Author! Author! 8

May 14 issue
The Undertones Positive Touch 9
Holly and The Italians The Right to be Italian 4
The Plastics Welcome Back
Split Enz Waiata 7
The Lambrettas Ambience 7
The Tubes The Completion Backward Principle 4
Ruts DC Animal Now 8
Albania Are You All Mine 7
Kraftwerk Computer World 4
The Beat Wha'ppen? 7
Squeeze East Side Story 9
The Cramps Psychedelic Jungle 8
The Searchers Play for Today 5

May 28 issue
Original Mirrors Heart-twango and Raw-beat 7
Richard Strange The Phenomenal Rise of Richard Strange
Joe Walsh There Goes the Neighborhood 5
Shakatak Drivin' Hard 7
Grace Jones Nightclubbing 8
Bill Nelson Quit Dreaming and Get on the Beam 8
Classic Nouveaux Night People 6
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Hard Promises 7
Wild Horses Stand Your Ground 4
The Psychedelic Furs Talk, Talk, Talk 8
Sparks Whomp That Sucker 6
Positive Noise Heart of Darkness 5
Toyah Anthem 3

June 11 issue
Elton John The Fox 5
Echo and The Bunnymen Heaven Up Here 9
Doll by Doll Doll by Doll 8
Jean-Michel Jarre Magnetic Fields 7
UB40 Present Arms
Ken Lockie The Impossible 6
Phil Seymour Phil Seymour 4
Black Uhuru Red
Eddy Grant Can't Get Enough 9

June 25 issue
Killing Joke What's This For
Third World Rock the World 5
TV Smith's Explorers The Last Words of the Great Explorer 5
Duran Duran Duran Duran 4
Magazine Magic, Murder, and the Weather 7
Siouxsie and The Banshees Juju 5
Thompson Twins A Product of... 6
Peter Tosh Wanted Dread & Alive 4
Yoko Ono Season of Glass 3
Modern Eon Fiction Tales 8
Barbara Dickson You Know It's Me 4

h/t to Brian McCloskey over at Like Punk Never Happened

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

MFD Random Five #39

In which I click the shuffle icon on the iTunes app and listen to the first five songs that pop up from the years 1976-85.

  1. "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang (1980, De-Lite)
    Yes, this former #1 smash has been overplayed from the get-go, but when you're at a wedding reception and the DJ starts playing this one (and the DJ will definitely play this one at some point), you can't help but immediately jump up and find your way to the dance floor because it just fits perfectly. This one's got undeniable staying power. 

  2. "Knife Slits Water" by A Certain Ratio (1982, Factory)
    Experimental post-punk. I'm not a fan of Martha Tilson's vocals or the disturbing lyrics but that bass line sure is funky, if not over-repetitive. At almost 8 minutes, the novelty wears off rather quickly.

  3. "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me" by Juice Newton (1982, Capitol)
    A top ten country-pop hit. One of those tunes I can take or leave yet I know all the words. Today, what strikes me most is the guitar solo - much better than I remember it being.

  4. "Starry Eyes" by The Records (1979, Virgin)
    Good ol' power pop produced by some guy named Mutt Lange. I dig it. I found this on the Rhino compilation Poptopia! Power Pop Classics Of The '70s which I'll now play through today at least once.

  5. "In My Room" by Yaz  (1982, Sire)
    Another experimental cut, this time from a great pop album where I never thought this one fit. This was the last cut on side one of the Upstairs at Eric's album, so I usually just cut that side short and flipped to side two. Pass.