Monday, January 9, 2017

MFD Random Five #17

In which I click the shuffle icon on the increasingly frustrating iTunes app (no, Apple, I don't want to "connect," I simply want to listen to my files) and listen to the first five songs that pop up from the years 1976-85.

  1. "Rip It Up" by Orange Juice (1983, Polydor)
    I've tried to like this band, but all their songs sound like discarded Haircut 100 demos. I won't skip this one, but I never seek it out, either.

  2. "Save Me" by Queen (1980, Elektra)
    Freddie Mercury owning a Brian May tune - just another day at the office for these guys. I've always considered Queen to be a singles band rather than an album band, but The Game is their one album I can enjoy from top-to-bottom and this fantastic cut is a great way to close out the album.

  3. "Love Ballad" by George Benson (1979, Warner Bros.)
    In which Benson takes a recently charted ballad, puts an up-tempo groove on it and takes the thing to #18 on the pop chart (the LTD original peaked at #20 in 1976). Great tune but I'm blown away by Benson's soloing on this one. Remarkable. I recently read Maurice White's autobiography and he claims Earth, Wind & Fire were offered this song but passed. 

  4. "Copacabana (At the Copa)" by Barry Manilow (1978, Arista)
    If I can trust my memory, Even Now was the first LP I ever purchased. And it was because of this song. I had seen Barry perform it on a TV variety show and was hooked even though his current hit was either "Can't Smile Without You" of "Even Now."

  5. "Get It On (Bang a Gong)" by The Power Station (1985, Capitol/EMI)
    I usually don't carry for straight-ahead cover tunes, but there's something about Tony Thompson's drumming and Robert Palmer's vocals that make this cover work. Bernard Edwards created a very aggressive sound for the time which Palmer would successfully co-opt for a few years.

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