Tag Archives: 1982 Music

Modern Rock Christmas: Bing Crosby and David Bowie

29 Nov

Some call this surreal television. Some call it the weirdest moment in entertainment. To me it’s just a perfect musical moment.

Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary of the airing of the Bing Crosby’s last Christmas special. In 1977 glam rocker David Bowie appeared as a guest and sang a duet with Bing. The song was a medley of the new song “Peace On Earth” with the standard “Little Drummer Boy”.

Bing died a month after this was recorded, and a month prior to the airing of this TV special. Then the song was released as a single in 1982. Also that year, MTV added the clip to its rotation as a stand-alone video.

After decades of forgettable holiday TV specials and variety shows with duets with artists from varying genres, this one performance stands out from all others. At first you may think it’s due to how odd this pairing is: it’s the tiny point on the Venn Diagram where The Golden Age of Hollywood overlaps with Modern Rock. Shock value doesn’t hold it up for 35 years; two great voices do.

The Greatest Year in Music: 1982

15 Aug

  

MTV Rollings Stones I Want My MTV

My Grandmother once told me the best year for music is, or was, whatever year you turned fourteen years old. She was not an expert on modern popular music or entertainment media or targeted market research. But she did know a lot about people (especially kids!).

I thought about this theory often while I was working in music promotion and radio programming. It seemed to be true across generations and decades for all demographics. 

Recently I shared this notion with my colleague Dave Whalen, who is on my short list of smart dudes. Dave concurred with Grandma’s “Age 14” theory, so I’m pretty much now calling it law: The greatest year for music was whatever year you turned fourteen.

So, for me, the greatest year for music was 1982.

That’s right, 1982: The Crossroads between classic rock, pop, new wave, punk, and heavy metal.  But remember, that’s just for me…your experience will vary…

Madness "jack monson"

82 Was Madness!


    

Not About Michael Jackson

A quick note here – 1982 brought us the best-selling album of all time, Thriller. However, I am not, nor was I ever, a fan. The only part of it in which I find any value is the Eddie Van Halen guitar solo in Beat It (oh, and the Vincent Price voice-over bit in Thriller). But if you really want to catch some great Eddie work from ’82, see the Diver Down album on the list below.

    

MTV

The video music channel launched in August 1 1981, but it was 1982 where the number of homes in the US (including mine) with access to MTV exploded. And then, everything changed!

MTV Bumper Sticker "jack monson"      

The List

The best way to adequately explain how BIG 1982 was to Generation X is to list some of the albums of the year that were huge sellers, influential, or important milestones.  See if you agree with me about 1982 and/or the “Age 14” rule…  

Peter Gabriel – Security

The Clash – Combat Rock

XTC – English Settlement

The Jam – The Gift

Talking Heads – The Name of the Band Is…

Asia – Asia

Genesis – Three Sides Live

Men At Work – Business As Usual

Frank Zappa – Ship Arriving Too Late To Save the Drowning Witch

Sonic Youth – Sonic Youth

Split Enz – Time and Tide

Squeeze – Sweets From a Stranger

Madness – Complete Madness

INXS – Shabooh Soobah

The Fixx – Shuttered Room

Devo – Oh, No!

Men Without Hats – Rhythm of Youth

Thomas Dolby – Golden Age of Wireless

The Motels – All Four One

Dexys Midnight Runners – Too-Rye-Ay

Flock of Seagulls – Flock of Seagulls

Duran Duran – Rio

Go-Go’s – Vacation

Pat Benatar – Get Nervous

Adam Ant – Friend or Foe

Robert Plant – Pictures at Eleven

Pete Townsend – All The Best Cowboys

The Who – It’s Hard

The Beatles – Reel Music

Toto – IV

John Cougar – American Fool

Tom Petty – Long After Dark

Queen – Hot Space

Kansas – Vinyl Confessions

Rolling Stones – Still Life

Crosby Still & Nash – Daylight Again

Steve Miller – Abracadabra

Golden Earing – Cut

Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska

Phil Collins – Hello, I Must Be Going

Led Zeppelin – Coda

Scorpions – Blackout

Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast

Rainbow – Straight Between the Eyes

Ozzy Osbourne – Speak of the Devil

Sammy Hagar – 3 Lock Box

Van Halen – Diver Down

 Van Halen Diver Down "jack monson"

What great albums are missing on this list? Let me know via comments!

 

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