Tag Archives: 1982 Music

#TBT #Vinyl Men At Work, Business As Usual, 1982

29 Jun

Men at Work, Business As Usual

Men At Work
Business As Usual
Columbia Records
1982

In June of 1982, I came home from camp and our town had it:  MTV. The first video I saw was “Who Can It Be Now” by Men At Work.  I was hooked ever since…

 

 

Men at Work, Business as Usual

Men at Work, Business as Usual

#TBT #Vinyl — Van Halen, Diver Down, 1982

13 Apr

Van Halen Diver Down

Van Halen
Diver Down
Warner Bros Records
1982

The last VH album before Eddie discovered the synthesizer. This album is 99% guitar and 1% clarinet. 

 

Van Halen Diver Down

Van Halen Diver Down

#TBT #Vinyl Chess Records Sampler, 1982

5 Jan

Chess Records

 

Chess Is Back
Various Artists
Chess Records / Sugar Hill Records
Compiled 1982

 

This promo-only LP for in-store play compiled 50’s and 60’s tracks from Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, and other Chess artists.

 

Chess Records

Chess Records

Chess Records

Looks like it I got this in the used bin at Record Rev in DeKalb, IL!

Christmas Songs of the 80s and 90s

17 Dec

Waitresses Christmas Wrapping

Any pop band from the 80s or 90s could have achieved immortality by doing one thing that most of the others didn’t:

Write and record a Christmas song.

30 years after a one-hit-wonder’s success faded, their one-hit would be relegated to some lunar rotation on a niche genre satellite radio station. It will rarely, if ever, get downloaded, streamed, or even remembered fondly.

But their holiday song will still be a staple for 6 weeks per year for all eternity. It will have people who didn’t even like the band back in the day singing along. And more importantly, people who weren’t even born yet will make this part of their annual must-hear oldies.

Case in point: The Waitresses

The Waitresses hit the New Wave scene in 1980 and eeked-out a minor hit, “I Know What Boys Like,” upon its re-release in 1982. Though it was in heavy rotation on MTV in ’82, it only reached #62 on the Billboard charts.

square pegs johnny slashThey also recorded the TV theme to Square Pegs thought it wasn’t a hit at all. (“It was a totally different head. Totally.”)

But how often are either of these songs heard? Not much compared to The Waitresses’ one holiday tune, “Christmas Wrapping.”  It was not a hit record, never even entering the charts in the US. But 35 years later, the song has somehow scored a top spot in everyone’s holiday song rotation. In the first week of this year’s Sirius XM’s annual Holly station, I heard it 3 times in 3 days. Or at least the first 30 seconds of it, which is usually juuuuuust enough for me.

Look at the one-hit download wonders of today. Who will still be heard 30 years from now? The ones with a Christmas song…

TBT Vinyl: Rush, Signals, 1982

8 Sep

Rush Signals

Rush
Signals
Mercury Records
1982

 

Rush meets MTV! 

 

Rush Signals Back Cover

Rush Signals Label

TBT Vinyl: Led Zeppelin, Coda, 1982

19 May

Led Zeppelin coda

Coda was Led Zepp’s final studio album and included unused tracks from the vault including “Bonzo’s Montreux.”

 

Led Zeppelin Coda interior

TBT Vinyl: David Bowie and Bing Crosby, Peace on Earth

19 Nov

bowie bing 2

David Bowie and Bing Crosby
Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy
1977, released 1982
RCA Records

 

Surreal television. Weird team-up in entertainment. Perfect musical moment.

 

In 1977 glam rocker David Bowie appeared as a guest on Bing’s long-running annual Christmas TV special, and they sang a duet after an awkward scripted setup. The song was a medley of “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 the TV special.  The song was finally 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 uninspired duets with artists from different genres, this performance stands out. At first you may think it’s due to the shock factor of the pairing: it’s the tiny point on the Venn Diagram where The Golden Age of Hollywood overlaps with Modern Rock. But shock value alone doesn’t hold it up this long. Two great voices do. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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