In respect for my good friend, Mike from the land of Tejas… I am now puttin’ on the Ritz, as well as my A Flock of Seagulls wig, in his honor, and rock back down to Electric Avenue, if you will. If only for a quick second.
Yes, yes, yes! As much as I now want to cover my head with a brown paper bag, I must admit that I, too, was a child of the dreaded 80’s and have shamelessly hopped in the Rubik’s Cube bandwagon on the way to the premiere of St. Elmo’s Fire. Though back then, my life was a bit more centered around music (Gee, what else is new?). When I’m not playing in a rock band, jamming on (cringes) Every Breath You Take, or worse, Rock You Like A Hurricane (takes knife and slits wrist), I’m spinning Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark records at a dance party thrown by Iceman and Maverick wannabes. And when I really, really, really had to sell (ok, pawn) my soul to the devil just to get some respect, I sang What A Fool Believes at the dingiest karaoke bars you’ll ever find. (Trivia.. I can do Michael McDonald better than Michael McDonald can do a Michael McDonald impersonation of Michael McDonald.)
So, there… I’ve come clean. I believe there is redemption through confession.
But for one last time, I am going back to the future to indulge my stuck-in-the-eighties friend by reliving some of my own memorable songs of the eighties. So, hop into my DeLorian as we cruise on down highway to the danger zone (somebody shoot me now).
Lords of the New Church – Method to our Madness
The Dead Boys introduced me to punk music. Since then, I’ve been a big fan of Steve Bators and everything he did. And hearing this supegroup of sorts for the first time was kind of a happy moment for me. Their version of Madonna’s Like a Virgin was also a riot.
China Crisis – You Did Cut Me
A lot of New Wave music kind of became what hair metal eventually ended up being… a fad. But there were a few that made me continue to listen. Aztec Camera, Tears For Fears, to name a couple… and these guys, of course. If Neil Peart of Rush thought China Crisis’ drummer was good, I just had to put the band on my favorite list. Besides, no wonder the musicianship is so good, Steely Dan had to interfere in the studio.
Slayer – Raining Blood
As much as I enjoyed hair metal, it was all for entertainment. But when I wanted to be inspired by technicians, I listened to Slayer. If I could sing like Tom does, or play guitar as fast as Jeff, I wouldn’t be blogging right now ’cause, pardon me, I’d be away on a world tour.
XTC – Respectable Street
I was slowly getting schooled on punk. Having been already soaked in 70’s rock, XTC’s Black Sea album spoke to me in an already familiar language as they seem to have the musicality of Led Zeppelin.
The Go Go’s – Vacation
I’ve always been a fan of girl rock. Not only do they diversify the genre, I thought they also give what seems to be a masculine form of music such a kick in the freakin’ orchestra!
Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science
I never thought how influential this song was on me until I saw him perform at a downtown warehouse club in San Francisco back in ’87. Simply brilliant.
Metallica – The Thing That Should Not Be
In the 80’s, it was all about taking to extreme whatever was already there. In 1985, this was probably the heaviest song I’ve heard since Black Sabbath. You can’t just forget little moments like that.
The Stray Cats – Rev It Up And Go
With all of the extreme changes in music that’s been happening, it was such a breath of fresh air to hear something that seemed to have come out of the fifties.
The Polecats – Make a Circuit with Me
Another one of those New Wave-era rockabilly groups that had nice catchy tunes that I never forgot about.
The Specials – A Message To You Rudy
My introduction to Ska. This song actually came out in ’79 but I was all over it during the early 80’s.
U2 – I Will Follow
One of those songs I jammed with my brother in our living room. It stuck with me ever since.
Echo & the Bunnymen – The Killing Moon
I like dark music with melody. That’s why I like Sabbath. And The Cure. And Echo.
Def Leppard – Let it Go
These guys were fifteen and sixteen back then. On hearing High n’ Dry for the first time, I couldn’t believe little cubs could rock like lions.
REM – Radio Free Europe
One of those songs they played on the radio every fifteen minutes until you’re like… Ok, ok, I like that song already. It’s great. No really, it is though.
The Police – Oh My God
While everyone was humming King of Pain, I was humming this one. And everyone thought I had weird taste since they’ve never heard Casey Kasem play it once on his show.
New Order – True Faith
I’m not much into dance music but New Order was one of those exceptions. Plus the video cracks me up to this day.
Umm… what else? Surely, there’s more. But, but… I don’t want my MTV no more.
So, there you go, Mike. Now, go watch Raising Arizona for the umpteenth time. I’ll forgive you. 🙂