After scoring multiple hits in the ‘70s with his band LTD, Jeffrey Osborne went solo and went on to chart eight Top 40 hits in the ‘80s. While most of his singles were slow R&B ballads, Osborne still could hit the dance floor with songs like 1983’s Stay With Me Tonight.
Stay With Tonight peaked at No. 30 on the charts and has a thumping bass line and excellent guitar solo. Osborne stills performs occasionally, mostly on the casino circuit.
"It's not fun ... being an illegal alien." I was only 16 when this song by Genesis was released in 1983. All I thought at the time is that it was semi-catchy, and semi-stupid. But was it actually one of the most racist songs of the '80s?
Depending on who you ask, the most racist song of the '80s might be a tune from NWA or Public Enemy. Though I'd argue their raps were ABOUT racism - a not-so-small difference. If you ask the New York Times, they'll say David Allan Coe produced "the most racist, misogynist, homophobic and obscene songs recorded by a popular songwriter."
As for Genesis, check out the oddly insulting video and ridiculous lyrics. Phil Collins and his bandmates would argue that the song was just a light-hearted look at the frustrations facing Mexican immigrants. Blender magazine, meanwhile, called it the 13th worst song of all time.
As ‘80s music started to become more slick and overproduced in the last half of the decade, there was a small revival of American roots rock coined The Paisley Underground. One of the soldiers of that movement was The Long Ryders. Taking their name from the 1980 western The Long Riders, The Long Ryders gained some minor radio and video airplay in 1985 for Looking for Lewis and Clark.
The song name drops folk heroes Gram Parsons and Tim Hardin who both died of drug overdoses. Hardin is the author of songs such as Reason To Believe (most recently made famous by Rod Stewart) and If I Were a Carpenter. The video showcases Sid Griffin’s uber-long sideburns in a decade were sideburns were not that fashionable. In 1987, like all old cowboys, The Long Ryders decided to hang up their spurs and fade into the sunset, but not before releasing a live album and several anthologies.
Axel Foley, take a seat. Deadline.com reports that CBS has decided against airing the Beverly Hills Cop reboot, which was backed by Eddie Murphy.
Rumor has it that Murphy, who appears in a cameo in the pilot along with former co-star Judge Reinhold, was outshining star Brandon T. Jackson, who plays Axel's son. Oh, that's a shocker. Come on, Eddie. Find your OWN project to star in.
Lest you think this is it for Axel, fear not: Multiple sources say the TV series will be shopped to other networks.
TOP 5 FORGOTTEN LINES FROM BEVERLY HILLS COP:
5. "This is not my locker!"
4. "I don't think cost is the issue here, sir. I think the issue should be my blatant disregard for proper procedure."
3. "Jenny, don't worry about me. We got cocaine and coffee here. We're gonna get wired and have a big party."
2. "Is this the man who... wrecked the buffet at the Harrow club this morning?"
1. "You know, it says here that by the time the average American is fifty, he's got five pounds of undigested red meat in his bowels."
If Steve Spears has ever tried to convince us of one thing on the SIT80’s blog and podcasts, it is that we should all revisit the movie and soundtrack to Valley Girl.
One of the many fine songs on the soundtrack is Felony’s The Fanatic. 1983 was the year of The Fanatic as it first was a single that reached No. 42 on the pop charts and then appeared on the Valley Girl soundtrack only to be featured in the Pia Zadora movie The Lonely Lady at the end of the year.
While Valley Girl has enjoyed cult status, The Lonely Lady has also been immortalized by winning the Razzie (which began awarding in 1980) for Worst Picture of 1983 and was a nominee for Worst Picture of the last 25 years only to lose out to 2000’s Battlefield Earth. Pia Zadora also easily won the Razzie for Worst Actress of 1983 and also won the Worst New Star of the Decade for the ‘80s.
Without the notoriety of the movies it was featured in, Felony only released one album in its career and lead singer Jeffrey Spry commited suicide in 1992.
In 1982, the German band Trio had a big European hit with a little 14-word titled ditty called “Da Da Da I Don’t Love You You Don’t Love Me Aha Aha Aha.”
Thanks to a popular 1997 Volkswagen commercial, Americans now know the song just as Da, Da, Da.
Trio was a minimalist band used very few instruments as the video for Da, Da, Da so cleverly shows. Trio broke up in 1985 after not gaining much of an audience outside of their native country, but Da, Da, Da still lives on and always makes lists of most memorable songs used in commercials including the lists that SIT80s published in April 2012.
Dan Fogelberg will foremost be remembered for tender ballads like Longer and Leader of the Band, but Fogelberg also knew a guitar power chord or two. In 1984, the Illinois native reached No. 13 with The Language of Love, a rocker that would end up being Fogelberg’s last Top 40 Hit.
One of my favorite Fogelberg tunes, The Language of Love has back vocals by Timothy B. Schmit, nice guitar, pipe organ and of course, cowbell. The video features Fogelberg’s great beard and a perky bass player who looks like he’s ready to hop on the next starship out of Tatoonie.
Unfortunately, Fogelberg succumbed to prostrate cancer at age 56 in 2007.
So after many weeks of serious effort, I finally made it all the way through all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. No, not the late '70s version, which by the way is also available there. (And which I'd watch now if I weren't afraid it's screw up my Netflix auto-recommendations for the next decade.) It was the fairly new version with Edward James Olmos.
Verdict: Two great seasons. One fairly decent season. And one final season that was so depressing that I wanted to jump out an airlock.
As long as we're remaking sci-fi series from ye olden days, why not Space: 1999?
This British series, about the chaos that follows when the moon (and its inhabitants) are thrown out of orbit with Earth, aired from 1975 to 1977. Yes, pre-Star Wars. I still get nightmares from some episodes. And like Battlestar, it used its opening credits to give fans a quick look at scenes coming up in the show. …
What’s that she’s singing? Huh? Is that English? Is there a lyrics sheet?
That’s what it’s like when you listen to the Scottish band Cocteau Twins. Vocalist Elizabeth Fraser didn’t mumble her lyrics the way REM’s Michael Stipe did in the early days. She did something different. She broke up words in an odd fashion, or added sounds that made it nearly impossible to understand what she was singing. But, so what? Her voice is great and the way she sings fits the Goth tinged music perfectly.
Today’s Never Found entry is from their critically acclaimed 1984 release Treasure and it is called Ivo. Although in the late '80s Cocteau Twins did find some charting success on the U.S. Modern Rock charts, mainstream popularity just wasn’t in the cards.
Recording and performing together for nearly 20 years, the band called it quits in 1997 while recording what would have been their ninth album. The band sited “irreconcilable differences” and that the material recorded for that album would likely never be released.
The Regeneration Tour, which has staged some amazing '80s tours over the last few years, has officially scaled back its touring plans for 2013 to strictly West Coast dates after losingThe Human League as a headliner. The Tom Tom Club was another act that was reportedly on the bill as recently as this week, but appears to have dropped off.
Though it still varies by date, the tour now features: Howard Jones, Erasure's Andy Bell, Information Society, Men Without Hats and A Flock of Seagulls.
Now, a lot people might be tempted to jump all over tour organizers for this latest news. But I won't be one of them. I've worked with the tour managers before, and they're good people. And they've been pretty honest about sharing the changes of lineups along the way on their Facebook page. I can only imagine the sort of headaches and challenges involved in putting together a project like this, and I'm hoping they have better luck in future years. And I'll argue that any time you get a chance to see Howard Jones live in concert, you're still getting your money's worth.
Whatever happened to Rick Moranis? Is Rick Moranis dead? Is Rick Moranis retired? Finally, we have all the answers. Rick Moranis is alive, rested and ready to return to show business with a comedy album.
The Vulture blog reports that Moranis will soon release My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songs. It's a comedy album, and it's available for pre-order on May 21. But that's about all we know about it. As far as where he's been, well, we can fill in some blanks.
Moranis slowed down his acting career in 1991 when his wife died of liver cancer and retired completely in 1997. "I'm a single parent and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the traveling involved in making movies," he later said, according to Vulture. "So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it."
Well, we missed him. Here are our favorite roles from the '80s. (I only wish I could grandfather in My Blue Heaven from 1990.)
With so many great forgotten artists of the ‘80s still waiting to be brought to the light in Lost and Found, it seems superfluous to feature the same band more than once, but today is Friday and its time to dance with the Steve Miller Band and Bongo Bongo.
Back in January we featured the Steve Miller Band with the sweet guitar licks of 1981’s Heart Like A Wheel. Today we jump to 1985, when Miller tried to incorporate a more electronic dance sound into his Italian X-Rays album.
Bongo Bongo peaked at No. 84 on the singles charts but that doesn’t diminish the fun of the video, which uses the same early computer animation techniques that would a few months later be executed more successfully in Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing video.
Eighties fans almost universally love the 1985 flick Better Off Dead. John Cusack? Not so much. He reportedly walked out of the first screening and blasted director Savage Steve Holland for "making him look foolish."
(A couple missing actors: Aaron Dozier as the evil Roy Stalin. Dozier quit acting in 1985, and was last reported to be the coach for the Boston College ski team. And Laura Waterbury, who played Ricky's mom. She went on to appear in TV shows including Murphy Brown, Life Goes On, Head of the Class and Empty Nest. Her last screen credit was in 1995 for Frasier.)
The English band Any Trouble barely drew attention stateside; however their work has been appreciated by many ‘80s fans, including Dave “Maestro” Morrison who has blazed a path on his fine Youtube channel with the posting of Any Trouble’s Second Chance.
Often compared to Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Any Trouble could have seemed a little hipper in 1981’s Second Chance video by smashing a guitar or two instead of mimicking the English band Freddie and the Dreamers who hit No. 1 worldwide with I’m Telling You Now in 1965.
In 2007, the band reunited to record their first new material after a 23-year absence. They have since gone on to pursue other endeavors.
Relive the '80s music, movies and culture with Tampa Bay Times correspondent Steve Spears. A teen during the greatest decade ever, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to big hair.