A whole new generation of college kids are about to be blinded by science. Even though they'll fail in geometry. ("Lyrics, dude. Quote them lyrics.") Eighties electronica legend Thomas Dolby has been named a professor at Johns Hopkins University.
"He is an extraordinary musician, composer, and technology guru," said Katherine Newman, dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "His creativity will infuse our Film and Media program as it moves to its new home in Station North, attracting the attention of the electronic music community and the television/film industry. And he will add strength to the Krieger School's faculty as they work with Peabody colleagues to re-create the music major."
Hey everbody, it's Friday and it's Music Time! Music Time was the last single to chart for Styx before their five-year breakup in the late ‘80s. The video is goofy fun for the band although it is obvious that Tommy Shaw was not on board with the song. Granted he was working on his solo album at the time, but all his shots were filmed separately and his appearance is relegated to a few brief scenes including the guitar solo where he face is not even in the frame.
Music Time was the lone studio track on Styx's first live album Caught In The Act and peaked at No. 40 on the charts in the summer of 1984. Many years ago, Music Time was a Name That ‘80s Tune on the SIT80's podcast. While this song never gets played on the radio, many listeners correctly identified the song indicating that Music Time is still is remembered by Styx fans as still part of "the best of times."
Styx still performs, but with Lawrence Gowan on vocals instead of Dennis DeYoung. Styx will bring their "Soundtrack of Summer Tour" to Ruth Eckerd Hall on May 20.
For a band whose legacy is cemented in the ‘60s with Summer of Love classics such as White Rabbit and Somebody to Love it is not a lie to say that Jefferson Airplane/Starship had their greatest success in the ‘80s including the seldom heard Stranger.
The authority of chart success, Billboard, declared Starship was the 27th most successful act of the ‘80s with eleven Top 40 hits and three No. 1's (We Built This City, Nothing's Gonna Stop Us and Sara). If those three songs illicit a collective groan out of you then perhaps you might enjoy a Stranger time when the Starship rocked. Despite its pulsating bass beat, Stranger was not one of those eleven Top 40 hits as it peaked at No. 48 in the summer of 1981. The video captures the Starship before they went pop with Mickey Thomas showing off his fuzzy mustache and Grace Slick sporting a choker collar and looking all crazy-eyed.
Currently there is a division in the fleet as "Starship with Mickey Thomas" plays the pop hits while "Jefferson Starship" with Paul Kantner have started their "40 Years In Space Tour" playing the ‘70s rock catalog. Grace Slick, long retired now, is not with either band.
There's a lotta things about me you don't know anything this Pee-Wee Herman bicycle. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand.
But it's probably important to understand you can now own it! For real! Just grab all your spare cash and head over to eBay, where the famous beach cruiser from 1985's Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is now for sale. Right now, the bid is a cool $8,000.
"It's in pieces now, but everything is there," the current owner says in the listing. "Comes with an autographed photo of Paul Ruebens, a photo of him signing the photo, letter/certificate of authenticity, warner bro plans/spec sheet on the red cargo boxes. I am the third owner. I bought it in 2010 for $10,000. Selling because my family is getting larger."
Go bid away. And be sure and tell 'em Large Marge sent ya! Heh heh heh heh heh.
When I first saw the videos for Don't Change and The One Thing by INXS in 1983, I was sure I was one of the first teens in my area to latch on and predict great success for the Australian band. While my premonitions were correct and INXS went on to become one of the biggest bands of the late ‘80s, I really wasn't that early on the bandwagon as I was oblivious to early lost ‘80s songs like Just Keep Walking.
Formed in 1977, INXS released their debut album in 1980 and filmed their first video for Just Keep Walking. The song snuck into the Australian Top 40, peaking at No. 38, and the low budget video with its duct tape set design is a charming reminder of the early days of the band and a glimpse of the appeal of lead singer Michael Hutchence. In fairness, the debut album that featured Just Keep Walking was not released in the U.S. until 1984, a year after their third album Shabooh, Shoobah established INXS in America.
All too often, the news scroll brings up the deaths of some of our favorite actors and musicians that entertained us in the ‘80s. Sometimes there are artists that slip under the radar and their memoriams don't make the links. In August of 2013, George Duke died of leukemia so today we remember the smooth jazz sounds of Sweet Baby.
In 1981 bass player Stanley Clarke and keyboardist/vocalist George Duke teamed up to hit No. 19 on the charts with Sweet Baby. Duke's first fame was playing with The Frank Zappa Experiment and his ‘80s works included music by The California Raisins. His works are constantly sampled by rap's leading performers. Clarke is considered one of jazz's revolutionary bass players and still performs. http://stanleyclarke.com/
"There are, naturally, exceptions to what I’m about to assert: But the ’80s were a total mess, movie-wise. And Oscars-wise," Buzzfeed says. Well, of the 85 movies to win an Oscar for Best Picture, none from the '80s rank in the Top 10. None. Here's where they did land:
72. Out of Africa (1985) 67. Driving Miss Daisy (1989) 66. Gandhi (1982) 65. Amadeus (1984) 64. The Last Emperor (1987) 41. Ordinary People (1980) 39. Platoon (1986) 37. Rain Man (1988) 35. Chariots of Fire (1981) 18. Terms of Endearment (1983)
Of Terms of Endearment, Buzzfeed said: "This old-fashioned weepy, one of the few 'women’s films' that’s ever won Best Picture, has turned out to be timeless — because the screenplay, which James L. Brooks adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, is sharp as hell."
Some movies that barely missed the '80s did land in the top 10, including:
10. Unforgiven (1992) 9. The Deer Hunter (1978) 5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
If you're wondering which movie landed at No. 1, it's 1950's All About Eve. What?
There is only one movie on the Internet Movie Database that gets the honor of being rated out of 11 stars: 1984's This is Spinal Tap. The movie that "goes to 11" was released 30 years ago this week, on March 3, 1984. But how much do you really know about the movie? I imean, BESIDES being able to quote every single line.
When it was released in the mid-'80s, not every got that iwas a "mock-umentary." U2's The Edge got it, saying, "I didn't laugh, I wept. It was so close to the truth." Ozzy Osbourne didn't get, saying the first thing he watched it, he thought it was a real documentary. Early home video versions of the movie even had a disclaimer at the start and finish of the movie, stating the band doesn't really exist.
I remember seeing it for the first time at the Midnight Movies Express at AMC Theaters in Countryside, the Caddyshack-like suburb in Tampa Bay where I grew up. In fact, the first three times I saw Spinal Tap, it was at midnight showings. Hence, it would take me a decade before I was actually awake enough to see the ending of the movie.
Here are five things you probably didn't know about This Is Spinal Tap. …
When you saw Bill Murray on the red carpet at the 2014 Oscars, were you thinking the same thing I was? "HAROLD RAMIS TRIBUTE!" Well, while presenting the award for best cinematographer, Murray did just that.
I enjoyed Rhino Week so much that I have one bonus Rhino story to share. The appeal of The Knack's My Sharona can't be overstated and most by now know the song was inspired by a very real girl named Sharona; but did you know that My Sharona was not the only Top 40 hit inspired by Sharona? Let me reintroduce you to The Knack and Baby Talks Dirty.
In 1978, 25-year old Knack lead singer Doug Fieger was introduced to a savvy high school sales clerk by his longtime girlfriend Judy Halpert. From the minute Fieger laid eyes on 16-year old Sharona Alperin, he became obsessed with her and many of The Knack's songs on their first album Get the Knack, including My Sharona, were about his agonizing over how to win over the teenager.
Eventually in 1979, Sharona couldn't resist Fieger's persistence and the incredible success that The Knack were about to achieve and they became a couple. While Capitol Records wanted to milk the success of Get the Knack, Fieger was insistent the band go back to the studio to deliver another album to kick off the ‘80s. The second album was completed and in February of 1980, The Knack released their new single Baby Talks Dirty, inspired by Sharona. …
Possibly the best band I've ever seen play. Really, I mean it. The Screaming Blue Messiahs absolutely blew me away when I saw them open for The Cramps back in the summer of '86. I've read that the Messiahs were so good during that series of gigs opening for The Cramps, that The Cramps' roadies tried to sabotage the band to take them down a notch, or two, or a hundred.
Some may vaguely remember this band from their novelty-ish song I Wanna Be A Flintstone, which had received some play in the MTV video rotation and did make it to 28 on the charts in their native UK. But, they were never found on the American Top 40 chart, which is a shame, because they were so damn good!
Ok, the song I'm featuring is the first song I'd ever heard by them: Wild Blue Yonder. The guitar work of Bill Carter and his vocals are terrific and the rhythm section of Chris Thompson (bass) and Kenny Harris (drums) is killer. When playing live they would hold the songs together while Bill went off on unorthodox guitar tangents.
Today we find another British band that was never found in the '80s. The Three Johns formed in Leeds, England, at about the same time as the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di in 1981. Using a drum machine to provide the beat, the band consisted of Jon Langford (also a member of The Mekons), John Hyatt, and Phillip "John" Brennan, which should give you a clue as to how they came by their name; they produced several singles and three studio albums in the 80s. A few of their singles did chart on the UK Indie Charts, but not even close in America.
Known for their socialist leanings and their bitingly satirical lyrics, The Three Johns were also very funny when playing live and interacting with the crowd. Their single Death of the European was an angry commentary on America's influence on European culture, which also includes a bit of their wry humor when vocalist Hyatt plays 12-year-old Tracy reciting her poem about George Washington.
Today we are here to talk about MTV and Julie Brown. No, not Downtown Julie Brown, but Rhino artist Julie Brown and her forgotten novelty hit The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun.
Julie Brown made a splash on the Dr. Demento show when everyone discovered the "B" side to her first single I Like ‘Em Big and Stupid was much funnier that the "A" side. The video, produced by Brown and her husband Terrence McNally, is a fun send up of high school dramas and hit all the right spots in 1984. Today, Brown plays the song less often since 2000 and the Columbine school shootings. However, comedy must go on and if you live in the LA area, you can buy tickets to Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun - The Musical.
In 1984, it appeared as if Brown would conquer the world as another song off her debut EP entitled Earth Girls Are Easy was slated to be developed into a motion picture with Brown starring as the lead. Script problems and other difficulties delayed the film five years and by that time Brown was no longer a hot commodity as was regulated to a supporting role in Earth Girls Are Easy. The lead was given to Geena Davis and the movie tanked. …
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.