During this Thanksgiving week as we reflect on our lives we probably will acknowledge we have it pretty good now. Which raises this question, "So is the best times of our lives now or when we were young in the '80s?" For Modern Romance the Best Years Of Our Life was definitely in the '80s.
I am always amazed when I learn that a song I've heard a hundred times before is an '80s song and I didn't know it. For those who have kids and own the 2001 movie Shrek will no doubt recognize BestYears Of Our Life. The version performed in the film is from the Baha Man (Who Let The Dogs Out), but did you know that the Shrek cover is originally by an English group named Modern Romance?
Modern Romance started hitting the U.K. charts at the beginning of the '80s and in 1982 they scored their biggest hit with Best Years Of Our Life that hit No. 4 on the U.K. charts and landed an appearance on the Top Of The Pops. Modern Romance would have a few more hits before breaking up in 1985.
Journey reunion fans, you've been rewarded for your patience: Steve is back.
Sadly, not Steve Perry, but drummer Steve Smith has rejoined the band. Smith replaces Deen Castronovo, who was fired on Aug. 10 after legal and substance abuse problems.
"I was terminated," Castronovo told Ultimate Classic Rock. "They haven’t released an official announcement but, yeah, I was fired. I was in treatment at the time and I’m grateful that I was in treatment to be able to process that, because that was heartbreaking. But then again, you know, Journey has a stellar legacy and I’ve tarnished that, and they did the right thing. They did what they needed to do. Not because they were punishing me, because it wasn’t about punishing me or wrecking my life. They didn’t do anything of the sort. They did this because they loved me and they wanted to see me alive."
Likewise, no statement from Journey has come about Steve Smith's return, but the drummer now appears on the official band publicity shots. Smith was the band's drummer from the '70s through the '90s during the band's peak of success.
Journey has also announced a 2015 "San Francisco-themed" tour featuring the Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason. Here are the tour dates.
JOURNEY, DOOBIE BROTHERS, DAVE MASON 2016 TOUR:
5/12 — Irvine, Calif. — Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre 5/14 — Phoenix, Ariz. — Ak-Chin Pavilion 5/15 — Albuquerque, N.M. — Isleta Amphitheater 5/18 — Austin, Texas — Austin360 Amphitheater 5/20 — Dallas, Texas — Gexa Energy Pavilion 5/21 — Woodlands, Texas — The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion 5/23 — Wichita, Kan. — INTRUST Bank Arena 5/25 — Memphis, Tenn. — FedEx Forum 5/27 — Indianapolis, Ind. — Indianapolis Motor Speedway 5/28 — Kansas City, Kan. — Sprint Center 5/31 — Rogers, Ark. — Walmart AMP 6/02 — Birmingham, Ala. — Oak Mountain Amphitheatre 6/04 — Charlotte, N.C. — PNC Music Pavilion 6/05 — Raleigh, N.C. — Walnut Creek Amphitheatre 6/08 — Atlanta, Ga. — Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood 6/10 — Tampa, Fla. — MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amp. 6/11 — West Palm Beach, Fla. — Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre 6/22 — Bangor, Maine — Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion 6/24 — Bethel, N.Y. — Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 6/25 — Holmdel, N.J. — PNC Banks Art Center 6/27 — Wantagh, N.Y. — Nikon at Jones Beach Theater 6/29 — Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio — Blossom Music Center 7/01 — Virginia Beach, Va. — Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach 7/02 — Bristow, Va. — Jiffy Lube Live 7/05 — Saratoga Springs, N.Y. — Saratoga Performing Arts Center 7/07 — Toronto, Ontario — Molson Canadian Amphitheatre 7/09 — Darien, N.Y. — Darien Lake Performing Arts Center 7/10 — Mansfield, Mass. — Xfinity Center 7/13 — Syracuse, N.Y. — Lakeview Amphitheater 7/15 — Camden, N.J. — BB&T Pavilion 7/16 — Burgettstown, Penn. — First Niagara Pavilion 7/27 — Nashville, Tenn. — Ascend Amphitheater 7/29 — Cincinnati, Ohio — Riverbend Music Center 7/30 — Maryland Heights, Miss. — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre 8/02 — Grand Rapids, Mich. — Van Andel Arena 8/04 — Clarkston, Mich. — DTE Energy Music Theatre 8/06 — Omaha, Neb. — CenturyLink Center 8/07 — Des Moines, Iowa — Wells Fargo Arena 8/09 — St. Paul, Minn. — Xcel Energy Center 8/11 — Sioux Falls, S.D. — Denny Sanford PREMIER Center 8/13 — Tinley Park, Ill. — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre 8/16 — Oklahoma City, Okla. — Chesapeake Energy Arena 8/17 — Little Rock, Ark. — Verizon Arena 8/20 — Denver, Colo. — Pepsi Center 8/21 — West Valley City, Utah — USANA Amphitheatre 8/23 — Auburn, Wash. — White River Amphitheatre 8/25 — Ridgefield, Wash. — Sunlight Supply Amphitheater 8/27 — Las Vegas, Nev. — Mandalay Bay Events Center 8/28 — Fresno, Calif. — Save Mart Center 8/30 — Chula Vista, Calif. — Sleep Train Amphitheatre …
The inaugural '80s Cruise sets sail in early 2016, but are you ready for seven nights onboard the Holland America Eurodam with 10 amazing artists from the '80s? Here's a quick quiz to see how well you know their music. And don't forget their BOGO sale on cabins that runs through Nov. 30!
Thanksgiving is not only the time when we reflect on our blessings, but remember the heritage of our of country's forefathers and hearken back to the first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. Sometimes our recollections about the Indians can be foggy, but wonderfully entertaining like the video for the Sugarhill Gang and their cover of Apache.
The Sugarhill Gang are considered by many to be forefathers themselves - of rap music that is. Their only Top 40 hit, Rapper's Delight, is in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame and in NPR's Top 100 songs as its claim to history is being the first rap record to hit the Top 40 when it peaked at No. 36 at the beginning of 1980. It has also aged well being one of the main scene-stealing scenes in The Wedding Singer. …
Could a member of the musical royalty Jackson family that contains Michael, Jermaine and Janet have a lost song? All I have to say is Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming.
Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming is one of those great pop/dance songs that never gets played on radio anymore and we can blame it all on the suits. Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming is officially listed as a Jermaine Jackson song with co-singing credits to brother Michael Jackson. Because Arista (Jermaine's label) and Epic (Michael's label) couldn't get together and hammer out a deal, Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming was not released as a single nor was a video made. Still, the song was so good it was played on most pop radio stations in 1984. Since Billboard ranked their charts solely on sales at the time, the record did not show up on the pop singles chart, but air play data showed it would have been equivalent to a Top 10 hit. In 1989, Robert Palmer remade the song and took it to No. 60 on the singles chart. …
Who is Mac McAnally? A footnote in pop music chart history or perhaps more? In a couple of paragraphs we'll let you know about Mac and see if he gets your maximum or Minimum Love.
Alabama native McAnally hit the Top 40 in 1977 with a minor hit called It's A Crazy World and returned to the pop charts just once in the '80s with the song Minimum Love that just missed the Top 40 peaking at No. 41 in 1983. With a great bass line and sing-a-long chorus, perhaps Minimum Love fell short because it had no promotional video. However, we do have a storyteller-type video that was made years later in which McAnally tells a humorous introduction about how he wrote Minimum Love. Sounding a little like James Taylor, the video gives an acoustic version that is equally appealing. Here is a link if you want to hear the 1983 studio version that is very delicious. …
There are many '80s artists that still stay current in the news, but alas most are forgotten. Where did they go? As for Melvin James, we ask him to come in, come out of the rain and ponder Why Won't YouStay?
When I stumbled upon the most excellent Why Won't You Stay, all it took was hearing the chorus intro of "come In, come out of the rain" to remember it instantly even though I probably haven't heard the song in over 25 years. Why Won't You Stay reached No. 17 on the Mainstream Rock Charts in 1987 and the video is your typical AOR performance with appearances by the mandatory pouty video vixen . News on James after 1987 is hard to find as after being released from MCA, James started a band called Planet Melvin that is based in Minnesota.
It's always fun to hear when an '80s fan sees a "legacy act" like Styx in concert for the first time decades after the band stopped appearing on the Billboard charts. Gayle Weiswasser in Washington, D.C., filed this review of Styx's recent show in Bethesda, Maryland. Domo arigato, Gayle!
Styx is on a North American tour, playing smallish venues across the country. I caught them at a show in Bethesda, Maryland, where the band did a benefit at the Strathmore Music Center for an organization called CSAAC (Community Services For Autistic Adults and Children). Because it was a benefit show, they played a shorter set with fewer songs than the other shows on their current tour (according to Setlist.com).
I'm not a Styx aficionado, and this was my first time seeing the band. The current lineup includes a few original members of the band: Tommy Shaw (guitarist/singer), James Young (guitarist), and Chuck Panozzo (bassist), who has struggled with health issues and only performed on two songs. In place of original singer Dennis DeYoung, Styx features classical piano player Lawrence Gowan on keyboards and lead vocals, who has been with the band since 1999. …
There's no script, director or production schedule yet, but Val Kilmer says he's agreed to reprise his role as "Ice Man" in Top Gun 2.
"I just got offered #topgun2 - not often you get to say 'yes' without reading the script," the actor announced on his Facebook page.
Sounds good to us. Kilmer can be my wingman anytime.
The original 1986 movie starred Tom Cruise and Kilmer as rival Navy pilots at the elite training school in Miramar, Calif. About the only character who can't return is Goose. Sorry, Anthony Edwards, but Goose is still gone. Great balls of fire!
Rumors about a sequel have swirled for years now with some having Cruise return to Miramar to take over the flight school. Cruise hasn't committed to the project yet, but has said he'd be interested in returning to play Maverick. In the meantime, we'll just survive on Kilmer's enthusiasm.
"This is a long way off so calm down," Kilmer wrote. "This has been talked about for a long long time and being offered a role is very different from doing a role. I jumped the gun with my post. I jumped the topgun... An innocent mistake. It was just such a wonderful phone call with my agent." …
While I do spend the majority of my time listening to '80s music, I do try to stay somewhat current on new album releases by '80s artists. One of the better ones I've heard this year is Joe Jackson's Fast Forward that was released just last month. The new material is reminiscent of his early '80s work on his Night andDay LP and has made me nostalgic for its lost songs like Real Men.
A chameleon of music styles, Jackson's best-selling album came in 1982 when his homage to New York City, Night and Day, produced several Top 40 hits like the classic Steppin' Out and Breaking Us In Two. The third single was Real Men and with its subject matter about gender definition and gay culture it's not a surprise that it did not chart in the U.S.; however it was a Top 10 hit in Australia. …
Need a great Valentine's Day present? Try to get tickets to Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on Feb. 15 at Clearwater's Capitol Theater. This intimate venue is the perfect spot for the husband-and-wife team to rip through all their classic tunes.
Though Benatar got all the album covers and press in the '80s, it was hubby Neil who wrote, produced and arranged the songs for her (as well as other '80s icons including Rick Springfield and John Waite.)
If you've never seen Pat and Neil together, you're really missing out. Their performances today are as strong as ever, and the tunes will be swirling around in head for days afterward.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. and are priced at $97 and $77. They're available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall box office in Clearwater, via phone at 727-791-7400 or online at www.AtTheCap.com 24/7. Don't wait. This show could sell out fast.
Pat and Neil's "We Live For Love" tour also includes these days: Feb. 6: Biloxi, MS (Beau Rivage Resort) Feb. 9: Lakeland, FL (Polk Theatre) Feb. 12: Melbourne, FL (King Center for the Performing Arts)
Michael Jackson has just a few more chances left to change the world: Epcot will close the Captain EO movie in Orlando on Dec. 6, the Disney Park Blog reports.
What will take its place? Who cares! It won't be an '80s phenomenon anymore! (Actually it will be a series of animated films and shorts as part of a "4D" experience. Hey, if it's not on a smart phone, will kids today even pay attention?)
Captain EO was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and executive produced by George Lucas. It follows the story of Captain EO (Jackson) and his rag-tag crew as they attempt to deliver a special gift to the "Supreme Leader." It features the tunes We Are Here to Change the World and Another Part of Me.
Captain EO opened in 1986 and then closed in 1994 to make room for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. It began its final run in 2010.
I so miss the days when power pop was abundant in the late '80s and early '90s and no band was as sugary sweet as Shoes and their cheeky video for Feel The Way That I Do.
Some sources list the Shoes album Stolen Wishes as either 1989 or 1990, but most agree it was 1989 and that sneaks the video for Feel The Way That I Do just under the '80s wire. The video for Feel The Way That IDo is sexy fun as it's intended to be a parody of supermodel videos but with a cute dog, some superhot ladies and the handsome men of Shoes, however the video is pleasing even without the satire. Back in 2010, Lady Gaga made a stir when she wore a "meat dress" at MTV Video Music Awards, but let it be documented that the 'meat dress" first existed in the video for Feel The Way That I Do as around the 1:10 mark we see a meat bra and hot dog skirt, but alas, no little smokies accessories.
And just when Shoes thought it didn't get any better, they must have been delighted when the producers of the movie Mannequin 2: On The Move called and got permission to use Feel The Way That IDo in their movie that boasts a whooping 3.9 rating on IMDB. …
It's the Friday Free Ride on Lost and Found, so crank it up to eleven and get on the Fastway with Say What You Will.
In 1983, Fast Eddie Clarke left as guitarist for Motorhead and bassist Pete Way left UFO to help form the English hard rock band Fastway. With the addition of Dave King on vocals, their debut album created a few hard rock classics like Easy Livin' and one of my favorite hard rock songs of the '80s Say What YouWill. The video for Say What You Will is mostly performance with an occasional sighting of a pit crew of video vixens.
Fastway stayed together to make six more albums and in 2014, Fast Eddie (who plays guitar and co-wrote Ace of Spades) went solo and released a blues album Make My Day - Back To Blues.
Can you believe the original Friday the 13th movie turns 35 years old this year? What better day to celebrate it than an actual Friday the 13th.
Released on May 9, 1980 (what were they thinking?), Friday the 13th was pulled together on a paltry budget of $550,000 and amassed scores of negative reviews from film critics at the time.
In a 2009 review looking back on the original flick, Reelviews.net wrote: "Friday the 13th is neither tense nor frightening (although, to be fair, it is at times creepy and atmospheric, due in part to budgetary limitations that led to a low-key style). The characters are paper-thin and the story exists merely as an excuse for carnage."
And yet, 35 years later we have a franchise of 12 films, comic books, TV shows - you name it. Sometimes, even shlock has a market.
To celebrate, here are our 13 favorite lines from the original Friday the 13th.
1. "You're doomed! You're all doomed!"
2. "You see, Jason was my son, and today is his birthday…"
3. "Come, dear. It'll be easier for you than it was for Jason."
4. "If this is a joke, I'm gonna brain 'em!"
5. "You kids keep your noses clean, you understand? You'll be hearing from me if you don't! We ain't gonna stand for any weirdness out here!"
6. "Kill her, Mommy! Kill her! Don't let her get away, Mommy! Don't let her live!"
7. "It's not bad enough to have Friday the 13th, we've gotta have a full moon too. We keep statistics. We have more accidents, more rapes, more robberies, more homicides, more of everything when there's a full moon. It upsets people. Makes them nuts."
8. "I'm a messenger of God. You're doomed if you stay here!"
9. "What hath God wrought?"
10. "Well, hi. What are you doing out in this mess?"
11. "What, you just get off a spaceship or something? Come on, Coloumbian gold, man. Hash, the grass, the weed, dig it?"
12. "He neglected to mention that downtown they call this place Camp Blood."
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.