When speaking of the genius of Wang Chung, I usually fixate less on Everybody Have Fun Tonight and more on their Points on the Curve album from 1983 or 1984 (depending on what country you live in). I maintain it's one of maybe only five albums from the '80s that doesn't have a single bad song on it. In fact, it's damn near perfect -- from the introductory pop fun of Dance Hall Days all the way to the wailing of Don't Let Go.
Jack Hues and Nick Feldman are still together, still playing tunes off Points on the Curve (and their 2012 album, Tazer Up!) and still, thankfully, touring. If you get a chance to see them live this summer, do it. You'll, please forgive me, have fun that night.
Adam Ant is by far one of the friendliest inteviews ever to grace our podcast. Answering the phone in his private office in London last Friday, Adam was gracious, entertaining and even complimented my concert review of his Orlando show last year.
What followed was 30 minutes of fun stories about his time living anonymously in rural Tennessee, his family's connections to Paul McCartney and a late night snack of rice pudding back in 1981 with one of MTV's original veejays. Oh, and some makeup tips, of course.
On Monday we featured The Hollies with a ‘80s remake of a ‘60s song. On Friday, we turn the tables and feature an ‘80s band with a remake of a ‘60s song by The Hollies.
In 1967, The Hollies reached No. 11 with On a Carousel. In 1982, North Carolina’s Glass Moon gave On a Carousel the ‘80s new wave/power pop treatment that resulted in Glass Moon lone Top 100 appearance and a peak of No. 50 on the charts.
Just as I like The Hollies version of Stop In The Name of Love better than the original, I also like Glass Moon’s version of On a Carousel better than the Hollies version.Glass Moon would break up in the mid-80s after recording three albums.
So this isn't strictly an '80s montage, but it's damn close. Credit Travis Rand Greenwood and Slacktory with this amazing video collection. Beware of some NSFW language midway through. I'm particularly happy to see the "Bad Dudes" reference from Parenthood.
Hailing from South London, The Woodentops became a well-regarded UK indie band in the ‘80s. In 1988, their album Woodenfoot Cops on a Highway reached No. 1 on the UK Indie charts and spawned the popular dance floor number called Wheels Turning.
Wheels Turning features the unusual vogueing of lead singer Rolo McGinty. More of a singles band than an album act, The Woodentops are still together, although Woodenfoot Cops was the last full album of new material the band released.
The US Festival turned 30 years old this week. Held May 28 throug 30 in SoCal, it gathered some of the greatest bands of the time on one stage. Not quite as important as Live Aid, it remains an odd monument to music of our era. Our Stuck in the '80s Southern California correspondent Drew Friedman was at the concert and shares hsi memories.
It’s hard to believe that it has been 30 years since I braved the crowds and the astounding heat to be part of the three-day US Festival in southern California. The event, hosted by Apple computer co-creator Steve Wozniak, was to be an 80s version of Woodstock. (And it some ways it was, since it, too, was a financial failure)
This second year of the festival was split into themes, with massive headliners for each night. “Heavy Metal Day” with Van Halen as headliners and “Rock Day” headlined by David Bowie (with a young U2 in the line-up) all followed the day I was there: “New Wave Day”, a day that started with the Divinyls and wound through eight more amazing and eclectic bands. Seeing the craziness of Oingo Boingo on stage would spawn a life-long obsession with the band. I vividly remember INXS, The English Beat and Men At Work. …
In 1983, the two women of Abba, Agnetha Faltskog and Frida Lyngstad hit the charts with singles. With the help of Phil Collin’s pounding drums, Frida’s I Know There’s Something Going On reached No. 13 and remains in regular rotation on ‘80s music shows.
Faltskog’s Can’t Shake Loose did hit the Top 40, peaking at No. 29, but remains buried along with countless other hits from the early ‘80s.
The video showcases Faltskog’s beautiful Swedish good looks, but remains a head-scratcher in trying to figure out what is going on in the video, especially the last half minute tease of what is under the covers in Faltskog’s bed.
Agnetha has just released a new solo album called "A" that has become a overseas hit just like all her material with Abba.
Sucker for anything Star Wars? Check out the latest Pringles commercial.
Pringles and Star Wars sponsored a video contest called "The Force For Fun." Fans were asked to make videos using both Pringles and Star Wars in the ad. You can watch the seven top videos on Pringles' YouTube page.
Robert Plant’s music style has been reimagined at least three times in his lengthy career. In the ‘70s, Plant was a heavy metal god with Led Zepplin and currently enjoys Grammy-winning success with the folk and country genre. In the ‘80s, Plant tried everything from mainstream rock to dance music.
After the breakup of Led Zepplin, Plant’s first solo release was Burning Down One Side that peaked at No. 64 in 1982.
The video is a delight for both male and female fans as Plant woos a bevy of beautiful women before ditching the car and his shirt for a stroll down the highway, but not before a brief guitar solo from the Invisible Man.
With today being Memorial Day in the United States, it is fitting that we honor the service men and women that have protected our country over the centuries.
In 1983, The British band The Hollies reached No. 29 on the charts with the remake of The Supremes 1965 No. 1 hit Stop in the Name of Love. The song would be the last of 13 Top 40 singles that The Hollies would chart in the USA.
In the early ‘80s, it was a time of the Red Scare and teenager boys filling out their Selective Service postcards and sweating out rumors of the draft being reinstated. While the video for Stop In the Name of Love takes the love song and turns it into a plea for peace, I think the spirit of the video reflects the feelings of that time period that nobody wanted to go to war. The ‘80s Cold War sparked the motto of Peace Through Strength – a catch phrase that was the mantra of the Reagan presidency and some have credited as the cause of the Soviets losing the arms race and the eventual fall of The Iron Curtain.
The Hollies are celebrating their 50th year making music and are touring to celebrate the anniversary.
Okay, it’s bragging time, but I’ll get to that in a moment. The across the river rivals of the Minneapolis band The Replacements, St. Paul’s Husker Du proved to be equally talented and influential. Moving from their earlier sound of thrash, hardcore punk to a more accessible and melodic alternative rock, Husker Du has been credited with influencing the style of other alt bands, such as the Pixies, Nirvana, and Green Day.
Husker Du was also one of the most prolific bands in the 80s. They released three highly acclaimed albums on the independent label SST (Zen Arcade, New Day Rising and Flip Your Wig) in a mere 14 months. Despite their prolific output and their increasingly harmonic and pop friendly sound, Husker Du failed to garner much mainstream attention.
In the '80s, we would herd nerds to The Gap. A even longer time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I guess they would herd womp rats to the auction house. That's where you can find Luke Skywalker's pants from Star Wars.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the sand-colored jeans, which were worn by Mark Hamill for much of the film, have a 29-inch waist and 37-inch length. (Good for you, Mark!) They were made by Levi Strauss & Co. and customized (with two six-inch slits down each side) by London costumier Bermans & Nathans.
Bidding ends soon, and the current high bid is $29,834. But even if you feel like offering a cool $30k, beware of the dark side of Hollywood auctions: These pants won't be free from the Empire unless you can offer between $70,000 and $100,000. I'd rather kiss a wookiee.
Artists who often complained about the tedium of filming ‘80s videos should have taken a tip from Chris Isaak. Just get a smokin’ hot model and have them film you getting all steamy with her on a bed, kiddie pool or anywhere.
In 1989, Isaak released his third album called Heart Shaped World that only spent ten weeks on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and peaked at No. 149 despite having many standout tracks including Wicked Game and today’s feature - Blue Spanish Sky.
Director David Lynch gave Wicked Game a new life when his instrumental version of the song was featured in 1990’s Wild At Heart. Inspired by movie, an Atlanta radio program director started featuring the original version on his station and introduced Wicked Game to a national audience where it caught fire, peaked at No. 6 on the singles charts in 1991, spawned a very popular video and propelled Heart Shaped World to sales of more than 2 million copies.
While Blue Spanish Sky never caught on as a single, it is signature Chris Isaak with dreamy vocals and haunting guitar. Isaak released his most recent album in 2011 and is still playing his Gibson guitar to the delight of his fans.
Never before and never again (I hope) will I be able to write about Justin Bieber on Stuck in the '80s, but imagine my delight to wake up this morning to headlines that Jon Bon Jovi has called Bieber an "a**hole" in the British media.
The always hirsute frontman of Bon Jovi was blasting Bieber for disappointing fans by showing up hours late for a London concert. "Do it once, you can be forgiven," Bon Jovi told the Standard. "Do it enough times and shame on you. They won’t have you back. Then it just becomes a cliché. It's really not cool — you’re an a**hole. Go to f***in’ work!"
Coming days after Bieber was booed at the Billboard Music Awards, I feel warm all over. Now if someone would just reveal Daft Punk as a couple of Pet Shop Boys wannabes, my week would be complete.
Remember last summer when John Waite made headlines for trashing Journey and other ‘80s bands that keep reuniting? Let’s instead choose to remember the John Waite who had a sense of humor in the video for Change. The video for Change starts off as your typical starlett trying to make it in Hollywood narrative, but ends with a few light-hearted moments and plot twist.
After his departure from The Babies, Change was Waite’s first single off his 1982 Ignition album and only charted on the Mainstream Rock Charts. In 1985, Change was included in the movie Vision Quest and tried to piggyback on the success of the No. 1 smash Missing You, but only made it to No. 59 on the charts.
Waite makes his triumphant return to Clearwater on May 31 for downtown's Blast Friday free concert series.
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.