Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When 1981 Ruled the Airwaves

I've been listening to Billboard's Top 100 Hits of 1981.  You might think to yourself, "wow, 100 songs, that's a lot" Well it is if you're listening to them back to back.  It's not if you think of how many songs were actually written and performed somewhere that year.  100 songs is a drop in the bucket.  These are the Hits, the songs that were played constantly on the radio until you just couldn't stand them any more.  But, that's what makes them Hits, right?

And believe it or not, I had a blog all ready written out. And I was going to put some finishing touches on it and post it.  But something was missing.  I couldnt quite put my finger on it, but I really needed something to bring it all together.  It didn't dawn on me until now what that was.  How could I write about listening to one year in music history if I don't acknowledge those who made it?  Seems fair right?

So that's when I decided what the problem was..so here they are, the top 100 Billboard artists of 1981 see how many of these songs you remember..xx

01. Bette Davis Eyes » Kim Carnes
02. Endless Love » Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
03. Lady » Kenny Rogers
04. (Just Like) Starting Over » John Lennon
05. Jessie's Girl » Rick Springfield
06. Celebration » Kool & The Gang
07. Kiss On My List » Daryl Hall & John Oates
08. I Love A Rainy Night » Eddie Rabbitt
09. 9 To 5 » Dolly Parton
10. Keep On Loving You » REO Speedwagon
11. Theme From "Greatest American Hero" » Joey Scarbury
12. Morning Train (Nine To Five) » Sheena Easton
13. Being With You » Smokey Robinson
14. Queen Of Hearts » Juice Newton
15. Rapture » Blondie
16. A Woman Needs Love » Ray Parker jr. & Raydio
17. The Tide Is High » Blondie
18. Just The Two Of Us » Grover Washington jr.
19. Slow Hand » Pointer Sisters
20. I Love You » Climax Blues Band
21. Woman » John Lennon
22. Sukiyaki » A Taste Of Honey
23. The Winner Takes It All » Abba
24. Medley » Stars On 45
25. Angel Of The Morning » Juice Newton
26. Love On The Rocks » Neil Diamond
27. Every Woman In The World » Air Supply
28. The One That You Love » Air Supply
29. Guilty » Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb
30. The Best Of Times » Styx
31. Elvira » Oak Ridge Boys
32. Take It On The Run » REO Speedwagon
33. No Gettin' Over Me » Ronnie Milsap
34. Living Outside Myself » Gino Vannelli
35. Woman In Love » Barbra Streisand
36. Boy From New York City » Manhattan Transfer
37. Urgent » Foreigner
38. Passion » Rod Stewart
39. Lady (You Bring Me Up) » Commodores
40. Crying » Don Mclean
41. Hearts » Marty Balin
42. It's My Turn » Diana Ross
43. You Make My Dreams » Daryl Hall & John Oates
44. I Don't Need You » Kenny Rogers
45. How 'Bout Us » Champaign
46. Hit Me With Your Best Shot » Pat Benatar
47. The Breakup Song » Greg Kihn Band
48. Time » Alan Parsons Project
49. Hungry Heart » Bruce Springsteen
50. Sweetheart » Franke & The Knockouts
51. Someone's Knockin' » Terri Gibbs
52. More Than I Can Say » Leo Sayer
53. Together » Tierra
54. Too Much Time On My Hands » Styx
55. What Are We Doin' In Love » Dottie West
56. Who's Crying Now » Journey
57. De Do Do Do, De Da Da » Police
58. This Little Girl » Gary U.S. Bonds
59. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around » Stevie Nicks With Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
60. Giving It Up For Your Love » Delbert McClinton
61. A Little In Love » Cliff Richard
62. America » Neil Diamond
63. Ain't Even Done With The Night » John Cougar
64. Arthur's Theme » Christopher Cross
65. Another One Bites The Dust » Queen
66. Games People Play » Alan Parsons Project
67. I Can't Stand It » Eric Clapton
68. While You See A Chance » Steve Winwood
69. Master Blaster » Stevie Wonder
70. Hello Again » Neil Diamond
71. Don't Stand So Close To Me » Police
72. Hey Nineteen » Steely Dan
73. I Ain't Gonna Stand For It » Stevie Wonder
74. All Those Years Ago » George Harrison
75. Step By Step » Eddie Rabbitt
76. The Stroke » Billy Squier
77. Feels So Right » Alabama
78. Sweet Baby » Stanley Clarke & George Duke
79. Same Old Lang Syne » Dan Fogelberg
80. Cool Love » Pablo Cruise
81. Hold On Tight » ELO
82. It's Now Or Never » John Schneider
83. Treat Me Right » Pat Benatar
84. Winning » Santana
85. What Kind Of Fool » Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb
86. Watching The Wheels » John Lennon
87. Tell It Like It Is » Heart
88. Smoky Mountain Rain » Ronnie Milsap
89. I Made It Through The Rain » Barry Manilow
90. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' » Daryl Hall & John Oates
91. Suddenly » Olivia Newton-John & Cliff Richard
92. For Your Eyes Only » Sheena Easton
93. The Beach Boys Medley » Beach Boys
94. Whip It » Devo
95. Modern Girl » Sheena Easton
96. Really Wanna Know You » Gary Wright
97. Seven Year Ache » Rosanne Cash
98. I'm Coming Out » Diana Ross
99. Miss Sun » Boz Scaggs
100. Time Is Time » Andy Gibb

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Steppin Out with Joe Jackson

My blog today has a very special sentiment to me as a music lover.  The first time I heard the song Steppin' Out I was in Germany. It was my first time being overseas and all I had sometimes was my radio to remind me of home.

The piano intro to the song is amazing, that's what originally caught my attention. I heard the song and then I wanted to hear it again, because the song itself was very different to me, I had never heard anything like it.  I'm thinking that might have been the beginning of my love for British New Wave (thank you Joe!) Eventually I actually recorded the song from the radio and played it along with other song favorites until the tape broke :)

Through the years as my music collection grew it became more difficult to find music that I had heard on the radio back then, especially if it came from the UK.  Perhaps without the connection to it, I can honestly say that I might have let some of my favorites slip by the way side so to speak, and focused on the albums that I could readily get my hands on.  But of course, as I always mention, the internet came along and changed the game, which I personally am very thankful for.  Nothing like finding treasures that you've been searching for at the click of a mouse button :)

I never actually got to see Joe Jackson in concert until a few years ago when his Rain album came out. Before then I had to rely on finding his CD's at small obscure record shops and ordering them online. Then came the day that I received an email from Ticketmaster that he was coming to Seattle. I just about came unglued.

I bought the tickets months in advance and waited impatiently until the day of the concert.  It was at the Moore Theater, a really cool venue where I would later the same year see The Psychedelic Furs.  I honestly don't remember the opening act, I was waiting for the main event.  To quote a good friend of mine from Twitter @Newwavekid1, the anticipation was "spine tingling" *.  It wasn't until Joe walked out onto the stage that I realized that I wasn't the only "true" fan in the place.

During the time my husband and I waited for Joe to make his way to the stage we played this game called "what song will he play first" I wasn't sure and thought he would play something that was old and familiar like Look Sharp! or I'm the Man.  Richard said "he's in the US dear, he's going to play something that was mega popular here for him...probably Steppin Out"

I looked at my husband as if he'd lost his mind and said.."no, that's the encore song!" and then promptly shushed him as we rose to give Joe a standing ovation as he came onstage.  The next few moments were like a dream come true, he waved to the crowd and sat down at his piano and motioned to the rest of the trio, and then I heard it...

The piano intro to Steppin Out.  There are two if you recall, the light almost monotone sound of the keys playing the beginning, and then he starts again, this time more emphasis on chords and dramatic timing..when he played that, the theater went absolutely INSANE, we all rose to our feet, cheering wildly, whistling, screaming, it was flipping amazing!  EVERYONE knew what song it was.  We all sang along from start to finish.  When he was finished with it, he briefly stood up for a bow and then sat down and went right into the next song.  His audience however was still trying to come down off of Cloud Nine.

I do remember screaming something quite profane, but in a good way and also shouting how much I loved Joe. My husband looked at me and smiled and shook his head.  During the next song he says to me "so..happy are you?" I shoved him a bit, wiping the tears from my eyes and said.."god I hate it when you're right"  but I really didn't.  It was 20 plus years of love and admiration being rewarded.  Even to this day I treasure every minute of it.

*I was given permission to use this quote by @Newwavekid1 " that song is pure class i remember it at the time and i loved it then, spine tingling".  Truly my sentiments.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Phineas and Ferb

I am a cartoon head.  There. I said it.  I 'm proud of the fact that I am a cartoon head.  There are some pretty funny cartoons out there that were created for adults and children.

About a year or so ago, someone suggested that I watch a new cartoon that they had found called Phineas and Ferb.  I vaguely remember seeing it on the Disney Channel so I thought, what the heck, I will give it a shot. Once I began watching it, I was in for a surprise.

The first show I watched I only managed to catch it probably halfway through. I then realized that the episode I was watching contained 80s music subject matter, forget it, I was hooked already.  The episode was called, Dude, We Are Getting The Band Back Together!  It was about a fictional 80s band that had one hit and are the favorite band of Phineas and Ferb's mom and dad, Linda and Lawrence.  The storyline pretty much is about Phineas and Ferb wanting to do something really cool for their parents anniversary so they talk the band into getting back together so they can play a concert for Linda and Lawrence so they can re-create that magical moment that caused them to fall in love and get married.

So needless to say that I was impressed with it immediately. As I continued to watch later episodes, I found that Phineas and Ferb's mother is actually a one hit wonder superstar from the 80s herself.

the whole premise of THAT episode was Phineas and Ferb "learning" how to become One Hit Wonders. It was great.  If you ever decide to watch it, the title is called "Flop Starz" and it has a very very catchy pop song created specifically for the purpose of being their rocket to fame.   I thought wow, this is awesome, a cartoon right up my alley, lol. 

I do so love being amused.  C.F.N!