Sunday, September 10, 2017

U2 (Early '80s)

For many young people growing up in the '80s, U2 was a band that represented the idealistic side of the decade: the part of the decade that represented hoping for a better world and striving for something beyond mundane materialism. U2 eventually would become among the greatest rock superstars in history. But before that, they were a striving alternative band with high ideals.  

In "Gloria," from the 1981 album, October, U2 shows the compelling combination of spirituality and hope and good rock n roll that represented their work. The song is essentially a prayer. According to Wikipedia:
The chorus "Gloria in te Domine / Gloria exultate" translates to "Glory in You, Lord / Glory, exalt [Him]" with "exalt" in the imperative mood, a reference to Psalm 30:2 (in te Domine, speravi). The song also contains references to Colossians 2:9-10 ("Only in You I'm complete") and James 5:7-9 ("The door is open / You're standing there").
In "Sunday Bloody Sunday," from their 1982 album, War, U2 brings out their earnest idealism, in a song protesting the violence which was then a fact of life in Northern Ireland.
"Pride (in the Name of Love)", a soaring anthem from the 1984 album The Unforgetable Fire, is a tribute to Martin Luther King. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band: On the Dark Side


Happy Labor Day!!  To help us celebrate, here's a real blue collar band from the '80s: John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band, with 1983's "On the Dark Side." This song is from the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack, but John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band are the real deal. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Juice Newton - Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me

I remember this catchy country-pop song, with the funny video from early on in the '80s decade. Juice Newton's "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me." (Thanks and acknowledegment to JuiceNewtonVEVO.) 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance

 

An '80s classic: "The Safety Dance" from Canadian band Men Without Hats.

We can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're are no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to a place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can dance.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Heart (and the Sun)



Here's a very '80s follow up to my post in honor of the solar eclipse. This classic 1983 song, Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler, has suddenly gotten popular with the coming of the August 21 solar eclipse.  Its been everywhere, especially among those celebrating the eclipse. (Acknowledgement and thanks to bonnietylerVEVO.) 


To show just how popular its been, and to truly tie it all together, Bonnie Tyler herself sang the song to a cruise ship full of people as the eclipse was underway.  Here's a clip. (Acknowledgement and thanks to CBS Miami.) 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Eclipses 1979 and 2017

In anticipation of the 2017 solar eclipse, which will take place on Monday, August 21, I am recalling another solar eclipse which occurred during my childhood.

In 1979, when I was in fifth grade, another nationwide solar eclipse happened. We were in school when it was occurring. I lived in a part of the United States which did not get to see, or hardly got to see, the full solar eclipse. Nevertheless, the teachers had us sit down on the carpet, and they brought in a TV monitor and put on the coverage of the eclipse. I seem to recall it was the ABC News coverage, of which I have found the above clip. (Thanks and acknowledgement to Steve Newman.) This video of the 1979 eclipse coverage looks so familiar, and brings back memories of our sitting on the carpet and watching coverage of various parts of the country going momentarily dark as the moon covered the sun.

Here's another clip about the phenomenon of eclipses. (Thanks and acknowledgement to Vox.)

Please, if you plan to experience the eclipse, be very careful not to stare at the eclipse, as it could cause severe vision damage. But, otherwise, enjoy this fascinating astronomical event.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The '80s Paisley Underground

"The idea that you'd make music with guitars. The idea that you'd make music with long, unscripted and unstructured jams. The idea that you were into 60s garage bands. The idea that you'd play one chord until your arm fell off. All the things that we thought were exciting and cool couldn't have been less fashionable." Steve Wynn, of the band The Dream Syndicate. 
My last post dealt with the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in 1967.  To follow up on that recollection, it would be good to recall a very creative '80s musical subculture that was inspired by the pop music of the '60s, especially the Summer of Love era, and who made an effort to revive the feeling and spirit of 1967 in the midst of the 1980s. This scene was called the Paisley Underground, and it stood in contrast the the synth-pop, New Wave, and hair metal of that period.  Although I am actually an aficionado of '80s music, in particular New Wave, I was also fascinated and inspired by the 1960s, and was drawn to the Paisly Underground's effort to revive the psychedelic and hippie spirit of many years before. 




In the early '80s, the Paisley Underground emerged in Los Angeles out of a tight knit group of like-minded bands: the Bangles, the Dream Syndicate, Green On Red, The Three O'Clock, the Rain Parade, and the Long Ryders, among others.  An article appearing on May 16, 2013 in the the Guardian, explains the origin of the name "Paisley Underground," 
"The tag Paisley Underground was first coined in 1982 as a joke by Michael Quercio, the young leader of the Three O'Clock. "We were being interviewed by a local paper called the LA Weekly," he recalls. "The writer asked me: 'So, what do you call this new scene of you and the Bangs [later the Bangles], and the Rain Parade and the Dream Syndicate?" And I said: 'Oh, it's the Paisley Underground.' I didn't think much of it – it was just an off-the-cuff remark. It wasn't until a couple of months later that the other papers started picking up this name and started to write about the scene and call it that.""


Probably the most well-known of the Paisley Underground bands was The Bangles, who eventually were given support by Prince, and who reached the heights of '80s popularity with their big hits "Manic Monday," and "Walk Like An Egyptian."  But they started in the early '80s Paisley Underground scene, as one of its originators.




A favorite of mine from the Paisley Underground was the band The Three O'Clock, who created music that resembled '60s pop groups like the Strawberry Alarm Clock. Here they are in 1983 appearing on the MV3 music video channel (a competitor to MTV).



Here's The Three O'Clock again, with a more polished mid-80s video.


Here's the Rain Parade, a bit more psychedelic and trippy.


Here below are Parts I and II of a short, 20 minute documentary from 1985 all about the then burgeoning Paisley Underground.  (Thanks and acknowldgement to BobC1965)






By 1985, the Paisley Underground had become an influential scene, most particularly providing a strong influence to multifaceted '80 superstar Prince, who named his new record label Paisley Park, produced and championed Paisley Underground bands like The Bangles and The Three O'Clock, and who released a heavily '60s influenced album, Around The World In A Day in 1985.  The Paisley Underground, based in Los Angeles, also inspired a large number of garage-style bands and music scenes around the world.