Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bangles (and Leonard Nimoy)

Continuing my recent focus on fun '80s songs and videos, heres another quirky '80s song from a band that would become one of the major bands of the era.

The Bangles were originally part of the Paisly Underground, part of a music scene inspired by the music and culture of the 1960s, particularly the British and psychedelic scenes. The song "Going Down To Liverpool" came off of The Bangles heavily British "mersey beat" (i.e. First British Invasion) influenced first album, All Over The Place.  This was during the groups early days, in the halcyon days of the Paisly Underground, before the Bangles hit it big with the Prince-written "Manic Monday," and the follow-up "Walk Like and Egyptian."

You can clearly hear the early Beatles-esque style here. And the video features a guest appearance from Star Trek's Spock, Leonard Nimoy.

By the way, a Happy Easter to everyone.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

St. Elmo's Fire

Continuing my weeks focus on distinctly '80s songs, here's one that's very '80s: the main theme to St. Elmo's Fire by John Parr.

As with the movie of the same name, the theme to St. Elmo's fire is one of those '80s things that you either love or hate. To some people, the song may be schlocky and slick, but to so many of us from that decade, it was soaring and inspirational. Count me in on the positive side of that. How can you not smile and feel excited by lyrics like:

I can see a new horizon,
underneath the blazin' sky,
I'll be where the eagle's flyin'
higher and higher

And yes, I am being serious. I'll take these positive lyrics any day to some of the negativity that came out in later years.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Round and Round

Speaking of mixing old with new, here's a memorable video from the heavy metal side of the '80s musical spectrum.  The song is Ratt's 1984 rocker "Round And Round." The video exemplifies '80s heavy metal attitude, with its rebellion against boring and staid formality.   

In a surprising touch, the video features the classic performer and comedian, Milton Berle, in a unique pairing of comedy and rock n' roll. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pet Shop Boys and Dusty

I've been on hiatus from the blog due to a busy job schedule, but now I'm back to my labor of love to my fave decade, the '80s.

As a re-launch of the blog, I'm starting a week devoted to cool '80s music. First up, a great song from 1987, a collaboration between '80s New Wave synthpop group the Pet Shop Boys, and classy '60s diva Dusty Springfield called "What Have I Dont To Deserve This."

This song has all the traits that made '80s music so wonderful. To begin with, the ability to seamlessly blend together the vibrant new styles of the '80s, with the classic pop of a previous great era. '80s were never ones to tear down the greatness of venerable older acts just to make way for the new, but instead seemed to find a way to bring both old and new together to created a wonderful new musical product.

There's also that terrific '80s melodic catchy-ness, brimming with '80s exuberance. And the colorful and dapper, yet fun, '80s style, as shown by the video.  

Update: Happy St. Pattie's Day!!

Just noticing that Rediscover the 80s blog has a piece about that legendary '80s Irish band, U2.   Check it out!!