June 11, 2007


Boy the way Glen Miller played...

No, not that far back. Miz D-Cup offered up a general music meme to her readers, and after mulling it over I've decided I'm game.

The thing:
1. Go to http://www.popculturemadness.com/Music/
2. Down the left column pick the year you turned 18
3. Get yourself nostalgic/enraged over the songs of the year
4. Write something about how the songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more friends (And because I suck at picking five people, regular readers/commenters - You're IT! And you know who you are.)

I turned 18 in 1983. The prime of my dazed & confused years was laid out before me. Preparing for college 150 miles from home – damn right I’ll sign those loan papers, which was a decision that would haunt me well into the next decade. Like those who would proclaim freedom isn’t free, you have to ask the question, “Is what we’re doing worth the cost?” For the education I pursued and the good it did me, in my opinion the answer is the same.

But I digress, because I didn’t give a shit about things of that nature (things that weren't me) when I was 18. So the summer was complete and I was a couple weeks into my freshman year on my birthday. Musically I was seeking to stretch my legs and feel what others were into beyond the rather cramped diet of my high school chums. I didn’t have any close friends nor many acquaintances who shared my fancy for British art rock and the deeper cuts of the Beatles, Stones and Hendrix. The going thing then was either hair metal or unmitigated cheese.

So while I may not have sucked the marrow of life from college, my life at college provided me with awakenings that served up several of my passions still in force. My toddling about in the realm of jazz fusion hit its adolescence with the music major people I hung with. My reluctant foray into pop music came by way of something I had put off in high school – the need to get laid. Yes, a relative late bloomer was I, but oh how pretty and prolific were those petunias when the spring did um, arrive. So the parties, at least the ones with the horny women, required listening to stuff I had not explored, and ohmigod, DANCING.

As it turns out this freshmen discovered nothing new - that dancing in concert with sundry libations make a fine prelude for the romantic vibrations. One of the worst songs of all time, Phil Collins’ Against All Odds, happened to be pretty much the secret password for “Take me upstairs." Irony aside, I think it may have been because fucking is incomparably superior to listening to Phil Collins. And while I still cannot happily listen to much of what the hot sorority bitches loved like Wham! or Culture Club, there was some dance and particularly new wave stuff that has either stuck with me or been rekindled by nostalgia to become favorites for today. Songs like the Modern English now-mega-retro hit I Melt With You, or Love My Way by Psychedelic Furs now have a distinct appeal.

It seems as if there were other things to pursue besides females given to expedited sexual surrender, but as far as my experience with the pop music of the day was concerned, that was the sole reason for enduring most of it. Here’s a rundown of the pop hits of 1983 that caught my eye:

Music by some of my favorite groups that I was glad to see on the charts

Shock The Monkey - Peter Gabriel
New Year's Day - U2
Burning Down The House - Talking Heads
Stray Cat Strut - Stray Cats
Radio Free Europe - R.E.M.

Music of some of my favorite groups that I was glad to see on the charts even if the song was shitty

Rock The Casbah - The Clash
Bang The Drum All Day - Todd Rundgren
Let's Dance - David Bowie

Music that I didn’t really like/pay attention to that gets listening time now.

Down Under - Men At Work
One Thing Leads To Another - the Fixx

Music that’s hard to get out of my head

Every Breath You Take - Police
Rockit - Herbie Hancock
She Works Hard For The Money - Donna Summer
She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby
Electric Avenue - Eddie Grant

Music that made me realize ZZ Top had totally sold out

Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top

And what retrospective would be complete without Deaths and Events?
1983 DEATHS:

Karen Carpenter, Tennessee Williams, Gloria Swanson, Chris Wood (flutist from Traffic), David Niven, George S. “Papa Bear” Halas, Slim Pickens, Dennis Wilson

1983 EVENTS:

  • Lotus 1-2-3 is released for IBM-PC compatible computers
  • Iran opens an invasion in the southeast of Iraq
  • M*A*S*H ends after 11 years and 251 episodes
  • Return of the Jedi
  • McDonald's introduces the McNugget

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Cool. Sounds like just the project for me to tackle at work tomorrow. At LUNCH, of course! Heaven forfend I waste time on the boss's dime. ;)
For some reason this post irks me. Could it be the very gritty reference to your past sexual escapades?....uh...yes.
Oh, dude, one must never forget who reads one's blog!

I look forward to doing this meme, as my graduation year, 1987, was full of some of the worst shit to ever be called music (though we did have The Joshua Tree, License to Ill, and Document, as well as lots of great alt/underground stuff by the likes of the Pixies, Public Image Limited, the Replacements, Husker Du, etc.).
I graduated in 94 and omg, looking at that chart I remember how AWFUL that year was musically! GAH!
Paula - pursue the forfended paid blogging! I wanna see that list from 197? !!

My sweet - I got nothing on you! ;)

Jeff - Jen has nothing on me.

1987 - The Good:
La Bamba - Los Lobos (one of my FAVE groups)
Where The Streets Have No Name - U2 (Joshua Tree is their 2nd best album)
Luka - Suzanne Vega (rock that thinks)
Touch of Grey - Grateful Dead (No, I'm not particularly proud of this or any other studio song they did after Workingman's Dead, but I gotta give 'em credit as it was their first and only Top 10 hit.)

The Bad:
The Final Countdown - Europe (One of my Quelle Frommage! favorites)

The Ugly:
I Want Your Sex - George Michael (blecccch!)

Webmiztris - Welcome!

1994 - The Good:
All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow (she rocks my world except for her song w/ Skank Boy Kid Rock)

The Bad:
Can You Feel The Love Tonight - Elton John (oh give me his Annie Oakley days of the early 70s)

The Ugly:
The Sign - Ace of Base (no comment)
No matter what year, most of the "hits" are going to suck really hard.
Yeah, 1994 began the slide of Elton John from somewhat cool and fabulously pop-y into old queen.
At least I don"t blog about it.
I'll rise to the challenge before the week's out. Looking at 1991 just reinforced for me how much I loathe Michael Bolton.
Your list is downright musical genius compared to 1989, I assure you. As for "Sharp Dressed Man," that was hardly rock bottom. Can you say "Rough Boy"? Mind you, I love "Rough Boy." But I'm weird about cheesy songs.

From your list, I say yay for the Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, REM, and The Stray Cats, although "Stray Cat Strut" should've been on your "song sucks but band is good" list.

As for U2, be proud you got The Unforgettable Fire, their last good album.

I kind of did mine in Paula's comments.
I always thought U2's last good one was WAR, but I'm the persnickety type.
There's never been a BAD U2 album! Blasphemy I say!
I'm sorry Jodie. I wish it were true. I want it to be true. Joe, you're almost right. But TUF has some saving graces. Bad being the big one IMO.
Less tea and cake for you, sistah. This sugar buzz has you talkin' outcher neck, as is sayed in these parts.

Despite its superduperhypermegapopularity, The Joshua Tree is an AMAZING album. You could even (especially?) drop the three singles and still have a classic. An acknowledgement of the profound influence that America had on the band, TJT is an awesome tribute to as well as critique of American music, culture and politics.

Oh, and it was followed up in 1988 by one of my favorite concert films, Rattle And Hum, which showcased much of TJT's stuff live.

Speaking of "rattle and hum," Bullet The Blue Sky is my favorite U2 song, a rock anthem for the socially conscious if ever there was one:

In the howling wind comes a stinging rain
See it driving nails
Into the souls on the tree of pain
From the firefly, a red orange glow
See the face of fear
Running scared in the valley below

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

In the locust wind comes a rattle and hum
Jacob wrestled the angel
And the angel was overcome
You plant a demon seed
You raise a flower of fire
See them burning crosses
See the flames higher and higher

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

This guy comes up to me
His face red like a rose on a thorn bush
Like all the colors of a royal flush
And he's peeling off those dollar bills
Slapping them down
One hundred, two hundred
And I can see those fighter planes
And I can see those fighter planes
Across the mud huts where the children sleep
Through the alleys of a quiet city street
You take the staircase to the first floor
Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
As a man breathes into a saxophone
And through the walls you hear the city groan
Outside is America
Outside is America

Across the field you see the sky ripped open
See the rain through a gaping wound
Pounding on the women and children
Who run
Into the arms
Of America
Sorry dude. Joshua Tree bites ass. I stand behind that.
Oh, I love the way you explained all that to us. I would have just made a list, but you were creative! Excellent.

'83 beats '75 by a long shot! And I agree on ZZ Top's selling out.
I really like what you did with this!

And it's hard to believe that David Niven has been dead for 24 year!
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