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Friday, January 19, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Regina- 'Baby Love'

"Boy, there's no one home tonight
The timing could be right
To forget the rules
We're out of school until tomorrow
Now, if only you would stay
There's so many games we'd play
Why should we pretend to be just friends
When we could be so much more"

I love when I'm reminded of a song that I've completely forgotten about. Regina's "Baby Love" was one of those. I was watching Totally 80's on Classic MTV the other day when this track came on and I instantly remembered it. "Baby Love" made me think of summer and when I looked it up my memory was right. It was a super popular track in the summer of 1986. One of those songs that were on the radio every couple of hours and you knew all of the lyrics to it even if you didn't like it.

This song peaked at number 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 and paved the way for Regina to have a string of hits on the dance charts in the mid-80's.

Daily Boom Lost Hit: ABC- 'How To Be A Millionaire'

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia 2Pac - 'Brenda's Got A Baby'

"I hear Brenda's got a baby
But, Brenda's barely got a brain
A damn shame
The girl can hardly spell her name
(That's not our problem, that's up ta Brenda's family)
Well let me show ya how it affects the whole community
Now Brenda never really knew her moms
and her dad was a junky
Went in debt to his arms, it's sad
Cause I bet Brenda doesn't even know
Just cause your in the ghetto doesn't mean ya can't grow
But oh, that's a thought, my own revelation
Do whatever it takes ta resist the temptation"

I gotta tell ya, when Tupac Shakur first arrived on the scene back in the early 90's I wasn't really a fan. I mean, it was obvious that 2Pac was a masterful rapper and he clearly had an agenda and a message to deliver, but I just wasn't ready to "hear" him. I knew about the east coast west coast rap rivalry because I think even if you lived under a rock in West Virginia, it had still reached you. Names like 2Pac, Puffy and Biggie just weren't in heavy rotation for me.

I recently went back and started listening to Pac and Biggie's catalogs of music and discovered that I'm a fan, especially of the former. "Brenda's Got A Baby" was 2Pac's debut single and it introduced him to the world as a young man that not only understood the issues of teenagers but he had issues with those problems. He didn't understand why more men weren't taking responsibility for their actions.

In the 90's I was probably too young and oblivious to really get the fire and intelligence that motivated 2Pac, but I see it now. Check out the video for "Brenda's Got A Baby" below!

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Scritti Politti - 'Perfect Way'

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Currently Booming: Top 80's Songs with a Great Sax Solo

Besides acid wash jeans, big hair and neon everything, a really popular 80's video usually featured a killer sax solo. It was a decade that decided that saxophone players could singlehandedly make or break a track. Here's a clip of some of the best 80's songs that were heavy on the sax.

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Honeymoon Suite 'What Does It Take'

"If I could grow wings
I would do anything
Just to keep you with me
Can't you see?"

Honeymoon Suite's "What Does It Take" is one of those songs that left a lasting impression on me. Not because it got tons of airplay way back in 1986 or because it was on every time I turned my boom box on. In fact, it didn't even crack the top 50 on Billboard's Hot 100. But it was part of my favorite radio station's Top 10 at 10 countdown for a really long time. It was one of those songs that was goodnight dedication material and had staying power for months.

You guys remember the goodnight dedication shows, right? One of those things that I really miss about good old live radio. I can remember hitting redial repeatedly trying to get through to make a dedication and for a long time, this was THE song of choice. 

Honeymoon Suite found moderate success back in the 80's but in truth they probably should have hit a lot harder than they did because they were really great. Like many of the other great bands to come out of the 80's, Honeymoon Suite still does perform together.

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Eddie Rabbitt- 'Someone Could Lose A Heart Tonight'

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Daily Boom 70's Throwback: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

"Let's do the time warp again."

For the record, I'm not so old that I remember the cult classic hit when it first rolled into a limited number of theaters. No. But it does take me back to my freshman year of high school.

Up until then my knowledge of Rocky Horror was limited to the fact that our local shopping mall movie theater showed it every Saturday night and honestly, I only knew that because it was listed on the big sign out front. It was the very last thing listed and it seemed like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" always seemed to be missing a letter.

In ninth grade my homeroom was in one of the main freshmen art rooms and it was like nothing I had ever seen before. While I've mentioned my dad's love/obsession with music and how that influenced me, my mom's creativity also rubbed off. She was always an artist of some sort. I actually remember her being in art school when I was in preschool and going to the library with her every week. She would check out books on commercial art while I got... whatever and then we would go for lunch at a little drugstore luncheonette nearby. I still remember looking at copies of our daily newspaper to find my mom's drawings. Way back in the 70's and early 80's any store advertisements were drawn and she used to do the ads for women's wear. She also had a perfume ad that was used for a major campaign and I remember her working on a greeting card line that featured a little girl with a magical purse.

So anyway, back to me. I was raised surrounded by art supplies and creativity so walking into this classroom was surreal. Real talk, it was probably pretty shitty if you weren't into art. It was the size of about three classrooms put together and we sat at huge wooden tables that seated 8 people. The tables were coated in paint, pastel and every other medium available. There was artwork from floor to ceiling, no lie. Mr. Kingsley put things up really high to dry and while it looked like a disaster I don't think he ever actually lost anything. I ended up having him for art, which I chose as an elective so that meant I spent 90 minutes in his class twice a week.

It was in his class that I got to know a girl named Kim. I had known her for a few years but never spent any real time with her until 9th grade. She and I were the only girls at our table and as luck would have it, all eight of us really were into art, so it was cool right from the start. It was early 1986 and after a few months together we had all really bonded. Mr. Kingsley, well he was a trip. Super quiet and always wore a layer of guyliner. He smoked in his closet and let the guys chew (remember when THAT was popular???) as long as they hid their spitters if the principal walked in. As long as we did our work he left us alone and encouraged us to talk from bell to bell.

Talk we did. Kim's obsession was The Rocky Horror Picture ShowShe talked about it nonstop and was super excited because her mother was allowing her to go to the midnight showings at the mall each week. Since she was able to go Kim decided to dress up as her favorite character, Columbia. Back in the 80's not only did people go to the movie every week but they also dressed up and reenacted it in front of the screen and Kim was picked to be our theater's unofficial official Columbia.

She would take pictures every weekend and bring them into art class on Monday to show us. I have to wonder if she still has a stack of those photos and if so does she crack them out to show her kids now? Anyway, after months of hearing about Columbia and Magenta and Riff Raff a few of us decided to go to the show with Kim. That was a one-time thing because none of us really saw what it was that kept Kim running back for more, but Rocky Horror gave this girl life all the way through high school.

I shared a lot with my table mates in that art class. On the good days we won the coin toss and controlled the radio, dissected Heather Locklear's marriage to Tommy Lee and counted down until we weren't freshmen anymore. On the bad days we cried over a classmates death in a car accident, fought over art supplies and vented about real life problems at home. On one particularly bad day in January of 1986 we, like the rest of the school, had our classroom television tuned to the live launch of the Challenger Space Shuttle. It was the first time that a teacher was chosen to go into space, making it a groundbreaking mission. When the Challenger broke apart a little over a minute into its launch our whole class screeched, a sound that seemed to echo through the entire school.

That old art classroom may have been the messiest in the school, but looking back it kind of feels like one of the most valuable spaces in the building. Those walls, to this day, hold an awful lot of  personal history for thousands of kids that have passed through over the years. Make ups and break ups, secret revelations, historical moments in American history, oh and of course, tons of creativity and the birth of a few very successful artists as well. I used to think that Mr. Kingsley was just flying by his ass and doing the bare minimum to keep his job. Now I get what he probably did decades ago. The very best thing that he could do was to create a space for kids to come and just "be" for awhile. Rocky Horror Picture Show and all.

I still can't believe it's 40 years old. I'm thinking it's time to take another look at the flick to see if my impression has changed. God only knows what seeing the real Columbia in action will remind me of!

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Eddie Money - 'Maybe I'm A Fool'

Monday, January 15, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Robert Palmer - 'I Didn't Mean To Turn You On'

"Now I bring you home
You told me goodnight's not enough for you
I'm sorry, baby
I didn't mean to turn you on
No, I didn't mean to turn you on
You read me wrong
I wasn't trying to lead you on
Not like you think
I didn't mean to turn you on"

I think when most people think of Robert Palmer they almost immediately picture his "Addicted to Love" video, with him looking suave as several cloned women pretend to play instruments behind him. It's a visual that, even 30 years after the release of his Riptide album, is still etched into pop culture's history. It's classic, timeless, and back then everyone absolutely loved Palmer. While I really liked "Addicted to Love", my favorite song off of the album is actually the single that followed it.

"I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" hit the charts in early 1986 and I loved it immediately. Instead of girls with slicked back hair, this video featured women that looked like they were runway ready and the song itself has always felt a bit tongue-in-cheek, especially with Palmer singing it. It fit his image back then and the extended dance mix can still crush a lot of other 12" tracks out there. 

Ironically, Palmer wasn't the only one to record "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On". Cherrelle did it first and Mariah Carey had a version decades later, but it's Palmer's that is the best known of all. 

Currently Booming: The Top Songs of 1988 Playlist

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Soundtrack: Pretty In Pink

If you leave, don't leave now
Please don't take my heart away
Promise me just one more night
Then we'll go our separate ways
With hours left time on our sides
Now it's fading fast
Every second every moment
We've got to--we've gotta make it last

31 years ago this week Pretty In Pink rolled into theaters and made a lasting impact on teenagers everywhere. What's interesting is how this one little film has continued to remain an all-time favorite for those of us who came of age along with Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer and Andrew McCarthy.

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Pink Floyd - 'Comfortably Numb'

Image result for Pink Floyd 1980

Just a little pin prick
There'll be no more aaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick
Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working, good
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on, it's time to go.

Is Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" one of the very best songs in classic rock history?  In my opinion it absolutely is. Aside from the chilling lyrics, those guitar solos are some of the best ever recorded. Roger Waters and David Gilmour really struck gold with this one and the rest of their legendary album, The Wall.

"Comfortably Numb" was first released as a single back in 1980 with a pretty sharp video which ended up being a part of Pink Floyd's film, The Wall. That piece of art is an 80's classic with it likely making much more sense if you're drunk or high while watching it. I remember back in 1987 having a biology teacher that was rumored to be a huge "burn out". The stories of kids going to his house a block from the school and smoking with him while watching The Wall swirled for years. I always figured that there probably some truth to the rumors, in part because he would laugh about them without ever denying anything. He also strongly encouraged us all to watch The Wall because he believed it would become part of pop culture history. Guess what- he was right! Check out "Comfortably Numb" below. To this day it remains one of my favorite 80's songs.

Currently Booming: MTV Top 20 Countdown (1988)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Currently Booming: Yvonne Elliman on American Bandstand - 'If I Can't Have You' (1977)

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Natalie Cole - 'Jump Start (My Heart)'

Image result for Natalie Cole

"Our love is running down, done fell into a slump

Give me a spark to get the fire burning
A get my engine moving, set these wheels a turning
Our love could use some rejuvenation
You bring the wine, I'll bring the sweet conversation
Romance is here to stay, I'll testify 'cause I need some today
So won't you

Jump start my heart
Charge me up when I'm running down
Oh, jump start my heart
Lift my feet up off the ground"

"Jump Start (My Heart)" is a bit of a lost hit for Natalie Cole. I think most people associate her with ballads and songs that serve as a tribute to her father (Nat King Cole). But by now, you know me and you know that I can't turn down a song that makes me want to move something. I mean, that's a good way to kick off the weekend right?  Check out the video below for "Jump Start (My Heart)". Do you remember it?

Currently Booming" Soul Train- 1988 Full Episode (Watch)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Boom Daily 80's Throwback: 'Sassy' Magazine

Do you guys remember Sassy magazine? It was the alternative to typical teen magazines, created by the incredibly talented Jane Pratt way back in 1987. Instead of looking for the perfect outfit to wear on a date with the perfect all-American-boy, Sassy readers were more invested in actual social issues and dealing with real life rather than the fairy tale that the other pubs served up each month. 

Sassy was the first thing that I looked at that made me want to write, just like that. It seemed like a dream career to be able to use my voice to make people think by challenging the ideas that the had already formed on their own. Back then I had no idea that being a writer would also be a somewhat devastating career path because it is filled with self doubt, rewrites, brutal editors and did I mention self doubt? And that's on the good days!

Researching a project that I'm working on has meant actually getting my hands on some of the things that shaped me as a teen and this week, that included old copies of Sassy. 

I actually remembered one of the issues, dated 1989. I remember buying it and carrying it with me for an entire month until Pratt rolled out the next issue. Once I picked it up I think the instincts just kicked in because I automatically flipped it over to read what was written on the binding, because there was always a message.  This time I looked at Sassy from a different perspective. 25 years later I know that I've made it. I know that whatever inspiration was in those pages, it stuck It has pushed me through years of wondering on-and-off why I chose this business in the first place.

I couldn't put my finger on any one thing now that obviously sucked me in all of those years ago. Instead I just ended up making peace with the idea that back then, Sassy was supposed to be that catalyst that gave me a clue about what my career might be.

When I'm stuck up against a deadline for a job I don't level, it's likely Sassy's influence that helps me to keep pushing through. When I tackle serious topics and the feedback is wonderful, well I owe all of that to Sassy as well. It was Pratt that first taught me how to talk about uncomfortable things and to trust that I'd survive on the other side of them. 

I have teen daughters now and ironically enough, I found myself handing over the 26-year-old issues of Sassy to them yesterday. Not only does the advice still stand, but the conversational style still beats anything at all currently on the market for this generation. 

Currently Booming: MTV Headbangers' Ball 1990 (Watch)

Daily Boom Vinyl Throwback: Exposé- 'Exposure'

By now you all know that nearly every pivotal moment of my life (and all of the in-between seemingly meaningless ones too) seems to have a musical soundtrack. I think I drive people nuts because so many songs remind me of.... whatever...and then I tend to share that whatever. Thankfully, in the moment people pretend to like my momentary throwbacks. While so many songs connect me to things there really aren't that many albums as a whole that have had the same effect. I tend to cherry pick but for whatever reason, Exposé's Exposure made a real impact on my 16-year-old self.

Way back in 1987,  I was a total hair band loving headbanger by day, complete with the Aqua Net in my purse, fringe jean jacket and cloroxed jeans but I was also about 30 seconds from morphing into a club kid (it actually happened in 1988, hello Dance Party USA anyone?). I would creep the mall on Saturday nights and then come home to listen to Open House Party (I used to have my dad start the cassette tape to record it & then flip it 45 minutes in for me because being a DJ, he was meticulous with that stuff.) mainly because of all of the club tracks that they played.

Before Exposé broke through on mainstream radio they were bumping on the dance charts and I thought that "Come Go With Me" was like, the coolest thing ever.  I loved the Latin influence and eventually ended up buying the extended dance mix, probably hiding it behind my Whitesnake album or something at first.

Exposé had a string of dance hits off of Exposure, songs like "Let Me Be The One" and "Point of No Return" were now getting tons of radio play and MTV had their videos pretty much on loop. I was also totally jealous of Jeanette Jurado's naturally huge hair and anyone that spent forever in front of a mirror with a blow dryer and a can of hair spray totally understands why.

 "Seasons Change" became the ladies first number one song on Billboards Hot 100 and it finally prompted me to break and buy Exposure once and for all. While I remember music I rarely can actually take myself that far back in time to remember crazy details, but I do remember flipping this cassette from one side to the other for hours at a time.

If you've never actually listened to the entire album then you've missed out on one of the best ballads of the 80's that was never marketed as a single, "December".  It's the very last song on Exposure and as luck would have it I was actually going through a weird breakup at the time and the lyrics totally fit, right down to the month. Perhaps that's why these ladies have stuck in my head for all of these years. Whatever the reason, Exposure is a fantastic album, one that you really should revisit, right about now.