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DailyBoom Your Old School Music Authority

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Currently Booming: Sunday Soundtrack- 'Xanadu'

You have to believe we are magic
Nothing can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don't let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Destiny will arrive
I'll bring all your dreams alive

It has been a really long time since I've watched Xanadu. I was almost ten when it was first released in theaters back in 1980 and at the time I was kind of obsessed with Olivia Newton John. I loved Grease, had several of her albums and even begged my mom to buy an issue of TV Guide because she was on the cover. While Xanadu, with its pretty far out magical concept wasn't exactly a hit in theaters, the soundtrack was golden.

If Olivia wasn't singing on a track then it was meticulously handled by ELO and the result was fantastic. So many good songs came out of this film that it made a whole new generation take a look at Xanadu, this time on Broadway. While it was once a little embarrassing to admit that you loved Xanadu, it is now considered a cult classic. I know I was thrilled to find a pretty clean copy of the soundtrack while hunting for albums at a recent record fair. Check out the full album below. Pretty cool, isn't it? 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Sweet Sensation - 'Sincerely Yours'

Related image
"Dear I write you this letter
To show you how much your love means to me
I wish we could be together
I need you in my life oh can't you see
You promised we would be together
But you still haven't answered my letter
Oh, oh, I'm sincerely yours
The one my heart beats for, the one I adore
Oh, oh, I'm sincerely yours
The love that you gave I've never felt before."

Latin freestyle seems to go hand in hand with Friday, at least in my mind. If Friday is really the day to celebrate the weekend ahead then that means club songs, freestyle and old school house music are the very best way to kick it all off. Let me take you back to 1988 when Betty Dee and her girls stepped out from the shadow of Expose` and The Cover Girls and made their own mark in the dance world. 

Sweet Sensation had the hair, the clothes, and all the moves. But they seemed like the chicks down the street. This was the girl group that you really could have gone to school with or partied with. And their music rivaled other dance floor anthems. Songs like "Take It While It's Hot" and "Hooked On You" were featured on Open House Party and Dance Party USA, making the ladies a pretty hot commodity leading up to their number one single, "If Wishes Came True"

Betty Dee, Jenae Colon, and Belle Ritter reunited a few years ago and on any given weekend you're likely to find Sweet Sensation hitting the stage somewhere on the east coast. "Sincerely Yours" remains one of their most popular hits. Check out the video below.

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Asia- 'Only Time Will Tell'

"I see it now
Becomes so clear
Your insincerity
And me all starrey-eyed
You'd think that I would have known by now
Now, sure as the sun will cross the sky
This lie is over
Lost, like the tears that used to tide me over"

If you're a classic rock fan then you absolutely have to own Asia's self-titled debut release from 1982. The band formed in 1981 and in my mind, they are one of my generation's first supergroups, with Steve Howe and Geoff Downes of Yes, John Wetton of King Crimson and Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer all joining forces.  That roster of talent could only lead to more success and that's exactly what Asia found.

Songs like "Heat of the Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell" did very well on the charts and they got tons of radio play.  The album itself went to number one in a handful of countries and it remains their best selling effort. More importantly, it sounded amazing then and it still does now. Asia is one of those progressive groups that has always had a unique sound, the kind that I can still pick out now as soon as I hear it. 

"Only Time Will Tell" has always been the song that jumps out at me the most. Check out the video below!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Exclusive Interview: Foreigner's Lou Gramm Finds Joy Reuniting with His Original Bandmates & Exudes Peace as His Career Winds Down

Photo: Karsten Staiger

ICYMI- we are flashing back to some of the best of the best content here at DailyBOOM.

I honestly can’t remember a point in my life when Foreigner wasn’t one of the musical fibers helping to hold my memories together. I can easily flashback to when I was six-years-old, curled up in my dad’s ugly green chair with his headphones on listening to Foreigner, as I held their album in my lap. My father was a DJ back when stations were first changing over to an album rock format and he was happy to bring his work (in the form of vinyl imports) home with him. I always got to pick a song to listen to before I went to bed and dad was thrilled when “Feels Like the First Time” replaced “Disco Duck”. I quickly noticed that if I picked “right” he would let me keep his headphones on for a few songs and falling asleep to the first side of Foreigner’s eponymous effort happened to me more than a few times. 

It was the synth that first grabbed my attention but by the time I was a pre-teen I really understood how important each and every musician (Lou Gramm, Mick Jones, Al Greenwood, Dennis Elliott, Rick Wills, Ed Gagliardi) was to the band and how they all played a crucial part in creating that unmistakable sound. It’s a sound that regularly lives on in millions of households even now, forty-plus years later. 

Longtime fans were thrilled last year when the original band joined the current lineup onstage for a handful of shows. Those gigs were so special and well-received that “Super Foreigner” will reunite again in October for a few more Double Vision: Then & Now shows. I had an opportunity to speak with Lou Gramm, the man whose voice has helped to sell over 80 million albums. It's an interview that I feel like I've prepared 40 years for, and both his insight and his hindsight are uniquely valuable. 

Lou Gramm & Rick Wills
Photo: Cate Meighan

Cate Meighan: How did those first reunion shows feel to you and what was it like to have those particular audiences in the palm of your hand? 

Lou Gramm: “Well, to reunite was unbelievable. It had been a lot of years since that band had taken the stage together and so it felt really powerful. Everyone was playing terrific and from one end of the set to the other, there was a lot of joy onstage. I felt that it projected right onto the audience. I could sense that the audience was really enjoying it and the response to every song made the short hairs on my neck stand up.”  

CM: How is it different for you being on stage with the original band now versus back in the 70’s or ’80s? 

Lou: “Well, the band back in the day was awesome, but the schedule that we kept was hard. Just like everything else that you do in life, this was just as much work as it was a joy. That balance tends to numb things and you almost forget the little things that were so special, which is sad but it’s kind of the way that it is. So honestly on those (reunion) nights all of my senses were just piqued. Looking around at the guys, watching them playing and shooting little smirks at each other, it was all the things that we used to do and just took for granted. Those little things now have a huge meaning on these special nights. The shows that we did recently, we knew there would only be a few of them so we wanted to make the most of every song, interact and just be who we’re supposed to be.” 

Mick Jones & Lou Gramm 
Photo: Karsten Staiger

CM: Did you know there would be more shows after last winter? Was that something that was already in the planning stages? 

Lou: We were hopeful but it was understood that everything would depend on how we were received. You know it could have really gone differently. We could have had a lukewarm reception and we could have walked offstage knowing that our better days were definitely behind us. Instead, we realized that our audience appreciates us as if it was 25 years ago. The people in the seats really create the energy of a show and without them and that energy there would be no point in continuing” 

CM: It was announced late last year that you were finished performing with your own band. Did the Foreigner reunion shows have anything to do with that decision? 

Lou: “At the end of last year I disassembled my own band and that was that. Different variations of that band had been together for 13 or 14 years and we had great shows. Whether there was a Foreigner reunion or not, I knew that it was time for me to put an end to that. This year I’ve played on and off with Asia. They do their songs and then they do arrangements of my solo work, plus Foreigner songs. They’re very good and we have a lot of fun on stage, but even that is coming to an end later this year. I’m in the process of winding down and I’m at peace with it. I’ve been doing this at a professional level, usually extremely busy and working hard, for 45 years. I can still sing; I don’t know if I’m as good as I was 40 years ago but I can still cut the parts. I’ve just lost the desire to be out on the road performing constantly, I’ve done enough. I’ve got a lot of other things that I’d like to turn my attention towards like my family and my obsessive hobby (laughing)- American muscle cars! I have a lot of fun with that and I’ve been into it since before I was old enough to drive. When you tour it’s usually in the summer so by the time the tour is over it’s almost too late to get the car out and drive it. I live in the northeast so come October that’s when everyone is putting everything away.” 

CM: Some of DailyBOOM’s readers had some questions for you. I liked this one- if you look at Foreigner’s whole catalog what songs are a perfect example of what this band really can do?

Lou: “Oh boy that’s really tough (laughing). I would say if I just shot from the hip, "Juke Box Hero" and "Urgent". Two songs that have very different feels to them but they’re both heavy-handed and pack a real punch.” 

Mick Jones
Photo: Babs Marks

 CM: Another great question- how difficult was it for you to transition back into the band after spending time focused on your solo work? 

Lou: It was difficult because when I did my own thing it was to let my own creative abilities have the lead. I didn’t need approval, so to go back into that situation was almost unbearable at the time. Creatively I did very little on Inside Information because everything that I brought up was shot down. I just held on tight and I sang the songs. It didn’t turn out to be the kind of album that I had hoped that it would be.” 

CM: Here’s another one that I liked- what album are you the proudest of? 

Lou: “There are a few. Mr. Moonlight was released on an independent label and got very little airplay and very little notoriety. I thought it was a great album and even now, you have to be a fan to know that it exists. Some fans still don’t know that it exists (laughing). I also loved 4. There’s a lot that I loved writing and recording, plus then performing but if I had to pick it would be those two.” 

CM: Last one from our readers’- what was the motivation behind “Angel with a Dirty Face”? 

Lou: “It was a fun little song about a girl who made it seem like she was an angel but you could tell what was going on and that she no angel (laughing).” 

CM: Okay back to the present day “Super Foreigner”! How do you feel knowing that you get to reunite with both bands again for four shows in October? 

Lou: “I’m very excited to do it again. I think we rehearse 2 days before the show and I have to say, the current lineup of the band is great. They’re all nice guys and they’re thrilled to be doing what they’re doing and I’d be thrilled if I was them too (laughing). They are as helpful as they can be and I hold absolutely no ill will against them. They walked into a situation where they were asked to join Foreigner and how many people are going to turn that kind of offer down (laughing)? They took advantage of a great opportunity and that’s how things go. We genuinely get along really well.” 

Photo: Cate Meighan

CM: What would you like to say to the fans that are really looking forward to these reunion shows? 

Lou: “The original band loved performing back in the day when it was our time to shine and now all of these years later it’s still our time to shine. We’re going to lay it down as best we can and we’re going to rock them real hard. We take a lot of pride in what we do and in the songs that we’ve written and recorded. It means a lot to the original band to still play and every time we do this our pride is at stake! So, we’re going to perform just like we’re back in our heyday and we won’t let anybody down.” 

Check out Foreigner's Official Site for more info on Double Vision: Then & Now tour dates!

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Pebbles- 'Mercedes Boy' (Live at The Apollo)

Monday, August 8, 2022

Exclusive Interview: Mike Tramp Releases 'Second Time Around' While Embracing the Stripped Down Songs of 'White Lion'

ICYMI a throwback interview:

I've been listening to the music of White Lion for more than thirty years, but before this week I've never had an opportunity to connect with founder, Mike Tramp. He has left those days of big hair and spandex in the dust long ago in favor of a much more stripped-down approach. These days Tramp prefers to perform his songs closer to the way they were originally written, with an authenticity that is often missing from other artists. His new album, 'Second Time Around' is set to be released on May 1st and a new single, "The Road" recently dropped ahead of it.

Obviously, as the Coronavirus seems to have a stranglehold on the world right now, it leaves things just about everything up in the air. While Tramp has had show dates canceled he remains positive and hopeful due to the strength that he carries within. Check out his thoughts below!

Mike on the state of the world these last few weeks:

"Everywhere is crazy. I happen to be living on a farm outside the big cities so for the last 10 days, I’ve sort of been in solitude by myself and just working outside. I’ve been starting the day checking out newspapers from around the world online and stuff like that. It’s so unhealthy for us because there’s not a united message. There’s a lot of finger-pointing and it seems like at this moment what would help the world the most is everybody working together for the same reason. Then they can all go and be politicians after that but for right now, the world needs one cause and one direction.

It’s sort of weird to me doing an interview about my album when everything has suddenly changed so drastically around the world within the last two weeks. My tour was canceled and the future is unknown. The future for so many of us has become completely unknown."

Mike on the upcoming release of Second Time Around, on May 1st.:

"It's not like the old days when you had a thousand record stores around that receive the album all on the same day. Now, like 50% is ordered online, maybe 30% is sold at the shows, then maybe 20% are bought in the stores. It’s just the reality today. I will sell 10,000 albums online. Twenty years ago it was millions. For me it's really all about the music and where I am with it because I first write the songs for myself. I know that there are people that want to hear them so I create an album. The physical thing, an album being bought is, of course, a bonus no doubt, but these days the record budgets are so small. So much of the recording is done at home. This business is just a completely different world now.

Some artists on this journey of rock and roll think that there’s no expiration date. I have followed what I can do, what I can sing, how I can perform. That's how I write songs, that's how I sing and that's how I tour. I have no interest in trying to reproduce the person that I was when I was 27 years old. It would be a fight every day because of not being able to reach that level.

At the same time, I’m much more confident and much happier with who I am as an artist today. In many ways, it's beneficial to me the way the market is today. I have to remind myself that I came from nothing and so I’m happy with where I am at. I can always use more but the thing is I can definitely adapt and improvise to the situation that I’m in. I will never put myself into a position where I need something and if that something isn’t there, I can’t go on. I will always make sure that one way or another I’ll survive.

I come from a small family and grew up in a one and a half bedroom apartment with my mom and two brothers. We never owned a car. We had very little, but I had an incredibly happy childhood. Whenever I get connected back to those streets that I came from, I feel rewarded and I feel gifted. You can take everything away from me and I'm strong in that kind of situation."

Mike on the music industry, as it stands now:

"You can’t open a newspaper without hearing about the climates or world climate, so let’s look at it from a different way. Maybe there is also a climate within the music industry and the entertainment industry. Maybe it needs a change. Sometimes nature cleans itself out with a forest fire and it all has to do with balance. Maybe that type of balance has to happen in the music business because it becomes overindulgent. The big bands become too big, the concert tickets are becoming too expensive, people paying a thousand dollars for tickets. The whole point of rock and roll is rebellion, being against the system, and being against capitalism and stuff like that, isn't it?"

Mike on creating music:

"There are so many different reasons why one writes the music, why one records the music and stuff like that. I do it for me. But I really love to hear somebody say, 'You know man, I really love the song and I really like the message that’s coming across in the song.' When you make creative decisions based upon financial goals, it’s just not the right thing. The quality, integrity, and honesty of the artist and its' product have to be first. Then after that, you can kind of make those decisions.

You have to be blind not to see that it’s a different world we are living in. For the last 10 years, I’ve traveled the world and for the most part I’ve been behind the steering wheel touring with CDs, vinyl, and a couple t-shirts on the backseat. A Mike Tramp show is interactive with the audience. After the show I meet and greet people, handshakes, bear hugs, kiss on the cheeks, I open the CDs and sign them, I slap a high five on the way out. It’s the way it is and I feel it's how it should be, for me at least."

Mike on his writing process:

"It has never changed. I've always approached it the same way. I come from the background of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, that’s how my mom raised me. I was raised on folk music. We always wrote the songs sort of in that acoustic and Dylanish way because the song itself has to work. I need to be able to say, 'man, that’s great' before we've even added drums, reverb, or harmonies to it. I have written every single song that way and I don’t change that process because it works for me. I don’t need hairspray to go out on stage and I don’t need all of those other types of things. It’s all fine by itself.

I’m sitting there strumming an acoustic guitar wanting the melody and the lyrics to come across at that level. That version, you could give that to Black Sabbath, or to Iron Maiden, or to Coldplay and they would use the melody, but the foundation would be the sound of the particular band. Even though you write a simple song, you could easily go out there and do it with a double bass line and extra power. The songs I write while sitting on the couch, sitting on the floor with the acoustic guitar and the songs can be performed at that level."

Mike on officially touring with the music of White Lion:

"Right now, I’m sitting in my studio which is at my brother’s farm and I have about 283 posters from the last two to three years from touring. Every poster states, that’s Mike Tramp the voice of White Lion with a big White Lion logo. No matter what album I’m doing, no matter what I’m promoting, that’s what every single poster says. It’s what every venue does. Always, for the last 10 years, 50% of my acoustic set has always been White Lion songs. This time with promoting the new album, I decided that I’m going to do a two hour classic White Lion set. The songs are played with me and an electric guitar- some interesting versions and I'll be telling the stories of the music. I just want to let audiences know that White Lion was my band, these are my songs, and this is how I say thank you. The fans always ask about it and now they're getting it. But the one thing it’s not, it’s not a White Lion reunion. It’s why the posters say, 'The songs of White Lion.' 

I did this show last September in Europe when we tried it out and people just love it. I enjoy playing the White Lion songs, especially the versions before they got into the studio, with the big hair and the pants. When you take the reverb and the drums away and all that stuff away, you have a very simple song that is very melodic and you can enjoy it at that level. It’s a pleasure for me to play those songs. The fans are also 30 years older so it’s nice to talk about where the songs came from. Before we were signed and had a record deal it was just a song that two people had written together. Sometimes I compare it to two people that have a child and they love it and take care of it and the second they give it to daycare, it changes. It's really the same thing. Once that song comes out to the world, then it’s not your song anymore."

Mike on being grateful:

"I’m truly grateful to have people coming to my shows now that were coming to my shows 30 years ago. Now we’ve sort of become friends on some level. When your music meant so much to someone that they are still there 30 years later, you can't really buy that feeling for any money in the world. I’m grateful that I’m still here and able to write and make music that people appreciate."

Check out Mike Tramp's official site to order Second Time Around and to see upcoming tour dates.