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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Hall & Oates- 'Out Of Touch'

Reaching out for something to hold
Looking for a love
Where the climate is cold
Manic moves and drowsy dreams
Or living in the middle
Between the two extremes
Smoking guns hot to the touch
Would cool down
If we didn't use them so much
We're soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Too much

Every time I get in the car, without fail, a Hall & Oates song comes on the radio. I think nearly everyone knows who they are and probably likes at least one song by the duo. It's kind of hard not to, right? Way back in 1984, "Out of Touch" graced the top of Billboard's charts for a two-week run at number one. When you hear this song now, more than 30 years later it doesn't sound the least bit dated which is probably part of the reason why Hall & Oates still gets a ton of airplay in spite of not having any new music out.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: The Cars - 'Drive'

"Who's gonna pick you up when you fall
Who's gonna hang it up when you call
Who's gonna pay attention to your dreams
Who's gonna plug their ears when you scream
You can't go on thinking nothing's wrong
Who's gonna drive you home tonight?"

1984 was a huge year for a 19-year-old model named Paulina Porizkova. After working the Paris runways for a few years she landed the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition. She also played the crazy girl in The Cars video for "Drive". It wasn't a typical tune by the band because, while Ric Ocasek wrote the song, it was Benjamin Orr who sang the lead vocals.

It climbed the charts quickly and became The Cars biggest hit to date. At the time of filming Ocasek was married to his first wife and Porizkova was just a teen. Fast foward five years and the two ended up getting married. The cool thing is that they still are, almost 30 years later.

"Drive" is one of THOSE 80's songs. It's kind of a familiar comfort whenever it comes on the radio. Even if you don't love it you'll probably find yourself singing along.It made an impression back in 1984 and still resonatestoday. Check out the video below.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Laura Branigan - 'Self Control'

Oh, the night is my world
City light painted girl
In the day nothing matters
It's the night time that flatters
In the night, no control
Through the wall something's breaking
Wearing white as you're walkin'
Down the street of my soul

Laura Branigan's career skyrocketed back in 1984, at the height of the synth era. While songs like "Gloria" and "Solitaire" were pretty straight forward, safe musical selections, Branigan drew gasps with the release of "Self Control".  By 1984 artists were beginning to really play with their videos while trying to find ways to push boundaries a bit. "Self Control" was one of the first songs to find MTV unwilling to air its' video.

The clip depicts Branigan venturing out into a seedy underground nightlife and then finding herself in what seems to be an orgy. MTV insisted on edits to the clip before they would air it and eventually she caved in so that it would get the play is deserved. "Self Control" shot to number one in six different countries and it was in heavy rotation on radio stations across the world.

Branigan spent the decade of excess cranking out music and then by the 90's her popularity had waned. She died in 2004 of an aneurism at the age of 47. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Dokken - 'Alone Again'

"I'd like to see you in the morning light
I like to feel you baby when it comes to the night
Now I'm here and I'm all alone
Still I know how it feels, I'm alone again

Tried so hard to make you see
But I couldn't find the words
Now the tears they fall like rain
I'm alone again without you
I'm alone again without you, I'm alone again without you."

I'm not even going to pretend that there is anything profound about Dokken's "Alone Again" because there isn't. It is simply a solid power ballad that came before many of the standards of the late 80's. In a way, Don Dokken threw down the gauntlet on how to write and perform one with his 1984 release of "Alone Again".

The melody is good, the lyrics are tight and the song is performed well. What that means is that if this song should come on when you are having a bad relationship day, it might be exactly what you need to hear to feel less alone. Check out the video below,. Pretty awesome song, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Patti LaBelle - 'New Attitude'

"Somehow the wires uncrossed, the tables were turned
Never knew I had such a lesson to learn
I'm feelin' good from my head to my shoes
Know where I'm goin' and I know what to do
I tidied up my point of view
I got a new attitude
I'm in control, my worries are few
'Cause I've got love like I never knew
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
I got a new attitude"

The 80's reintroduced us to a few women (Tina Turner) that had previous success in a group (Chaka Khan) but found their own way to a solo career. Patti LaBelle is one of them, but it took her awhile. Seven years after the demise of LaBelle, she finally returned to the charts with a little dance ditty called "New Attitude". It did well on Billboard's charts and even better on dancefloors across the globe.

The cool thing is that now, more than thirty years later, "New Attitude" is often the soundtrack to anything intended to empower woman. It has become an anthem of sorts for ladies everywhere. For now, though, let's throw it back to its' original, feel-good video.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Robert Plant- 'Tall Cool One'

"Move over mister - step on back in the crowd
'Cause she's a whole lotta sister 'bout to drive me wild
Lotta places I've been, lotta names, lotta words
No one compares to my real gone girl
Lighten up baby, I'm in love with you."

When Robert Plant left Led Zeppelin it kind of seemed like a no-brainer that he would of course go on to have a fantastic solo career. It was his fourth album, Now and Zen that is probably the best remembered, thanks in great part to the success of "Tall Cool One". Ironically, it wasn't the best charting song, landing in Billboard's top 25, but MTV kept the video in heavy rotation. Coca Cola knew a catchy tune when they heard it and started using "Tall Cool One" as part of a commercial campaign. The fact that it samples a medley of Zeppelin hits at the end doesn't hurt either. Check out the video below, do you remember this one?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Suzanne Vega - 'Tom's Diner'

"I am sitting in the morning
At the diner on the corner
I am waiting at the counter
For the man to pour the coffee
And he fills it only halfway
And before I even argue
He is looking out the window
At somebody coming in"

It's amazing the difference that remixing a song can make. One of the very best examples of a remix completely breathing life into a song has to be "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega. It was originally written back in 1981 as a much more folksy tune. It was eventually released on her 1987 album Solitude Standing, which was a huge hit. The song at that point, not so much. 

The diner that it referred to was actually Tom's Restaurant on the corner of 112th St. and Broadway in NYC. It was a place that she frequented often and it later became the mockup restaurant that Seinfeld imitated. In late 1989 the British group DNA decided to give "Tom's Diner" a beat and the rest was pop history. A fantastic remix was born. You remember it I'm sure.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Cutting Crew - '(I Just) Died in Your Arms'

I keep looking for something I can't get
Broken hearts lie all around me
And I don't see an easy way
To get out of this
Her diary sits by the bedside table
The curtains are closed, the cat's in her cradle
Who would've thought
That a boy like me could come to this?

I love when an unknown band's very first song goes to number one. It gives me a bit of hope that I can also succeed at things even when it seems very unlikely. That was exactly the case with the Cutting Crew's "I Just Died In Your Arms".They were previously unknown in the states but by May of 1987 the group's first single was sitting at the top of Billboard's Hot 100.

I've heard this song referred to as a power ballad and that doesn't seem to fit for me. When I think of a power ballad I'm envisioning Def Leppard or Whitesnake or some other band with big hair and lots of leather.  I don't know that I'd even consider "I Just Died In Your Arms" a ballad. What it is for me is a really great song that takes me back to high school. The synth kicks in and suddenly I'm in the backseat of my friend's boyfriend's Camaro, driving around the neighborhood.

That's a great memory. Check out the official video below!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: The Cure- 'Why Can't I Be You?'

"You turn my head when you turn around
You turn the whole world upside down
I'm smitten I'm bitten I'm hooked I'm cooked
I'm stuck like glue
You make me, make me, make me, make me hungry for you
Everything you do is simply dreamy
Everything you do is quite delicious
So why can't I be you?"

I'll admit it, I'm not exactly a fan of The Cure. I cherry pick, carefully. For whatever reason I've always, always loved "Why Can't I Be You" and it's all about the video. Maybe it's because Robert Smith is slightly more animated than usual or because his lip liner is MIA. Maybe it's the costumes or the fact that the video features some of the most awesomely bad choreography ever. I don't know but when you put these things together it ends up looking like this (below), and I happen to love, this.

Friday, August 16, 2019

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.

Exclusive Interview: Vivian Campbell on Revisiting His Youth Via the Dio-Inspired 'Last In Line' & Enjoying the Evolution of 'Def Leppard'

Photo: Ross Halfin


Vivian Campbell is arguably one of the busiest men on the rock landscape right now. He just wrapped up playing a string of dates with his Dio-inspired bandmates from Last in Line and he will barely have a chance to catch his breath before joining Def Leppard for the European leg of their current tour. His year is booked solid and at least for right now, the iconic guitarist would have it no other way.  It seems that he is quite content to be literally revisiting and honoring his early years with Dio while embracing younger generations of fans that show up night after night to hear the Def Leppard classics.

I caught up with Vivian the other day for a quick chat and discovered a man whose search for inner acceptance seems to have made his current joy that much more palpable.

Last In Line Promo Shot

Vivian on making the juggling of Def Leppard and Last In Line look easy:

"It's not easy I've got to say that, but I've always enjoyed my work and I think now I'm enjoying it more than ever. Over the last couple of years, and for the first time in my career, I'm happy with my guitar playing (laughing). It has always been a struggle for me because I've never really been content with what I did and finally after all of these years I realized that it's okay. We're all individuals and we all bring something to the table and while I may not be the worlds greatest guitar player, nobody sounds like me. We all have a unique voice and I'm happy with mine so I'm really enjoying my work.

I've also realized that while the Last In Line project is a side project, it's a very serious one to me. Especially in this day and age, you can't just phone it in. You really have to manifest it and do live shows to make it a real thing, so I've been committed to doing their tour. I am quite literally working all the time- I'm either working with Def Leppard or working with Last In Line. It's work that I really enjoy but it has also taught me another life lesson (laughing) and that is that I do finally see the importance of scheduling time off. I am intending to do that next year (laughing) because this year is already booked with both bands but next year I will plan a vacation."

Vivian on the differences between playing in both bands:

"I really enjoy both Last In Line and Def Leppard because they are two incredible bands filled with incredible musicians that I get to play with. I also get to exercise different muscles because, with the Leppard thing, it's the vocals that we're really known for. It's a high production show and very well oiled machine with two guitarists and Phil Collen really does all the heavy lifting. It's the vocal aspect there for me and being a rhythm guitar player, something that a lot of guitar players don't focus as much on, so I'm very proud of my ability in that. In Last In Line I'm not just the only guitar player but I'm the only melodic instrument in the band, we're not even touring with a keyboard player. That puts a lot of pressure on me as a guitarist but it's also very rewarding and it challenges me.

It brings me back to the origins of Last In Line, which goes back to the original Dio band. We took the name from Dio's second album and so this band is a great way for me to reconnect with that part of my life and that band. It's a challenge to play like that and I take pride in trying to nuance my performance night after night. Some of those guitar solos from those early Dio albums, in my mind I still haven't played right (laughing). I've played them 96 or 98 percent right but I'm still looking to get to a hundred percent. It's not even big things, it's tiny little things (laughing) but I need to challenge myself. I think that if you're not moving forward then you're standing still in life so I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel but I am always trying to make things better.

The same is true with Def Leppard. Joe (Elliott) and I talk about it some nights right when we come off stage. I really do think that sometimes it's only us guys in the band that notice the details. As professionals, we all do have that desire and goal to make things better rather than just phoning it in and taking the easy road. I think that is the difference between bands that are successful and bands that maybe aren't doing well. It's a matter of professional pride."

Vivian on the creativity that still is running through his veins:

"A lot of people ask why Def Leppard even bothers making new records in this day and age when people just want to hear hits from the '80s. It's important to us. We make them for that percentage of our fan base that is really excited about new Def Leppard music but more importantly, we do it for selfish reasons. We do it because there is a creative element to what we do. We want to get better at the songs that are decades old but at the same time we have a creative muscle that we all need to exercise and so we still strive to make great new records too.

It's a strange time because back when Def Leppard or even the old Dio band were first starting out we had the ecosystem of MTV and of FM radio that actually programmed their own music nationwide and even worldwide. The digital age is so different and even with all of the media, it's actually very difficult to get new music out there. There's a percentage of fans of any band that really want that new music but struggle to find it."

Def Leppard Promo Shot

Vivian on watching the Def Leppard audience evolve over the years:

" It's interesting and also a good situation for a band like Def Leppard that has been growing our audience for years now. There's a strong percentage of that audience that is like our children's age now and they come to the shows all excited to hear the hits of the '80s (laughing). It's so nice to reach beyond your own generation and see your audience grow. It's such an exciting thing and it has been happening for us for the last decade or so. We really feel the energy and as our audiences get younger they also are more energetic and we feed off of that and it makes our performance more energized.

Def Leppard was obviously very big in the '80s and then the '90s were rough because the musical landscape changed so much that we were playing live just for our core fans. The late '90s brought a change in the wind and more people started showing up and we noticed that a lot of them were younger. Last year we did 60 dates in North America on a co-headlining tour with Journey and probably 40% of that audience was younger. The energy that young people bring to the show is very palpable and we really feed off of that. Especially when your playing songs that are thirty years old (laughing), we are playing them for the audience and their excitement fuels us to make things even better. It's such a good thing and it makes us really happy."

Vivian on The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction:

 "It's a great honor to be in the hall of fame and I definitely think Def Leppard deserves it. I'm happy because now I get to vote and have a say from the inside (laughing), but personally, I've never put a lot of stock in the industry awards. Being the new guy in the band (laughing) and it has been 27 years for me, but as a fan first, I remember buying the Hysteria album. I wore it out on cassette and then I bought it on cd, and I can remember being amazed that this landmark rock record wasn't even nominated for a Grammy. It had seven hit singles on it! That kind of framed my whole reference point for industry awards and I just don't think that they're totally reflective of merit. I will say that the thing that resonates with us is the fact that we got the biggest ever popular vote. The fans are very loyal and they made that happen. The people who have been with Def Leppard since day one are really the ones who put us here. I believe they're the ones who brought us to the attention of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Vivian on the fans:

"The audience is vital. If there's no audience then there is no band and so that means there's no show. They are like an extra member of the band and if they aren't excited about the show then we're not so excited about playing it. We're kind of like vampires now, we feed off of that energy and if they're giving us a lot when we're giving even more back. There are certain cities all around the world that I really love to play because of their energy. There's really no such thing as a bad audience it's just a matter of how excited they can get, and then in turn how the can excite us."

Check out both Def Leppard's official site and Last In Line's official site for tour dates, merch and more! Also, keep an eye on Vivian's official Facebook page for updates. 

Currently Booming: MTV's Top Videos of 1987 Countdown

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: En Vogue - 'Don't Let Go (Love)'

What's it gonna be 'cuz I can't pretend
Don't you want to be more than friends
Hold me tight and don't let go
Don't let go
You have the right to lose control
Don't let go

I love when every member of a girl group can hold their own vocally, don't you? Throughout most of the 90's no other girl group seemed to compare to En Vogue. When the ladies (Cindy Herron, Dawn Robinson, Maxine Jones and Terry Ellis) first broke through with "Hold On" off their debut album Born To Sing in 1989 it was immediately clear that they would become a force to reckon with. From that first single on En Vogue found great success with nearly every track that they dropped and it didn't hurt that their videos were as hot as their music.

"Don't Let Go (Love)", released in 1996 on the Set It Off soundtrack is arguably the group's best vocal performance ever and it also marked the end of Dawn Robinson's stint with them. The single sold 1.3 million copies in the states alone and quickly became En Vogue's top international hit. It was also nominated for a Grammy in 1997, at a point when En Vogue's line up and future was in a state of flux.

Years of legal wrangling followed the release of "Don't Let Go (Love)". Maxine Jones and Robinson both embarked on solo careers but fought for the rights to still use the En Vogue name. It was a fairly unsuccessful plight and you can actually catch Ellis, Herron and Rhona Bennett on tour now. The ladies are currently part of the lineup on various 80's tours that are winding their way across the country and yes, they still sound fantastic live!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Mötley Crüe - 'Wild Side'

Gang fights
Fatal strikes
We lie on the wild side
No escape
Murder rape
Doing time on the wild side
A baby cries
A cop dies
A day's pay on the wild side
Wild side, wild side
Tragic life on the wild side
Wild side, wild side
Kickin ass on the Wild Side

Motley Crue's "Wild Side" always takes me back to high school- on one day in particular. When I was in 11th grade I'd spend my morning cramming in all of my academic classes so that my afternoon could be spent at a vocational school. Cosmetology seemed like a dream job for a 16-year old girl that spent plenty of time teasing her own hair and being in beauty school meant that I had a little card that gave me access to every professional beauty supply store around. My supply of Apple Pectin shampoo was endless and eventually I traded in a big can of Aqua Net for an even larger can of Vavoom which cemented your hair in place AND made it smell like coconut.

Anyway, the afternoon bus was filled with headbangers that had zero desire to go to college when they could be learning how to take a car engine apart, cook like a pro or even become a medical assistant, all while in high school. This bus ride was the high point of most days because we truly became a family and had each other's backs, no matter what. Most days the same 3 people sat in the very last row trying to hide the fact that they were smoking a blunt. It was normal. We kept the windows open in the dead of winter and usually had an ancient bus driver that was more concerned with how loud the boom box was than anything else. 

On this particular day, there was a fill-in, much younger bus driver, one who didn't care if the music was blaring. Motley Crue had just released Girls, Girls, Girls and the song "Wild Side" was our new anthem. Since the driver told the guys to play it as loud as they wanted to, our bus was rocking, with that one song playing on repeat. The guys decided to be extra brave and they lit up a bowl in the back seat. We figured that might be pushing it and halfway to the school the driver pulled over and came storming up the aisle. We thought we were dead. Since no one would dime anyone out I was expecting to go down for pot that I hadn't even touched. The guys hit the switch on the radio as the rest of us braced for hell. Instead, the young driver had come to the back of the bus to smoke with the guys!

After a minute or two he galloped up the aisle, sat back down in the drivers seat and delivered us all to school, with Motley Crue still blaring, of course. Talk about taking a drive on the wild side!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Howard Jones - 'Everlasting Love'

She wasn't looking for a cuddle in the back seat
He wasn't looking for a five minute thrill
She wasn't thinking of tomorrow or of next week
This vacancy he meant to permanently fill
I need an everlasting love
I need a friend and a lover divine
An everlasting precious love
Wait for it, wait for it, give it some time.

Howard Jones is an interesting 80's icon. Despite having 15 songs to hit the top 40 from 1983-1992, he was hardly a media darling. Jones is to this day widely considered to be one of the most defining figures from the syth pop era but back then he was a bit of a misfit. There were always guys that looked cooler and acts that were splashier and in the end Jones actually admitted that it was just fine with him. He never necessarily was taking aim at fitting in anyway.

Instead of being known for his look, it's his music that has lasted for decades. Catchy songs like "What Is Love" and "No One Is To Blame" still get plenty of blame. I happen to still love "Everlasting Love"- a nifty little tune about a guy looking for a whole lot more than just a quick fling. Check out the video below!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Whitney Houston - 'How Will I Know'

I think we're all pretty familiar with Whitney Houston's self-titled debut album, right? But what you may not realize is just how long it was simmering on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart before finally getting to number one on this week back in 1986. In fact, it wasn't until its sixth single "How Will I Know" was released in the fall of 1985 that the album started to pick up momentum. Ballads like "Saving All My Love for You" were popular but it was this upbeat song with its bright video that made everyone fall in love with Whitney. Check out the video below!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: The Bangles- 'Manic Monday'

(Photo: Twitter)

"It's just another manic Monday
I wish it were Sunday
'Cause that's my fun day
My I don't have to run day
It's just another manic Monday"

I tend to go out of my way to choose songs that aren't in heavy rotation on every 80's radio station across the U.S. just to keep things fresh, but this time I'm going to do something out of character. I'm going to choose The Bangles "Manic Monday" on a Monday morning as the 80's throwback of the day. Why? Maybe it's because I listened to their album (yes, as in vinyl) over the weekend and was reminded of just how truly great they were.

Maybe it's because I like to be unpredictable and by doing something obvious, well that is unpredictable for me. Or maybe it's simply because "Manic Monday" is a really good song that so many of us relate to on this very morning, so enjoy it!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Olivia Newton John- 'Twist of Fate'

Related image

It's gotta be a strange twist of fate
Telling me that Heaven can wait
Telling me to get it right this time
Life doesn't mean a thing
Without the love you bring
Love is what we've found
The second time around

Do you remember when Olivia Newton John and John Travolta teamed up onscreen a second time and the result was nothing like the critical acclaim that Grease received?  The film, Two Of A Kind was released in late 1983 and while everyone loved Newton John and Travolta together years earlier, this movie bombed pretty badly. Critics and fans alike weren't buying the far-fetched plot line of 4 angels persuading God not to wipe out the planet earth in favor of a do-over. Even Newton John and Travolta couldn't save this one.

What was good from Two Of A Kind is the soundtrack. "Twist Of Fate" was the first single off of it and it helped Newton John's hot streak to continue. It was a top 5 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 and it quickly became the most memorable part of Two Of A Kind. Check out the video below. This was when Newton John was still working hard to escape her good-girl image. 

90's Nostalgia: The Bucketheads - 'The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)'

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Cause & Effect - 'You Think You Know Her'

"Like children
Rarely seen and never heard
Bare your soul you'll never learn
But don't ask why
And you won't get lied to
Speak to her softly
It's something you get used to
You think you know her
But you never really lived a life without her"

The 80's might have been the start of the synth-pop boom but the genre of music continued to expand even into the 90's. I vaguely remember a group named Cause & Effect coming along and reminding me of all the reasons why I loved groups like New Order. Cause & Effect had a very similar sound but the vibe was a bit more progressive. "You Think You Know Her" heated up the dance floors in 1990 and while it only climbed to number 38 on Billboard's club charts I always thought that it had a really great sound. This is no doubt kind of a lost hit and I'm curious just how many of you will remember it.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Night Ranger - 'Four In The Morning'

"Four in the morning
Came without a warning
Everybody's got a place to be
I got holes in my conscience
Shot with a vengeance
I must have been a fool not to see

I need you bad
It's hard to live without your company
I need you bad, so bad
I can't take it you see"

In high school, I dated a guy who was mildly obsessed with Night Ranger. By the time we met "Sister Christan" had already been a smash hit on radio and MTV so I certainly knew who Night Ranger was. But in dating this dude I found myself compelled to brush up on the band. Seven Wishes was his favorite album so I bought it to catch up and have more in common with him.

What I quickly realized was that I kind of loved Night Ranger too. Sure, I was mostly bouncing thru hair bands by then. The bottom of my denim hobo purse was home to cassettes by Skid Row, Ratt, Winger and more. Night Ranger found a spot with them pretty quickly. I can barely remember the boyfriend's name and I'm not sure what his favorite song was, but "Four In The Morning" quickly became mine.

Oh and I love the backstory behind it. Jack Blades (Night Ranger vocalist) was having chick problems and happened to wake up at 4 in the morning singing the chorus of "I can't take any more, I can't take any more, it's such a hard time loving you." and just like that, a song was born.

Still my favorite.

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Foreigner- 'Break It Up'

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Ashford & Simpson- 'Solid'

And for love's sake, each mistake

Ah, you forgave

And soon both of us learned to trust

Not run away, it was no time to play
We build it up and build it up and build it up

And now it's solid
Solid as a rock
That's what this love is
That's what we've got

I was in the car driving yesterday when Ashford & Simpson's "Solid" came on the radio and boy did it take me back. I first remember seeing the video for this song from 1984 while at my grandmother's. It was back when NYC's WPIX would show videos on Saturday afternoon's and aside from loving Billy Idol and the Footloose soundtrack, they also favored R&B acts. The video features the couple ducking out of a rainstorm in what looks like Central Park. They end up singing to each other and random strangers join in. Yeah, I know. It's a bit hokey but what isn't is the relationship and career that Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson shared.

While "Solid" was their highest-charting hit this duo recorded and released a lot of music plus they also had a hand in writing and producing for acts like Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. And can we talk about the heat factor? They first got together in 1964 and stayed together until Ashford's death in 2011. Every photo out there tells the story of an extremely connected and devoted couple. That makes their lyrics in songs like "Solid" a whole lot more genuine. Check out the video below. I'm pretty sure Ashford and Simpson equal modern-day relationship goals!

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Suzanne Vega - 'Solitude Standing'

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Ratt - 'Round And Round'

I knew right from the beginning
That you would end up winnin'

I knew right from the start
You'd put an arrow through my heart
Round and round
With love we'll find a way just give it time
Round and round
What comes around goes around
I'll tell you why, dig

My kids have a really hard time imagining what life was like back in the 80's, when patience and waiting were both the order of the day. We're all so used to YouTubing whatever video clip that we want to see when we want it that's it's almost hard to think of life before the internet. Back in 1984 our lives revolved around MTV and the fact that they seemed to repeat popular videos every 4 hours or so. Believe me when I say that my friends and I did the math and would come running inside when we thought that a favorite video was going to air.

One of the first ones that I can really remember planning my life around was Ratt's "Round and Round".  It was before hair bands and glam metal had really hit the mainstream so they were really different. Plus they weren't just playing their song onstage somewhere, there was actually a freaky storyline that included an attic dinner with real rats and Milton Berle. It was really just a taste of what was to come because a few years later hair bands like Ratt were ruling the charts.

"Round and Round", off of Ratt's debut Out of the Cellar album ended up being their most popular song. It climbed to #12 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1984.

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Dokken - 'It's Not Love'

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Atlantic Starr- 'Always'

Atlantic Starr

"Girl you are to me, all that a woman should be
And I dedicate my life to you always
The love like yours is grand
It must have been sent from up above
And I know you'll stay this way, for always
And we both know, that our love will grow
And forever it will be you and me
Ooh your life is sun
Chasing all the rain away."

Atlantic Starr had a female singer before they hired Barbara Weathers and singers have followed her, but none enjoyed similar success. Hers is the voice most closely associated with the group and it's her voice that you hear on songs like "Secret Lovers" and "If Your Heart Isn't In It". By the time the group's 1987 release rolled around great things were a foregone conclusion and the ballad "Always" totally delivered.
I was in tenth grade and it was the song for every couple that I knew, especially the ones that only made it three months. Let's face it, in high school a few months seemed like proof that it would last forever, didn't it?  I suspect "Always" still finds its way onto plenty of wedding playlists to this day. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Debbie Gibson - 'Anything Is Possible'

"Much to my surprise I felt
A warm, not cold vibe
When he looked in my eyes
(Oh yeah, it's possible)
His bad boy front not charm
Was his disguise
Oh whoa whoa
(Let me tell ya)
He read so much into me
Listened so attentively
He liked me, I rest my case
Wasn't just a pretty face."

Debbie Gibson was one of the biggest pop princesses to come out of the 80's. By the time 1990 rolled around she (and much of her audience) had grown up and it was time to prove it. "Anything Is Possible" marked the debut of a sexier Gibson. The video included black lace, leather, and sleeker dance moves. It was probably one of her better singles in terms of packaging but by 1990 the pop waves were starting to slow down. That meant fewer sales for Gibson and this ended up being her first album not to break the top ten on Billboard's chart. I think 25+ years later it still holds up as one of her best and updated songs. Check out the video below!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: LL Cool J - 'Around The Way Girl'

Image result for Around The Way Girl

"I want a girl with extensions in her hair
Bamboo earrings
At least two pair
A Fendi bag and a bad attitude
That's all I need to get me in a good mood
She can walk with a switch and talk with street slang
I love it when a woman ain't scared to do her thing
Standing at the bus stop sucking on a lollipop
Once she gets pumping its hard to make the hottie stop
She likes to dance to the rap jam
She sweet as brown sugar with the candied yams
Honey coated complexion
Using Camay
Let's hear it for the girl she's from around the way"

There are some songs that are just so catchy that even if they aren't typically your style of music, you can't help but love them. I think LL Cool J's "Around The Way Girl" really falls into that category. I can't remember ever hearing anyone complain when it comes on the radio and even if rap isn't your thing, I'll bet you know at least some of the lyrics. Don't you?

Of course you do. This is one of the first songs that featured some heavy duty sampling (Mary Jane Girls, The Honey Drippers) and it's an example of how sampling another song can add to the value of another artist's work. I've always had a soft spot for LL and this remains one of my favorite songs by him. Nothing wrong with looking for a streetwise chick, right?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Animotion- 'Room To Move'

It's not that I don't love you, oh no
It's just that I, I've got to have room to move
That's all I need, that's all I ask for
Room to breathe, room to move

That's all I need, that's all I ask for
Give it to me, room to move
Everybody needs, room to move

You guys remember Animotion, right? They had that hit song called "Obsession" that will now probably be stuck in your head for the rest of the day simply because I mentioned it. Well, back in 1989 they also had another hit, "Room To Move" which featured Cynthia Rhodes (ex-wife of Richard Marx) and Paul Engemann on lead vocals. It was featured in the 1988 science-fiction comedy film, My Stepmother Is an Alien and reached number 9 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Believe it or not the lineup on "Room To Move" is almost entirely different from the group that first broke through back in 1984. The original band, led by Astrid Plane and Bill Wadhams, has reunited
in recent years and continues to perform. The lineup that featured Rhodes and Engemann was short lived but they did produce a great song so check it out below!