Sunday, March 04, 2012

Life Songs: the ’80s part four

I’m back! Finally continuing the Life Songs project. Next up…

1987
  • The Bears — Rabbit Manor; The Best Laid Plans — Adrian Belew and his interesting troupe. Their second album. Played my cassette until it snapped, then found it on CD, yay!
  • David Bowie — Time Will Crawl; Never Let Me Down — Not everyone’s favourite Bowie album. Hated by some. It is somewhat uneven, true, but these two tracks stand out.
  • Crowded House — Don’t Dream It’s Over — You remember it. It took over the radio when it was released, and aren’t we all glad? Always reminds me of The Stand though.
  • Terence Trent D’Arby — Dance Little Sister — The love child of James Brown and Michael Jackson. I’ve seen interviews with him, he really doesn’t seem to have any grey cells, but damn he can sing. This video has live-recorded vocals, hot hot hot. Get up offa yer rockin’ chair, Grandma!
  • Lisa Dalbello — Black On Black — I’m a little bit afraid of Lisa Dalbello. She sings quietly and sucks you in and then SCREAMS at you. Would she hunt me down if I switched her off?
  • Dead Can Dance — Anywhere Out Of The World; Xavier — Atmospheric beauty. I know Lisa Gerrard has an amazing voice and all, and I do love her, but I lean more towards Brendan Perry’s deep vocals, and these are two good examples.
  • Eurythmics — I Need A Man — Sort of fluffy. I was in denial for a little while about this song, but Annie wore me down.
  • INXS — Need You Tonight; Never Tear Us ApartKick was a monster of an album. I still like everything on it.
  • Mick Karn with David Sylvian — When Love Walks In; Buoy — Only once have I ever been with someone where we definitely had ‘our song’ — Buoy was that song. It’s sexy and emotional and spoke to us both. He’s long gone now, but the song remains, I think I got the better end of the deal there.
  • Paul Kelly And The Coloured Girls (a.k.a. Paul Kelly And The Messengers) — Dumb Things — Another gem from the Young Einstein soundtrack, I’m sure this is one that’s overplayed in Australia but you’d be hard pressed to find someone in Canada who’s even heard it.
  • Level 42 — The Sleepwalkers; Freedom Someday — Another one I had on cassette and played until it snapped. Spent the entire summer listening to it over and over again. In hindsight, I think I prefer World Machine to Running In The Family, as an album, but both are fab.
  • Love & Rockets — No New Tale To Tell — When you’re down, it’s a long way up; when you’re up, it’s a long way down. It’s all the same thing. Truer words were never said.
  • New Order — True Faith — I don’t think I knew who they were before I heard this song, the video was pretty awesome. Never thought I’d like something with this kind of beat to it, but really there’s more going on with New Order than just dance...
  • Sting — The Lazarus Heart; Be Still My Beating Heart; Fragile; Straight To My Heart; Rock Steady; Sister Moon; The Secret MarriageNothing Like The Sun was a killer album with a lot of ‘heart’-related songs as it turns out. Style-wise it went in a few directions, and I loved them all. Dano took me to see him at Maple Leaf Gardens for this tour, my very first big concert (Images In Vogue and FM were actually in Welland so they don’t count). Worst seats in the whole place, and so amazing...
  • This Mortal Coil — Song To The Siren; Holocaust; Another Day — I have all three This Mortal Coil albums, but this is the only one I play over and over. A project rather than a band, populated with 4AD artists (Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Colourbox, etc.), and it hangs together as a complete album very well. Liz Fraser on Another Day is haunting in a way that defies description, sad and mournful and beautiful.
  • Throwing Muses — Fish — Kristen Hersh is a bizarre person.
  • Wall Of Voodoo — Joanne — Some people refuse to listen to post-Stanard Ridgway WoV, but they’re missing this awesome piece. A slower one, sort of romantic and a tiny bit sinister. This video is the ONLY copy I could find online, and it’s mislabeled — definitely not a missing Dave Gahan track! And also weirdly warbly…
  • XTC — Senses Working Overtime — All the world is biscuit-shaped, apparently.

Whew, 1987 was a goodie! What do you think, did I miss something? Oh, and if you want to just listen, I’ve made a most-of-it playlist over on Grooveshark, feel free to give it a whirl...

Previously: Life Songs: ’70s; Life Songs: ’70s, additional; Life Songs: The ’80s, Part One; Life Songs: the ’80s part two; Life Songs: the ’80s part three. Did you miss them?

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