Made famous (in part) for their cover of The Kinks’ Stop Your Sobbin’, Pretenders (or The Pretenders, depending on who you ask… no, not the doo-wop crooners from the 1950s), were a London-based edge-band, forming in 1978. Releasing their eponymous debut for Sire Records (United States) in January of 1980, this self-titled masterwork is an effective mix of pop, rock, and punk, featuring the barking vocals of Chrissie Hynde. You should already own this, but if you don’t, add it to your (ever growing) list.
Black Market Clash (BMC for short) was originally released as a 10″ record to the North American market (US and Canada) back in 1980. The 9-track 10″ contained rare and b-side tracks previously unavailable in this market, hence the necessity for release here. A 12″ version of the same 9-tracks (featured here) was released as a reissue, but the original 1980 record bridged the momentary laps between 1979’s London Calling and 1980’s Sandinista!. Super Black Market Clash would appear in compact disc form in 1993. It would include a whopping 21 tracks, and would render the original obsolete… banished into the world of discontinued media. Check it out, if you haven’t already, as anything by this seminal band is essential listening material.
I know that when I gobbled up cheap Elvis Costello records, back before I knew what I was getting, that a payoff would be inevitable. Today, I’m reaping the rewards of this legendary man’s artistic contribution to pop music, simply by knowing what I have. Get Happy!! is the fourth studio album by Declan Patrick MacManus (Elvis Costello), and the third as Elvis Costello and the Attractions. Though frequent spins come more from Elvis’ debut album, 1977’s My Aim is True, Get Happy!! is a great addition to this, or any collection. The earlier the better with Costello and his mates, but something to get happy about nonetheless.
Back in 1980, Jerry Reed released a 10-track collection of classic Jim Croce songs titled, Jerry Reed Sings Jim Croce. Staying fairly close to the original inceptions of Croce’s compositions, Reed pays well-deserving respect to one of the best pop songwriters of the 1970’s (or otherwise). Reed’s twang and grit offer only a tinge of dirt-riddled flair to Croce’s already rough-around-the-edges approach, but all-in-all, Reed Sings Croce is a delightfully pleasant spin, and should be heard by any fan of either prestigious artist. From The Avalanches to Jerry Reed… that’s how we do it here at The Groove.
Happy to finally welcome into the fold this amazing and essential punk album, Inflammable Material from Ireland’s Stiff Little Fingers. Originally released in 1979, this 1980 US pressing was offered by Rough Trade Inc., 1412 Grant Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133… for those wondering. I’d been on the hunt for this album since my Milwaukee days back in the early 2000’s, and only just found out that the opening track, Suspect Device (which is arguably among the top three on the album) is a slightly different recording from the bootleg CD version I’ve known and have grown to love in the 18-some-odd years since I knew of this album’s existence… so that’s bitter sweet. Anyway, if you’re into seminal punk from across the pond with a timestamp of nearly 40 years, get into Inflammable Material. Simply put, it’s one of the best albums I’ve ever heard.
This copy of Jingle Bell Jazz was sought out by my better half, and contains jazz-tastic renditions of holiday favorites by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Chico Hamilton, among others. Recorded between 1959 and 1969, Jingle Bell Jazz was originally released by Columbia Records in 1962 (Frosty the Snowman by the Dukes of Dixieland was replaced by Herbie Hancock’s Deck the Halls on this 1980 reissue). Solid holiday music from start to finish, and a great find by my wife.
I was strikingly unaware, back in some foggy 1998 day, that my purchase of Don McLean’s American Pie was actually an abridged version of the original album. Often one to overlook the tiny print, this glaring indicator is now unmissable on the back sleeve, and stands as a reminder that one should always at least attempt to scan the fine print.
I wish that when I’d gotten the soundtrack to the 1980 film, The Elephant Man, that my 18-year-old self would have realized how amazing the cast was (John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins), and that it was, in fact, a very early David Lynch classic. My memory of this film is spotty, but I’ll never forget the ominous, yet somewhat soothing soundtrack. I really want to watch this film now.
Before Jesus Built My Hotrod, before the Revolting Cocks were even a drunken mistake of an idea, before Thieves, Stigmata, and Dark Side of the Spoon, there was Special Affect. This 1980 one-off by Ministry’s Al Jourgensen (guitar) and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult’s Frank Nardiello aka Groovie Mann (vocals) is up-beat dark wave music for the curious at heart, and you wolves among the sheepish weeds. Brush up on the lyrics to the left then enjoy a rare video of the album’s title track, Too Much Soft Living.
I just recently decided that I don’t listen to enough Blondie. I think I saw Blondie at a Tibetan Freedom Concert some several years back, but I could be wrong. Probably am. Anyway, AutoAmerican is Blondie’s fifth studio album and was released on Chrysalis Records in November of 1980. The #1 hit (in both the UK and the US) The Tide is High is actually a cover of a 1967 Jamaican ska track of the same name released by The Paragons. So, there you have it.
What I once thought was Oingo Boingo’s first release, 1980’s Oingo Boingo, is actually their third, following 1976’s 7″ You Got Your Baby Back and 1978’s extremely limited 10″ titled Demo EP (only 130 copies released). Regardless of its apparent lack of exclusivity, this 10″ predates their epic 1981 studio debut, Only a Lad, and is the perfect soundtrack for a lazy, salsa-making day.
Former Dead Boys lead singer Stiv Bators released his first solo album in 1980 on Bomp! Records titled, Disconnected (featured here). This, of course, followed the breakup of The Dead Boys just a year prior (reportedly due to constant pressure from Sire Records to become more marketable / mainstream). Considered more power pop than disturbing hardcore that surrounded The D’ Boys, Stiv’s debut feels surprisingly tame by today’s standards, but must have seemed unsightly back in the early days of the primitive 80’s. Think glam rock for the disheveled, obscenely drunk and painfully talented. Disconnected is also on Spotify, if you’re into such convenient things. Cheers.
The name looks right, at least, familiar, but the characters on the cover… not exactly sure what’s going on here. More disco than initially expected, the Now Sound Orchestra’s flamboyant interpretations of classic, sci-fi favorites is something, SHOULD be something, worthy of this amazing cover art. A classic, ready for reevaluation. You’re welcome.
Last night we made wontons. We made wontons and listened to all six sides of The Clash’s 1980 overwhelming masterpiece, Sandinista!. We prepped, we cooked, well, boiled, and we listened… to all six sides. I honestly don’t remember the last time I listened to this prominent album in its entirety, but it was the perfect soundtrack to our adventurous evening. Whatever your plans are this weekend, make sure, that in some way, they include The Clash. Happy Friday, kids.
Argybargy is a fun word to say in your head with a Morgan Freeman voice. It’s also the title of Squeeze’s third studio album. Release in 1980, Argybargy (thanks, Mr. Freeman) is home to the charters, Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) and Another Nail in My Heart. If I Didn’t Love You also appears on Argybargy but failed to chart even though it received decent airplay.