I’ve kind of shied away from the Minutemen in recent months. Not by conscious choice, but by the inevitable interferences of everyday life. Same can be said for a lot of the old standbys, actually. Sleep. Extra time. My sanity. Anyway, this is the back sleeve cover to Minutemen’s 1983 EP, Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat. If you’ve ever felt like a gringo, you should check it out (track 6).
Texas Flood is 38 minutes of ceaseless and violent bolts of lighting, harnessed and triggered in 10 strikes. The provider of two Texas blues singles (tracks one and two with Love Struck Baby and Pride and Joy), Texas Flood is timeless, dirty blues rock at its absolute pinnacle, and happens to be Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s debut studio album. If you aren’t already in possession of this masterpiece, bump it to the top of your list. RIP SRV.
I was fortunate to nab the bulk of Elvis Costello / Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ early releases at rock-bottom, dirt-cheap prices (something like $4 each). One of them was this 1983 release from Columbia Records titled, Punch the Clock. Since I’ve been slammed at the money-maker lately, I figured this album’s title was pretty damn appropriate.
Is something unusual just because you declare it to be unusual? Well, since truth isn’t truth, I suppose so? Presented here is the smash debut by Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper, 1983’s She’s So Unusual. My love for Cyndi Lauper stems from The Goonies, mainly, but this album is kind of essential for your 80s vinyl collection… that and Animotion’s Animotion.
This is how I communicate with my friends… with various photographs of recent record-related acquisitions. This (brief) conversation was pivoted around the 1983 Buena Vista Records release, Star Wars: The Further Adventures – Planet of the Hoojibs. This 7″ record and 24-page book set provides a tike-sized adventure, based on characters created by George Lucas. This particular journey was adapted from a Marvel Comic’s story by David Michelinie. Que The More You Know theme.
At one point in my record collecting life I found it necessary to procure Loverboy’s 1983 album, Keep It Up. Though it was a huge success and produced three, radio-friendly singles (Strike Zone, Hot Girls in Love, and Queen of the Broken Hearts), I can’t tell you that I’ve ever listened to it. Perhaps one, lonely, initial spin upon its $0.99 thrift store purchase, but I can’t say for absolute certainty. Time to give her a shot.
I just remembered the time I sold all my laser discs to afford a camping trip up the coast… anyway, Minutemen’s Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat (1983 for those keeping score), is by far, in my humble opinion, the rawest non-single release from the San Pedro trio. Considered an EP, she contains 9 tracks, chief among them Little Man with a Gun in His Hand and I Felt Like a Gringo. There really is no bad place to start when it comes to this genre-bending troop, but if I had to pick, I’d say leave the 45-track Double Nickles on the Dime for a later adventure, and pick up Buzz or Howl.
It’s not very often, in fact, this is the first time it’s happened, that one reaches for a Marvin Gaye album, and runs across a back cover ad for a random-ass Michael Jackson comp record. Titled 18 Greatest Hits, this 1983 release featuring 18 mega hits from Michael Jackson & The Jackson 5 can be had for a cool $0.71 on LP, and an acceptable $4.22 on cassette (courtesy of Discogs.com). I was all set and ready to dig into the untimely death of Marvin Gaye when I stumbled across this little 23-year-old gem. Rediscovering my collection by means of this medium has proven to be a hilarious and boisterous experience. I think I’m finally starting to dig it. Also available on cassette.
Listening to Break Out today, some 32 years after its release, is a bit of a storm-inducing time capsule, full of random action figure-playing, pop radio-listening, Beverly Hills Cop-watching memories. I was four when this album was released, but Neutron Dance and I’m So Excited received a tonnage of radio play where and when I grew up. I’m also a fan of the Beverly Hills Cop films (guilty pleasures), and the opening car chase sequence to the first film features Neutron picture-perfectly. Break Out to 1983 with The Pointer Sisters. Your Wednesday is screaming for it.
When your sports team is for shit, you stop watching them and, well, ALL sports, and focus on music, or, at least we do. So to get our Sports fix, we, in this, yet again, difficult season, turn to Huey Lewis and The News for consistent Sports satisfaction. This insert was featured in a Chrysalis release from the 1983 album, Sports by Huey Lewis and The News… and with this bit of knowledge, I’m sure, your evening is complete. Happy hump day (he said with no hint of enthusiasm whatsoever).
Oh, Bonnie Tyler… how you will forever be synonymous with the summer of 1996. I think it was the constant radio play of Nicki French’s 1993 cover of Total Eclipse of the Heart that ruined it for me, that or a friend’s sister had Faster Than the Speed of Night on cassette. Either way, I absolutely despised both versions… with a raging passion, but with anything that’s repeatedly shoved into your skull without your control, usually at full volume, you begin to find pleasure in the agony. I’ve grown to admire the original, now that I’m older and own the album, but I can’t shake the adventurous happenings of the warm, humid summer of 1996 every damn time I hear that song, or see this album cover. Also, hair.
Was a defocused Adam Ant ever a sex symbol? This 1983 cover of Strip certainly suggests that over 30 years ago, he was. I was busy acting out my favorite scenes from Return of the Jedi with my Jedi Luke Skywalker (with green lightsaber) and Jabba the Hutt playset (with snub-nosed Salacious Crumb) at the time, so this obvious monument of male sexual prowess escaped me.
I’ll admit that I went through an “80s” phase about a decade ago, and managed to gobble up any and every early 80s pop album I could find. I’d been the proud owner of Adam Ant’s B-Side Babies back in High School, and figured that expanding my Adam Ant collection was a logical endeavor. Strip, with its chart-climbing single, Puss ‘n Boots (which was co-produced by Phil Collins, I’ll have you know) was Mr. Ant’s 2nd solo effort after ditching the Ants in ’82.
Sex symbol or not, Stuart Leslie Goddard (aka Adam Ant) made some pretty damn good pop music throughout his career, and although B-Side Babies never received a proper vinyl release, it comes HIGHLY recommended.