Though my knowledge of ZZ Top ends far before the release of 1985’s Afterburner, and ignoring, for the moment, the programmed drum tracks, ‘Burner is classic, straightforward ZZ Top. These three dirty bastards found their groove very early on, and they’ve made a monumentally successful 50-year career out of filthy blues rock, perfect for any generation of beer and / or whiskey guzzlers. Sure, they may be your dad’s band, but give your pop some credit. ZZ Top is no joke, even with the accompaniment of programed, and very 80’s sounding beats. Still one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen!
Aside from the instantly recognizable British crooning, Big Audio Dynamite resembles very little of the apocalyptic force brought on by The Clash, you know, lead vocalist Mick Jones’ other musical venture. B.A.D., for those of you in a hurry, offers an onslaught of politically motivated clouds of dance-reggae-funk that either completely misses the mark, or is so unequivocally mid-80’s, that time hasn’t necessarily been so kind to its intentions. This is not, in any way to suggest that B.A.D. (in a hurry, here) doesn’t warrant your dedicated attention, it’s just that anything compared to The Clash carries with it a very high watermark. Think Cut the Crap with more samples and much more melody. Presented here is their first album, 1985’s This is Big Audio Dynamite on Columbia Records.
1985’s Vive Le Rock was Adam Ant’s last album before the English star (and 80’s sex icon) turned his focus to acting (stage, television, and the silver screen). New Wave pop rock lovers wouldn’t get the opportunity to spin another Ant record until 1990’s Manners & Physique, but if you’ve got a hunger for the flamboyant flash of Stuart Leslie Goddard, Vive can be had for under a Lincoln.
I must have purchased this copy of Robert Plant’s 1985 album, Shaken ‘N’ Stirred quite a few years back, because I just realized this morning that my copy is sealed. Near mint copies go for a whopping $2 online, so we’ll have to open ‘er up and give ‘er a spin sometime soon. Solo Robert Plant from the early 80s is… not great, if my recollection is accurate, but anything he does is still well deserving of a good home.
3-Way Tie (For Last) was the final album released by San Pedro legends, Minutemen. Frontman D. Boon would tragically lose his life in a car accident almost immediately after 3-Way‘s release. One of this energetic guitarist’s last work of art was the painting used for the cover. A bit sad, all around, and kind of a departure from their previous albums, 3-Way features a handful of covers (CCR, Meat Puppets) that neatly pay tribute to this Southern California band’s early influences. Like with all Minutemen releases, 3-Way Tie (For Last) is essential listening material. RIP D. Boon.
Ladies and gentlemen, connoisseurs of Los Angeles-based glam rock (circa: 1985), the one, the only… Dokken. Glamour Shots rock never looked so good.
Oh, to be back in 1985, for even an afternoon, when Mike + The Mechanics’ debut dropped. Former Genesis co-founder and bassist Mike Rutherford (THE Mike in this brief tale) formed the band in Dover, England shortly before this album’s release. They (the band) would go on to record 9, radio-friendly pop albums, including 2017’s Let Me Fly. If you don’t remember the sound, but recognize the name, all you need, is a miracle.
Under Lock and Key, Dokken’s third studio album, is a certified Gold and Platinum heavy metal / big hair 80s rock record. Nifty. It was released in 1985 on Elektra Records and contained two charted singles. Track two’s The Hunter, and track three’s In My Dreams. Back-to-back punch, there. The band would, well, disband in 1989, then returned to the fold after a brief, four year hiatus. Now, you’re (briefly) up to speed on Dokken and their award winning album, Under Lock and Key. Cheers.
Well, it’s Tuesday, and it has felt like a Friday for the past three weeks. So, among other things much less noteworthy, let’s, at least for a moment, give an awkward nod to MCA & Burzootie (Adam Yauch and Jay Burnett) on their 1985 12″ Drum Machine. Once a sought after trophy in the Beastie Boys display case, and understandably, this borderline schizophrenic three track 12″ is post-post-hardcore, pre-License to Ill MCA, and is more than demanding of this, or any Tuesday night’s delicious spins. Spin with caution, and spin often.
Written by Ad-Rock and producer Rick “Def Jam” Rubin, the 1985 soundtrack (or “sound track” as it’s listed on the cover) to the smash-bang-hit, She’s On It, is little more than an elaborate, mediocre, wave two Beastie Boys offering. There’s a reason She’s On It never appeared on a proper album, and that’s because it’s shit. I love the Boys Beastie, but I’m sorry. This song is terrible… and the video is even worse. But… this razor-edged opinion in no way prevents me from seeking out this release to round out the collection. 1985 Beastie Boys was a very sad, but ultimately necessary phenomenon… one that would be all but eclipsed with the dawn of a new era (wave three), ushered forth by the impeccable Paul’s Boutique. It’s okay to question your heroes… RIP MCA.