Move over, Pebbles, because there’s another 1987 monster taking over our ear holes. No girlfriends here, just lots of pouring sugar and biting love. Def Leppard, one of my first favorite bands, jack-hammered the planet with their best-selling album, Hysteria. Selling over 25 million copies, Hysteria was acquired by just about every breathing soul in the late 80s, myself obviously included, and though she shows a few signs of her age, she is the gold standard to represent the year 1987. Spin, enjoy, repeat.
So… going to the record store with the wife is ALWAYS an entertaining, yet mysterious experience. Case in point, the recent acquisition of Pebbles’ 1987 debut, Pebbles. To be fair, she did ask if I felt this record could join the collection (which, of course, she didn’t need to do), and before I knew what it was, I of course said yes. A partner that indulges the absolute, nonsensical practice of collecting records is always, and in every case, a keeper. What I didn’t know was, that I knew Pebbles, just not as Pebbles. Girlfriend, and Mercedes Boy were, without question, staples of my 8-year-old year, being the pop-radio nut that I was, but no longer am. So let’s just say, in conclusion, a hearty “thank you” to my wife, and her nostalgia for the 80’s, which perfectly matches mine. Some things just sort of work out, you know?
Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 1987 album, Neo Geo is a synth-pop whirlwind of epic proportions. For those of you part-time fans of easy-listening synth, Iggy Pop makes an appearance on side A’s Risky. This is definitely just a once-in-a-while spin, but certainly worth checking out if and when the mood strikes. As an aside, the gaming system of the same name wouldn’t be released until 1990, so one wonders if Sakamoto’s album had any influence in some way.
1987 called… they want their insert back. So, I haven’t spun a record in like, four days, and for some reason, out jumps Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven on Earth. Baby, I was afraid before, but I’m not afraid anymore… This was the best I could do to erase the awful Bagel Bites jingle out from beneath my skull… like Belinda Carlisle, something I’d not heard in several years.
First of all, take a long look at that 1987 hair. You didn’t look long enough… have another glance. Now, just think that there were only two artists in history, that being recording history, to reach the Billboard Hot 100’s top three with four singles from a debut album (Is the Billboard Hot 100 still a thing?). The first, Whitney Houston, and the second, Mr. Mullet, Richard Marx. This album was essentially the soundtrack to the summer of 1987! Don’t Mean Nothing, Should’ve Known Better, Endless Summer Nights, and Hold on to the Nights. I mean, k’mon! One man, one album, his debut, four singles, top three. History. Just like that.
We’re On Fire today, which, I suppose is better than being IN fire. That’s right… DV-001, kids. Limited to only 1000 copies from back in 1987, On Fire / Cheeba Cheeba was produced, arranged and mixed by Delicious Vinyl creators, and Los Angeles staples Matt Dike and Michael Ross. Spreading the fire, one day at a time.
It’s been an Hysteria type of week, to say the least. Lucky for me, I’m able to revert to my 7-year-old self with this award winning, childhood favorite collection of (hard and / or arena) rock pop songs. Not only is this iconic (and at the time VERY futuristic) album cover branded into my brain, it’s also a staple of what shit was hot back in summer of 1987. If you’re one of those living-under-a-rock types, then you’ve likely not heard this monumental and critically acclaimed album… and you certainly should. For the rest of us, I pose a question: When was the last time you rocked out in your P-Jams to Pour Some Sugar On Me? Well, it’s about damn time.
This 1987 reissue of the 1985 compilation of the same name features on its US release an extra track (To Be a Lover), and an alternate track order, but still features, like its older original, massively successful remixes of the chart-topping singles from Billy’s first three albums. Songs like, Mony Mony, Hot in the City, Dancing with Myself, and both parts to White Wedding help make for a very enjoyable, slightly edgy spin (in that pop, mid-1980s type of way), and does its job of perfectly capturing the rock-synth-pop radio-friendly hits of this bygone era. One doesn’t hear much from Billy these days, but we’ll always have our White Wedding.
Lawndale’s 2nd (and final) LP (from SST Records in 1987) continued carrying the burning torch of surf-folk rock set ablaze by 1986’s Beyond Barbecue (their debut). Sasquatch Rock, as it is infamously known, harbors many well known, Liquid Kitty favorites, and is the perfect blend of Pacific Coast casual that this prominent band is eminently known for. I could go for a bit of Punk Rock BBQ right about now. (sigh)
In Switzerland, millionaire industrialists join electro-pop, synth-jazz bands and release inspirational 80’s masterpieces. Case in point, 1987’s One Second from Yello. While the album may be most notable for its inclusion of the 1985 romp Oh Yeah, it’s Goldrush that’s really a chief standout. For a good, non-Ferris Bueller examples of Yello, have a watch at the below video for Goldrush. Remember, this is 1987 Switzerland, and mainstream pop for Mercury Records circa: 1987. Oh yeah, enjoy.
I woke up this morning with high hopes and fruitful ambitions, and now I’m so exhausted I can’t keep my eyes open. 1987 is to hell and gone from here, but little, lasting memories keep Tiffany spinning in the jukebox of the mind. Tomorrow is Friday, the shortly thereafter, Record Store Day. We’re almost there…
In 1987, I was 8. Also in 1987, Revolting Cocks released their heart-stopping live album, the double-trouble LP, You Goddamned Son of a Bitch. This album was recorded some 170 miles south of the rural, tumbleweed-rolling town I rode my GT Vertigo BMX around. Now, some 29 years later, this video documentation holds court within our humble library . Historical brilliance needs preserving, and this release was done up right.
In 1987, industrial-metal pioneers, the illustrious Ministry, teamed up with straight-edge mogul, Ian MacKaye (of Minor Threat and Fugazi), for an ambitious, yet magnificently executed collection of hardcore punk-industrial hybrids. Calling themselves Pailhead, the short-lived supergroup released six tracks over three releases and a comp. Featured here is their first record, well, the 12″ version of it, titled I Will Refuse. It’s not surprising that the record received both a 12″ and 7″ release, catering towards both the industrial (12″) and punk crowds (7″) respectively. Swap out MacKaye for Jello Biafra, add a few years (1989), and you’ve got LARD, another, more long-lasting venture into the punk-industrial genre that these Pailhead fools almost single-handedly established. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn close. Check ’em out.
EBM… a former roommate introduced me to Nitzer Ebb, and I thank you explicitly, Tricia. This $3 necessity was had from a little hallway of a record shop across the street from Nick Nice’s shop in Madison, WI. This is the humble shop where I acquired my first Revolting Cocks record… where I snatched the Hot Snakes debut, the Lenny Soundtrack, the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack, and Johnny Cash’s American IV… needless to say, $3 for Ebb’s debut, however mangled, was a bargain, given the circumstances. Covers be damned, until the time in which they be praised.