I’ve given up trying to figure out the concept art for Night Ranger’s 1983 opus, Midnight Madness. For those of you with an adventurous mind, and time to share, send your Night Ranger conceptual cover art theories to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include “Night Ranger, Love Lingers in the Evening” in the title.
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.
I’ve never considered Air Supply to be the #1 pop group of the ’80s, and I doubt I ever will. I mean, Making Love out of Nothing at All sounds a little politically incorrect if you take it literally, but it is a damn good song. A smash? Meh. Also, why is the “all” in “all their classics” underlined? I’m surprised the copywriting team only used one punctuation mark to help sell the fruits of these 1980s Gods. At the end of the day, this 32 year old sticker offers a glimpse of Arista Records’ “gotcha” selling points, and deserves to be remembered (to be quickly forgotten again by tomorrow’s post).
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.
Thick, molasses-like sick has infected the otherwise healthy offices of the Prudent Groove this morning. So as not to spread my unhealthy funk, my frail and nauseated digits will shuffle out today’s post in rather brisk fashion (so that I may return to the couch with my tea and abhorrent daytime television). Chronic Sick, the New Jersey hardcore band from the early 80’s struck me by surprise when I discovered them some four or so years back. If there were such a genre as pop-hardcore punk, Chronic Sick would be its chain-smoking grandfathers.
Certainly not something for the whole family (to put it lightly), Chronic Sick are tight, agile, crunchy, hilarious, catchy, and tend to never overstay their welcome. Comprised of the 1982 LP, Cutest Band in Hardcore, the 1983 7”, Chronic Sick, and three unreleased tracks, this 2009 reissue is a perfect discography for those looking to acquire this band’s catalog on the cheap (their 7” sold on discogs for a whopping $892.94!). This particular version happens to be a bootleg, limited to 100 pressings, or so the internet is telling me.
Give the gift of 30-year-old sullen music, and allow Dr. Chronic Sick to cure your senseless ailments.
What lies beyond the three decades old factory plastic that mummifies this copy of the 24 Page Read-Along Book and Record set, Star Wars The Further Adventures: Planet of the Hoojibs? Lost in a galaxy far, far away are the technical readouts of this planet’s astrological coordinates, as well as why the dragon-beast-falcon with Sarlacc-like tentacles is devouring gentlemen in red jumpsuits. The worried looks on the long-eared moth-creatures suggest that Hoojibs are certainly NOT a species with which to mess, which is surprising because “Hoojibs” is such an adorable name for a razor-horned demon-bird with a scaly-breast and vampire-like fangs.
What resembles an A-wing pilot on the far left looks to be enjoying a leisurely stroll through Griffith Park rather than on a dead sprint for his little Rebel life. Even Princess Leia in her out of place Hoth attire holding a blaster at a mysteriously odd angle looks more like she’s doing a Jillian Michaels routine than fearing her grotesque demise. Lucky for all, 3PO is there to translate the Hoojibs’ demand for better parking and an extended tapas happy hour.
The mystery of the Hoojibs will remain just that… my inner-four-year-old is sobbing with bated breath.
With nothin’ to gain except killin’ your brain… It’s a Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five kind of morning, so it seems, and since for some unexplained reason I’ve yet to put my finger on, I find myself locked inside an 80s time warp of celebratory explosions (or something like that), so we may as well shift up the genres, am I right?
Early 80s (quintessential) hip hop masters Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five are at their finest on this 7 track comp unleashed upon the baguette and pastry eating, wine drinking citizens of the picturesque and heavenly land known as France (seriously, the French, as a whole, are by far the nicest people I’ve ever met in my entire life… no joke). So, that was just an over-glorified way of saying this 12” was released in France, bee-tee-dubs.
Anyway, in attempting to figure out the message (The Message… ha! You see, The Message was the track that launched GF&TFF into mainstream consciousness… I thought it was funny) found within White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It), I’ve concluded that, although it’s credited as an anti-drug song, Melle Mel and crew do a considerable job of promoting the illegal substance’s pros just as much, if not more, as they depress its many flaws. Don’t don’t do it is, obviously, a double negative, so it’s the official position of The Prudent Groove that you don’t don’t don’t do drugs… although, I imagine you’d be reaching for anything you can get your hands on after reading this self-indulgent drivel. But seriously, whatever you put into your body is clearly up to you (and I’ll be the last to judge), just make sure you save room for a little Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five every once and a while. It’s good for your head, and it won’t make you paranoid.
I’ve set the new-wave-turned-dangerously-industrial wheels in motion, so why stop now? I can picture you penning an extensive list of (possibly legitimate) reasons exactly why to stop, but I’ll ignore that. I assure you, this won’t turn into the Ministry-all-you-can-eat-buffet hour. It’s just that I’m currently locked inside this early-Ministry shmorgishborg and I’m enjoying these hidden new wave masterworks as though it were my first time. You can imagine my excitement… or, you can’t… but NOW you can.
Released in 1983 (or 1982, depending on your source), Work for Love was one of three singles from early-Ministry’s debut album, With Sympathy (the others being I Wanted to Tell Her and Revenge). I’m in love with the cover art almost as much as I am with the mind numbing catchiness of the song. This single houses three, that’s right three versions of the track, Extended, Short and Dub, and believe it or not, you really don’t have to work very hard to fall in love with this 30-year-old gem (I’m sorry).
Editor’s note: I’ve been in a digitizing mood lately, so if there is anything you guys want that I may have on vinyl, email me and I’ll rip it for you. For some self-loathing reason, I thoroughly enjoy the process.
I wonder if Huey got paid for his cameo in Back to the Future, or if his role as the disapproving high school teacher was compensation for the two Huey Lewis and the News tracks featured on the soundtrack. I remember wanting to be a ninja when this album was big. I believe I WAS a ninja for Halloween one year… I should have gone as Huey instead.
I’m not sure why I own two copies of this album. My father introduced me to Huey Lewis and the News, albeit inadvertently. He had Sports on cassette and would play it in his Datsun. I had a small toy Datsun around this time. I used to pretend it was my father’s car speeding through makeshift highways and back alleys… all while listening to Sports, of course.
I wonder who the modern day Huey Lewis is. I have a new respect for the News now that I know they were Elvis Costello’s backing band for his debut, My Aim is True. Does anybody remember the sketch comedy show on HBO, Not Necessarily the News? I distinctly remember the video for Stuck With You, but since that track doesn’t make an appearance on Sports, I’ll bypass further ramblings of this thought.
I wonder what drug Huey was referring to that makes him feel three feet thick. I wonder what the street value of that drug was then, compared to what it is now. Going back to Back to the Future, I wonder how successful the movie would have been had the DeLorean been replaced by say, a 1985 Chrysler Lebaron.
Sports, for me at least, is the soundtrack to a half-decade of childhood memories. I can’t imagine growing up without it.
Yesterday was a good day in terms of record pecking. I was able to find the following four albums (two firsts and two comps) for relatively cheap (it’s not only about the find… it’s also about the deal, as you all well know).
First up is The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut, The Rolling Stones. Now, there were two copies of this album over at Record Surplus, and both sleeves were in pretty good shape. The copy I left behind was priced at $35, but the version I brought home was only $5. Record Surplus is thoughtful enough to provide listening stations (available, albeit restrictive, in five minute intervals). The record looked a bit choppy, but after a test spin, it proved to be only visually perverted. Score one for The Groove!
Second is Tim Hardin’s first album, Tim Hardin 1. I’m absolutely loony over Tim Hardin’s brand of white boy blues (after discovering his 1967 released, 1963-1964 recorded album, This is Tim Hardin). If you don’t know Tim Hardin, you don’t know anguish. It’s as simple as that.
Third and fourth are two of the three part series of early 80s UK punk comps titled, Punk and Disorderly. I’d first heard of these comps via NOFX lyrics in the song, Punk Guy that go “He should’ve been on the cover of Punk and Disorderly.” With 16 tracks apiece, I eagerly look forward to angry meditations in UK punk.
So, there you have it. British Invasion, White Boy Blues, and early UK Punk. Not bad for a stroll down to the corner shop.
This is the story, of Return of the Jedi. You can read along with me in your book. You will know it is time to turn the page when you hear Artoo-Detoo beep like this, “Boop, beep-beep, boop. BOO-BEW!”
Let’s begin now:
Throughout the early 80s, Star Wars, with its vast world filled with luscious characters, could be found fighting for galactic power in your cereal bowl, your pencil kit, on the laces your shoes, on your back helping to carry your books, on your waist to help keep your pants up, packaged with bubble gum as little cardboard trading cards, and as a beaming Prudent Groove would like to acknowledge, a 24 page read-along with 33 1/3rpm record containing the story, music and photos from the original motion picture, Return of the Jedi. Me as a 4-year-old, “You mean, I can LISTEN to the story and FOLLOW ALONG with my very own book?!” Mind = blown.
Boop, beep-beep, boop. BOO-BEW!
Star Wars was such a massive part of my generation’s childhood that, for me, it’s difficult to see the printed year 1983 and NOT think Return of the Jedi. And thanks to this little read-along-reminder-guy, I can relive the great tale of (spoiler alert!) the Rebel Alliance defeating the Galactic Empire in grand, book-turning fashion.
Boop, beep-beep, boop. BOO-BEW!
The narrator does a good job of keeping the story going with his smooth, yet demonstrative voice. Sound effects are lifted directly from the film, as is the classic John Williams’ score. The movie stills were great to analyze as a kid (this was back when it was difficult to pause a VHS tape at the exact moment you wanted), but the REAL fun of this little 7” lies in the voice actors hired to portray the story’s main characters: Luke, Han & Leia. It became apparent early on in this read-along that the Luke Skywalker standing up to Jabba the Hut (original voice), was NOT the Luke you knew and loved. This was immediately jarring, but, like a child’s mind works, was quickly forgotten when Artoo-Detoo prompted:
Boop, beep-beep, boop. BOO-BEW!
I’m ecstatic that I kept this little gem from my wonder years, but then again I keep EVERYTHING (much to the dismay of my GF and my parents). This book and record set is worth seeking out if only to chuckle at the stand-in voice acting cast.
Leia hugged him. “Come join us, my brave Jedi.” She led him back to their circle of friends – heroes together to the end.
I don’t know why I get so self-conscious when posting about the Beastie Boys. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the better part of 20 years finding out as much as I could about the band, and that blather, although new to some, makes me fearful that it could overtake the halls of The Prudent Groove until it becomes just another Beastie Boys fan site. I would like for that not to happen.
Today’s groove is nothing more than a simple tie; a connection between bands; a common denominator of musical excellence… two bands and their percussion-based similarities. The bands: Suicidal Tendencies and the Beastie Boys. The connection: drummer Amery Smith (AWOL).
1983 saw two bands that wouldn’t find their connection for another 10 or so years. Venice, CA’s Suicidal Tendencies released their eponymous self-titled debut while the Beastie Boys (then made up of 4 members, one of them being a woman and without Adam Ad-Rock Horovitz) took their first leap into the hip-hop world with their Cookie Puss EP. Like Galileo peering up towards the orchestra of stars amongst the musical universe, this constellation had yet to be discovered. So at the same time as ST was screaming for a Pepsi, the BB were prank-calling Carvel. Somehow it all makes sense now.
Cut to the 1995 release, Aglio E Olio by the Beastie Boys which combines the hardcore musical talents of the 2 Adams (RIP MCA), Mike and AWOL. This 8 song/11 minute album features the band once again as a 4 piece, but this time includes original Suicidal Tendency drummer Amery AWOL Smith. A frequent contributor throughout their 1990’s tours, AWOL’s presence relinquished Mike Diamond’s role on drums and allowed him to solely man the mic.
I can go into how Adam Horovitz and AWOL formed the band BS 2000 and that the Beasties toured small venues under the name Quasar, which also included AWOL on drums, but I won’t. My coffee is almost out and I’ve got to scoot on over to the “real” job.