For their third album, Milwaukee natives Violent Femmes veered toward a more pop-influenced and mainstream radio-focused offering with their 1986 release, The Blind Leading the Naked. The first of their albums produced by someone other than Mark Van Hecke, TBLTN featured the production skills of Talking Heads’ keyboardist, and fellow Milwaukee native, Jerry Harrison. Featuring the mild hit Children of the Revolution, and the fan(tastic) fav, Old Mother Reagan, TBLTN was the first album by the band to chart on Billboard, followed by 1989’s 3, 1991’s Why Do Birds Sing?, and 1994’s New Times. Nothing beats 1983’s self titled debut in my opinion, but decent Violent Femmes is better than no Violent Femmes at all.
Tag Archives: 1986
Insert Your Insert Obsession Here
Insert hunting is often times an all or nothing affair. After a while you begin to notice consistencies that are more exceptions than they are rules. I mean, there can’t be “rules” when second hand record shopping, so I guess that wasn’t really worth mentioning. Anyway, it seems that more and more these days, the unknown hidden art printed and housed within the album sleeve is pulling towards my decision to fork over $3 for a used record than the actual music itself. It wasn’t always this way, but when one’s eyes get a taste for these mysterious little gems, one begins to understand why, now doesn’t one? (Yes, that was a Benson reference from Soap, and no, I am in no way ashamed.)
The lovely SO gifted me this stunning SST insert for my xx birthday. I’m the first consumer to excavate this four-page order form booklet from within the bowels of a sealed Beyond Barbecue album by Lawndale. This album’s release, and the albums featured within date this specimen in the 1986 – 1986 range. Whatever you dig, get into it, kids. Happy Friday!
Ferris Bueller, You’re My Hero
You know, when a bootleg soundtrack to one of your favorite films majestically shows up on the wall of a Philadelphia record shop you happen to stumble into (mainly because of all the good craft beer… stumbling, that is), you know it’s going to be an “interesting” day. Said day happened, with great joy, until yours truly discovered a blue vinyl version of the same bootleg… $30 down the pipes, but the music is still stellar.
RIP John Hughes.
Please, Mr. Postman
Please, Mr. Postman, don’t drop, throw, toss, pitch, hurl, thrust, flip, heave, fire, or fling any of my precious records upon delivery. My copy of Lawndale’s 1986 debut LP, Beyond Barbecue, was a birthday gift (my loving SO), and now it’s little more than unplayable garbage and a sour subject. Government-infused laziness should not, nor ever, equal subpar workmanship.
Yippee Kai, Motown Records!
Do you know what time it is? Don’t look at your clock, or if you’re one of those book-reading types, don’t look at the sun, this is a rhetorical question here. What time is it?! It’s Fun Time, dammit! And what’s better than Fun Time when it’s performed by the great and almighty Bruce Willis? Well, there’s actually quite a bit better than the great and almighty Bruce Willis performing Fun Time, but we’ll ignore that for now.
I’ve been saving this guy, and because of its nostalgic significance, or the glazed remembrance thereof, I’ll leave the heartfelt discharging for another, more thought-out hour. Today’s intentions are only to mention that my personal connection with the Moody Blues don’t reside within the rhythmic walls of Days of Future Passed and In Search of the Lost Chord, but instead, throughout 1986’s The Other Side of Life.
When in first grade, my father would drive me to school, and in 1986, he had this album on cassette. Day after staggering day, I was exposed to Your Wildest Dreams… so much so that its contagious melody never really left my mental jukebox.
I was lucky to find this album on vinyl while attending University school in Milwaukee some several years ago, but it’ll never replace the reeling spins of the original… my father’s cassette copy of The Other Side of Life.
Mr. Moe Dee
It’s a Kool Moe Dee kind of Sunday night, and you’re all invited to enjoy the rhythmic spoils of New York’s most prominent master of ceremonies. Dusting off his Trecherous Three mates (Spoonie Gee, DJ Easy Lee, L.A. Sunshine, and Special K), 1986 finds Mr. Moe Dee’s first full-length solo effort on the appropriately titled, Kool Moe Dee.
Need a sleazy, PMRC conscious, mid-80s, old school influenced, mid-school executed hip-hop album without all the calories? Try a steady diet of Kool Moe Dee, and if your Sunday evenings don’t improve after a few weeks, Go See the Doctor.
One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
There are a dozen or so essential acts that invariably get handed down from parent to child throughout an 18 or so year upbringing. (It was 17 and some change years for me, although my folks would argue it’s been 34 going on 35 years… and they wouldn’t be completely inaccurate.) Certain essentials fit this bill: The Beatles, The Stones, Electric Light Orchestra, Led Zeppelin, The Boss, Ludwig Van, John Cougar’s Jack & Diane, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gimme Three Steps, Steve Miller Band’s Jet Airliner (AKA Jed & Lina), and of course, George Thorogood & the Destroyers’ One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.
Only once in my life have I approached a gleaming, beer-stained bar to order this unique combination of lubricating cocktails, and it just so happened to be in my hometown amongst like-Thorogood-loving friends, so the event did not go overlooked. Tis a time of esteemed celebration, for tomorrow, the Prudent Groove turns one. Do your head a favor, and spoil yourself with one bourbon, one scotch and one beer. The first round is on us.
Thanks to all the folks who instill the essentials into their kids. To those about to rock, the Groove salutes you!
A Thoughtful and Timely Christmas Gift from Brenda Lee
Brenda Lee was mindful enough to remember us this year, and put together a rip-roarin’ collection of rockabilly and surf rock tidings of good cheer to keep all of us, especially those in the colder regions, busy and movin’ this holiday season. Kickin’ off this 12-track comp (released in 1986 by MCA Records) is Little Miss Dynamite’s (aka Brenda Lee) 1958 classic, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. What follows is a musical sleigh ride of body movin’ classics from Bobby Helms & The Anita Kerr Singers, Dodie Stevens, the Surfaris, Chuck Berry and others (others is not a band, I just didn’t want to type up the rest of talented acts featured on this flawless album…).
This record in particular generally gets more spins each holiday than the other knots in the holiday tree library. Played again, for the 3rd time just yesterday, I foresee (Brenda Lee Presents) Rockin’ Little Christmas to fill these walls at least three more times in 2013. After that she’ll head off to the dormant “Christmas section” and hibernate for a good 12 months. At this point, I’m just about over the whole Christmas music deal, but I agreed to something and I’m sticking with it (facepalm).
Welcome to GameDay 2K13, kids! Ok yes, officially (American) football started last Thursday, but the first Sunday of the NFL season is the ceremonial GameDay, so that Thursday garbage can go suck an egg as far as I’m concerned.
I need to admit a few things about today’s album pick. First off, I’d never heard of Samson when I purchased Head Tactics. I only paid $0.99 for it, so uncharted territory came at very little cost. Second, I was (stupidly) deceived by (one of the many) advertising ploys promoted on the cover. “Featuring Bruce Dickinson,” to me, meant that this album would contain plenty of cowbell, as, well that SNL sketch of Blue Öyster Cult recording (Don’t Fear) the Reaper was, after all, historically accurate, was it not? What I found, by listening to the 10 tracks, and by researching the band, was something that certainly cannot be tackled in a throwaway post such as this.
Has anybody ever heard of Thunderstick? He’s Samson’s drummer. Here is a picture of Thunderstick. Say hello, Thunderstick. “Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!” I didn’t notice this back picture until just recently, and I can’t wait to dive into the enigmatic world of Samson, their drummer Thunderstick, the REAL Bruce Dickinson, and the band the REAL Bruce Dickinson went on to help make famous, Iron Maiden. All that is for another time.
Happy GameDay 2K13, everyone!
Love Missile F1-11
The year was 1986, and it was about (damn) time that Ferris Bueller took (another) day off. Kicking off the alluring, and jaw-dropping, sex-rocket album, Flaunt It, Love Missile F1-11 owns the distinct pleasure of (indefinitely) changing the unforeseen boundaries of music’s indefinable landscape. Nothing before had been conceived, and few since carry the weight of changing one’s perspective on “what music can be” in a simple four minute and 48 second electro-mind-grinding lullaby.
If you’ve seen the John Hughes masterpiece, you’ve heard Love Missile F1-11. Kicking off with the (often) repeated phrase, “I wanna be a star!” this synth-happy, loop-clinging, guitar wailing love tune does (very) little to disguise its overtly sexual (over/under) tones. The line, “Shoot it up!” does not refer to any form of dragon chasing. “There goes my love, rocket-red.” You get the idea.
Sampling Mozart, gunshots, (what sounds like) ray guns, and perfectly timed explosions, Love Missile F1-11 is a seizure –inducing wall of sound that forces you (the listener) to (mentally) salivate and knock over old ladies who may stand in the way of another breathtaking fix.
Sigue Sigue Sputnik is certainly NOT for everyone, and prodigiousness wouldn’t have it any other way.
Walk Like an Egyptian
Don’t stroll like an Ethiopian, hike like a Brazilian, ramble like a German, tread like a Moroccan, march like an Indonesian, or holiday like a Cambodian… instead, walk (don’t run) like an Egyptian.
With a killer bassline and a catchy chorus, The Bangles found chart-topping success in the fall of 1986 with their #1 hit single, Walk Like an Egyptian. The fall of 1986… right around the time I was starting the 2nd grade.
I loved this track as a kid, and found a fresh new appreciation for it within the past few years, mainly due to the truck-driving bassline… not to mention that as a whole, this 80s single truly withstands the test of time.
If you haven’t in a while, Walk Like an Egyptian… you’ll have plenty of time to wait in traffic like a Los Angeleno, so why not give it a spin.
Wax Trax! Records Insert from 1986
Featured today is one of the four (possibly five) different, albeit only to the trained eye, Wax Trax! Records inserts in my collection. It emerged from the deepest, and most sobering crevasses known to man (Luc Van Acker’s Heart and Soul, aka WAX018).
Listing the catalogue at only 18 albums (only 17 that were available at the time), this insert can be carbon dated to the fruitful, yet sardonically demonizing, year of 1986. In 1986, one could rest comfortably knowing they could, at any time, order the Al Jourgensen produced (Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Pailhead, Acid Horse, 1000 Homo DJs, Lard, PTP, Special Affect) Blackouts 12”, Lost Soul’s Club for only $5. (Which, in today’s world would only yield you a pint of half & half or a smug retort.) Found amongst the seminal releases from the grandfathers of the label are four different Wax Trax! Records t-shirts, many with varying sizes and colors. Those are $7, or about the value of two stamps today.
This is the 2nd Wax Trax! Records insert post from The Groove, and unless there is one hidden amongst my Ferrante & Teicher albums, this insert from 1986 is my oldest.
That is all. Have a good Friday.
1986: Slippery When Wet
It’s interesting that mega-glam-rock band, Bon Jovi, would title a major label album after a janitor’s caution sign. Perhaps Jon Bon, ahem, “lapped a few dirty halls” prior to becoming arguably the biggest rock star in the continental United States.
Jon Bon Jovi has come a long way since his first documented recording, singing lead vocals on R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas on the 1980 Star Wars Christmas album, Christmas in the Stars… I’m not joking. Who knew that only six short years later he’d be slipping and sliding his way to the “hearts” of women across the world.
Slipper When Wet shows the band’s rapid maturity in the three short years since their 1984 debut. Producing three Top 10 hits with this album alone, Livin’ on a Prayer, You Give Love a Bad Name and Wanted Dead or Alive, Jon Bon Jovi (né John Bongiovi) and crew single handedly became the soundtrack to late ’86 and early ’87. The band would see similar success with their follow up album, New Jersey, but 1986 marked Bon Jovi’s breakthrough into mainstream success.
Somewhere, right now, John Bongiovi is sipping an Old Fashioned and looking back at 1986, quite fondly I might add, and saying to himself (or to one of the several women in his room), “You know, it was all right. You know?” It was all right, Mr. Bongiovi. It was all right indeed.
Billy vs. Lionel and the Ceiling Dancing Zone of Love
1986 was arguably the best year of my life. It was the year I got married, produced a beautiful young daughter, Chelsea, and it was the year I was nominated for my first (and only) Pulitzer. Ok, so NONE of these things happened to me in 1986, but what DID happen were the beginnings of a battle that still continues today… a grand crusade of international proportions. I am of course referring to Billy vs. Lionel and the Ceiling Dancing Zone of Love.
There’s a lot of love going on between the singles, Love Zone and Dancing on the Ceiling. Let’s first look at Billy Ocean’s Love Zone. The Love Zone is a safe place; a quarantined section blocked-off and geographically located between the Hate Zone and the Dead Zone. Given these other zone options, the Love Zone is the preferred zone by the majority of the zone-based community. The A-side to this single comes “from the smash hit album Love Zone” while the B-side is the instrumental version of Love Zone. The B-side offers a little less love, but still comes across as lovely.
Lionel Richie’s single, Dancing on the Ceiling, isn’t as immediately love-tastic. I mean, who LOVES dancing on the ceiling? I myself have never danced upon the ceiling, but “love” wouldn’t be the first emotion that comes to mind. I’m convinced Dancing on the Ceiling is the result of a drug-induced, debaucherous weekend that found Mr. Richie taking a break from his then 5 year old daughter, Nicole, to mainline a rented hotel room full of narcotics that made him feel as if he were “dancing on the ceiling.” We can all be grateful for that hit single inspired weekend. Oh, the love connection (remember that show, The Love Connection?) can be found on the B-side’s, Love Will Find A Way. That’s a good point. Love often DOES find a way, but seldom within the Hate or Dead Zones.
So, given Billy Ocean’s safe haven of zoned love and Lionel Richie’s (completely fabricated) weekend of ecstasy and ceiling dancing, it’s safe to say this is a battle our grandchildren will need to settle. I mean, could YOU decide between these two heroic poems?
1986 was a pretty amazing year.
You Without Me is Like Corn Flake Without the Milk!
I’ll admit that the excavation leading up to my discovery of Mr. Oran “Juice” Jones was nothing short of a complete accident. If my recollection serves me right, and she often does, I unearthed this gem at a Half Price Books in Madison, WI (probably on the East Side) and became its proud owner simply because it was a Def Jam Records release (the label being synonymous with the Beastie Boys).
Let me back up a bit and ask; are you familiar with Oran “Juice” Jones and specifically his hit single, The Rain? If not, I implore you to treat yourself to a wonderful world filled with blue diamonds and Gucci handbags.
Ok, if you don’t want to spend five minutes of your time, that’s understandable, then I suggest starting the track/video at 3:07. Mr. “Juice” Jones goes on a FANTASTIC rant aimed towards a woman he saw “walking in the rain” with an “Alley Cat coat wearing, Hush Puppy shoe wearing crumb cake.” 1) I’m not joking and 2) it gets better.
This smooth singing ladies’ man is NOT one to be messed with. The chill Mr. “Juice” and his $3700 lynx jacket completely flies off the handle, but still finds the time to sit down with the “silly rabbit” and educate her on her wrong doing. When he says, “I gave you things you couldn’t even pronounce!” we the listener know that this woman lost her opportunity to a fruitful life filled with expensive material objects (many of which, apparently, she had a difficult time pronouncing). Those Hush Puppies aren’t looking so good now, are they honey?! (That was me, not the “Juice.”)
The hot chocolate heating epitome of class should not be confused with an overly insecure and jealous lover just because he followed the “cold busted” lady without her knowing. I gather she wouldn’t have eluded to the truth had he just asked her straight. Since she didn’t realize that “tricks are made for kids,” she can thank her lucky stars that smooth man “Juice” didn’t act on his first impulse and “run up on” her and “do a Rambo” by “jammy-flat-blasting” both she and her secret lover. We can all be thankful the “Juice” didn’t serve jail time so that he could continue his lucrative music career.
“I hope you learn a valuable lesson from all of this” and think twice the next time you consider messing with the “Juice.”
(Email theprudentgroove@gmail for the mp3 to this track… you’ll thank me!)
Pseudo Echo’s Funky Town
Pseudo Echo’s version of Funky Town was my first favorite song. At 7-years-old, that was a big deal (and since I never really grew up, it’s still a big deal some 26 years later). After watching the video as a child, I was transformed in believing that my purpose in life was to play the Keytar (or keyboard that looks like a guitar). More than that, I was CONVINCED. I was to master this ornament of musical ecstasy in a New Wave band consisting of me and my closest grade school friends (none of whom, like myself, had ever even touched an instrument). Since my elementary school didn’t offer the Keytar in our rural town’s marching band, I decided on the Alto Saxophone instead.
Funky Town was originally recorded by Lipps Inc. in February of 1980. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and blah blah. It is my humble opinion that had it not been for Pseudo Echo’s version, I may very well have never been jettisoned into the vast musical universe. Simply put… I LOVED THIS SONG! There may in fact be an old VHS tape of a 7-year-old me singing this song while miming the Keytar, but that is a story for another time.
Like Lipps Inc., Pseudo Echo’s 1986 incarnation reached No. 1 in Australia (outlasting Lipps’ Inc.’s version by 5 weeks). At the age of 7, charts and prestigious awards didn’t concern me. What concerned me was dialing into the only radio station playing pop music that my little red Sony cassette player/radio combo could pick up in the desperate hopes of hearing Pseudo Echo’s illustrious, Funky Town. Anyone remember Z-104 transmitting out of Madison, Wisconsin? Probably not.
I think it was Dick Clark that said something about music being the soundtrack to our lives. I’ll subscribe to that. Funky Town would then serve as the first “single” in my life’s album of Greatest Hits.
Single Review: Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung
I think people overlook Wang Chung, or at least they’ve forgotten about them amongst the economic woes of 2013. Everybody Have Fun Tonight is, among many other things a brilliant marketing technique that associates having fun with Wang Chung by, wait for it, rhyming “have fun” with “Wang Chung.” See what they did there? Clever bastards!
These guys aren’t domestically minded either… these British chaps are international: across the nation, around the world… Wang Chung wants EVERYBODY to have fun tonight. And the joy of this song as I see it, is that, ok, I’ll put on this 45, rock out with my New Wave British mates, and potentially WILL have fun tonight. Cut to tomorrow morning and the usual “what the hell happened?” After a shower and a shave, I’ll play this same 45 and BAM! Tomorrow night is another night to have fun! I tell you, Wang Chung were geniuses!
If “fun” ever had a theme song, Wang Chung nailed it. I know this is redundant but quite simply, all Wang Chung wants is for everybody to have fun tonight. A bit of a tall order? Sure, but hopefully optimistic? You bet your 1986 stonewashed-jean-wearing ass!
Why this isn’t the most popular song in the world I’ll never know. The next time you’re in the mood to “have fun,” remember who your sponsor is… it’s Wang Chung!
The B-Side to this 80’s time capsule is a Everybody Have Fun Tonight remix of sorts; a couple swaying closer to a fun filled night. I imagine New Wave chicks with their New Wave heads resting on their New Wave boyfriend’s New Wave shoulders as they slowly oscillate amongst a sea of other New Wave couples in the wee hours of a New Wave morning in someone’s New Wave flat, all the while listening to Wang Chung’s musical nightcap, Side B’s Fun Tonight: The Early Years.
There is something to be said about New Wave. What that is I have no idea.