[Summer] -- I heard a back-to-school radio ad the other day. You know what my first thought was? No, it wasn't that I needed school supplies, or that I dread the return of school buses on my morning commute. No, it was that the school season is just around the corner and I've yet to post a summer-themed flashback! So I'm going to remedy that error right now. Back in the 80s, summer was always a great time for music. And there are far too many great summer classics to fit in one flashback, but I'll do my best to share some of my favorites. What hot tunes made the cut this week? Read and hear more after the break.
Flashback #1: "Feel the heat, pushing you to decide."
The supergroup phenomenon was not limited to 70s icons banding together in new arrangements. In 1984, John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran wanted a change of pace from the grueling efforts of global touring and promotion that fueled the fanfare of the "Fab Five." They joined with Tony Thompson, the drummer of the disco-pop combo, Chic, and worked on some demos as The Power Station. The original intent, per the Wikipedia entry, was for this trio to provide musical continuity behind a series of singers. However, after working with Robert Palmer on "Communication" and "Get It On (Bang a Gong)," the lads knew they had to record the entire album with Palmer, which they released eponymously: The Power Station (1985). The first single from their collective effort is our first flashback of the day. "Some Like It Hot" was The Power Station's biggest hit reaching a very respective #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Unfortunately, this union did not last. Palmer always felt it was simply a one-off, and had no interest in touring (plus, he was hip deep in recording his next solo album when The Power Station gained in popularity). Michael Des Barres replaced Palmer on tour. The original band did reunite in 1996 to record Living in Fear, but that disc had none of the magic of its 80s predecessor.
Flashback #2: "It's like poetry in motion against the hot summer sky."
As mentioned in a previous flashback, American hard rockers, Y&T, started their career in 1974 as Yesterday & Today (from the Beatles' 1965 album). But after their first two studio albums they condensed the band name to the simple Y&T. Their seventh studio album, Down for the Count (1985), yielded their biggest chart hit to date, a song that always makes me think of summer in the 80s. Here is the wonderfully cheesy video for "Summertime Girls."
Flashback #3: "Summer turns me upside down."
The Cars were one of the most successful bands of the late 70s and early 80s. but after their 1982 tour, they took a two year break before reuniting to release their most successful album: Heartbeat City (1984). This "Mutt" Lange produced record yielded five American Top 40 singles. The second of those singles is our final flashback of the day. "Magic" reached #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart. The inimitable Ric Ocasek wrote it, sang lead on it, and walked on water in the magical video. You can't tell me you didn't want to be at this shindig!
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!