Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for August 24, 2012

[A Few More August Birthdays] -- Last week, the Flashback celebrated Madonna's 54th birthday. Well, this week we have a few more 80s artists celebrating birthdays! And it works out perfectly for: three artists, three tunes. At first, I knew only of one birthday boy, and the whole Flashback was going to be dedicated to him. But later on Thursday, I learned of another artist's birthday occurring on the same day this week. It seemed hardly fair to divvy up three songs between two artists, so I embarked on a search to find another 80s artist born during this week. And I was successful, but it might seem like a bit of a cheat as she had only one release in the 80s. Still, it's legit. So if you want to know who blew out some candles this week, and what songs are featured for them here, just read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1"Well, you admit you like the game | But you're not gonna play | You just ignore what your body is trying to say."

In 1982, our first Flashback artist had released what many of his young, female fans thought was his sophomore album. But it was actually his sixth studio album. What those fans in 1982 didn't realize was that this artist had had a recording career in the early 70s (when he was marketed as a teenybopper like Donnie Osmond and David Cassidy) before he shifted to focus on acting. In fact, he had decided to take an ongoing role on the soap General Hospital because neither he nor his agent believed his 1981 release would do very well. His first single in '81, however, went to #1 and netted him the 1981 Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. So going into 1982, he had something of a musical comeback on his hands. The new album, the aptly named Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet, spawned three top-40 hits as well as a top ten Rock Mainstream hit. If you haven't guessed it yet, our first Flashback artist today is Rick Springfield who turned 63 yesterday (August 23). He first appeared in a Flashback post for April Fool's Day last year. And we're kicking off today's playlist with his fourth single from Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet. Here is "I Get Excited" which hit #32 on the charts. Hey, do you think he still has that sleeveless, midriff-less, shirt he wears in this video? 

Flashback #2"Someone smashed my window | Broke into my brand new car last night."

Our next flashback artist turned 49 on Wednesday (August 22). In the 1990s, as a solo artist, she stormed the charts and became the leading female singer-songwriter, releasing five studio albums and a whopping 22 singles. But back in 1988, when she was in her mid-20s, she released her very first record as part of the synthpop act called Y Kant Tori Read. The eponymous album tanked, and is now only sought out by completist fans who at one time paid upwards of $1000 for the privilege of owning this collectible. With bootlegs and piracy, you can now pick up a copy for around 40 bucks (according to the FAQ). The band's name supposedly took their name from a childhood incident that revealed this singer could not read sheet music. I know I have not given you many clues as to the artist's identity, but there is really a huge one in the band/album name. So, happy birthday to Tori Amos, the front person for Y Kant Tori Read! I think she would rather forget this little nugget, but we dug it up anyway. Here is Tori singing "The Big Picture" from Y Kant Tori Read's one and only studio album, Y Kant Tori Read (1988):

Flashback #3"I'm higher than a kite | I know I'm getting hooked on your love."

Our final Flashback artist is best known as a member of a popular 80s band. He was not their original lead singer, but he has held the job longer than anyone else. He came on board late in 1983 and recorded with the band for their fourth studio release, Vital Signs (1984). Yes, I am talking about Survivor, probably best known for their 1982 hit, "Eye of the Tiger," recorded for the Rocky III soundtrack. Now, "Eye of the Tiger" was sung by the band's original vocalist, Dave Bickler. But our birthday boy is Jimi Jamison, who turned 61 on Thursday (August 23). In a bizarre parallel, Jamison had his own chance to sing for Sylvester Stallone: "Burning Heart" for the Rocky IV Soundtrack (1985). But for our final Flashback song of the day, I have selected the second single from Vital Signs which became Jamison's first top ten hit with Survivor. Here he is singing "High on You" while dodging a rogue group of incandescent bulbs. No, the bulbs were not central to the "plot" of the video, it was just one of the many things that 80s video directors thought looked cool. 

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.

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I'll see you in seven!

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