Friday, November 06, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for November 6, 2015

[Eye of the Glass Tiger] -- For some reason, all this week, several songs by Canadian rockers, Glass Tiger, have been been on constant replay in my head. So, I take that as an excuse to feature them in a Flashback post. Between 1983 and 1991, Glass Tiger released three studio albums: The Thin Red Line (1986), Diamond Sun (1988), and Simple Mission (1991). Each one sold at least 500,000 copies (Platinum) in Canada, but only their debut grabbed much attention outside stateside ... or elsewhere. After 1991, their record label released about half a dozen compilation albums, all of which were pretty much attempts to milk more cash out of the band's lightning-in-a-bottle debut. Depending on what site you visit, Glass Tiger disbanded in either 1991 or 1993, though they did reunite in 2003 and have performed together a few more times since then. For this week, I've chosen two tracks from their debut album, and one from their sophomore release. If you're ready to find out which tracks made the cut, just read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1"Someday | You'll be shedding your tears | To cry over me."

Let's kick off this week's Flashback with ... Glass Tiger's second single that cracked the Billboard Top Ten (in the US). The third single off their debut album, The Thin Red Line (1986), "Someday" was a mere top 20 hit in their native Canada. But it peaked at #7 here in the States. Synthy with a slight dash of brass, it's a fairly standard love-gone-wrong-but-you'll-realize-what-a-mistake-you-made kind of ballad. The music video juxtaposes and upbeat performance (rehearsal perhaps?) with scenes of a much more somber lead vocalist (Alan Frew) dealing with the fallout of his relationship. Many of the 80s video tropes are present: nighttime scenes, nappily perched hats, arguments, camera-rushing-through-foliage, forlorn expressions while making a phone call, etc. The only tropes missing are scenes with flowing silks or curtains blown artfully by studio fans. (I kid. I dig this video ... and the song itself). 

Flashback #2"I wanna sing my song | And take me home where I come from."

For our second Flashback of the day, we turn to Glass Tiger's collaboration with The Chieftains: "My Song." The third single off the band's sophomore album, Diamond Sun (1988), "My Song" peaked at #19 in Canada but failed to chart anywhere else. In fact, of the five singles released from Diamond Sun, only two managed to chart outside the band's native Canadian market: "I'm Still Searching" squeezed into the top 40 in the States, and the title track managed to break into the UK's top 100. Aside from that, the most memorable thing about this album is this appearance by Dublin's favorite sons. Still, this tune is a pleasant and uplifting personal anthem.

Flashback #3"You take my breath away | Love thinks it's here to stay."

Of course, the one Glass Tiger song that gets more airtime than any other song (at least on the radio station in my head) is also their biggest hit. I've written about this tune before when it was the third and final Flashback for my 11/4/2011 post, Memory
The horn section, chorus, and bouncy bass line of Glass Tiger's "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" have all been in constant rotation in the music center of my mind, so it is our final flashback of the day. A Canadian import, Glass Tiger released their debut album, The Thin Red Line, in 1986. It is best known for its first single, "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone," which features backup vocals from fellow Canadian artist, Bryan Adams. The song peaked at #2 on US charts. There are two versions of the music video. The original (Canadian) video mixed performance with a storybook concept and was nominated for Best Video at the Juno Awards of 1986. Another video was made to target other markets because the Canadian version was deemed "too cutesy and directed solely toward the youth market." [Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 98 (49): 22. 1986-12-06]. Yeah, I'm posting the "cutesy" video today, folks. Enjoy!

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.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

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