Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday 80s Flashback for July 15, 2011

[Angels Gone Wrong] -- Last week on the Flashback, we had a selection of tunes that could be described as divinely inspired. This week, we're going to go in the opposite direction. These humid summer days seem the perfect backdrop for songs about a tinge of darkness hidden behind a facade of beauty. What tales of fallen angels grace the Flashback? Read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1"You've got something sweet | You've got what I need."

By day, Molly Stewart is a top notch student at North Oak Prep School. Cute and perky, Molly is asked out by nearly every guy in the school. But she shoots each one down with the claim that her mom thinks she's too young to date. When dusk falls, however, this mild-mannered coed puts away her books, lets down her hair, and applies make-up. We then see her revealed as "Angel," a street-smart hooker working Hollywood Boulevard. And, yes, the implication is that she works hard for the money. But Angel's neatly separated worlds will collide after a few of her associates are brutally murdered. And that, my friends, is the setup for the 1984 movie, Angel.
Look, they're twins! (Source:
The Allies (Pam Neal on lead vocals and keyboards, Bernard Duvau on guitar, and Matt Preble on vocals, guitar and some keyboards) wrote and performed Angel's title song, this week's first flashback. This is a perfect match: a little-known band featured in a cult classic flick. Chances are, this movie is the only place you ever heard this tune. In fact, this might be your only exposure to The Allies -- unless you happened to catch the independent film, L.A. Streetfighter (1985), which featured another of their original tunes. 80s-philes who want a little more background on this trio can visit their very detailed web page. The rest of you can go straight to enjoying the official video for "Something Sweet."

Flashback #2"She touched my heart and she tore it apart."

American hard rockers, Y&T, started their career in 1974 as Yesterday & Today (named after the Beatles' 1965 album), and their first two studio albums were released while under that longer moniker. In 1980, a new record deal and a fan chant ("Y&T, Y&T, Y&T") brought about the use of a condensed band name. Their seventh studio album, Down for the Count (1985), yielded Y&T's biggest chart hit to date. That hit is not our second flashback but another song from that album is: "Face Like an Angel" is something of a warning that a pretty face is no guarantee of a lovely soul.

Flashback #3"Does she walk? Does she talk? Does she come complete? | My homeroom homeroom angel. Always pulled me from my seat."

With a theme of angels gone wrong, was there ever any doubt as to what our third song would be?

At the dawn of the 80s, blues-ish rockers J. Geils Band moved away from their R&B influences and embraced a more pop-oriented sound. This change paid immediate dividends when their 12th studio album, Freeze Frame (1981), yielded the band's first number one hit. This song, a possibly auto-biographical story of a man who is shocked when he learns that his high school crush was photographed for the pages of a men's magazine, reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1982 as well as #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that same year. A music video featuring an octet of dancing Molly Stewarts -- you know, female high schoolers -- probably helped the song's popularity. By the way, they really were students (of the girls' dance school on the floor above where the video was shot). Enjoy "Centerfold"!

Remember, the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. That means I post no less, and no more, than three offerings each 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. I hope you like what I'm doing here: If so, 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!

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