Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for October 30, 2015

[Halloween] -- I missed flashing back last week, but I couldn't pass up a chance to post a very special holiday edition of the Friday 80s Flashback this week. It's Halloween! I've previously run new Halloweenish Flashbacks in 2010 and 2011, while 2012 and 2013 featured re-runs of prior years' material. And, some reason, October 2014 has four Flashback posts, but none of them are Halloweeny. That means I need to get back in the game this year, and with trick-or-treaters prepping for this weekend, you need a soundtrack. If you'd like to know some of my latest suggestions, read and hear more after the break.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for October 23, 2015

[Oranges & Lemons Reissue] -- XTC's 11th studio album, Oranges & Lemons, was originally released in February of 1989. This month, it's getting reissued as a CD+Blu-ray deluxe edition with plenty of extras. One of those extras is that prog rock legend, Steven Wilson, has remixed the album for stereo and 5.1 surround sound from the original analog tapes!

The original release was available as a either a double LP or a 16-track CD. Of the three singles ("The Mayor of Simpleton", "King for a Day", and "The Loving"), only the first two charted well. "The Mayor of Simpleton," which hit the charts in January 1989, performed extremely well. It peaked at #46 on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, it hit #72 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks charts, making it XTC's best-charting single in the States. The album was also a commercial success, scoring the #1 position on the US college / alternative album chart and #44 on the US Billboard Top 200 chart. In the UK, it peaked at #28 on the UK album chart.

Oh, and though they weren't released as singles, "Hold Me My Daddy" and "Merely a Man" (with lyrics that include "We're all Jesus, Buddha and the Wizard of Oz") hold a special place in my heart.

The availability of the reissue seems to range from last Friday, October 16, to today, October 23. Some stores still list it as a pre-order item. And it is currently out of stock on Amazon. Anyway, while you're waiting for your deluxe reissue, you can stream the original version of the full album on YouTube here: Or, if you just want to check out the singles from Oranges & Lemons, then read and hear more after the break.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for October 9, 2015

[A Little Moyet] -- Alison Moyet is an English pop singer whose bluesy contralto voice has graced recordings and stage performances since 1978. She got her start in the music industry when Vince Clarke, formerly of Depeche Mode, selected her as the voice of the second phase of his electronic music career. For more about Moyet's collaboration with Clarke in Yazoo, refer to my 3/11/2011 post, The Clarke Factor. After Yazoo disbanded in 1983, Moyet moved on to a solo career. Her discography includes eight studio albums (including two in the 80s), three compilations, and two live albums. She has 30 singles to her credit, many of which were highly successful in the UK and across Europe. Although she has had little to no chart success in the US, she does maintain a huge fan base. I could be wrong about that; I freely admit some bias due to being a huge fan myself. So, what Moyet recordings have I selected for you this week? Read and hear more after the break! 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for October 2, 2015

[Let It Be - 31 Years Young] -- On this date in 1984, The Replacements released their third studio album, Let It Be. The album cover features the band sitting on the roof of Bob and Tommy Stinson's mother's house. The record itself was produced by Steve Fjelstad, Peter Jesperson, and Paul Westerberg (The Replacements' lead singer and songwriter) for Twin/Tone Records. But it wasn't like there was an actual producer lurking over the boys, making them sweat each note. The album title, Let It Be, was ripped from the Beatles' record, of course. But it was just their way of saying nothing is sacred; The Beatles "were just a damn fine rock & roll band" (Paul Westerberg, quoted by Rolling Stone). Sacred or not, Let It Be is ranked among the greatest rock albums of the 80s, and Rolling Stone even includes it on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. No doubt, this is more by accident than by some design on the Mats' part. So, I'm picking three tracks to feature pretty much the same way. Read and hear more after the break.