Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for March 25, 2016

[Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm] -- I'm not certain how many music fans would consider Joni Mitchell an 80s artist. I'm not even sure I do. Still, about a quarter of her singles were released in that decade. And her 13th studio album, Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, was released this week in 1988. Chalk Mark has the usual Mitchell hallmarks -- a lament about commercialism, (anti-)war messages, and a lovesong. Some of the MIDI-esque strains and 80s percussion may make the record sound dated, but only to the most jaded of ears. Why is that? Because on each song, words and music are woven together with Mitchell's distinctive, lyrical voice. Speaking of voices, this record is interesting for its roster of guest artists, particularly guest vocalists. Mitchell duets with Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, and Billy Idol among others. Not many hits on this record, but the album did well nonetheless, peaking at #23 in Canada, #45 on the US Billboard 200, and #26 in the UK.

I'll bet you're wondering about those duets I mentioned, right? Well, read and hear more about them after the break. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday 80s Flashback for March 18, 2016

[A Saturday Night in Boston with Zappa] -- In 1988, Frank Zappa decided to tour with a band that he hired and paid for by himself. It was a short-lived affair as the whole thing broke down. But the band did remain intact for several European shows and a handful of East Coast shows. According to Zappa:
"The 1988 road band self-destructed before US audiences in the south, mid-west and west could hear it perform. It was, however, heard and appreciated by east coast and European audiences during its brief existence (from February to June 1988)."
- Frank Zappa, in the liner notes of The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life (Source:
As luck would have it, an enterprising YouTuber has the audio from one of the Boston shows. So, I figured it would make for a great, albeit long, Flashback. So, here is the audio from Frank Zappa's Orpheum Theatre gig in Boston, Ma. All 2 1/2 hours of it!

Well, that's all till next time. 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!