We have a lot of conversations about how music used to be better.
I felt that way all through the '80's.
I couldn't listen to the radio. I loathed Flock Of Seagulls, A-Ha, Tears For Fears, Men Without Hats, Madonna, "Karma Chameleon", Pat Benatar, The Police, U2, Bon Jovi, Hair Metal, Dirty Dancing, Classic Rock, and the list goes on. And on.
Bad drum sounds, Yamaha DX-7 keyboard of indistinct lushness, solid state amplifiers, MIDI, and MTV forced my Boom Box to play a lot of '50's SUN, R&B, Blues, Doo Wop, Rockabilly, Country, '60's Psychedelia, Soul, Folk, '70's Reggae, Funk, Bowie, T-Rex, Glam, The Velvet Underground, and Punk.
The negative influence of MTV cannot be underestimated. The same horrible songs with worse videos on constant rotation. A contibutor, if not the origin, of today's style over substance.
I listened to a lot of music, but hardly any was new.
I had hope for The Clash, but they imploded. Punk ended up not destroying anything, except itself.
I liked early REM, and the Athens/Chapel Hill sound. Mitch Easter and The Drive In. LA Paisley Underground. The Replacements.
I was obsessed by New York. The post No Wave Mutant Disco Funk and Jazz downtown.
I can't believe "Letsgetabitarockin'" never made it into The Clash's repertoire. Although recorded in 1975, it wasn't available until 1981.
"Red Rocker's Rule" could be another anthem. The Dils considered themselves communists. In 1982, they morphed into cowpunk as Rank And File.
The Dream Syndicate's, "Days Of Wine And Roses" is still one of my all time favorites. Their followup lp was a terrible disappointment. Coincidentally it was produced by Sandy Pearlman, who also ruined "Give 'Em Enough Rope".
"I Will Dare" features REM's Peter Buck on mandolin.
"Every Word Means No" says it all.
"Telegram Sam" is not as faithful as their cover of "Ziggy Stardust", but it's still a lot of fun. It's about Mark Bolan's coke dealer.
"Everywhere That I'm Not" was my soundtrack when former NY Doll Jerry Nolan stole my girlfriend. I can laugh about it now.
Their childhood acquaintance, Eddy Harald, sued Was (Not Was) for using his real name in this shoulda- been-a-hit, "(Return To The Valley Of) Out Come The Freaks"
NRBQ's Terry Adams nails Monk in "RC Cola And A Moon Pie". That in itself is an accomplishment. While the song dates from 1972, I didn't hear it until 1986, when it was released by Rounder.
"Heart Attack And Vine" was my first Tom Waits album.
"Switchblade" (1979) is Link Wrays answer to "Rumble".
"Caribou" is the Pixies opening salvo, from "Come On Pilgrim". Subsequently, they influenced everyone including Nirvana.
"Little Ivory" from "Lolita Nation" is another favorite. A big beautiful sprawl I first bought on cassette.
Christina's off-kilter cover of Van The Man's "Blue Money" features Doug Feiger (The Knack) on rockabilly guitar.
The Orson Family were an obscure psychobilly band from England. A couple ep's and this 7" is about it. This is dubbed from a cassette copy of my friend Howard's original single back in 1984.
On "I Got The Hots" Robyn Hitchcock manages to combine The Rolling Stones with Syd Barrett.
I like The Duke's first ep better than their second full length. So does Andy.
Back in the day, The Simple Minds were "prog" enough to catch my ear.
Japan started out as failed glam rock. They changed over night into something truly unique.
Completely different image and sound. Style and atmosphere galore.
"The October Man" is one of Bill Nelson's finest. An epic guitar solo rivalling his work with Be Bop Deluxe.
The Clash dominated the first half of the '80's, saw them twice at the Hollywood Paladium, touring "London Calling", then "Combat Rock". This uncharacteristically ethereal song from "Sandinista!" has long been a favorite, and a fitting end.
Enjoy, and stay cool!
MY BOOMBOX again