We're a geek couple living in PA with our two boys -- Milo and Otis -- who are short, orange, and furry. Oh, and they're the cats we're bookended by! We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for August 18, 2017


[Substance 1987] -- Another week, and another beloved album turns 30. This time, it's New Order's Substance 1987, which was released on 8/17/1987. This double LP featured the 12-inch versions of all of New Order's singles to date and a previously unreleased single, "True Faith." The CD and cassette releases included the singles' respective B-sides (the latter of the two having a few extra tracks). Here, in one place, fans had New Order's best work. It was also, for the most part, their most danceable (due in part to the fact that the 12" mixes were designed for dance clubs). One of the best descriptions of this album that I've read comes from AllMusic.com reviewer, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who wrote that it "expanded the notion of what a rock & roll band, particularly an indie rock band, could do."

As I think about it, I probably didn't hear this record until September of 1987, after I returned to Penn State for the start of my sophomore year. Someone in Holmes Hall would have been playing it, but I'm not certain whose copy I first heard or borrowed. I'm guessing that Paul had the double album while my roommate, Jeff, had the dual cassette. Not sure who among the North Halls gang first had the CD. I did eventually have my own CD copy sometime after I left Holmes for my R.A. gig in Atherton. To this day, I keep the 12" versions of these singles on my phone. Just in case I want to listen to them while driving around.

I cannot pick just three tracks from this compilation, so I found a video that has both discs of the CD release. Enjoy!


SUBSTANCE ☻ DISC I
1. Ceremony 0:00
2. Everything's Gone Green 4:23
3. Temptation 9:53
4. Blue Monday 16:52
5. Confusion 24:21
6. Thieves Like Us 29:04
7. Perfect Kiss 35:41
8. Subculture 43:43 
9. Shellshock 48:31
10. State of the Nation 55:00
11. Bizarre Love Triangle 1:01:32
12. True Faith 1:08:16

SUBSTANCE ☻ DISC II
1. In a Lonely Place 0:00
2. Procession 6:16
3. Cries and Whispers 10:44
4. Hurt 14:10
5. The Beach 21:09
6. Confusion (instrumental) 28:28
7. Lonesome Tonight 36:06
8. Murder 41:18
9. Thieves Like Us (instrumental) 45:14
10. Kiss of Death 52:11
11. Shame of the Nation 59:11
12. 1963 1:07:09



That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. 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!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for August 4, 2017



[Hysteria] -- I find that as I approach my 50th year, the records of my youth are also advancing in age. Such is the case for Def Leppard's 1987 release, Hysteria, which turned 30 this week on August 3. It came out the summer I turned 19, not quite a month before I returned to Penn State for my sophomore year. I probably went through two cassette copies of Hysteria during its first 20 years. I've probably had a CD copy for the last decade or so.

Def Leppard had formed in 1977 and was named after an imaginary band that lead singer Joe Elliot used when writing reviews in his English class. Hysteria was this British hard rock band's fourth studio album. And it's more than a little surprising that the band was able to record let alone release it: In 1984, while they were in the midst of enjoying a huge commercial break-through with their third studio LP, Pyromania (1983), drummer, Rick Allen, lost his left arm in a car crash. Allen was determined to continue as the band's drummer, and the rest of the band supported his efforts. He worked with the Simmons drum company to design and develop a custom electronic drum kit that enabled him to use his legs to do some of the drumming work. After Allen's recovery, and after over three years of recording work, Hysteria was released. The album did well in Def Leppard's native UK, but sales in the US did not take off until the release of the album's fourth single: "Pour Some Sugar on Me." It peaked at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and helped propel Hysteria to the #1 spot on The Billboard 200 as well as 12× Platinum in sales. Read and hear more after the jump. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback (on a Saturday) for July 28, 2017



[Still Not Giving Up] -- On Thursday, 7/27/2017, a momentous anniversary in 80s music occurred. On that date, a certain Mr. Astley hit the charts with a ditty titled, "Never Gonna Give You Up." 30 years later,  that song, particularly its accompanying music video, is still popular. Its popularity, or at least its continued familiarity, is due in large part to a bait and switch practice that first started in 2007 and has come to be known as Rickrolling.

Because Rick Astley himself perpetrated the best Rickroll in the practice's 10 year history, I think I'll let his tweet serve as the entirety of this week's Flashback post.




Not to be outdone, Sesame Street replied in kind:



That's all till next time. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. 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!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for July 14, 2017



[Come Up Screaming] -- One of my favorite albums was released in 1983, specifically on July 15 of that year. It was an energetic album by a Scottish band. An album pulsing with guitar licks that mimicked bagpipes. I am, of course, talking about The Crossing by Big Country. It was the band's first studio release, and it reached #3 in the UK and #18 on the US Billboard 200. I'm pretty sure that the bagpipe trick had something to do with the album's popularity. I mean, it was a pretty neat effect. According to a few fan boards and Wikipedia, guitarists Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson achieved the effect with the MXR Pitch Transposer 129 Guitar Effect and the e-bow, which is something of an electronic guitar pick. Anyway, if you're wondering which three tracks from this record I've chosen for this Flashback, you can read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for July 7, 2017



[Hits Like Sugar] -- Echo & the Bunnymen's eponymous 1987 record turned 30 this week. Over the last three decades, many albums have come into my life. Some have all but vanished from my memory shortly after their last turn in my listening rotation. Others have stayed with me, impacted me, whether I last heard one of their tracks years or mere moments ago. Echo & the Bunnymen lands squarely in the latter category. Read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for June 30, 2017

~newSaint's homage to Joshua's iconic line (from Wargames) | deviantart.com

[A.I. in the 80s] -- This Flashback was originally posted to Prophet or Madman on June 29, 2012.

The 60s and 70s saw computers intrude more and more in business and manufacturing. In fact, the floppy disk and microprocessor, both invented in the 70s, helped to usher in an age of practical computing. But it was the 80s that saw the home computer industry take off. As computers expanded their territory from labs and offices to homes and schools, they also started to occupy more mental real estate as well. In 1983, Time magazine chose the computer as its "Machine of the Year" for 1982 (bumping their long-standing tradition of naming a "Man of the Year"). And computers provided the plot devices for several movies, usually in morality tales of technology gone amok (or greedy humans misusing innocent devices). This week in the Flashback, we will look at three tunes, each one from an 80s film featuring a computer -- or at least a sub-system -- that is intelligent and can make decisions on its own. What songs did I decide upon? Read and hear more after the break.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday 80s Flashback for June 23, 2017

Earth Girls and Easy Aliens (from L to R):
Julie Brown, Jim Carrey, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans, and Geena Davis


[Theme] -- Earlier this week, an uneasy earthgirl reminded me of the fantastically fun 80s movie, Earth Girls are Easy (1988). The plot of the movie is derived from a song of the same name, which appears on Julie Brown's EP, Goddess in Progress (1984). How Julie Brown and her writing parters -- Charlie Coffey and Terrence E. McNally -- spun nearly two hours of story from a song that is under four minutes is beyond me. But I'm so glad they did. Can you imagine a world in which we never saw Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans, and Jim Carrey as furry aliens? As most films in the 80s, the movie included plenty of great 80s tunes. That's the good news. Unfortunately, also like many 80s flicks, much of that music does not wind up on the released soundtrack, and what is there is slightly different from the movie versions. Still, it's a pretty fun album and it's kind of perfect for a Flashback post. With 17 songs appearing in the film, and 11 tracks available on the soundtrack, which selections do you think I'll feature? Well, you'll find out when you read and hear more after the jump (which is right after the embedded movie trailer).