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, March 16, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for March 16, 2018

[ASIA] -- Geoff Downes, John Wetton, Steve Howe, and Carl Palmer were already famous individually for playing in some of the biggest prog-rock bands of the 70s. And the sound they created in the early 80s as the four-piece called Asia owed more to the 70s than the New Wave that was taking over the radio. Still, their eponymous debut album was released in March of 1982 -- 36 years ago! -- and spawned two huge hits. Besides the hits, other songs on this album also achieved considerable radio play. Asia's sound was slickly produced yet still muscular, likely due to Palmer's steady percussion and Wetton's driving bass. All these elements propelled the album to great success, including peaking at #1 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart. Asia's music was majestic in scope -- you have to play at a grand level if you choose to name your band after a continent -- and I still feel something magical in the opening chords of just about every song on this album. Hel, I still have my original vinyl copy. I can't tell you how many times I tried to draw the serpentine dragon from this album cover, but I can tell you that I no longer have any of those attempts.

If you'd like to sample some tunes from this album, you can read and hear more after the jump.  

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for March 9, 2018

[Don't Throw Stones] -- I've been focusing on records rather than themes for the last several Flashback posts, and I wanted to continue in that vein. But picking this week's feature took a little longer than usual. Yeah, it's from March 1980, so you might think I would have stumbled across that quickly. But I don't run through the decade in chronological order until I find something. But when I finally stumbled across this week's record, it was a B-side that struck me. Don't get me wrong: I like the singles from this record, too. But the B-side holds the stronger memory for me. Anyway, this week's record is Glass Houses, Billy Joel's seventh studio album. It was released on March 10, 1980, so it is 38 years old this week! Glass Houses features Joel's first Billboard #1 hit, and the album itself peaked at #1 on the US Billboard 200. If the videos for this record's top singles were your first introduction to Billy Joel, you might have been confused by his reputation as a pianist. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for March 2, 2018

[Saint Julian] -- I discovered Julian Cope in 1987. By that time, he had released two albums with his second band, The Teardrop Explodes (1978-1982), and three solo albums. That third solo album, Saint Julian, was released in March of 1987. Given my crash course in Cope's musical output, I can say Saint Julian was the most directly rock'n'roll record that Cope had recorded up to that point, his previous ventures being more of the neo-psychedelic vein. In keeping with the new musical attitude, Cope even tried to embrace the role of an 80s rocker, wearing leathers and adopting the arrogant posture of a "Rock God." And as much as I enjoyed my brief exposure to the earlier material, Saint Julian record reached me on several levels the other records didn't. I'm not saying it was deeper than his prior work, but I do feel it was better crafted. Or, maybe, I just think it was better because it resonated so much with my gut. If you would like to sample this 31-year-old record, then read and hear more after the jump.