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 29, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for March 29, 2019


[R.I.P. Ranking Roger] -- This week 80s fans mourned the loss of Ranking Roger (born Roger Charlery), vocalist for The Beat (aka The English Beat) and General Public. You can read more about his background and rise to 80s stardom at the previous link, at the Guardian, the New York Times, and various other sites. Roger had suffered a stroke last year. And just this past January, fans were informed that he had been diagnosed with two brain tumors as well as lung cancer. At the time of his death, he was only 56 years old. He leaves behind a catalog of nine studio albums, two of which were solo records, as well as compilations, live records, and collaborations with other artists. He also leaves behind five children, two of whom -- son Ranking Junior (Matthew Murphy) and daughter Saffren -- had performed with him in a revival band. Ranking Roger was musically active from 1978 to 2019. So there's no way I can do complete justice to his career. Still, I've selected a few of my favorite 80s tracks so we can attempt a proper sendoff. What's featured today? Read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for March 22, 2019



[Talking a Good Show] -- The Go-Go's were the first all-female band to top the Billboard album charts by writing their own songs and playing their own instruments. Yes, folks, there were several "girl groups" with writing and playing chops before The Go-Gos, but none of them cranked out hits quite like these ladies. And 35 years ago this month, they released their third studio album, Talk Show (1984), which peaked at #18 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Although the album was critically well-received, it was a commercial disappointment. Not sure that was due to a slight change in style or too many half-realized songs (as AllMusic claims), but Talk Show still has its gems. Talk Show also marked the last time the original lineup would record an album together ... until 2001. So, what tracks have I selected from the Go-Go's last album of the 80s? Read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for March 15, 2019



[What is Love?] -- In light of the racially motivated terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers, I just don't have the heart to go forward with my planned Flashback post. Instead, I'm taking a single track that was featured in my 11/4/2016 post on Electric Sun (Heavy Metal Hippie). To my knowledge, "What is Love?" was never released as a single. And I believe the world is poorer for that. Musically, this track muscles its way through nearly three and a half minutes of tasty guitar runs and just enough of a beat to bob your head or tap your foot in time. Roth's lead vocal isn't amazing, but the harmony vocals provided by the combo of Michael Flechsig, bassist Ule Ritgen, and Rainer Przywara more than make up for Roth's shortcomings. Lyrically, well, it lacks in philosophy, but it has that plaintive seeker mojo in spades. Or is that in crystals? You tell me.

What is love? Well, it's not in the actions of those cowardly stains who feel the need to gear up and shoot people who are guilty only of looking or worshipping in a different way. I do see love, however, in the outpouring of support for this and other maimed communities. This must increase. We must all strive for peaceful solutions in defusing hatred. We must believe that one day we can and will live together in harmony. If you're interested in that, too, click on over to New Zealand's Give Nothing to Racism campaign.

And now, let's give a spin to "What is Love?" from Beyond the Astral Skies (1985) by Uli Jon Roth and Electric Sun!

Flashback"What is Love? | Does anybody know the answer?."




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.

I'll see you in seven!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Friday 80s Flashback for March 1, 2019



[RIP Mark Hollis] -- This week we lost Talk Talk co-founder and enigmatic pop singer, Mark Hollis (1/4/1955 – 2/25/2019). Hollis was Talk Talk's primary songwriter and lead singer. Under his direction, the band moved from its New Romantic and synth pop origins in 1981 to increasingly more experimental outings in their 10-year history. Compare the pop stylings of The Party's Over (1982) with the art rock of, for example, Spirit of Eden (1988). After five studio albums and 23 singles, Talk Talk disbanded in 1992. Hollis recorded and released one self-titled solo album in 1998, but retired from music, and largely disappeared from public life, shortly thereafter. His death this week came "after a short illness from which he never recovered."

To commemorate Hollis' death, I'm taking a cue from Gordon Skene's site, Past Daily, and sharing the audio of Talk Talk's Hammersmith Odeon appearance from May 8, 1986, as broadcast by the BBC:




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.

I'll see you in seven!