Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. 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, November 24, 2023

Friday 80s Flashback for November 24, 2023

[Seven and the Blood Red Sky] -- For the second time this month, I find myself unable, or simply unwilling, to select a single album to highlight. So, you and I will briefly revisit two seminal releases that turn 40 years old this week. 

First up, Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Duran Duran's third studio album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger hit charts in the UK and the US on November 21, 1983. According to vocalist Simon LeBon (quoted in Rolling Stone, February 2, 1984), the title refers to seven people chasing after success: "The Seven is for us – the five band members and the two managers.  The Ragged Tiger is success.  Seven people running after success. It’s ambition." 

And while initial reviews were negative, this album was definitely a commercial success. Seven and the Ragged Tiger was Duran Duran's first album to reach the #1 position on UK charts, and it also peaked at #8 in the US. It went platinum in in the UK, US (twice), and Canada (three times!). The three singles rank among the band's most popular songs: "Union of the Snake," "New Moon on Monday," and "The Reflex." The first two singles were top ten hits in both the UK and the US. But the third single, as remixed by Chic’s Nile Rodgers, peaked at #1 in the UK, US, Belgium, Eurochart, and the Netherlands. It was Duran Duran's first #1 single and a global hit. All three of those singles shine, especially "New Moon on Monday," but the unreleased tracks also deliver. In particular, I would lift up "(I'm Looking For) Cracks in the Pavement" and "Crimes as Passion" as hidden gems. See the YouTube playlist below, under Flashback #1

This week's second recording, U2's Under a Blood Red Sky, also had a UK release date of November 21, 1983. In the US, it was released on November 22, 1983. This was a live album compiling songs from three concerts, all during the band's War Tour in 1983. Only one single was released: The performance of Boy's "I Will Follow" recorded in Germany. Under a Blood Red Sky peaked at #2 on the UK Albums chart and at #28 on the US Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart. It also peaked within, or near, the top 40 of album charts around the world. Rolling Stone (January 19, 1984) would cite this album as providing "...ample evidence why people have been calling U2 the best live band of 1983." Check out their performance of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" filmed in June 1983 at Red Rocks in Denver, CO. That is just one of the 13 songs recorded for the concert film, U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky. The album's eight tracks are in the embedded YouTube video below, under Flashback #2

Flashback #1Seven and the Ragged Tiger (November 21, 1983)

Flashback #2Under a Blood Red Sky (November, 1983)

And 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!

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