Tag Archives: 80s music

Song of the Week: “Vanishing Point” – New Order

19 Sep

One of my favorite bands of all time signed a deal with Mute Records a couple of weeks ago. And frontman Bernard Sumner recently published a memoir. And the band’s ex-bassist Peter Hook is doing his own thing with The Light while everyone’s lawyers wrangle. And the band just received an “Inspiration of the Year” (?!) award from GQ Magazine. And somebody published the lyrics and notebooks of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis in a snooty-looking tome called So This Is Permanence (another step along the path in the man’s cultural sanctification/musical messiahship). But, because I haven’t liked a NO song since 2001’s “Crystal,” and can’t stand all the infighting and end-of-career glorification, and never cared for Joy Division, I choose to dwell instead on the delight I have long experienced from my favorite album: Technique.

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Song of the Week: “The Miracle of Love” – Eurythmics

4 Mar

Listening to this wonderful band’s double live album again today, and this track really stood out. One of the greatest bands of the 80s, and listening to them always feels like returning to someplace comfortable.

Song of the Week: “Jackie” – Sinéad O’Connor

24 Sep

The first Sinéad song I got was “Jump in the River” on the Married to the Mob soundtrack—in fact, it was one of the reasons, along with Debbie Harry’s cover of “Liar, Liar,” that I purchased the album. Eventually I picked up a copy of The Lion and the Cobra at a used-music store downtown. I popped it into the tape player as I was leaving the parking lot but didn’t make it to the street. This first track on the album, a ghostly tale of love lost on the sea, astounded me and I parked again to wait until it ended. The video below is a live version from her Value of Ignorance video.

Song of the Week: “The Big Heat” – Stan Ridgway

26 Aug

Wow, Stan Ridgway has released 12 solo albums, the most recent coming out just last year. Amazing talent. I know his magnificent musical stories best from his early-80s stint with Wall of Voodoo (“Mexican Radio” and “Call of the West”) and his 1986 solo album, The Big Heat. It featured this week’s tune plus the captivating “Camouflage” and “Drive, She Said.” If you like the compelling story of “The Big Heat,” definitely take a listen to his other work.

Song of the Week: “Secret Oktober” – Duran Duran

26 Apr

I was a pretty decent Duranie by the time I left high school—due more to their Notorious album than to their earlier records—but a roommate told me that one of their best songs was one I’d never heard, found only on the b-side of 1983’s “Union of the Snake” 45. And he was right. Written, recorded, and mixed within 24 hours to meet a deadline, “Secret Oktober” has a spare, haunting appeal.

Just a few years ago, I watched an interview where Simon Le Bon remarked how the song’s rise in popularity over the years surprised him. The first video is the studio version, the second a wonderful live arrangement filmed in 1998 when the band consisted of only Le Bon, Rhodes, and Cuccurullo.