Monday, June 30, 2008

Maxi Priest - Wild World 12" - 1988

Remember Maxi Priest? Maybe you do and maybe you don't. If you were around in the 80's I'm sure you do. This was a pretty big hit for him. If you weren't around in the 80's you may not know him. I don't know that he get much play these days even on 80's music stations.

This is a remake of the Cat Stevens classic. This give is a sort of UB40 reggae style treatment. Sort of the warm fuzzy adult contemporary thing UB40 did so well in the 80's and 90's. You get a couple mixes of the song her. The first one is a 6 minute jazzy thing. It sort of takes its time wondering through the song. That is okay. With reggae music there is no need to rush things.

"On and On" is another electro pop reggae number. And then the third track is essentially the 3 and a half minute dub "Wild World". So you can take that and lay that under some song to make your own laid back mashup. If you do send it to me, because I'd like to hear it.


01 Wild World (Long & Saxy).mp3
02 On And On.mp3
03 Wild World.mp3

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yolanda del Rio - Se Me Olvido Otra Vez - 1975

I got this record mainly because of the cover. I was fascinated by the fairly unpleasant looking Yolanda del Rio. I apologize if I have offended any Yolanda del Rio fans out there, but I want to be honest. I was fascinated because I thought obviously this lady's singing career doesn't rest on her looks, so it must be based on the music. Maybe she was a great singer. Maybe she sang famous folk songs. I didn't know.

When I put on the record I was taken back. Here was this lady singing in Spanish and sounding like she was crying through every song. I didn't know what to make of it. I had never heard anything like it. I kind of wanted to laugh, but I was also caught up in the emotion and passion in her voice even if I didn't understand a word of what she was saying.

Then by some chance I played the record for a friend who has spent some time in Mexico and he immediately identified the music. He said it was a very common genre. If you asked me what the genre was that he told me, I'd have to say that I forgot. However in doing research for this blog I would think that he told me that it was ranchera.

As it turns out Yolanda del Rio was and is one of the most successful Ranchera singers of all time. She was part of a second wave of ranchera singers in the 70's and she sold over 20 million records. Yolanda is still around today. She has continued to record. She has a web site. You can find the here. You can read more about her on Allmusic or on Wikipedia. And I even found some clips of her on Youtube. Actually there are a lot of them. There are even people lip syncing to her songs.

The weird sort of irony of all this is that I bought the record because I thought she was ugly. Little did I know that I would look her up on the internet some day and find that she has just gotten worse. It seems that with all her success and money she has tried to correct her looks with plastic surgery and the result is that she looks like a complete freak of nature. I'm talking Joan Rivers territory. Anyways you can see for yourself on the Youtube clip of from the photos on her website.

After you've had your fun looking at her, erase that image from your mind and go back to the music. That is after all why she is famous. It is why I liked the record the first time I listened to it, not knowing any of this context. She sings with gut wrenching emotion that strikes a deep chord even through language barriers.


01 Si Me Olvido Otra Vez.m4a
02 No Me Olvides Amor.m4a
03 Cuando Todo Se Acabe.m4a
04 Nos Vemos Manana.m4a
05 Ya No Me Vuelvo A Enamorar.m4a
06 Por Orgullo.m4a
07 El Cantar Del Pastor.m4a
08 Llorar, Llorar, Llorar.m4a
09 Si Dios Me Ayuda.m4a
10 Esta Noche Voy a Verlo.m4a

Yolanda del

Here's a slide show set to the opening track.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Annabel Lamb - Riders On The Storm 12" - 1983

This is one of those "What the hell" kind of records for me. Someone named Annabel Lamb decided it would be good to do a laid back dance cover of the Doors classic "Riders On The Storm". I'm not against covering The Doors or this song, but what were they thinking with this song. It is so bland. I mean it is kind of a dance track, but it is so laid back that I don't think you'll be tearing up the dance floor to it. The vocals are only memorable in that they don't bring anything new to the piece. So basically file this one under oddity from the 80's.

As a side note I wonder why this was conceived. Where I grew up in the 80's The Doors were huge. I mean I grew up thinking of them as big and and important as say Led Zeppelin. The Doors was spray painted all over the place. Doors shirts were common. The Doors was written all over school books and folders. I don't know if that was regional or maybe they were having some resurgence in the early 80's or what, but as I've grown up and moved away from home, their star has somewhat faded. I still enjoy them, but with my adult eyes and my eyes in 2008 it is clear they weren't of Zeppelin's status. In fact as I kid I couldn't imagine someone saying they didn't like The Doors. I mean you just had to. So later in life when I started hearing people say that they didn't care for them I was surprised. I came to realize that there are plenty of people that have The Doors on their overrated list. Far more than Led Zeppelin ever will be. I mention this story just show how funny it is how our perceptions change over time.

So if you make it through the A-side, try the B-side which is essentially the instrumental. There are some vocals for the chorus, but they are minimal. This instrumental is almost painful because it is such a non event, but it is kind of save and maybe out does the A-side because of the crazy guitar solos and weird keyboard inserts that seem almost random. They kind of seem like they aren't even related to the song. It is kind of funny if you listen to it with that in mind. Again. What were they thinking?


01 Riders On The Storm (Specially Remixed Dance Version).mp3
02 Riders On The Storm (dub).mp3

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Surfmen - Hawaii, The Romantic Lure of Exotic Sounds Of The Surfmen - 1963

I have a handful of Hawaiian records and let's be honest I bought all of them for the covers. Many of them are pretty beaten up and many of them aren't that enjoyable of a listen. Some are kind of cheesey, but this one has just the right amount of cheese and genuine faux Hawaiian exotica spice to make it a relaxing and fun record. The key word in that last sentence is "relaxing". This record just oozes relaxing on the beach at sunset. This is the romantic version of Hawaii before all the mega resorts.

I've been to Hawaii once and it was for work. Didn't get to see much of anything. In fact I wasn't even in a very touristy place. However in my imagination I imagine that at the real touristy resorts it is kind of like Disneyland, where they are selling an image. Selling an experience and my guess is that at some of those places they are selling this romanticized version of Hawaii that America had in the 50's where it was this exotic far off place. A place not overrun with hotel and pavement. I'm guessing that as part of the sell there is Hawaiian music pumping out of the shrubs and echoing through the lobby. I don't know if it true of not, but if it is, I imagine this music playing. That's not really too far of a stretch, because that is essentially what this music was doing in 1963. It was selling a romantic dream of Hawaii as this dream getaway paradise. And you know what? I think this does the trick. I listen to this album and I want to go wherever this came from. It almost seems otherworldly.

The site Spaceagepop has a good little write up about the group that should give you some context about the group. This article refers to them as a super group in the exotica genre. Who would have thought?


01 Lovely Hula Hands.m4a
02 Beyond The Reef.m4a
03 Orchid Lagoon.m4a
04 Ha No Hano.m4a
05 Ma Hala Pua.m4a
06 Oloha Oe.m4a
07 Bali Hai.m4a
08 Hawaiian Wedding Song.m4a
09 Jungle Romance.m4a
10 Moon Of Manakoora.m4a
11 Polynesian Fever.m4a


Icicle Works - Icicle Works - 1984

I love finding a record like this. I bought it simply because of the one song that I knew "Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)". It's a nice bit of mid 80's pop genius. I didn't know anything else about the band. I vaguely remember seeing the video when I was a kid, but back then I wasn't really into this music. I think in 1984 I was big into the whole heavy metal thing.

I think I even had this record for a long time before I ever really delved into the other album tracks. I think I just would listen to that opening track and then put on something else. However after sitting on the shelf for a while I decided to listen to the whole thing one day. What probably happened was I was busy around the house and couldn't get away to change records so the whole of side one played. What I discovered what a brilliant record. It was far more alternative that I had thought it would be. I listened to it several times over the years and then I finally digitized it. Once it was on the ipod it got a lot of eartime. Up to this point the music was speaking for itself. I wasn't doing any research for a blog. I hadn't read anything about the band. I just knew I liked the record.

The funny thing is that I remember when I first played the record for my wife I commented to her, that I thought she would like it because they had a very Echo And The Bunnymen feel to them. Her response was "really" also only thinking of them as some sort of one hit wonder band from the 80's. For some reason I associate Tear For Fears with this band. Sounds silly I know, but you know how your brain makes weird connections. The funny revelation then came as I started to do some reading on Icicle Works. They were from Liverpool just like Echo and The Bunnymen. The comparison wasn't completely off base. They were contemporaries of each other and obviously influenced each other.

This release is the American release. The track listings are in a different order from the UK release. Most of the good songs are now at the beginning of the album making side one easily the better of the two sides. Also the American album changed the name of "Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)" was changed to "Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly)". Dumb Americans.

"In The Cauldron Of Love" is a great example of a Bunnymen type song. Kind of reminds me of "The Back Of Love". It also has a dark flavor reminiscent of The Mission, circa Children.

As a whole the album has a dark ominous tone. The rhythms are driving and the guitars get swirly and crazy. I still can't believe I didn't know what this band was all about until now. There is so much of other bands from the time that I love that can be heard here. Echo and the Bunnymen, The Mission, The Cult to name a few. I think if you are at all interested in those bands, this album might be right up your alley.


01 Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream).m4a
02 In The Cauldron Of Love.m4a
03 Nirvana.m4a
04 Lover's Day.m4a
05 A Factory In The Desert.m4a
06 Waterline.m4a
07 Chop The Tree.m4a
08 Out Of Season.m4a
09 As The Dragonfly Flies.m4a
10 Love Is A Wonderful Colour.m4a

Icicle Works Side
Icicle Works Side

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cheryl Lynn - Got To Be Real/Star Love 12"

Years ago my wife worked for a record company that imported and exported music. Most of what they exported was American Dance and hip hop to the far east. Every once an a while some one in the warehouse would give her records for me. This was one of them.

Sure these songs are from the 70's, but they are timeless classics and are always being repressed, at least they were about 9 years ago.

"Got To Be Real" is an all time classic dance song. I believe it is featured nicely in Boogie Nights. This track will get any party started or any dance floor started. Cheryl Lynn really belts it out in this song as well.

"Star Love" wasn't as well known to me. I'm pretty sure it was a single released the year after "Got To Be Real". It sounds a little more dated as just pure disco. There is a little bit in the song that reminds me of the Max Rebo Band from "Return Of The Jedi". Take that as you will, but in my book, it means a little bit of cheese. Still, the song can get you going and is still very dance friendly.


01 Got To Be Real.mp3
02 Star Love.mp3

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Eddy Arnold - I Really Don't Want To Know/I'll Never Get Over You 7"

Here's another from my Eddy Arnold collection. I have quite a few 45's and LP's by ole Eddy and so I'm basically making my way through them. This one isn't the greatest, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

"I Really Don't Want To Know" is a slow moving sleeper. Nothing very memorable. Side 2's "I'll Never Get Over You" is also a slow song, but it is pretty. I like the guitar work and Eddy's voice is quite soothing and romantic in a cowboy sort of way. You may not put this one on immediate repeat, but it's a nice one to come up on random on the Ipod every once in a while.


01 I Really Don't Want To.mp3
02 I'll Never Get Over You.mp3

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Clay House Inn, Presents The Real Thing Steel Band - 1970

This one is a bit of an oddity. This is a steel drum band that seems to have been sponsored by Coca Cola. As part of that sponsoring they played the Coca Cola theme and by the look of the cover, they wore Coca Cola uniforms. Strange to say the least.

To me the best thing on the record is "The Real Thing Theme". It is short and recognizable. It also seems to really work on steel drums.

The other tracks are hit and miss. Some are interesting curiosities like the "Hallelujah Chorus". Kind of strange hearing a classical song done on a group of steel drums. While not all the tracks work and some even go on too long and become a little annoying, you have to appreciate the effort. I mean some of this music was never intended to be played this way and it seems like it would have taken a lot of effort to arrange these for this band.


01 The Real Thing Theme.m4a
02 Poet & Peasants.m4a
03 Hallelujah Chorus.m4a
04 Somewhere My Love.m4a
05 Mas In Madison Square Garden.m4a
06 Voices Of Spring.m4a
07 Yellow Bird.m4a
08 Holly City.m4a
09 Siboney.m4a
10 Extro Real Thing.m4a

The Clay House Inn, Presents The Real Thing Steel Band - Side
The Clay House Inn, Presents The Real Thing Steel Band - Side

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kurtis Blow - Starlife 12" - 1981

Here's a nice single from Rap Godfather Kurtis Blow. I don't know if this was ever released on an album. I can't find it in It does appear on "The Best Of Kurtis Blow"

It's a pretty good single. The music underneath the rap and the chorus is actually quite good. I don't know if the music is original or if it is a sample of something else, but it has a Stevie Wonder vibe to it. There are some cool keyboard breaks throughout the song. This one works as a not just an old school rap song, but as a good ole R&B electrofunk pop 80's tune as well.

The record has the same song on both sides, so there is really just one track here.



Sunday, June 22, 2008

Depeche Mode - Wherehouse 03.20.90 Promo Tape

I found this tape in a thrift store recently. I didn't quite know what to expect. I believe it is basically a radio show produced by KROQ in Los Angeles with Richard Blades telling the story of an in store appearance of Depeche Mode in 1990. This was at the height of Depeche Mode mania. Violator came out then. I was in college then and I remember how big this record was. It seemed like the single just kept coming.

Anyways, the band did an in store appearance in LA that kind of got out of hand and this is the story of that event. There are lots of interviews and it has a nice narrative. It's about 20 minutes long. It serves as a pretty cool time capsule for 1990. If you were at all a fan of the band back then and remember this record coming out, I think you'll like listening to this for the nostalgia factor.

Also included is a mix of "Something To Do", which I'm sure is on one of the many Depeche Mode box sets collecting every single mix of every single out there.


01 Interview.m4a
02 Something To Do (Metal Mix Version).m4a

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Jane Wiedlin - Inside A Dream - 1988

I have two Jane Wiedlin single in my possession at this point. This one and Blue Kiss. I'm saving Blue Kiss for another time.

As a kid I never really followed the Go-Go's or the exploits of Belinda and Jane after the band. However as an adult I have a great affection for the Go-Go's and I'm just not discovering Jane's solo work.

This song isn't what I thought it was going to be. The song is even poppier that anything the Go-Go's ever did. I find that surprising because I had thought she left the Go-Go's to be heard as a singer songwriter. This song however just seems like kind of a generic pop dance song. There's nothing wrong with that, but it is just unexpected.

The tracks are very 80's sounding, but that doesn't mean they aren't still good. In fact when I was digitizing this, my daughter thought it was great. She was dancing all around the living room. I think that is a pretty good judge that it isn't too dated as far as pop songs go. She's up on all the latest pop songs on Radio Disney.

So give it a listen. If you don't like the first mix you've got 4 others to try and then "Song Of The Factory", which has synths that sound like a New Order song. I don't know if "The Factory" is supposed to be a reference to "The Factory" in England that is connected to New Order, but it does seem like an odd coincidence.


01 Inside A Dream (12_ Mix).m4a
02 Inside A Dream (12_ Edit Version).m4a
03 Inside A Dream (Single Version).m4a
04 Inside A Dub.m4a
05 Inside a Chep.m4a
06 Song Of The Factory.m4a

Jane Wiedlin - Inside A Dream 12".zip

Friday, June 20, 2008

Boots Randolph - Yakety Sax - 1963

It was inevitable really that I get around to posting Boots' first record. This record is top notch. It spent over a year on the charts and eventually went gold. Boots blows up a storm on side one and then cools things down for side two.

Highlights aside from "Yakety Sax" are "If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time), "Charlie Brown", "Cacklin' Sax" And "Smoke Gets If Your Eyes".


01 Yakety Sax.m4a
02 Walk Right In.m4a
03 If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time).m4a
04 Cotton Fields.m4a
05 Charlie Brown.m4a
06 Cacklin' Sax.m4a
07 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.m4a
08 I Can't Stop Loving You.m4a
09 Lonely Street.m4a
10 It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'.m4a
11 I Fall To Pieces.m4a
12 I Really Don't Want To Know.m4a


Thursday, June 19, 2008

One Day At A Time

I made this playlist/mix of songs recently and found that it was a nice selection of songs to wake up to in the morning. With the sun coming up so early now, there are mornings where I wake up so early that I just want to lay in bed a little while longer and this playlist has been a nice soundtrack to those mornings. Most everything is pretty mellow. There are some pretty well known pop tunes here and some perhaps more obscure gems.

Scroll down for two zip files containing everything.


01 One Day At A Time - Polly Cutter.m4a
02 Bubbly - Colbie Caillat.m4a
03 Heaven And Alchemy - Siouxsie.m4a
04 Boys Don't Cry - Grant Lee Buffalo.m4a
05 Who Needs Love - Razorlight.m4a
06 Heart Of Matters - Ben Harper.m4a
07 One Crowded Hour (Single Mix) - Augie March.m4a
08 One Two Three Four - Feist.m4a
09 Love on a Real Train (Risky Business) - Tangerine Dream.m4a
10 I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl - Allison Moorer.m4a
11 Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer.m4a
12 Little Bit Of Feel Good (Radio Edit) - Jamie Lidell.m4a
13 Suddenly - Olivia Newton-John & Cliff Richard.m4a
14 How Deep Is Your Love - The Bird & The Bee.m4a
15 Life And Death - Michael Giacchino.m4a
16 Thank You - Angie Mattson.m4a
17 Breathless - Cat Power.m4a
18 Angel - Jack Johnson.m4a
19 Love's the Last to Know - Bob Seger.m4a
20 Stuck In This Town - Charlie Overbey.m4a
21 Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's.m4a
22 Take My Love WIth You - Eli Paperboy Reed & The True loves.m4a
23 Asleep - The Smiths.m4a

One Day At A Time
One Day At A Time

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sparks - Angst In My Pants - 1982

Another great time capsule record from 1982 with a couple songs featured in the movie Valley Girl. I really shouldn't have to say any more than that. I hope I'm also not getting everyone sick with all my references to Valley Girl. It is one of the all time great 80's teen romance movies.

The only thing I think I want to comment on is the line delivery on "Angst In My Pants". I don't think there is another song on the planet that captures the pent up male frustration like the way this song does, just in the way the lyrics are delivered. I don't exactly know how to describe it, but once you hear it you really feel like this guy just has something he needs to get out, but can't.

Sparks have a long illustrious career that dates back long before this New Wave classic. Again they are products of Todd Rundgren who discovered the band and signed them to Bearsville in the early 70's. I apologize also for bringing up another Todd Rundgren reference, but i can't help it. The guy was everywhere. For more on that read here.

As a side note The Dirtbombs have a new 7" single called "Play Sparks" out that parodies the back of this Sparks record and on it they do 2 Sparks covers. One of which is "Sherlock Holmes" which is also on this album. It's decent. You should check it out if you have the chance.


01 Angst In My Pants.m4a
02 I Predict.m4a
03 Sextown U.S.A..m4a
04 Sherlock Holmes.m4a
05 Nicotina.m4a
06 Mickey Mouse.m4a
07 Moustache.m4a
08 Instant Weight Loss.m4a
09 Tarzan And Jane.m4a
10 The Decline And Fall Of Me.m4a
11 Eaten By The Monsters Of Love.m4a

Here's the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Phil Seymour - S/T - 1980

Of all the records I bought at the great New Wave/Power Pop purchase of 2008, this one had the most suspicious cover. I didn't know what to expect. I mean the body language on the back of the record jacket seems awfully feminine, so I didn't know what to expect. Was it going to be cool new wave pop music or was it going to be Leo Sayer. I'm happy to report that it is a record or great pop tunes.

"Precious To Me" kicks the thing off in perfect form. A quintessential 3 minute pop tune complete with a Frankie Valley like falseto. Pop bliss.

Phil Seymour was new to me when I picked this up. I did notice that he helped out on the 20/20 record I also bought that day. It turns out that before going solo Phil Seymour was essentially half of the creative force behind The Dwight Twilley Band. Dwight being the other half of course. I really don't know their music, but I at least have heard of them. After hearing this record I'm keeping my eyes out for any of their records as well.

"I Found A Love" is another great power pop tune. This one doesn't have the Frankie Valli falsetto, but has a little more of a rootsy rock flavor, which remaining squarely in the world of pop. The tune is catchy and light, just what you want in a powerpop tune. Me likey.

"Let Her Dance" and "Baby It's You" are fantastic and should also be pointed out. "Don't Blow Your Life Away" has shades of Wooly Bully and the theme to Peter Gunn. That comparison should perk your interest enough to want to check out that one.

The rest of the songs are all in this vein and make for a solid album on all accounts. Well crafted pop tunes to make your day brighter. For more on the release read here.


01 Precious To Me.m4a
02 I Found A Love.m4a
03 Love You So Much.m4a
04 Baby It's you.m4a
05 Let Her Dance.m4a
06 Then We Go Up.m4a
07 Don't Blow Your Life Away.m4a
08 We Don't Get Along.m4a
09 Trying To Get To You.m4a
10 I Really Love You.m4a
11 Won't Finish Here.m4a

Here's the whole thing. Phil

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Payola$ - No Stranger To Danger - 1982

I knew "Eyes Of A Stranger" from the soundtrack to "Valley Girl". By the way the two Valley Girls soundtracks " Valley Girl (Music from the Soundtrack)" & "More Music from the Valley Girl Soundtrack" are essential purchases for any 80's music fan and for that matter so is the film. Now back to the record. The record is laced with reggae influences that were seeping into popular music of the day. The Police of course doing a bag up job and blending it into their music. "Eyes Of A Strange" has that feel and so do many of the other songs. The song "Rose" has it going on. I am partial to the song because my daughter's name is Rose.

"Some Old Song" is a decent song. I like the bit in the middle that sounds like a phone call from a girlfriend. It's not literally a phone call, but a little scripted piece from a supposed girlfriend. She is kind of humorous with her accent.

"Rockers" is a fun rock-a-billyish rave up. It's a nice album closer with a different feel than the rest of the songs. Given the time period a rock-a-billy song doesn't seem so strange. The genre was in vogue at the time.

The song "Youth" is also pretty good. It has a nice sing-a-longy shouty chorus. The vocals also reminds me a little of Dexy's Midnight Runners, but maybe with a little more edge. This may seem like a strange comparison at first, but give it a couple listens and I think you'll see what I mean.

The album is produced by Mick Ronson of David Bowie fame produced the record. So the production is top notch. For more info about the group read here.


01 Romance.m4a
02 Eyes Of A Stranger.m4a
03 Some Old Song.m4a
04 Rose.m4a
05 Hastings Street.m4a
06 Youth.m4a
07 Lights To Chance.m4a
08 Mystery To Me.m4a
09 Pennies Into Gold.m4a
10 Screaming.m4a
11 Rockers.m4a

Here's a couple of Zips for side 1 & 2
The Payola$ - Side
The Payola$ - Side