KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

Thirty Year Thursday – …AND THE REST (PART 3) / IN CONCLUSION

[Welcome to Thirty Year Thursday, the weekly series on my favorite albums of 1986]

These are the final four albums celebrating their 30th anniversaries that I’ll be highlighting.

 

Kate Bush - The Whole StoryArtist: KATE BUSH
Album: THE WHOLE STORY

A rare best-of to appear in this series but I couldn’t resist including it because it’s an essential collection of the best-known songs from her first five albums (including ten UK Top 20 hits). Also, she’s already been mentioned here twice before, in my posts about Peter Gabriel’s So and Big Country’s The Seer, so she managed to stay in the public eye even without a new album to promote in 1986. Her unique artistry has resulted in a discography that’s often hard to penetrate, but once you enter her world it all makes sense. Pretty much every song on this compilation is a work of art, with “Wuthering Heights,” “The Man With The Child In His Eyes,” “Hounds Of Love,” “Running Up That Hill” and “Babooshka” being particular favorites.

 

 

Paul McCartney - Press To PlayArtist: PAUL McCARTNEY
Album: PRESS TO PLAY

This is far from McCartney’s best work but it’s also not the career nadir that so many fans suggest. Yes, Hugh Padgham’s production and the proliferation of programmed drums and other typical ‘80s sounds immediately date-stamps it to that era, but his voice was still in its prime and there are a number of excellent songs (many of them co-written with 10cc’s Eric Stewart). Highlights for me include the melodic “Stranglehold” (not a Ted Nugent cover), the pretty piano ballad “Only Love Remains,” the bouncy ‘80s pop of “Press” and the propulsive “Angry,” with Pete Townshend on lead guitar and Phil Collins on drums.

 

 

Daryl Hall - 3 Hearts In The Happy Ending MachineArtist: DARYL HALL
Album: THREE HEARTS IN THE HAPPY ENDING MACHINE

With the help of producer Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics), Daryl Hall continued the huge production sound of Hall & Oates’ previous album, Big Bam Boom, for his sophomore solo release. Both records suffer from inconsistent songwriting but there’s still plenty to enjoy here, like the Top 5 smash “Dreamtime” (his highest charting single), the jaunty Top 40 hit “Foolish Pride,” “I Wasn’t Born Yesterday,” “Someone Like You” and the brooding, powerful album closer, “What’s Gonna Happen To Us.”  Even the lesser songs are worth hearing with Hall still at the peak of his vocal power.

 

 

The Fabulous Thunderbirds - Tuff EnuffArtist: THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS
Album: TUFF ENUFF

By 1982 The Fabulous Thunderbirds had released four albums of blues-rock that slipped under the radar of most music listeners. The quartet fronted by singer/harmonica player Kim Wilson and guitarist Jimmie Vaughan (by then best known as Stevie Ray’s older brother, but a great player in his own right) finally had a brief brush with mainstream success via the Top 10 single “Tuff Enuff” and its parent album. That title track remains one of the great songs of that era, adding pop elements & synths to their signature style. Other standout tracks are the Huey Lewis-esque “Two Time My Lovin’,” the fun, bouncy blues cover “Why Get Up” and their rendition of the Sam & Dave classic “Wrap It Up.” With 10 songs in 32 minutes it’s a record you can play over & over and never grow tired of it.

 
Honorable Mention
(These albums, in no particular order, didn’t quite make the cut. Which ones do you think deserved to get their own posts, and what other albums from 1986 did I completely overlook?):

Jackson Browne – Lives In The Balance
Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin
Bob Seger – Like A Rock
Judas Priest – Turbo
Lou Reed – Mistrial
Bob Dylan – Knocked Out Loaded
Neil Young – Landing On Water
Van Morrison – No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Kicking Against The Pricks and Your Funeral…My Trial
Camper Van Beethoven – Camper Van Beethoven
Alice Cooper – Constrictor
Frank Zappa – Jazz From Hell
General Public – Hand To Mouth
Joe Satriani – Not Of This Earth
The Housemartins – London 0 Hull 4
Brian Setzer – The Knife Feels Like Justice
Megadeth – Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Live/1975-85
Talk Talk – The Colour Of Spring

It’s been so much fun looking back on 1986 for the past 12 months. When I started this series the purpose of these weekly posts was to keep me writing & chatting with my fellow music nuts (er, I mean enthusiasts) while still posting about some other subjects whenever I had the time. I had ideas for a few brief series that I know my readers would enjoy as much as I do, but those stayed on the back burner all year as my schedule barely allowed me to keep Thirty Year Thursday going each week. It looks like the first half of next year will be the same but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I will eventually get back to “business as usual.” Until then, thanks for reading, commenting, sharing and keeping this music alive. As time permits, be on the lookout for a similar series in 2017.

Advertisements

37 comments on “Thirty Year Thursday – …AND THE REST (PART 3) / IN CONCLUSION

  1. le0pard13
    December 8, 2016

    Great to see The Fabulous Thunderbirds make the list, especially with Tuff Enuff. 🙂

    Like

    • Glad you also appreciate that album. I hadn’t realized the perfect timing of including it in my final Thirty Year Thursday post since it includes the song “Wrap It Up.” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. stephen1001
    December 8, 2016

    I just picked up The Whole Story LP for $1 a few weeks ago!
    Nice series Rich, I think my fellow nutty music enthusiasts will all agree!

    Like

    • Thanks, Geoff. Finding any Kate Bush LP for $1 is a nice find. One of my best friends has been a huge fan since I met him in college, and he’s been seeking her catalog on vinyl recently. Apparently it’s not easy to find them in excellent condition.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. DanicaPiche
    December 8, 2016

    Very nice wrap up, Rich! I didn’t realize Daryl Hall released so much solo music. I like your honorable mentions and I’d vote for highlighting Jackson Browne, Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

    Like

    • Thanks, Danica. In my opinion the only truly great Daryl Hall solo album is his debut, Sacred Songs, which was a collaboration with King Crimson’s Robert Fripp. The rest of his solo discography is very good but his best (and most consistent) work is with Hall & Oates.

      If I had more time I would have devoted posts to most of those “honorable mention” albums, but after 48 posts (including 57 albums) I felt it was time to wrap things up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • DanicaPiche
        December 8, 2016

        That’s good to know, Rich. It’s always interesting when an artist’s best work is in a particular collaboration.
        Yes, the list could easily extend forever, couldn’t it?
        Thanks for this series, Rich. 🙂

        Like

      • Very true, Danica. Hall is at his best when he has a strong collaborator.

        Thanks for sticking with me through this series. It’s been a lot of fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      • DanicaPiche
        December 8, 2016

        I’m already looking forward to what you have in store for 2017!

        Like

      • Thanks. All I want is enough time to write some fun posts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • DanicaPiche
        December 8, 2016

        That’s a most excellent New Year’s resolution…or wish. I hope you manage to find that time!

        Like

      • Thanks. I hope all is settled at Chez Danica and there will be lots of your classic posts in 2017.

        Liked by 1 person

      • DanicaPiche
        December 8, 2016

        Thanks, Rich! That’s my wish as well — I’ve made blogging and writing a priority and that’s made a difference so far.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kevin
    December 8, 2016

    Great series, Rich. On several occasions you had me going back to dig out something I haven’t in heard in a long time. For instance, Kate Bush. I forgot how much I liked “Running Up That Hill” and “Babooshka.” The Whole Story was the only album of hers I owned and now I have to go find it.

    I never heard Hall’s solo album but was always curious about it. I figured it sounded nothing like Sacred Songs. I found McCartney’s 80’s output disappointing.

    I’m surprised you didn’t revisit David and David. I just listened to it recently and it sounds like something you would really like. Great songwriting, great vocals, and I know that 80’s production doesn’t faze you.

    I’m happy to see you give a nod to Camper Van Beethoven, Frank Zappa and especially Talk Talk. Especially Talk Talk! Did I mention Talk Talk?

    Like

    • Thanks, Kevin. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this series. I really appreciate you checking in and sharing your thoughts throughout the year. That Daryl Hall album is miles apart from Sacred Songs. If you like H&O’s Big Bam Boom you’ll probably find a lot to like, but it’s far from a classic.

      I already highlighted that David + David album in Part 3 of my One And Done series. I probably should have included it under the Honorable Mention list. Great record. I’ve heard they’re working on a very-belated follow-up.

      So, are you a Talk Talk fan? Haha. I was introduced to their music only in the last few years so I’m still discovering just how great they were. Had I known the album longer it definitely would have received its own post in this series.

      Like

      • Kevin
        December 8, 2016

        You didn’t overlook much but, in my opinion, here’s what you did;

        Chameleons UK – Strange Times – a life-changing album for me. An all-time favorite. I can’t say enough.

        The Smiths – The Queen is Dead – I have to assume you don’t like them or they would be included here. Some of the most beautiful guitar melodies ever recorded came from the hands of Johnny Marr.

        Public Image LTD – Album – John Lydon goes BIG (With Steve Vai and Ginger Baker, no less). “Rise” is an anthem, with an actual melody!

        Husker Du – Candy Apple Grey – Possibly my favorite American band. Noise meets energy meets melody, with melody taking precedent with each passing album. Every 90’s alt/rock band should split their royalties with this band.

        Jazz Butcher Conspiracy – Distressed Gentlefolk – If only just for the song “Angels.”

        World Party – Private Revolution – a bit Beatles, a bit Dylan, a bit Stones, a bit Prince. What’s not to like? Karl Wallinger is an excellent songwriter.

        Till Tuesday – Welcome Home – Aimee Mann really comes into her own on the beautiful title track. Great synth/guitar pop throughout.

        Did I mention Talk Talk? 🙂

        Like

      • Some good ones on your list, Kevin. Here are my thoughts on them:
        Chameleons – I know the name but never listened to them. Will seek it out.
        The Smiths – I could never stand Morrisey’s voice but I really like their music. I own The Queen Is Dead and one more (Strangeways…?) on vinyl but I don’t play them often because of the singing. I will say that I’ve come around a great deal compared to how I felt in the ’80s & ’90s but they’ll never be a band I love.
        PiL – A few years ago I got a 2-CD compilation and loved a lot of it, but I’m not sure I’m ready for their individual albums just yet. I can see myself getting into them at some point in the future, and I know Album is very highly regarded.
        Husker Du – I’ll have to give them a shot one of these days. That style of music was never my thing, although I really like Bob Mould’s Workbook. Maybe that will be my inspiration for checking them out.
        Jazz Butcher Conspiracy – I had only heard of them until a couple of years ago when I got a compilation of their early work and loved it. Will definitely check more of their music out eventually.
        World Party – I had forgotten that Private Revolution was released in ’86. It’s likely I would have highlighted it in this series. A major oversight for me. I really like those guys. I saw them once, but Jellyfish opened up (on their first tour) and blew me away so much that I left halfway into World Party’s set. It’s not that they were bad in any way, but Jellyfish were so awesome that I couldn’t handle any more music that night.
        Til Tuesday – Yikes, they were also on my list and I should have included them under Honorable Mention. Their third album is by far my favorite, and Aimee Mann’s solo debut is my favorite thing she’s ever done.
        Talk Talk – Are you a fan? 😀

        Like

      • Kevin
        December 8, 2016

        Correction: the Til Tuesday track I referred to is “Coming Up Close.” There is no title track for that album.

        Like

      • Thanks for the correction. Haven’t played the album in a while so wouldn’t have picked up that error.

        Like

      • Kevin
        December 10, 2016

        I’m happy to see that you like Til Tuesday and World Party. They seemed like curious omissions. It speaks to what a good year ’86 was that you could forget a few. I’m also jealous that you got to see a World Party/Jellyfish (w/ J. Falkner, I assume?) double bill.

        I can totally understand not liking Morrissey’s voice. I don’t love it so much as tolerate it to hear what Marr is up to. If you ever get around to trying Husker Du, I would strongly suggest their last album Warehouse: Songs And Stories. Mould and Hart’s songwriting had really matured by then and they were both writing some great pop/rock, miles away from their early speed/hardcore days.

        Happy Holidays, Rich, and I look forward to see what you have up your sleeve for 2017.

        (Also, R.I.P. Greg Lake. What a horrible year 2016 was for musicians and their fans)

        Like

      • Yep, that Jellyfish tour was when Falkner was with the band. Also saw them on the Spilt Milk tour and they were equally as good. That was still the best harmony vocal performance I’ve ever seen.

        Will keep that Husker Du album in mind when I’m ready. I’ve been spending more time with Spotify in recent months since I want to accumulate less physical product…at least until my new media room is ready next year…so I’ll see if that album is available there.

        It’s hard to believe that Emerson & Lake died in the same year. Amazing to think that I saw Emerson, Lake & Powell in ’86 and all three are now gone. Sadly, 2016 is just the tip of the iceberg. When you consider that all the greats of the ’60s & ’70s are now in their 60s & 70s, and taking into account the lifestyle choices many of them made years ago, it’s often hard to believe how many of them have survived this long. I hope I’m wrong but I think we’re going to lose a lot of legends each year for quite some time. It should be a reminder to people that they need to see these artists while they’re still with us, and always cherish their music.

        Happy holidays & New Year to you too, Kevin. Still pondering what I’ll do here in 2017. It’s all about free time, so stay tuned.

        Best…
        Rich

        Like

  5. fyfeopedia
    December 8, 2016

    The Colour Of Spring is one of my all time favourites – that’s the one I would have elevated for more attention. It’s a bridge between their early synth pop and their later post rock, but it’s terrific in its own right.

    I really like the new song on The Whole Story – Experiment IV.

    Like

    • I was first introduced to Talk Talk’s music in the last couple of years so I’m a relative newcomer to those amazing albums. Had I known them longer they definitely would have been highlighted in this series beyond Honorable Mention, but I agree that The Colour Of Spring is great. I also really like that previous unreleased Kate Bush song.

      Like

  6. Alvaro Almeida
    December 8, 2016

    Hi Rich, I vote for Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, The HouseMartins, Brian Setzer (love this album) and Talk Talk (another great album). Happy 2017 for you too. And hope to see more of your posts.

    Like

    • Hi Alvaro. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you’ve enjoyed this series. It seems like there are a lot of Talk Talk fans out there, which is nice to see. I’ve only known their music for a few years so I have a lot of catching up to do, but The Colour Of Spring is fantastic and would have gotten its own post had I known it for a longer time.

      Happy/Merry holidays. Have a great 2017.

      Like

  7. 1537
    December 9, 2016

    Great job Rich – what a shame the McCartney track wasn’t a Ted Nugent cover.

    I’d promote the Housemartins LP, it’s such a lot of fun.

    Like

    • If there were 14 months in the year I would definitely have given The Housemartins their own post. I really enjoy their music but I only discovered them in the last 10 years and they didn’t quite make the cut for this series.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. David H
    December 9, 2016

    I I still love the Housemartins. London 0 Hull 4 is a real product of its time. Socialist Christians writing angry lyrics for really catchy tunes in the age of Thatcher. Maybe not worthy of their own post, but definitely an honorable mention.

    Like

    • I didn’t know anything about The Housemartins and their political beliefs when I first heard them in the last 10 years. I just loved the catchy music. As I mentioned in another comment, they would have gotten their own post had the year been a month or two longer. That album may be a product of its time but it still sounds great today. I’m guessing you agree.

      Like

  9. Murphy's Law
    December 9, 2016

    That’s definitely my go-to Kate Bush. Her albums tend to wander off in directions I have trouble following, but that compilation really nails it.
    And let me join in the Housemartins chorus. They are a band that I come back to time and again. The lyrics mixed with the bouncy pop is an amazing combination.

    I really liked “Dreamtime” at the time but I just never followed it up.

    Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin – This was my favorite Ozzy album for a while. The production sounded great on my crappy little car cassette deck; seriously, did they just push all the volume levels up to 10 and press record? Jake E. Lee got a bad rap for Not Being Randy Rhoads.

    Judas Priest – Turbo – After Screaming for Vengeance (which I loved) this was a disappointment. I liked the versions on Priest … Live! better. I don’t know if this is true, but a friend told me that Priest never rehearsed their songs before going in the studio and that’s why the live versions were so much better. Or maybe they’re just a great live band.

    Lou Reed – Mistrial – I have this but I don’t remember the last time I listened to it, I dated a girl in college who was a big Lou Reed fan, but it ended poorly, so I put Lou away for a while. New York is probably the only one I listen to anymore.

    General Public – Hand To Mouth – I have this also but I never gave it a chance. It didn’t catch me immediately like …All the Rage did (or the English Beat albums did for that matter) and it ended up at the back of the rack.

    Joe Satriani – Not Of This Earth – I came into this one after I saw him live on the Flying in a Blue Dream tour – good stuff

    Megadeth – Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? – Part of the soundtrack of my high school life. Beyond criticism.

    Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Live/1975-85 – I got this used out of curiosity, because I never really got into his studio stuff. I see why people worship him and I found out he wasn’t my cup of tea. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to come around, though (as I have with a lot of 1970’s music)

    Like

    • Thanks for the feedback and your thoughts on those Honorable Mention albums. Happy to find so many Housemartins fans here. I only discovered them in the last 10 years so they’re still relatively new to me but I like everything I’ve heard. If I had more time for this series that album would certainly have deserved its own post. I agree that there are some disappointments among the albums I included here, but it’s only when compared to those artists’ best work. Those records by Priest, Lou and General Public may not hold up well against their best work, or even the albums that came our shortly before/after, but they each have some excellent songs and are part of what made 1986 such an interesting year for music.

      As for the Springsteen live box set, it certainly deserves its own post but I tried to focus on studio albums in this series with just a couple of exceptions. It’s an awesome collection and ideal evidence of the greatness of Bruce & the E Street Band for any doubters.

      So, just coming around to ’70s music? There’s so much amazing stuff from that decade in multiple genres. If you’re anything like me, your tastes will continue to expand as you get older and you’ll discover so many things that previously slipped below your musical radar.

      Like

      • Murphy's Law
        December 11, 2016

        I really started to form my own musical opinions and buying a lot of music around 1982 – most of what I listened to before that was music on the radio and my dad’s record collection (which leaned heavily towards ’60’s folk rock). A lot of the music I started on (new wave, metal) was in reaction to ’70’s rock. My mom likes a lot of ’70’s mainstream pop and rock, so that made it completely uncool. And something like Steely Dan, I was too young at the time to understand them.

        Like

      • Since my parents were never passionate about music I never had to rebel against what they liked. I spent my early childhood with the handful of albums they owned (Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, some classical compilations, Herb Alpert) and formed my own opinions on music. I also came around to their era with artists like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, big bands, etc. I love that stuff as much as many of my favorite rock bands. I like to think I’ll still be discovering music from earlier eras even as I get older.

        Like

  10. Jeff Kempin
    December 9, 2016

    Really enjoyed this series, Rich. Even if it was an album I wasn’t familiar with, it was nice to read about them and your enthusiasm shone through. As long as you keep on writing, I’ll keep on reading and I’m looking forward to it.

    I would have covered the Springsteen Live set. It’s really a good summation of the ten best years of his career, with a few covers and non album tracks thrown in. Yeah, it does dwell a little too much on the BITUSA tour, which that drum and synth sound forever date stamps it, but the the first half of the set is pretty darned good.

    The Setzer and Van Morrison albums are pretty good too. The Knife Feels Like Justice was all over the radio in ’86. While the Morrison flopped (I think) upon its release, it has, like so many of Van’s other albums, grown into a respected album over the years. I would love to have both of those on vinyl.

    ’86 was a tough year for the classic rock groups of the 60’s. McCartney, Young, Reed and Dylan all had really iffy records that year. You had to really dig to find the gems in those albums.

    Have a great holiday season and I can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2017.

    Like

    • Hi Jeff. Thanks for following along and sharing your insight throughout this series. Starting conversations with you & other passionate music fans is what keeps me writing. I agree that the Springsteen set deserved its own post but I ran out of time and I tried to focus mostly on studio albums. I briefly lost interest in Sprinsgteen around the time of BITUSA (still one of my least favorites from him) so I was less enthusiastic about this set than I would have been a couple of years earlier.

      Nice to hear that you enjoy the Van Morrison and Brian Setzer albums. I recently played the latter for the first time in years and I was surprised how different it sounded from his work with The Stray Cats. That’s what every front person should do when they go solo.

      Although I agree that classic rock artists didn’t release their best work in the mid-’80s, I tried not to judge those albums against their classic work but instead put them in the context of the era. McCartney, Young, Reed & Dylan didn’t put out their best material at the time but it’s still great to hear their voices in their primes (with the exception of Dylan, whose vocals were starting to deteriorate by then, just a few years after one of my favorites, Infidels), and each album has a number of really good songs. It’s definitely worth sifting through the sub-par material to find the gems.

      Happy holidays & New Year to you too. I’m still pondering what I’ll do in 2017. I’ve got a few ideas but it’s all about finding the time to do them.

      Thanks again for your support.

      Like

  11. Tangled Up In Music
    December 27, 2016

    It’s been quite the journey. Happy new year, Rich.

    Like

    • Sorry for the delayed reply, Ovidiu. I was out of town for most of the past week and I’m just starting to get settled again. Hope you had a wonderful holiday (whichever one you celebrate) and a happy New Year. Looking forward to more musical chats in 2017.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to KamerTunesBlog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 325 other followers

Archives

%d bloggers like this: