Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Eurythmics - Revenge - 1986

I must apologize for not posting last night.  Yesterday, I had to drive about 12 hours round trip to pick up my new company car from our corporate headquarters.  It made for a very long drive, and by the time I got home, it's all I could do to check the blog and answer a few comments made.  I do have note, though, that for about 2 hours yesterday, my blog was hit about 4,000 times from mainly Italy, but some Russia (who never has any visitors.)  I find it funny that someone would be trying to hack this blog, as I've put no personal information about myself in the blog or in my profile, shy of a shadow e-mail address.  Hilarious.

I've never been a HUGE fan of Eurythmics, but I DO love Missionary Man.  Not one of their most known or popular, even though it was a single, I don't know why I love it so much.  Maybe because it's so strong and fast, and the melody is catchy.  Maybe because it reminds me a bit of INXS and Midnight Oil and Big Pig, who all released albums about the same time.  It's the harmonica, dude.  Plus, that video for it kicks ass.

As for the rest of the album, it is a quality, well written and performed album.  I'm just not huge on the melodies.  They're good, don't get me wrong.  They just don't capture me like MM, and the album tends to start sounding a little too Adult Contemporary for me.  Maybe if I had been ten years older when I started listening to it, it may have grabbed me more.  But, if that was the case, I may not have liked the rest of the music released at that time as much, due to age.  Isn't it weird how your age can determine how much you like specific types of music regardless of how well they are?

Anyway, this may or may not be the only Eurythmics album I post, not counting the Tourists.  I might post 1984 or one of their first three albums, but we'll have to wait and see.  More than likely, as I mentioned in my housekeeping post, I'll get to them eventually.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Housekeeping notes....

Hello, all! I hope everyone is doing well!  My life has returned to normalcy a bit.  The chaos and confusion has lifted for a time.  So, I thought I'd do a little house keeping and let you know what's coming ahead for my posts.

My desire to work on this blog has returned all the way, now.  BUT, the time to work on it, due to my new job, is at an all time minimum.  Plus, I'm really beginning to feel the pressure from another aspect, of which I will address later in this post.  Right now, though, I am looking forward greatly to bringing you some new entries.

For those of you who would like to contact me, I've set up an email specifically for this blog, keeping it separate from my personal email.  So, from here on out, if you want to contact me, just drop me a line at - 

October and November are going to be two very important months of posts for fans of New Romantic/80s Pop/Synthpop.  I'm collecting a host of important groups from the genre that have a lasting and loyal fanbase, and haven't really been released in any large deluxe editions that I know of.  Bands like Talk Talk, Blancmange, Psuedo Echo, Re-Flex, Alphaville and Industry.  And those are just a few.  I've been having a lot of fun collecting these together, and I know that you'll enjoy them.

Which leads me to my next point.... or two.

1 - I am quickly running out of important bands THAT I LIKE that haven't already had a significant Deluxe Version already.  There's only so many albums out there, and I'm down to 4 or less albums by almost all of them.  Now, I could blow my wad now and just focus on those last few available, and be done within a couple months, tops.  Or, I can continue to drag them out, dropping some gems here and there, and fill in the gaps with lesser material, which I've actually been doing for months, now.

2 - Now that I am doing the lesser material, a lot of it is by groups that - if I liked - I only had maybe one album or a single or EP.  Never a complete comprehensive collection.  So, now when I make a new cover, I'm not actually just rounding up some tracks from off my hard drive and making a cover, I'm actually having to go out and look for a lot of the additional material.  A LOT.  A lot of the material I have never heard before.  And in some cases, I'll be posting deluxe editions of albums that I may not have actually listened to all the way through.....

It's become sort of a learning process in that as I start collating this material I discover a lot of new stuff that I like, but also don't like.  I know that I'll be posting groups that I may not even care for but a song or two, but I know that some of you may like it.  That's my motivation more than anything, now.  Looking for more stuff for you guys.

I am wondering if any of you out there think that there are sets that I need to revisit?  Where can I improve any of my Editions?  Am I missing tracks that need to be added?  Have new deluxe versions been released that has material that needs to be included?  Anything at all?  Are all of these versions final, or not?

Lastly, links.  PLEASE let me know if links are down.  There's nothing I hate worse than to go to a blog looking for some music that Google led me to, only to find out the link is dead.  Annoying as fuck.  If you find that a link is dead, I will be more than happy to re-up it.  In fact, I'll be grateful.

Thank you for reading this tonight.  I know I don't have any new music with it, so sorry to disappoint.  But, I will be back tomorrow with the Eurythmics.  So come back soon!


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Men At Work - Hard Luck Story - 1985

Dear fellow music lovers -

I've been delving into my incomplete sets to build new "Deluxe Versions" for all of us.  I am currently working on Men At Work's album Two Hearts.  In 1985, they released a single in Australia only for the song Hard Luck Story.  I am missing the following tracks for this song....

Hard Luck Story (Dance Mix)
Hard Luck Story (Instrumental)

As the album didn't have any new songs on b-sides, all I have are mixes to include.  Without these two mixes, my collection will be far from complete.  If ANYONE has these songs, I would greatly appreciate your help in finishing the set.  PLEASE let me know if you can find them!!!!!!

Thank you


Friday, August 25, 2017

Expanded Singles - Part II - New Order & Vince Clarke

I should have known when this single came out that the New Order I knew and loved was gone.  I got this as a cassette single the summer that it came out.  A friend and I had driven back to Chicago after graduation and spent a week running around the city.  We went to Wax Trax Records on the north side of town, and this was the only item I could find that piqued my interest.  (Hell, you'd think Wax Trax would be a goldmine.  Trust me, it wasn't.)  At first listen, I was taken aback.  What was this?  Mind you, this was also pre-Electronic, but maybe not pre-Revenge.  I listened to it a couple times and got used to it, and even thought that I liked it for a long time.  But, as time went by I realized more and more that New Order's final good album/single had been released with Technique.  It's more evident now than ever.  Sad but true.

"Such A Good Thing" was added in 1999 to the re-release of the single.  Whether or not it was from the same time period or not, it became part of this single in 1999.  If you don't like it in this set, then move it where you want it....

Do you like what I did, there, with the cover?  I was wondering what I was going to do for it, and thought it was ingenious when I flipped the cover over to the Assembly single.  Perfect.  I wonder if Vince had it designed like that on purpose?

I know that Vince did not do these on his own, but you have to know that both singles on this one single had to be his idea for the most part if not in whole.  I might be wrong.  But, if you have Vince's DM stuff, his Yaz stuff and his Erasure stuff, what do you do with his two random singles?  You do what I did here.

I like all of the songs here, as long as they are the short single versions.  Sharkey's vocals get very annoying on the long version, and the other long versions are simply repetitive more than anything.  But, Vince Clarke is Vince Clarke and you can't deny it's good.  I even threw in the extra unreleased instrumental from the same time period, just to flesh it out into a stronger EP.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Expanded Singles - Part I - Duran Duran & M|A|R|R|S

Trying something a little different this week, I am posting singles that don't have corresponding albums to go with them, and expanding them (to whatever degree I can.)

The two "new" songs for Duran2's GH album from 1989, they were never released on the GH album!  Ain't that a bitch.  And for the longest time, they were near impossible to find on CD.  Regardless of the fact that they mixed a lot of songs that weren't really meant to go together, it still came out sounding pretty well, considering the technology of the time.  I personally preferred Burning the Ground over Decadance, though.  After this single, it was a long slide down for the band to that shithole release Liberty, the worst Duran2 album EVER.

I've always been a huge fan of this single.  I have always been disappointed that they never gave us more than this.  To me, this was one of the first House singles... maybe?  At least, in my eyes.  Or should I say "in my ears".  All the mixes and a rare b-side.  A definite necessity.....

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Shamen - Universal/Beamship tracks needed....

I hate to tease you, but I am not posting this album today.  I will be posting it near the end of September.  I am still collating all of the tracks, and trying to find some missing ones.  Below is a list of the tracks I still need to complete this collection...

Universal (Sharp Vocal Remix)
Universal (1999 Extended Vocal)
Universal (1999 Dance Vocal)
Universal (Mr C. Vocal Edit)
Universal (Mr C Tech House)
U Nations (187 Lockdown Dub No 1)
Beamship (Original Mix)   
Beamship Captain Is Insane (Crazy Mr Anderson Remix)

A note on the Beamship requests - the version on the album is called "Brief Sighting".  I do not need that version.  If the tracks you have are around 43 seconds, then this is the wrong one. These two versions I need supposedly exist, but I cannot find them.  If I am mistaken, and these tracks I supposedly need are simply renamed versions of the same track, then please let me know!
If I could please get some help on these, I would really appreciate it!   ---Thanks!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Huey Lewis & the News - Fore! - 1986

So, the third album I ever got was Sports by HL&tN.  I got it for my 14th birthday, because I sorta liked it, and my dad liked and approved of it, so we were all good with it.  Mind you, had I REALLY had a choice in it, I probably wouldn't have gotten it.  But, you take what you can when you have controlling parents.  But, I ended up loving the album.  It brings back so much of my youth whenever I listen to it.  Pure Rock and Roll.

When HL&tN released Fore!, I was rather interested, but that was when my parents had put the kibosh on secular music, and I was wading through Petra and Steve Taylor and Servant.  The secular music was hidden and discreet, and with limited funds, I couldn't afford much.  Especially when I was spending most of it on comic books (I obviously was a geek.)  I saw the videos, heard the singles, saw Back To the Future, and that was my extent with Fore!

Over the years I was able to come back around to HL&tN and Fore!  Another nostalgic album, it takes me back to simpler times, and the times in the eighties when the economy was good, youth was adventurous, and I was loving and living Chicago to the fullest.

At times I sometimes feel as if HL&tN is too American sounding, if you know what I mean.  But Huey just has a way with melodies and delivery that truly expresses his feelings and shows a side of Americana that most people take for granted.  He truly comes across as a auto mechanic with a microphone.  A hard-working, rough and dirty man with passion and drive.  He's a guy that you could see living down on the blue-collar side of town with a small house, crummy yard in a run-down neighborhood.  The everyman.  And, he's happy.  He's got a positive outlook, and he's motivated.  He feels GOOD.  That's what this album feels like to me.

I know the cover looks better with all of them spread across the image, but I wanted to get the single sleeves in there, as they are diverse and entertaining.  So, you get the original front, and the patchwork back that I so love.  I also have said that I don't care for individual live tracks, but I took exception with I Knew The Bride, because it's really fucking good.

Huey Lewis & the News - Fore! - Part 1       Huey Lewis & the News - Fore! - Part 2

PS - How many albums have I posted so far?  I'm too damn lazy to count.  A selection of choice for "deluxing" for the first person to tell me how many.  I should be close to the 500 mark by now......

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sting - Mercury Falling - Disc Two - 1996

My best friend got Sting's Mercury Falling as a Christmas gift for my wife and I on our first Christmas.  My wife and I had been married about 6 months, and he was still struggling through medical school, so he was pretty much broke.  We appreciated that he got this for us.

Unfortunately, this was probably my least favorite Sting album for a long, long time.  I was very disappointed when it came out, after his three previous gems.  To me, this was adult contemporary elevator music.  And, in 1996, the music scene was going wild with Electronica, Britrock, American Alternative, and I'm sure some other genres that I didn't care too much about.  All I'm saying is that the music choices at that time were broad and all extremely good, Especially for someone in their mid to late 20s.  So, to decide to listen to this....  well, it wasn't high up on my list.

His Brand New Day album really changed things for him, and for me, and my wife and I saw him the summer of 2000 for that glorious tour.  The best show we saw that summer, beating out both Duran2 and Cure.  In fact, sweaty Simon and Fat Bob could hold a torch to him.  (And, Simon really was sweating through his t-shirt, leaving dark sweat marks in his pits and on his belly.  Gross.)

Having changed my thoughts on Sting after Brand New Day, I went back and gave Mercury Falling another shot.  Yes, the album isn't the most exciting one out there.  But, it is sincere, well-written, performed gracefully and succinctly, and showed Sting's growth and maturity.  The song hooks were subtle yet lasting, the mood was one of happiness and sadness, but ultimately human.

I was going to do the original album with the extra tracks, but it just worked out better to do everything BUT the album, so a disc two to be precise.  Just line this disc up beside/behind the original, and now you have everything.

Yes, this may not have been one of Sting's best ones.  But, it's still better than most out there, and still a necessity for any Sting collection.  He's not just Fields of Gold....

Friday, August 11, 2017

Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark - Architecture & Morality - 1981

I've been looking forward to posting this one for quite some time.  This album is quintessential OMD.  This is OMD at their most creative.  When I think of OMD, this is the album that I go to.

I've mentioned previously that If You Leave and The Pacific Age were essential listening for my Freshman and Sophomore years in High School.  This one didn't come until my Freshman year in college, and that was only because I was horribly disappointed with Sugar Tax and needed to purchase something new (to me) and different by OMD.  Sugar Tax had resparked my interest in them, and I went on a hunt after being let down by such a lousy album.

Needless to say, this album did not let me down.


When they re-released this album back in....  2003 (?) I noticed right off the bat that their "Deluxe Version" had left off a few key points.  After years of listening and research and collecting, I realized that there was more than enough material to make two discs worth, well more than they had released on the Deluxe.  Add on to that, you had that delicious Dreamtime mix of Maid of Orleans, and then that Deno mix which isn't that bad.  So, had to gather it all up together, and put my deluxe stamp on it.  I'm not sure about the color of my version, as every version seems to change color anyway, but I held true to the design.  And, as for the bonus disc, I used some 7" sleeve graphics that are fan made and were never actually released.  Still looks pretty damn good.

Again, I'm 99% certain I have everything there, but let me know if you find something I missed.....

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Miles Kane - Don't Forget Who You Are - 2013

By the time this posts and you read it, I will be two days into my next week on the road.  I finally figured out how to schedule out the posts, that way they are available on the days I promised without being here.

Miles Kane is an anomaly to me.  Here is a young British gent with talent galore yet he's writing and singing pop songs that sound as if they were from the sixties.  It's mind blowing.  Every track sounds as if it was written more than 50 years ago, with it's upbeat, bubblegum sound, yet it still captures that flare of modern Brit Rock that I find so attractive.  He started out in 2007 with the Little Flames, then the Rascals, and then the Last Shadow Puppets with Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys.  His solo releases have been spectacular and well written.  They have that perfect 3-chord magic of the sixties and very simple melodies.  And it still sound fresh and relevant.  Really incredible material. 

I have all the b-sides, some instrumentals, and even a song working with Professor Green (which is interesting unto itself.)  The cover is a better representation of his handsomeness, as the original cover makes him look sort of ugly.  He's a great guy, and someone to pay attention to in the future!!!!

I'll see you on Friday....

Part One          Part Two

Friday, August 4, 2017

Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill - 1986

I truly have to admit that I didn't get into this album enough to actually purchase it until after I moved from Chicago to Nebraska.  In Chicago, with such a wide variety of styles and cultures, I was able to explore many different genres of music unfettered and choose the ones that I liked most, and find like-minded people with whom to associate.  That's why I settled in firmly to Post Punk.  But, once I moved to Nebraska in 1988, I was faced with a dramatically different scenario.  In Nebraska in the late 80s you were only allowed to listen to four different genres of music - Classic Rock, Hair bands/Glam Rock, Country or Rap.  That was it.  If you listened to anything else, you were ostracized and sent to the wood shed.  There was no tolerance or yielding at all.  Those very few that I knew who liked the music that I did kept it very hush-hush, like we were living in Nazi Germany hiding from the SS.

So, if I went out with the guys in Nebraska to cruise the local strip, I was forced to listen to these genres repeatedly.  Now, I don't have a problem with any of those genres...  well, yes, I do.  I hate Rap and Country.  So, it wasn't all that fun.

When one of the guys put this album on, I rolled my eyes and tolerated it silently, as I didn't want to rock the boat.  I was new in town, and I was trying to find new friends, and the last thing I wanted to do was be overbearing about what music we listened to, especially when all the rest of the guys loved it.

Over the course of the next year, year and a half, I heard this album about 25-30 times.  And it grew on me.  Really grew.  I started to truly enjoy it, despite it's sexist overtones and drug references.  Not that I condoned that sort of talk or behavior (even though today's Rap music - dominated by truly liberal or left-thinking people - is chock full of sexism and drug reference.  They treat women like dogs and exploit them horrendously.  I don't know why Democrats/Leftists/Liberals tolerate it.  Heaven's to Betsy if I talk about my faith in Jesus it's a mortal sin)

This album really sees the boys starting off at their best and at their worst simultaneously.  They are raw, inexperienced and performing without thought or consideration.  They were all about the parties and the girls and the Brass Monkey.

But, this album opened up a new aspect of music that previously had been relegated to niche stations and not at all mainstream.  It explored the newly developing Rap genre in ways that hadn't been done so far.  And I feel it led to a different, more substantial take on the controversial genre.

From here on out, the Boys would only get better.  Each album progressively found them breaking new territory and sound.  It's just hard to believe they started like this.

I added their first mainstream single, some bonus cuts, and all of the remixes (I think).  And it still comes in under 80 minutes!  One disc!

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite and most iconic album covers that I know of.  Even when I didn't care for these guys, I still loved the cover and it was instantly recognizable.  It's difficult to find a good scan of it on the internet, though.  Hopefully this one meets your standards.

SO, it's Friday night.  Load this on your music format of choice and go out for a drive shortly after sunset.  Turn it up, and have a little fun like you did when you were young.....

This last week has been a week from hell for me.  I had my wife's car break down in Oklahoma City, my car got hit in OKC while I was there trying to help my wife (completely ripped off the back bumper) and the driver speeds off before the cops can get there.  Then, when we finally get back home, two days later, I find that my dog's health had declined so much that we had to take her in to get put down.  And the washer broke.  I mean, my wife still is out of work, so we are operating on half of an income, and we have to dump almost 2K in four days on shit that we weren't expecting.  What the hell am I supposed to do?!  Fortunately, we both have families that are always there to help, and they gave us some assistance, but it didn't cover everything.  So, we are still in the red and trying to find a way to make it back up.  Anyone got an extra 10 large laying around, feel free to send it my way....