Content tagged '80s'
Learning to Crawl (Expanded & Remastered) (Album of the Day)
The loss of a lead guitarist and a bassist in less than a year would have destroyed many bands, but Pretenders bounced back from tragedy with LEARNING TO CRAWL. The 1984 Sire set includes a magnificent tribute to the late James Honeyman-Scott in “Back On The Chain Gang” (a Top 10 hit), but the bulk of the ten tracks show the band looking forward rather than backward. With producer Chris Thomas returning to the helm, frontwoman Chrissie Hynde came up with some of her best songs, ranging from fiery rockers (“Middle of the Road,” “My City Was Gone”) to tender balladry (Christmastime classic “2000 Miles”), with an ace cover of The Persuaders' “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” to round out the set. More than a triumph over adversity, the platinum-certified LEARNING TO CRAWL stands among the very best Pretenders albums, and today we'll give it another spin in honor of Hynde's birthday.
Chicago 16 (Album of the Day)
CHICAGO 16 marked a new era for the legendary band; the collection was the group's first for Warner Bros., and introduced new guitarist Bill Champlin. Just as importantly, it was the first Chicago album produced by David Foster, whose meticulous craftsmanship and adult contemporary instincts put the focus on the septet's gentler side. Singer Peter Cetera's stock rose accordingly, and his ballads “Love Me Tomorrow” and “Hard to Say I'm Sorry” came to define the album – the latter became the band's second No.1 hit on this day in 1982. A Top Ten, platinum-certified smash, CHICAGO 16 set the group's course for the rest of the decade, and with its high-tech sheen and appealing songs, the collection still goes down easy.
Earth, Wind & Fire (Album of the Day)
Earth, Wind & Fire had a long string of R&B and pop smashes for Columbia in the 1970s and 1980s – so long, in fact, that many forget the band started out on Warner Bros. Drawing their name from leader Maurice White's astrological sign (Sagittarius), the group and its 1971 debut EARTH, WIND & FIRE served up humanistic lyrics and an inclusive musical vision well-described by those three elements. Featuring a 10-piece lineup including top Chicago and L.A. instrumentalists, these seven songs hew closer to raw funk than the group's later output, but “Fan The Fire,” minor hit “Love Is Life” and closer “Bad Tune” show EWF's playing was already sublime. The band received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on this day in 1995, and anyone interested in their work beyond a best-of ought to give EARTH, WIND & FIRE a listen.
The Innocents (Album of the Day)
Erasure's third studio album proved the charm; THE INNOCENTS became the commercial breakthrough for U.K. synth-poppers Andy Bell and Vince Clarke. Released as a single on this day in 1988, opener “A Little Respect” reached the U.S. Top 20, as did “Chains Of Love”; with “Ship Of Fools,” the duo had another signature song. In England the collection was even more successful, becoming the pair's first No.1 and helping Erasure earn a Brit Award for Best British Group. There isn't a dud among the 11 originals here, and producer Stephen Hague adds just the right amount of polish to the soulful vocals and punchy arrangements. The multi-platinum THE INNOCENTS remains one of Erasure's very best, and a must for any '80s fan.