One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1985 – Band Aid

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid

The Grandaddy of all charity supergroups – Band Aid. Band Aid founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for anti-poverty efforts in Ethiopia. In October 1984, a BBC report by Michael Buerk was aired in the UK, which highlighted the famine that had hit the people of Ethiopia. Irish singer Bob Geldof saw the report and wanted to raise money. He called Midge Ure from Ultravox and together they quickly co-wrote the song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.

The group was composed of leading British and Irish musicians who were among the most popular at the time. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was recorded on November 25, 1984, and was released 4 days later. The song became the the biggest selling single in UK Singles Chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at Number 1 for five weeks, becoming Christmas number one, and sold more than 3.5 million copies domestically. It remained the highest selling single in UK chart history until 1997, when Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997” was released in tribute to the late Princess Diana.

The song also got airplay in the U.S., where it also became a hit. It did not reach as high on the charts though, peaking at #13 on January 19, 1985.

The band inspired other charity acts such as “We Are the World”, “Voices That Care”, and other incarnations of Band Aid such as Band Aid II in 1989, and Band Aid 20 in 2004. The success of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” inspired Bob Geldof to set his sights on staging a huge concert for raise more funds. That concert turned out to be Live Aid in 1985.

is the list of artists for the original Band Aid, as it is listed on it’s sleeve:

Adam Clayton (U2)
Phil Collins (Genesis)
Bob Geldof (The Boomtown Rats)
Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet)
Chris Cross (Ultravox)
John Taylor (Duran Duran)
Paul Young
Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet)
Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17)
Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran)
Simon Crowe (The Boomtown Rats)
Marilyn
Keren Woodward (Bananarama)
Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet)
Jody Watley (Shalamar)
Bono (U2)
Paul Weller (The Style Council)
James “J.T.” Taylor (Kool & the Gang)
George Michael (Wham!)
Midge Ure (Ultravox)
Martyn Ware (Heaven 17)
John Keeble (Spandau Ballet)
Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet)
Roger Taylor (Duran Duran)
Sara Dallin (Bananarama)
Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama)
Pete Briquette (The Boomtown Rats)
Francis Rossi (Status Quo)
Robert ‘Kool’ Bell (Kool & the Gang)
Dennis J. T. Thomas (Kool & the Gang)
Andy Taylor (Duran Duran)
Jon Moss (Culture Club)
Sting (The Police)
Rick Parfitt (Status Quo)
Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran)
Johnny Fingers (The Boomtown Rats)
David Bowie
Boy George (Culture Club)
Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
Paul McCartney
Stuart Adamson (Big Country)
Bruce Watson (Big Country)
Tony Butler (Big Country)
Mark Brzezicki (Big Country)

Well, ’tis the season! Let’s listen to “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in case you haven’t heard it yet this year…

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“And Now Another Word From Our Sponsor” – ’80s Christmas Commercials, Season 2

Well, it’s that time of year again! We may not have cared too much for commercials back in the day. But, it sure is fun looking back at them now. We had several memorable commercials from the ’80s. After the success of last year’s batch, it should be fun have a sequel. Hopefully it will be more Empire Strikes Back than European Vacation or Temple of Doom. Here is our second season of Christmas commercials (in no particular order):

Polaroid

I was always told that Santa wouldn’t come leave presents unless you were sleeping. Well these smart-ass kids were trying to trick the big guy. But, Boo-Ya!! Santa was able to drop the presents off, snag some cookies and milk, and swipe the brats’ precious little picture of him before they could turn around and say – What the #*&$%!!!

K-Mart

I bet if you went into K-Mart today, they would have the same crappy selection of toys! If they have to say that the cassette radio “actually” plays music, that should raise some red flags! Yeah kid, you aren’t gonna get something really good this Christmas if your parents are doing their shopping at K-Mart. But, I hear that their underwear selection is really good – according to Raymond Babbitt anyway!

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Yes, when I think of Christmas, I think of…KFC!?! However, I would like a time machine to Return to the ’80s just to get those prices! I don’t think you could get a single piece of chicken there for that price now!

McDonalds

If I traumatized you with Ronald McDonald last year, I’m sorry for this holiday gift again this year.

M&M’s

There were quite a few commercials in the ’80s that had great jingles, and this was one of them. All the world DOES love M&Ms!

Kodak

I am going to have nightmares for weeks now. Watch at your own risk! I’ll watch Chuckie from Child’s Play now so I can get the images from this commercial out of my head! Come to think of it, maybe this is where the writer of Child’s Play got the idea.

Norelco

Here is a classic, with Santa riding in the razor.

Coke

And last of all, the classic, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” Coke commercial. This ’80s version adds a little twist by adding Disney characters.

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Daily Trivia: 12/16/11

Question: On Knight Rider, what was Michael Knight’s former name?


Last Question: What group was formed by drummer Terry Bozzio and his wife Dale, a former Playboy Bunny who sported Plexiglass bras?

Answer: Missing Persons

Dale and Terry Bozzio met while working with Frank Zappa, and they married in 1979. Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo met the couple while contributing to the Zappa album Joe’s Garage. Together with bassist Patrick O’Hearn and keyboardist Chuck Wild, they formed Missing Persons.

In 1980 the band made its first record, a 4-song EP entitled Missing Persons. In 1982 they signed with Capitol Records and re-released the EP and released the new full-length album Spring Session M (an anagram of “Missing Persons”).

They released several singles with varying results. The visual effects used in the music video for “Words” were unusual for the time, making it popular on the fledgling cable TV channel MTV.

Although they were becoming populat on MTV, the band’s 1984 album Rhyme & Reason did not do very well. Capitol was not happy with the band’s direction. So in 1986, Missing Persons followed up with the more conventional Color In Your Life. During the short-lived promotional tour, increasing tensions between Terry and Dale Bozzio led to the end of the tour, the couple’s marriage, and the band.

After the breakup of the band, Warren Cuccurullo replaced Andy Taylor in Duran Duran and had his greatest success for the fifteen years he was with them.

Dale Bozzio scored minor success as a solo performer under the name Dale with a top 40 hit on the Billboard Dance Chart, “Simon Simon”.

Terry Bozzio worked in 1987 with Mick Jagger and Jeff Beck. He has played with several groups and artists as a session or tour drummer.

In recent years Missing Persons has had some reunions. Most recently, on May 11, 2011, it was announced on Dale Bozzio’s website that “Dale and Warren have reformed Missing Persons for an incredible reunion tour in anticipation of the 30th Anniversary of Spring Session M, the band’s groundbreaking, certified-Gold album originally released in 1982.” In the same announcement, Terry Bozzio’s absence in this reunion was explained by stating that “rock bands are dysfunctional families at best, and sometimes, the show just can’t go on with all on-board.”

So maybe Missing Persons fans will be able to catch the band on tour this coming year. And I’m sure they would perform this song:

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Remember That Song? – 12/16/11

Can you name the artist, song and complete the lyrics:

And while you’re out there sittin’ on a fence
So get off your ass and come down here
‘Cause rock ‘n’ roll ain’t no riddle man
To me __ _____ ____ ____ _____


Last Song: “Hold the Line” by Toto (Oops by me! This song was released in 1978. Eh, we all love it anyway, right?):

It’s not in the way that you stayed till the end
It’s not in the way you look or the things that you say that you’ll do

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One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1985 – Jack Wagner

“All I Need” by Jack Wagner

Jack Wagner was best known for playing Frisco Jones on General Hospital. Some younger people may remember him as Dr. Peter Burns on Melrose Place. In 1984, Wagner, who had been playing guitar since he was 14, released the album All I Need. The title track “All I Need” proved to be Wagner’s only Top 40 hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 12, 1985. It was #2 for two weeks, unable to knock Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” from the top spot. Wagner has recorded a total of five albums, bu “All I Need” remains his only hit.

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Daily Trivia: 12/15/11

Question: What group was formed by drummer Terry Bozzio and his wife Dale, a former Playboy Bunny who sported Plexiglass bras?


Last Question: In The Outsiders, who played “Sodapop”?

Answer: Rob Lowe

The Outsiders was one of my favorite novels when I was a teenager. And for once, the movie adaption did not disappoint. It didn’t hurt that there was a stellar cast. Here are some of the stars from the movie that may sound familiar:

C. Thomas Howell as Ponyboy Curtis
Ralph Macchio as Johnny Cade
Matt Dillon as Dallas “Dally” Winston
Rob Lowe as Sodapop “Soda” Curtis
Patrick Swayze as Darrel “Darry” Curtis
Emilio Estevez as Keith “Two-Bit” Mathews
Tom Cruise as Steve Randle
Diane Lane as Sherri “Cherry” Valance
Leif Garrett as Bob Sheldon

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Remember That Song? – 12/15/11

Can you name the artist and song:

It’s not in the way that you stayed till the end
It’s not in the way you look or the things that you say that you’ll do


Last Song: “Dressed for Success” by Roxette:

Tried to make it little by little,
tried to make it bit by bit on my own

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One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1984 – Styx Gone Solo: Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw


“Desert Moon” by Dennis DeYoung and “Girls with Guns” by Tommy Shaw

In 1961, when he was 14, Dennis DeYoung teamed up with his 13-year-old neighbors, Chuck and John Panozzo, in a three-piece combo. The trio later added guitarist James Young and John Curulewski to form the band Tradewinds in the late 1960s. The band renamed itself TW4 in 1968 before becoming Styx in 1970.
The band had some success in the early-mid 70s.

Their popularity started soaring when guitarist/singer/songwriter Tommy Shaw joined the group in 1975. But by the early ’80s, tension began mounting in the group. Tommy Shaw wanted the band to go more towards a rock direction, and Dennis DeYoung wanted to go more pop and theatrical. In 1984, Tommy Shaw left the band, and went solo. He released three solo albums in the 1980s: Girls with Guns (1984), What If (1985), and Ambition (1987). His biggest hit was the title track from his debut album Girls With Guns. It peaked at #33 on November 17, 1984.

While the band was in transition, Dennis DeYoung also did a solo project. He was a little more succesful than Shaw as his first solo album, Desert Moon, generated the hit, “Desert Moon”, which peaked at #10 on November 10, 1984.

Five years later, Styx decided to get back together. But, they did so without Shaw, who had formed Damn Yankees along with Ted Nugent, Jack Blades (of Night Ranger), and drummer Michael Cartellone (Shaw’s drummer during his 1988 Ambition tour). In 1990, Styx released the album Edge of the Century. A&M Records (which had just merged with PolyGram Records) dropped the group from its roster in 1992, and the group broke up again shortly afterwards.

In 1995, Styx reunited again, this time Tommy Shaw joined the group again. However, drummer John Panozzo became terminally ill and did not rejoin the band. He died of gastrointestinal bleeding on July 16, 1996. In 1999, DeYoung was replaced by Canadian star Lawrence Gowan. He has been non-mainstream work, and has not had another solo hit since “Desert Moon”. Styx is still together touring and recording, so Tommy Shaw also has not had another solo hit since “Girls With Guns”

Here is both songs:

“Desert Moon” by Dennis DeYoung

“Girls With Guns” by Tommy Shaw

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One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1984 – Ollie & Jerry

“Breakin’… There’s No Stopping Us” by Ollie & Jerry

People may forget, but there was a movie called Breakin’ before Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo came around. The theme song from the first Breakin’ movie was “Breakin’… There’s No Stopping Us” by the dance-pop duo Ollie & Jerry. Ollie was drummer Ollie E. Brown and Jerry was R&B singer Jerry Knight.

They never had a studio album under their own name. Ollie Brown and Jerry Knight had previously worked together as session musicians, with Knight also being a member of R&B group Raydio. The two formed Ollie & Jerry in Los Angeles, California in 1984, signing to Polydor Records.

They recorded “Breakin’… There’s No Stopping Us” as the title theme to the 1984 film Breakin’, and released as the first single from the film’s soundtrack album. The song became a hit, peaking at #9 on August 4, 1984.

The following year, the duo released the single “Electric Boogaloo”, the title theme to the Breakin’ sequel Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. The single did fairly well on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #57 on the chart. However, the song failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. After the song’s release, the duo split in mid-1985.

Ollie Brown is no longer in the music industry. He now works in real estate. Although his solo career faded, Knight continued to write and produce for acts such as The Whispers, Patrice Rushen, DeBarge, Howard Hewett and Elkie Brooks.

Here is Ollie & Jerry’s only hit song – “Breakin’… There’s No Stopping Us”:

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Daily Trivia: 12/14/11

Question: In The Outsiders, who played “Sodapop”?


Last Question: What NBC show dared to run a sixth season, despite the loss of its cast and most of the writers?

Answer: Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live‘s sixth season – during the 1980–1981 television season – was perhaps it’s most controversial. This season became notorious as it was considered by many critics and fans to be one of the worst seasons ever. Lorne Michaels, the executive producer, had left at the end of the previous season, along with the entire cast and all but one writer (Brian Doyle-Murray). The sixth season began with a completely new cast, new writers, and a new producer, Jean Doumanian.

Doumanian hired Denny Dillon, Gilbert Gottfried, Gail Matthius, Joe Piscopo, Ann Risley, and Charles Rocket as repertory players, and Yvonne Hudson, Matthew Laurance, and Patrick Weathers as featured cast members. Doumanian initially did not want to hire Eddie Murphy (preferring instead Robert Townsend), Murphy was added in place of Townsend (as a featured player) starting with the fourth episode after much convincing from her colleagues and staff.

The show was not good at all. It also didn’t help that this cast followed the legendary original cast.

The troubled show then had major controversy on its February 21, 1981 episode. The episode was hosted by Charlene Tilton (of the show Dallas). It featured a parody of “Who Shot J.R. Ewing? called “Who Shot C.R.?” where there was a cliffhanger where cast member Charles Rocket was “shot” in the last sketch of the episode, after a running gag in which other members of the cast shared their grievances about Rocket with one another. Onstage for the goodnights, Dallas star and that week’s host, Charlene Tilton, asked Rocket (who was still in character and sitting in a wheelchair) his thoughts on being shot. “Oh man, it’s the first time I’ve been shot in my life”, he replied. “I’d like to know who the fuck did it.” This was not the first (or last) time the expletive would be uttered live on SNL. But, Rocket, producer Jean Doumanian, and most of the cast were fired, with the exception of Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo. Because of this shakeup, the show went on hiatus for a month.

SNL was given one more chance when Dick Ebersol, one of the original developers of SNL in 1974 and the man responsible for hiring Lorne Michaels as show-runner in 1975, was hired to replace Doumanian. He hired Robin Duke, Tim Kazurinsky, and Tony Rosato. At the end of the season, he would eliminate the rest of the 1980 cast except for Murphy and Piscopo. And the end of the season came much sooner than expected.

Dick Ebersol’s first produced episode was on April 11, 1981. After Ebersol’s first episode, the 1981 Writers’ Guild of America strike started, forcing the show into a hiatus during which it was extensively retooled.

SNL has recovered, as it is in its 37th season. There have been some off-years in seasons where the cast was being rebuilt. But there have been some great casts over the years – especially in the late-80s/early 90s, in my opinion.

Here a promo for that fateful season 6:

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