Category Archives: 20 Album Challenge

20 Album Challenge – Day 9

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is ZZ Top’s Eliminator.

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There were several artists who had been around since the 1970s who I did not discover until the early to mid ’80s (Thank you MTV!). Along with David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top is one of those bands to me. Of course most of us remember the iconic trilogy of videos – “Gimme All Your Lovin’“, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs“. However, the entire album is awesome. “Got Me Under Pressure” is a solid track. And while the “trilogy” gets all the music video attention, I absolutely loved the video for “TV Dinners,” which is also a great song. And my favorite underrated track on the album is “Thug“.

While I love the follow-up album, Afterburner, the Eliminator album helped shape my taste in rock music, and kept me glued to MTV. And while I was bored in class in high school, I loved drawing the ZZ Top logo on my book covers and notebooks.

Here is Eliminator on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 8

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is Raised On Radio by Journey.

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In the ’80s, Journey was my favorite band. From the mid-70s through 1983, the band released a new album every year or 2. After Frontiers was released in 1983, Journey took a little break. Lead singer, Steve Perry, had a mega-successful solo album in Street Talk. In 1986, they returned with Raised On Radio. The drummer, Steve Smith, and founding member and bassist, Ross Valory, were no longer in the group. A lot of people complained about this album, but I loved it. This is the first album I remember going against the grain with. I always liked what I liked unashamedly. But, this is the first time where I saw so much backlash against something.

Now with the internet, and connecting with people all over the world, I’m happy to find that I’m not crazy, and that a lot of other people love this album too. I could not get enough of “Suzanne” and “Be Good To Yourself”. And the title track kicking off the second side was an incredible rocker. Another great memory I have from this album is that we took a family trip from Rhode Island to Pennsylvania. On the drive down, I listened to this brand new tape on my Walkman the entire time.

Here is Raised On Radio on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 7

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

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In 1982, I listened to mainly rock music, and whatever was playing on the Top 40 station. Then one of my best friends got this 12-inch vinyl album by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five called “The Message”. I was blown away by this brand new genre called rap! We got into the new rage – break dancing. My friends and I would practice all kinds of break dancing moves. We got giant pieces of cardboard to spin on, and even spray painted logos on it. I was also thrilled when I got some parachute pants! Since rap was so new at the time, it was very difficult to find new music. There was The Sugarhill Gang and Kurtis Blow. But, “The Message” was our go-to. It was a great song, and since it was a 12″ record, it played for a while before you had to start over or find another song.
I don’t have any old pictures of me in my parachute pants. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But here is the actual record that we played:

Here is The Message album on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 6

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is Survivor’s Vital Signs.

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I first discovered Survivor, along with most people, with the release of “Eye of the Tiger”. That song was my favorite at the time. Then Vital Signs came out, which helped me see that Survivor was much more than one song, and became one of my all-time favorite bands. I was blown away when “I Can’t Hold Back” was released as the first single. I still love that song every time I hear it. This was the first album featuring the lead singer Jimi Jamison. His voice blew me away.

There are only 9 songs on this album, and every single one of them are great. Two of my favorite songs on the album were not released as singles – “It’s the Singer, Not the Song” and “I See You in Everyone”.

Here is the album on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 5

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. My pick on Sunday, February 9, is by one of my first crushes, Olivia Newton-John, with her album Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2

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This was actually an album my Mom bought, but I listened to it all the time. Not only did I think that Olivia was beautiful and talented, but I loved every single song on this album. It included songs from the Grease and Xanadu soundtracks, the Totally Hot and Physical albums, as well as two original tracks – “Heart Attack” and “Tied Up”.

This album is not on Spotify, however I did create a playlist with all of the songs from this album. Unfortunately, Olivia’s version of “Tied Up” is not on Spotify. However, the song was written by the legendary guitarist and songwriter, Lee Ritenour. So, I included his version of the song in the playlist.

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 4

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. My pick on Saturday, February 8 was Journey’s Departure album.

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This album had a huge impact on me because Departure was the first CD I ever bought. The Compact Disc was a great brand new technology in the ’80s. We had collecting cassette tapes and vinyl albums. Now, with these new CDs, the sound was crisper, and you could skip songs immediately and much easier.
After my parents purchased a new stereo system, which included a CD player, I went to Ann & Hope and looked for a CD by my favorite band at the time – Journey. The CD section was small, and the only Journey CD they had was Departure, which was fine by me. I already had several Journey cassettes, but Departure was not one of them.

The only song I had known on there at the time was “Anyway You Want It“, which was also the first song on the CD. What a way to start! The whole album impressed me. I was blown away by “Where Were You“. And my new favorite song on the whole CD was “People and Places“. It is something so different from all of Journey’s other music. It was the coolest thing I ever heard. And it was awesome hearing Steve Perry and Gregg Rolie sharing lead vocals.

It was also cool opening up the CD insert and seeing: “Join us for our departure into the 80’s”

I still highly recommend this album. It is jam packed with a wide range of music. There are classic Journey tracks, ballads, and blues.

Here is the album on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 3

Day 3 of albums that have had an impact on me is Help! by The Beatles.

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This is my first non-80s album of this challenge. But, it had an impact on me in the ’80s. December 8, 1980 may come to mind. That was the day that John Lennon was fatally shot. Of course I had known about the Beatles. My parents were big fans and owned several of their albums. After John Lennon’s death, I became obsessed with The Beatles. I was 10 years old at the time, and John Lennon was the first major celebrity that I clearly remember dying. So I began to listen to all of the Beatles albums that my parents owned. They did not have anything past Rubber Soul. I was drawn to both Rubber Soul and Help!. I could not get enough of Help!, and still enjoy it.
My favorite songs were the title track, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”, and “I’ve Just Seen a Face”.

Here is the full album on Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/album/0PT5m6hwPRrpBwIHVnvbFX

 

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 2

Day 2 of albums that have had an impact on me is Quiet Riot’s Metal Health.

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I had been getting more into rock music by 1983. However, it was difficult to find since it wasn’t really played on the radio. You would find out about new hard rock songs from word of mouth. But, this all changed with the release of Metal Health. “Cum On Feel the Noize” changed the musical landscape as hard rock was brought into the mainstream. The song got a lot of radio airplay. This was also the early days of MTV, so the song was featured heavily there as well. And just as “Cum On Feel the Noize” was beginning to get overplayed, the title track was released, and rocked my world! I just had to get this album! I got it for Christmas in 1983, and there was not a bad song on there. “Slick Black Cadillac” was (and still is) my favorite song on that album. And 13 year old me loved that there was a song called “Love’s a Bitch” on there. Oooooo! A bad word in the title! What a rebel!

I still love Quiet Riot, and actually saw them in concert last year. Frankie Banali, the drummer, is the lone remaining member of the lineup from this album. But, they were still great and still rock.

Here is the album on Spotify:

If you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 1

Hey Gang, it’s been a while since I’ve done a regular blog post. Real life is getting in the way. However, I could not pass up this opportunity. A good friend of mine on Facebook nominated me to, in no particular order, post 20 of my favorite albums, one per day, that made an impact on me. I only need to post the cover, with no explanation, and nominate someone each day to hopefully accept the same challenge. I will do that on my personal page. But, I’ll write up a very quick explanation here on Return to the ’80s. I’m not sure how this is going to go, but I should make a disclaimer that not every album may be ’80s. However, there is a very good chance that it will be ’80s. We’ll see. Feel free to join in this challenge, and post an album in the comments. It doesn’t need to be ’80s. You don’t need to write an explanation, but you can if you’d like. I’d love to hear from you!

My Day 1 album is Kiss Unmasked.

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It is appropriate that I choose this as my first album because this was the first album I ever owned on my own. It was released in 1980, and I got a tape recorder and the Unmasked cassette for my birthday.

If you want to see more about this album, check out this post I wrote several years ago.

Here is the album on Spotify:

If you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below: