This week’s selection is Men At Work’s classic, “Down Under”:
“Down Under” appeared on Men At Work’s debut album Business as Usual. The album and song made Men At Work the only Australian artists to have a simultaneous #1 album and #1 single in the United States. The group won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Personally, I think this video is a lot of fun, and I couldn’t get enough of it when it came out. When I think of videos from MTV, this is always one of the first that pop into mind. The first Return to the ’80s article was about “Down Under” hitting number 1. That article includes a poll about your favorite Men At Work song. Here is the poll again, and you can continue to vote on it:
This week’s selection, in honor of the 2011 Van Halen reunion, is “Jump”:
“Jump” is the only Van Halen song to reach all the way up to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the second single released off of the 1984 album. This is a simple video of the band performing a mock concert. David Lee Roth jumps a lot, and Eddie Van Halen has a funny smile on his face the whole time. I remember that I loved the video, but that goofy smile annoyed the crap out of me. You would think he was high or something!
But, the song shows how talented Eddie is. Not only is he one of the greatest guitarists of all time, but he is also a damn good keyboard player too. This is one of those songs that is instantly recognizable from the first note.
According to Billboard.com, a deal was re-upped between publisher Warner/Chappell and Eddie and Alex Van Halen, and it was stated that the band “is currently in the studio recording an album with Roth that is due for release in 2011.”
Also, Van Halen manager and Live Nation Entertainment executive chairman Irivng Azoff mentioned that Van Halen was expected to tour next year. Van Halen’s 2008 reunion tour with Roth was a massive success. It took in more than $93 million. from 74 shows according to Billboard.
Next year’s album would be Van Halen’s first studio album since 1998’s flop Van Halen III,” with Gary Cherone as the lead singer. This would also be the first album with David Lee Roth since the classic 1984.
Hopefully the band will get along, and this will go through. If it does, I will buy the album as soon as it comes out. Hey, if I could buy the Van Halen III album the day it was released, I can do the same for the Van Halen/David Lee Roth reunion!
’80s metal band, Judas Priest, will appear on Private Sessions on A&E this Sunday (8/8/10) at 9:00 am Eastern. Lead singer, Rob Halford will be interviewed by host Lynn Hoffman about life on the road, metal therapy and the new, 30th anniversary edition of Priest’s 1980 classic, British Steel. The entire band also will perform some of their most famous songs – “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” “Breaking the Law,” “Living After Midnight” and “Freewheel Burning.”
I definitely recommend this show. There are often ’80s bands/singers on this show. Lynn is an excellent interviewer, and the songs are usually good. I have even watched some bands that I had no interest in, and they are still great episodes. If you don’t like the music, you can just skip the performances, and watch the interviews.
This week’s selection is “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant:
“Electric Avenue” was released in 1982, and appeared on Eddy Grant’s 1983 album Killer on the Rampage. The song is named after a market street in the Brixton area of London, England.
Technically, “Electric Avenue” is considered to have made Grant a one-hit wonder, but I remember that I did like the song “Romancing the Stone” from the movie of the same name:
In the mid ’80s, Grant left the limelight, and, moved his family to Barbados. Then he started his own recording studio called Blue Wave. His clients have included Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, Sting and Elvis Costello. It’s where the Rolling Stones prepared for their “Steel Wheels” tour. Now his studio is called Ice Records, and it promotes Classic Calypso, Soca and ‘Ringbang’ music. Ringbang is a new genre that Grant has developed. The following is from Grant’s official web site:
“in my heart, I know that Soca and Ringbang have the same potential as reggae to achieve great popularity… but there has never been any proper commitment to marketing these artists and their music. We are not Sony, and the artists on board realise it will take time. It is an upliftment process.”
According to Rolling Stone, on the Cars official Facebook page, the band posted a photograph of the surviving members — singer Ric Ocasek, keyboardist Greg Hawkes, drummer David Robinson and guitarist Elliot Easton — gathered together in a Boston studio surrounded by their instruments. The picture has been taken down. “I hate to be vague, but I really can’t say,” keyboardist Hawkes told the Boston Globe when asked whether the band was reuniting. “It’s a crazy world.” The original members of the band haven’t recorded together since 1987.
Sadly, not all of the original members are with us now. Bass guitarist and singer Benjamin Orr passed away on October 3, 2000 from pancreatic cancer. He sang He sang several of The Cars’ greatest hits, including “Just What I Needed”, “Let’s Go”, and “Drive”.
In 2005, some members of the Cars reunited to form The New Cars. Instead of Ric Ocasek as the singer, the band had Todd Rundgren. But, they have not performed any shows since September of 2007.
This week’s selection is ZZ Top’s classic Eliminator trilogy:
“Gimme All Your Lovin'”
“Sharp Dressed Man”
ZZ Top was a blues-rock band.throughout the ’70s and early ’80s. Then, with the release of the 1983 classic. Eliminator, they reinvented themselves with a more synthesizer type sound to go along with the guitar,bass, and drums. And ZZ Top took advantage of the rise of MTV, with some of the stations most memorable videos. They had a new icon – a cherry-red 1933 Ford Coupe hot rod nicknamed The Eliminator.
With the new look and sound, the band released the trilogy of videos which feature a trio of mysterious, sexy women who roam around and rescue people from seemingly dire situations. The band members – Billy, Dusty, and Frank – also appear out of nowhere in the videos and offer keys to the Eliminator.
The video for “Legs” won the 1984 MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video. This was the first year the award was given.
This week’s selection is “In a Big Country” by Big Country:
“In a Big Country” was released as a single in 1983 and was featured on the band’s first studio album, The Crossing.
The band is often described as a “one-hit wonder” for the popularity of “In a Big Country” in the United States. However, they continued to have success in Europe and were a great road band more famous for their live shows more than their studio albums. Frontman Stuart Adamson once remarked about the song in an interview, part of which was shown on a VH1 special celebrating “one-hit-wonders” that,
“ If we’re known for nothing more than just that one song, I’d be pretty happy with that. ”
This week’s selection is from one of my favorite groups – Journey, and their video for “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”:
I love the song, but even I have to admit, the video is pretty silly. Air instruments?!? Really?!?!? I could even take air guitar, but I’ve never seen air drums or air keyboards before. Why didn’t they just go all out and have Steve Perry sing into a hair brush?!? At least they didn’t do that throughout the whole video.
This video was directed by Tom Buckholtz and featured the band playing at the Louisa Street Wharf in New Orleans.
“Separate Ways” was the first single for which the band shot a video. Previous songs, such as “Any Way You Want It,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and others were performances that were taped and edited.
Like I said, Journey is one of my favorite bands. So, one of these days I will do a full article on them. I have seen them in concert a few times. Steve Augeri was really good, so I didn’t miss Steve Perry as much as I thouhgt I would have. But the last time I saw them, they opened for Def Leppard, and they were actually horrible and turned me off for a while. The new lead singer was Jeff Scott Soto, and it seemed like the band just pulled him off the street and put a mic in his hand. The drummer, Deen Castronovo, actually did the ballads like “Faithfully” and “Open Arms”, where they couldn’t get away with drowning out the singer’s voice.
Now, the new singer, Arnel Pineda, sounds incredible, and I will probably give them another chance.
I had a hard time deciding what video to show this week, so I chose “Separate Ways”. I was think of showing “Girl Can’t Help It” so that you could see American Idol judge, Randy Jackson in spandex, and with a cool hairdo. Oh, what the hell, here’s a bonus video: