Category Archives: Artists

Back to School: Music Edition

We will wrap up the ‘Back to School’ series with songs about school. I have a list of 3 songs, in no particular order. I’m sure I have to be missing something. So if you know of any other ’80s songs about school or teachers, let me know.

We’ll start with .38 Special’s “Teacher, Teacher” from the movie Teachers, that starred Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Ralph Macchio, and Richard Mulligan:

Next is Motley Crue’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”. I couldn’t get the original video, but here is a live version of it, with the band in their prime:

“Sit down, Waldo!” Let’s finish this off with Van Halen’s classic video, “Hot for Teacher”:

Music Video(s) of the Week – 9/1/10

This week’s selection is in honor of the birthday girl. Debbie Gibson turned 40 yesterday, August 31! (2 days before me). I actually saw her in concert for her Out of the Blue tour. She is extremely talented. And I had quite the crush on her (like, I’m sure, most guys my age did).
After Electric Youth, she did not really appear on the charts too much. If you like her music, I would highly recommend her 1995 album Think With Your Heart.
Happy Birthday, Debbie, and I wish you many more!!

Here are 4 of Deborah’s hits:

Foolish Beat
This song got Debbie into the Guiness Book of World Records as the youngest artist to write, produce, and perform a # 1 hit single.

Only In My Dreams
This was Debbie’s debut single. This came off of the Out of the Blue album, and reached to #4. Not bad for a debut!


Shake Your Love
This was Debbie’s second single, and it also reached up to #4. This video was choreographed by Paula Abdul.

Lost In Your Eyes
This is my favorite Debbie Gibson song by far. This was the first song released off of her second album, Electric Youth. The song easily reached #1, and stayed there for 3 weeks.

Music Video of the Week – 8/25/10

Tomorrow, August 26, will mark the 6th anniversary of Laura Branigan’s death. So we will honor her with the video of the week, my favorite song by her – Solitaire:


Laura Branigan (July 3, 1952 – August 26, 2004) was best known for her smash hit “Gloria”. It was on the Billboard Hot 100 for 36 weeks, at the time a record for a female artist. The song was on her debut album in 1982 – Branigan. In the spring of 1983, Branigan released her second album, Branigan 2. This album had the top 10 hit, “Solitaire”. “Solitaire” was first major hit for songwriter Diane Warren. Branigan 2 also had another hit – “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”. It was the first major hit for its co-writer, Michael Bolton. Michael Bolton – mullet extraordinaire, later released the song himself, and was successful. I like Laura’s voice a lot better than his. But, it was a really good song for both singers.

Branigan continued her string of successful albums in the ’80s with 1984’s Self Control, which had an awesome song – “Ti Amo,” and 1985’s Hold Me, which had the hits “Spanish Eddie” and “I Found Someone”, which was another Michael Bolton written song. Cher also performed the song. Again, I like Branigan’s version much better. In 1987, Branigan released the album Touch. This album had the song “The Power of Love”. This was another hit that was also remade by another singer. This one was redone by Celine Dion. Once again, Branigan’s version was better in my opinion. She has a very powerful voice, but she doesn’t rip through your ears like Celine does.

Laura Branigan’s career started to slow down in the ’90s. She did have some success with 1990’s self-titled album, which had the hits “Moonlight On Water” and the ballad “Never in a Million Years.” Branigan released her final album in 1993 – Over My Heart. There weren’t any big hits from that album. Then in 1994, Branigan left the music industry after her husband, Larry Kruteck, was diagnosed with colon cancer. He died on June 15, 1996.

Laura Branigan died on August 26, 2004. She died in her sleep at her home from a brain aneurysm. Her ashes were scattered over Long Island Sound.

Other Half Entertainment, Laura’s management company at the time of her death, continues to oversee her career legacy through her official website, www.LauraBraniganOnline.com, her official MySpace and Facebook pages.

Here is a list of my top 10 Laura Branigan songs:

10. Moonlight on Water
9. Never In a Million Years
8. Ti Amo
7. Spanish Eddie
6. Shattered Glass
5. The Power of Love
4. I Found Someone
3. How Am I Suppose to Live Without You
2. Gloria
1. Solitaire

Steven Tyler – New American Idol Judge

According to the L.A. Times, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has signed a deal to join American Idol for Season 10. A source close to the negotiations has confirmed reports that Tyler has signed on to fill one of the vacancies left by Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres. Fox has not commented yet.
In an interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton said that Tyler was definitely heading to “Idol.” Here is the specific question and answer from that interview:

Q. But isn’t Steven going to be a judge on a certain TV talent show?
A. Yeah, Steven is doing “American Idol.” The ink is dry on that. So, we’ll have to work around his schedule. I hope it doesn’t hurt the new momentum we’ve built up as a band on this tour, because that’s been so important. But I wouldn’t want to be the one standing in the way of this for him. Steven is someone who absolutely lives to be in front of an audience, and the people closest to him know how witty and entertaining he can be. I don’t know if “American Idol” will be rock ’n’ roll enough for him, but it is an opportunity for millions of people to see another side of Steven Tyler.

Tommy Lee of Motley Crue said the following to Entertainment Weekly:

“I know him really well, and he’ll f—ing kill it,” said Lee, who was himself a judge on the 2006 reality show Rock Star: Supernova. “Look, you’re judging karaoke—you don’t need to be a really super experienced judge for that. But it’s nice to have an actual musician in there. He’s fun, and he’ll keep the show exciting too. He’s a good guy for that, I think.”

So, what is your opinion on Steven Tyler joining the show as a judge?
I think he will probably be more like Paula or Ellen, and not really be as tough on the contestants as Simon had been. I’m personally not a huge fan of the show. Before this past season, I had not watched the show in a few years. It seems like the contestants sing all the same songs every year, and not many of the songs (or singers for that matter) are that great. I may check out an episode or 2 next season just to see how Tyler is. My expectations are not very high.

What do you think?

Music Video of the Week – 8/18/10

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:

Music Video of the Week – 8/11/10

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.

Van Halen reuniting for 2011 album and tour

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!

Judas Priest to appear on A&E’s Private Sessions this Sunday

’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.

Here is a look Behind the Scenes:

Music Video of the week – 8/4/10

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.”

Trivia Tuesday – 8/3/10

Question: On Three’s Company, what was the name of the restaurant that Jack Tripper worked at before he owned his own restaurant? What was the name of Jack’s restaurant?


Last Week’s Question: What rock band agreed to bleach their hair blonde in order to do a chewing gum commercial?

Answer: The Police


Before they hit it big, all 3 members dyed their hair blond for a Wrigley’s Gum commercial in 1978.

I cannot find any images or video from this commercial anywhere. If a anybody can find any more information, please let us know.