Category Archives: Artists

Weird Al/Lady Gaga Saga

Last week, there was a lot of controversy going on between Weird Al Yankovic and Lady Gaga. Weird Al recorded a parody of Gaga’s “Born This Way”, called “Perform This Way”. Apparently, she refused to grant permission for him to release the song. Several news sites and blogs (not this one) jumped all over the news.

If I found out this was true, I was ready to rip her like crazy this week. But as it turns out, Lady Gaga did not reject the song.

Here is an update from E! Online:


A few weeks ago, the Weird One decided, much to the Internet’s delight, to make Gaga his next parody subject. So he wrote up some lyrics, sent over a pitch and waited. And waited.

Incidentally, while Yankovic’s parodies are all protected under fair-use and no approval from the artists is necessary, he has always sought a blessing from the singers he spoofs.

He finally heard back from Team Gaga, informing him that the superstar would need to hear the tune before signing off. So he sent over the lyrics. And was informed that she would actually need to hear the finished product before offering her magnanimous blessing.

So he did. And sent it over. And was rejected.

Down but not out, Al decided to respect Gaga’s rejection, telling fans “nobody is more disappointed than I am”—and instead of including it on his album as his lead single, as he was hoping to do, he instead leaked it online and made it available for free download.

It was an immediate sensation and, as one might’ve been able to predict, eventually found its way to Lady Gaga’s ears.

For the first time.

Turns out, it was her manager who had been making the crazy demands under the guise of doing so on Gaga’s behalf, who, as it turns out, knew absolutely nothing of Weird Al’s requests.

“Apparently the fact that she didn’t approve it was news to Lady Gaga herself!” he blogged. “Gaga’s manager has now admitted that he never forwarded my parody to Gaga—she had no idea at all. Even though we assumed that Gaga herself was the one making the decision (because, well, that’s what we were TOLD), he apparently made the decision completely on his own.

“He’s sorry. And Gaga loves the song.”

As a result, the song will indeed be released as Yankovic’s first single and, more excitingly, will soon be filmed as his album’s debut music video. All proceeds from both will go to the Human Rights Campaign.

“I truly respect and admire Gaga as an artist and it pained me to think of her as having less than a great sense of humor,” he wrote. “Thank you, Gaga. And thanks to everybody who had my back.”


Here is Weird Al’s song:

Against my better judgment this time, here is Lady Gaga’s song in case you want to compare. But you may like this if you just listen to the song, and pretend that it is a late ’80s Madonna song.

New Journey Song – “City of Hope”

Journey released “City of Hope” from their upcoming album “Eclipse”.

From the band’s official site:

“Eclipse” will be released on Scarecrow Records in Mexico, WET Music in Brazil and D.B.N. in the rest of Latin America.

The first single from “Eclipse” in South America will be “Human Feel”, also available digitally from April 4th. Online stores carrying the new single include iTunes and Telcel in Mexico, Claro, Telefonica and Comcel in Colombia, and Porta in Ecuador.

“Eclipse” will be released on May 27th, with the “Eclipse Tour” kicking off with major arena shows in the UK and Eire together with Foreigner and Styx. The tour also visits Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, Scandinavia, France and – for the first time ever – Italy, before the North American tour which starts in mid-July.


Here is the song, “City of Hope”. I am a huge Journey fan, and if you told me that Steve Perry was the lead vocals on this song, I might actually believe you:

Music Video of the Week – 4/20/11

This week’s selection is “Calling On You” by Stryper:

I always loved this Christian glam metal band. Their music always made me feel good. The music itself rocks, and Michael Sweet’s vocals are incredible. “Calling On You” was the first song I heard by them, and it is still one of my favorites. It came off of their second album, To Hell With the Devil, which is a great album. I don’t think my parents were too happy about me owning an album with the words “Hell” and “Devil” in it. But, it was a cool album name, which drew attention. The album was released in 1986, and was both the first Contemporary Christian and Christian metal album to achieve Platinum status, selling over one million copies. It remains the best-selling Christian metal album of all time.

Debbie Gibson and Tiffany Going on Tour This Summer

After “All This Time”, this announcement came “Out of the Blue”. Sorry. According to The New York Post, Tiffany announced that they are putting together tour dates, and plan to cover songs that inspired them as well as perform their own material.
We want to journey through the ’80s and all the artists who influenced us,” Tiffany said, adding that she and Gibson might do covers of hits by Stevie Nicks, Reba McIntyre and Guns N’ Roses, as well as Broadway tunes. They’d also perform their own material. Tiffany is on tour supporting her new release, “Rose Tattoo.”

Maybe they will perform this:

Daily Trivia – 4/15/11

Question: Who drove in the winning run the winning run in baseball’s “Longest Game” between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings? Also, who scored the winning run?

Bonus: Can you name 2 Hall of Famers that played in that game?


Last Question: What R&B singer, born Kenneth Gordy, reached the Top 10 with his first single “Somebody’s Watching Me”?

Answer: Rockwell

Rockwell is the son of the legendary Motown founder, Berry Gordy. Berry named his son Kennedy William Gordy after John F. Kennedy and William “Smokey” Robinson.

The creepy “Somebody’s Watching Me” featured Michael Jackson on the chorus and Jermaine Jackson on additional backing vocals.
The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984, and reached the top of the Billboard R&B singles chart, as well as reaching number six on the UK Singles Chart.

And of course, the song made a comeback with this Geico commercial:

New Def Leppard Tune – “Undefeated”


Check out Def Leppard’s new single, “Undefeated”, from their upcoming live album “MIRRORBALL”. The new album is set to be released June 7 in the U.S. and Canada, June 6 in the U.K. and June 3 in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Go to http://www.defleppard.com/ for more details, album artwork, and tour dates. In the meantime, you can listen to the new song right here:

Hits of 1984 – Horrible and Great

On July 3, 2009, Stuck in the 80s released their Horrible Hits of 1984 Podcast (Episode 171). Here is their list:

10. Karma Chameleon – Culture Club
9. Hello – Lionel Richie
8. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
7. Sunglasses At Night – Corey Hart
6. Dancing in the Sheets – Shalamar
5. The Heart of Rock ‘N’ Roll – Huey Lewis & the News
4. State of Shock – The Jacksons
3. Yah Mo B There – James Ingram and Michael McDonald
2. Talking In Your Sleep – Romantics
1. I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

You can see the top 100 hits from Billboard that year.

Here is my top 5 (or worst 5) of Horrible songs from that year:

5. Hello – Lionel Richie

Before there was Ghost, there was the “Hello” video. I like Lionel Richie, but I never liked this song. I didn’t care for the video neither, and it didn’t help that MTV rammed it down our throats.
If you want to hear a better Lionel Richie ballad, listen to “Truly”. Even “Stuck On You”, which was also on the charts in 1984, is better than “Hello”. But “Hello ” ended up being a #1 hit on three Billboard music charts: the pop chart (for two weeks), the R&B chart (for three weeks), and the adult contemporary chart (for six weeks). Sure, there are songs a lot worse than this one, but, this was a bit overrated.

4. Karma Chameleon – Culture Club

3. Let’s Hear It for the Boy – Deniece Williams

I hated this song when it came out, and I still can’t listen to it! In my opinion, this is the worst song on the Footloose soundtrack. “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar is on the Stuck In the 80s list, and is no prize in my book either. But I would still listen to that than that annoying “Let’s Hear It for the Boy”. It didn’t help that this Deniece Williams song was on an endless loop on the radio and on MTV.

2. If This Is It – Huey Lewis and The News

Stick with the up-tempo songs, Huey! I loved every song on the Sports album – except for this one. It’s slow, boring, and there’s no feeling in it.

1. I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

I love Stevie Wonder, but I don’t like this overplayed song. It was featured on the soundtrack from The Woman in Red, and was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. The only other songs of his that may have been more overplayed was “Superstition”. I skip both of those songs when they come on.

Here are my favorite Stevie Wonder songs:

Higher Ground

Living for the City

And here is “I Just Called to Say I Love You”:

Here is my top songs from that year:

10. Borderline – Madonna

Remember when Madonna was relevant in the pop world? This is still one of my all time favorite Madonna songs.

9. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper

: While “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” can be grating, Lauper shows off her beautiful voice here. When I say beautiful voice, I’m referring to her singing voice, of course. When you hear her speak, you would never imagine that she would have an incredible singing voice.

8. Undercover (Of the Night) – Rolling Stones

: The Stones get criticized for their ’80s and beyond music. But, this song and “Start Me Up” was basically my introduction to the group. I still like “Undercover” a lot. They still had some edge back then.

7. Oh Sherrie – Steve Perry

: Steve Perry was one of my favorite singers (behind Freddie Mercury), and the former Journey frontman proved that he could be successful as a solo act. It sucks that he hasn’t done anything in a long time. “Oh Sherrie” was his debut song when he went solo, and it was his biggest hit.

6. Legs – ZZ Top

: These rock legends slightly changed their style with the Eliminator album that “Legs” came off of, and it helped give their popularity a huge surge. Their trilogy of videos, which included this one, didn’t hurt.

5. Twist of Fate – Olivia Newton-John

: This is probably my favorite ONJ song. It’s a great up-tempo song. It came off of the Two of a Kind soundtrack. The movie, which she starred in, along with John Travolta, was a clunker. But, the soundtrack is great, and this song stands out.

4. I’m So Excited – Pointer Sisters

: The songs was right in the middle of the Pointer’s great ’80s run. You can’t help but move to this song. It was also great in the movie Vacation.

3. Jump – Van Halen

: When this song came out, it was my favorite song of all time! The reason why this isn’t higher on the list is because it was also probably the most overplayed song of the year. I didn’t help matters any by playing it over and over again on tape, and by sitting in front of MTV all day just to watch it every time it came on. It was so funny seeing Eddie smiling through the entire video. I wonder, what made him do that? He wouldn’t have smoked anything to get him that way, would he have?

2. Hard Habit to Break – Chicago

: I still love this Chicago ballad! This was in the middle of their comeback during the David Foster years. I got sick of “You’re the Inspiration”, but I never got sick of this song. Unfortunately, the band became known more for their ballads. Their rock songs are just as good. But, “Hard Habit to Break” is one of my all time favorite Chicago songs.

1. Cum On Feel the Noize – Quiet Riot

: My introduction to heavy metal in the ’80s. Wow, you just didn’t hear anything else like this on the radio at the time! Quiet Riot pretty much opened up mainstream radio for Heavy Metal acts. Would heavy metal and hair bands have been as popular as they were if it wasn’t for Quiet Riot and “Cum On Feel the Noize”? Maybe not. This pretty much set my musical taste for the ’80s and early ’90s.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’]

Daily Trivia – 4/4/11

Question: What car company’s pitchman lied in TV commercials but claimed, “You have my word on it.”?


 

Last Question: What four artists recorded “That’s What Friends Are For” in 1985 to raise money to fight AIDS?
 

Answer: Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder

“That’s What Friends Are For” was written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, and actually originally performed by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack of the movie Night Shift.

But most of us know the song by Dionne Warwick and Friends. It was recorded as a benefit for American Foundation for AIDS Research, and raised over $3 million for that cause. The song peaked at number one for three weeks on the soul chart and for four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The Dionne and Friends version of the song won the performers the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, as well as Song of the Year for its writers, Bacharach and Bayer Sager. It also was ranked by Billboard magazine as the most popular song of 1986.


The Go-Go’s announce 30th Anniversary Tour

The Go-Go’s have officially announced their LADIES GONE WILD TOUR celebrating the 30th anniversary of their debut album Beauty and the Beat.

Last year, the group was to begin their “Happily Ever After” summer farewell tour, which was scheduled to kick off July 7 at Lilith Fair San Diego, and conclude in Austin, TX on July 27. However, it was canceled due to Jane Wiedlin injuring her knee after a 20-foot fall while hiking near her home in Northern California.

Now, this tour will begin on May 29 in Hershey, PA, and end on August 28 in Austin, TX. Here is the official announcement from the band’s web site:

THE GO-GO’S ANNOUNCE:

LADIES GONE WILD TOUR

Commemorative Activities to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beat.

March 28, 2011 (LOS ANGELES, CA) – 30 years after the release of Beauty and the Beat, their double-platinum debut album that cemented in our hearts and our pop-vernacular such smash hits as “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat”, the Go-Go’s and their fans prepare for a slew of 30th Anniversary activities for the 2011 summer and beyond.

Kicking off the festivities will be Ladies Gone Wild, a national U.S. tour with the legendary Go-Go’s Belinda Carlisle, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock, Jane Wiedlin and Kathy Valentine. The tour will include a very special Los Angeles homecoming show at the Greek Theater on August 17, Belinda’s birthday. This summer will also see the release of a Deluxe Edition of Beauty and the Beat, available May 17 from EMI, including a limited edition on hot pink vinyl. The Deluxe Edition includes a special bonus audio CD that features previously unreleased music from a 1981 live show. In August, the Go-Go’s will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In further news, the Go-Go’s have joined with Girl Scouts of the USA and Roland Corporation to bring the beat to a new generation in a national campaign called Girl Scouts Rock! Powered by Roland, an initiative to empower girls ages 8-14 through interactive music education workshops. “We Got the Beat”, the Go-Go’s original mega-hit, will be added to the curriculum.

In 1981, the Go-Go’s delivered Beauty and the Beat hot on the heels of their debut U.S. single “Our Lips Are Sealed.” The album hit #1, and was the first to top the Billboard charts by an all-female band that wrote and performed their own songs. 1982’s Vacation and 1984’s Talk Show continued their chart and radio successes with “Vacation” and “Head Over Heels” and cemented the Go-Go’s as one of the most iconic and beloved groups of the 80s. The Go-Go’s released a much-celebrated anthology, Return to the Valley of The Go-Go’s in 1994, and 2001 marked the last studio album of new material, God Bless The Go-Go’s.

Last summer the Go-Go’s had scheduled a farewell tour which was subsequently canceled when guitarist Jane Wiedlin required surgery after suffering injury to her knees in a hiking fall. During the band’s time off, they decided they were not quite ready to hang up their instruments and set to work preparing for this summer’s 30th Anniversary spectacular, Ladies Gone Wild.

Their story truly is a punk version of the American Dream. They came, they saw and they conquered the charts and airwaves with their kicky kitsch and sparkling California appeal, five feisty role models for future generations of ready-to-rock girls. From their halcyon days as America’s sweethearts to their current status as superstars who pioneered a genre, the Go-Go’s preside over an amazing three-decade reign as high priestesses of pop.

Today, the Go-Go’s live show continues to deliver every bit of the raw energy of their now-legendary punk beginnings, tempered with the wisdom of three decades of pop perfection. Don’t miss the celebration and a chance to go wild with the ladies of the Go-Go’s.

Here is the list of dates:

5/29/11 Hershey, PA
6/01/11 Morristown, NJ
6/03/11 New York, NY
6/04/11 Atlantic City, NJ
6/05/11 Mashantucket, CT
6/07/11 Westbury, NY
6/09/11 Boston, MA
6/10/11 Vienna, VA
6/11/11 Orlando, FL
6/14/11 Apple Valley, MN
6/16/11 Clarkston, MI
6/17/11 Highland Park, IL
6/18/11 Kettering, OH
8/12/11 Vancouver, BC
8/13/11 Portland, OR
8/14/11 Seattle, WA
8/16/11 San Francisco
8/17/11 Los Angeles
8/20/11 Temecula, CA
8/24/11 Denver, CO
8/26/11 Dallas, TX
8/27/11 Houston, TX
8/28/11 Austin, TX

Daily Trivia – 3/29/11

Question: What McDonald’s product bore the slogan, “The hot stays hot and the cool stays cool.”?


 

Last Question: What artist had a #1 hit with the theme from the movie Ghostbusters?
 

Answer: Ray Parker Jr.

Ray Parker, Jr.’s smash hit “Ghostbusters”, from the film of the same name, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 11 in 1984, and stayed there for three weeks. It also peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart on 16 September 1984, where it stayed for three weeks. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, but lost to Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You”.

Producers of the Ghostbusters movie had first approached Huey Lewis & the News to develop the theme song for the movie. The band decided not to, so Ray Parker Jr. was selected.

According to The Mad Music Archive, later in 1984, Huey Lewis & the News sued Parker, citing the similarities between the Ghostbusters theme song and their earlier hit, “I Want a New Drug”. According to Huey Lewis and the News, this was especially damaging to them since the Ghostbusters theme song was so popular, rising to #1 on the charts for three weeks. Parker and Lewis later settled out of court. Huey Lewis has stated that his experiences with the producers of Ghostbusters may have been indirectly responsible for getting his band involved with the movie Back to the Future.

On his 2001 Behind the Music special, Huey Lewis stated: “The offensive part was not so much that Ray Parker Jr. had ripped this song off, it was kind of symbolic of an industry that wants something — they wanted our wave and they wanted to buy it. [I]t’s not for sale. …In the end, I suppose they were right. I suppose it was for sale, because basically, they bought it.”

As a result of this statement, Ray Parker Jr. has filed a suit against Huey Lewis, claiming he violated the lawsuit’s confidentiality agreement and seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney fees. The lawsuit is ongoing.

I had never heard about the lawsuits, and I never had noticed the similarities before. I liked both songs anyway.

Here is the “Ghostbusters” music video:

And here is “I Want a New Drug” just in case you want to compare: