After 6 months, Return to the ’80s is finally back with a new podcast episode! This should be worth the wait, as we have the incredible Stan Bush joining us. Just in case you are not familiar, Stan is best known for his 1986 smash hit, “The Touch” from The Transformers: The Movie as well as “Never Surrender” from the 1989 movie, Kickboxer.
While most of our favorite 80s rock artists fell by the wayside in the ’90s, Stan Bush has been continuing to work. He has just released a fantastic album called Dare to Dream. This has all the elements of the 80s music we love, while still being current. There are rock anthems as well as power ballads, and even an anthem for us called, “The 80’s.”
Stan was very cool and generous, and we had a great time! So check out this awesome episode of Return to the ’80s, and check out Stan’s new album. You don’t want to miss it!
Del can be found on the show 80s at 8 on 91.1 WEDM FM. Even though the station is not on the air right now during these Corona days, you can still follow Del on the 80s at 8 Facebook page where he posts 80s news.
Hey Everybody, welcome back to Return to the 80s Music! As I mentioned previously, I will go through chronologically and cover as many 80s albums as I can. We’ll hear some classics, some hidden gems that not everybody may be familiar with, and maybe some nobody has heard of, which can be a great discovery, or something that will make you say What the HELL was that?!?!
I hope this is good and you all enjoy it. I hope we make some rad discoveries, and I know there will be songs that will bring us back to some great times! In either case, it is always awesome to Return to the 80s!
You can click on the song title to check out the YouTube video of the song. I’ll also include the Spotify playlist at the bottom of each article, if the album is on Spotify.
This should be an interesting album. I never heard of it, and I was not familiar with Roger Powell. However, Air Pocket was voted the #1 album of 1980 by a reader poll in Keyboard Magazine. The keyboard played a prominent role in 80s music. So we will see if this is a sign of things to come.
According to Wikipedia, Roger Powell played keyboards and synthesizers with the rock band Utopia, led by Todd Rundgren and featuring players Kasim Sulton and Willie Wilcox, among others, from 1974 until its disbanding in 1985, playing, writing, and singing on ten of the band’s eleven albums. For Utopia’s live shows, Powell created the Powell Probe; the first remote, hand-held polyphonic synthesizer controller, which featured a custom-made shell used to access a complex stack of sequencers and other peripherals offstage, a device also used in a modified form by Jan Hammer.
So, not only was Powell a musician, but he was an innovator. Air Pocket was Powell’s second solo album. His previous album was Cosmic Furnace in 1973.
Now let’s get into Air Pocket.
It was released on January 30, 1980 on Bearsville Records and produced by Roger Powell himself.
The personnel is:
John Holbrook – rhythm guitar, engineer
Roger Powell – vocals, synthesizer, keyboards, producer
Cleve Pozar – drums
Todd Rundgren – guitar
Mark Styles – keyboards
Now let’s check out this album! Keep in mind that I’m not a musician or a music critic. And this seems like a musician’s album.
Oooh, I like this one! It starts off with a definite 1980 feel. It has that disco/funk vibe, and at the same time it’s new-wavy. And there are vocals in this. I would have liked this without the vocals, but it was a pleasant surprise.
I’m starting to see a pattern here. This song has lyrics. I’m liking this one a lot. Powell’s vocals remind me of Gregg Rolie from Journey. The guitars, drums, and of course keyboards are great in this. This has kind of a prog rock feel to it.
We close out with an instrumental. This might be the best instrumental on the album, so it’s a good way to close out.
Hidden Gems: May favorites were all the songs with lyrics:”Landmark”, “Windows”, and “Emergency Splashdown”
Here is my ratings scale
5 Classic – a must buy
4 Solid album – worth buying
3 Some good or great stuff, but also skippable songs
2 Meh – may have 2 or 3 good songs. Just buy the singles you like, if any
1 Sucks. Time I can’t get back
For me, I’m going to have to give this a 2. This is nothing I would buy or go out of my way to listen. I do appreciate Powell’s talent though. Musicians, especially keyboardists, would most likely give this a much higher rating.
What are your thoughts on the album? Do you think Roger Powell’s keyboard playing was impressive, especially for that time?