On this episode of Return to the ’80s, Robert and Paul welcome Ty Ray, from the Beats and Eats podcast, to the show. The guys Return to 1981, and count down the year’s top songs, movies, and television shows. Also, find out what the biggest selling toys were in 1981, and reminisce on the big news stories of the year.
As this current decade comes to a close, come join us to Return to the greatest decade ever, and check out the awesome year of 1981!
Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 – January 25, 1981 at the Louisiana Superdome
Boston Celtics beat the Houston Rockets 4-2
New York Islanders defeat the Minnesota North Stars 4-1
LA Dodgers beat the New York Yankees 4-1
January 20 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed
March 6 Walter Cronkite signs off of CBS Evening News
March 30 Reagan Assassination attempt
April 18 The Longest Game – Pawtucket Red Sox tie Rochester Red Wings 2-2 in 32 innings (game resumed 23rd June)
May 11 Cats premieres in London
May 13 Assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II
Jun 2 Barbara Walters asks Katharine Hepburn what kind of tree she would be
Jun 5 AIDS Epidemic officially begins when US Centers for Disease Control reports on pneumonia affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles
Jun 12 Baseball players begin a 50 day strike, their 3rd strike
July 29 Royal Wedding
Aug 1 MTV premieres at 12:01 AM
Aug 3 13,000 Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) begin their strike; US President Ronald Reagan offers an ultimatum to workers: ‘if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated’
Sep 12 “The Smurfs” animated cartoon series by Hanna-Barbera first broadcasts in North America
Sep 25 Sandra Day O’Connor sworn in as 1st female supreme court justice
Dec 11 Muhammad Ali’s 61st & last fight, losing to Trevor Berbick
Dec 28 1st American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr is born in Norfolk, Virginia
The 80s League is at it again! Next week members of the 80s League, which consists of podcasts and blogs who love the 80s, will be covering 80s movie villains. Robert and I will be recording a new Return to the ’80s podcast episode on the topic. We would love to hear from you, and find out who some of your favorite 80s movie villains are. Please email us at email@example.com.
And here are the other podcasts and blogs participating this month. So go and show these people some love: Rediscover the 80s
Hi Everybody! It’s time again for our monthly ’80s crossover event, brought to you by The ’80s League. As you can tell from the title, this month’s selection is on ’80s crushes. As part of this event, we also contributed a podcast episode. Marissa, Robert, and Paul discussed their ’80s crushes. You can download the podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you get your podcasts from. And you can also go to the show notes, and listen directly on this site right here. The picks we made on the podcast will be different from the crushes I list in this article.
In addition to Return to the ’80s, other participants include:
80s Reboot Overdrive Blog and podcast Rediscover the ’80s Realweegiemidget Killer Kitsch
Now, let’s check out more of my ’80s crushes.
In the summer of 1982, there was a movie I, and apparently the rest of the world, wanted to see – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It was playing in a nearby theater that only had 2 screens. And E.T. was only showing on one of them. Of course, when we got to the theater, the movie was sold out. Instead, we saw the movie that was being shown on the other screen – The Pirate Movie. I don’t remember knowing about that movie going into it. Coming out, this 11 year old was in love. I thought Kristy McNichol was beautiful, and I was really drawn to her. Several years later, she starred in The Golden Girls spinoff, Empty Nest. And I found that my feelings had not changed. She still made my heart skip a beat.
Unfortunately, Kristy has not really been in anything in almost 20 years. In 2001, she officially announced her retirement from acting. And years after that, I was dealt another crushing blow. Kristy McNichol revealed that she is gay, in the hopes that her openness would help young people who are bullied because of their sexuality. It’s great that she’s open about it now. But, it killed any shot of us ever getting together. Well, as Samantha’s father says in Sixteen Candles, “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.”
Growing Pains is one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. It was already a great show on it’s own. But, my crush on Tracey Gold (and her character, Carol Seaver) didn’t hurt either. I thought she was so cute, and smart. It used to annoy the crap out of me when her brothers picked on her. And this was made even worse when they made fat jokes about her. That’s so stupid as it is. But, she wasn’t even fat, so it made no sense to me. Then to find out that Tracey battled anorexia made things even worse. She even had to miss several episodes of the show due to her condition. Luckily, she was able to recover. Ah, cute, smart, and strong. Not a bad combination
Throughout the ’80s, and to this day, my music taste tends to lean toward Rock. I also love me some R&B and old school Rap. But, I got tired of most pop music. That changed with the arrival of Samantha Fox. I thought she was gorgeous. And I actually liked her music too! Her first album, Touch Me, was mostly pop, but some of it had a little rock edge to it. I loved the title track as well as “Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)“. Actually, I liked every song on that album. Next was her self-titled album. “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” was the first single released in the U.S. The song opens with her saying “Maybe, just maybe
Naughty girls need love too.” in her British accent. Love that accent!
Her third album, I Wanna Have Some Fun, was also a fun album. The title track always got us all out on the dance floor.
I could go on and on with my crushes. But I’ll stop here, and I’d love to hear from you. Who were some of your crushes – real life or celebrity.
Once again please check out the posts from the rest of the 80’s League:
Also please let us know if you have any innovations you’d like to discuss. In addition to technology, they can be toys, movies, fashion, or food as there could be some interesting items that you loved or hated back in the 80s that you want to talk about. Please leave a comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be recording a new episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast, and this will be a segment on that episode. So we would love to hear from you.
Hi Everybody, we have exciting news! Next week will be another ’80s crossover event. Return to the ’80s is once again collaborating with 80s Reboot Overdrive, along with Weegiemidget, Killer Kitsch, and Rediscover the 80s. This time, the subject will be our Top 3 80’s Christmas Gifts.
If you would like to join in on the conversation, please email us at Returnto80s@gmail.com, and tell us your top 3 Christmas gifts, whether it be a gift that was given, or received, or most wanted and not received. We may read your email on the air for our next podcast, if you’d like.
It’s been 6 years in the making! Here is the arrival of the Return to the ’80s podcast! Unfortunately, this debut episode comes out 1 day after we lost music legend, Prince. This coming week, we will record an episode dedicated to Prince. In the meantime, we really hope you enjoy this episode.
Introduction to the Return to the ’80s hosts: Paul Stroessner and Robert Mishou
Not Necessarily the ’80s News
R.I.P. James Noble (March 5, 1922 – March 28, 2016)
Guns N’ Roses Reunion
Shall We Play a Game?
Remember That Song
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old lady’s eyes
Just for fun he says, “Get a job.”
Let us know if you have any feedback, questions, or if you would like to send us any ’80s experiences. Also, what are your favorite Journey songs? Do you have any Journey related story you would like us to read? You can email us at Returnto80s@gmail.com
Hi Everybody! I recently appeared as a guest on this incredible podcast, Beats & Eats. They have interviewed Three’s Company‘s Joyce DeWitt, Robbie Grey of Modern English, Diane Franklin of Better Off Dead fame, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, and yours truly, Paul from Return to the ’80s.
Ty and Nick are hilarious. They normally talk pop culture as well as food. But, they have been on an ’80s kick over the past several months due to the fact that they are going on the ’80s Cruise. I had a blast talking with these guys.
So, please check this out, and let me know what you think.
Hi Everybody! In the weeks leading up to the release of the new Star Wars movie, I was concentrating so much on the Top 40 countdowns that I dropped the ball, and failed to mention a very awesome interview that is out there now. My good friends, from the 2 Friends Talking podcast and blog, interviewed our very own Robert Mishou. You love his articles here at Return to the ’80s, and you will love this interview.
Also, please check out the 2 Friends Talking podcast. Sean and Mario have great, entertaining conversations. They are from our generation, so there are plenty of ’80s topics and references.
Hi Everybody! We are back with a new album for “Who’s the Boss?” If you are new, or missed the previous “Who’s the Boss?” articles, you can go ahead and see what this is all about. Kristin, from Rock Out Loud, had suggested that I start my Bruce Springsteen journey with the Live 1975/85 album. This was a stroke of genius on her part. A lot of songs from that album were also on the Born to Run album as well as today’s album, Darkness on the Edge of Town. I feel that if I had just jumped right into these studio albums first, I wouldn’t have appreciated the songs as much. Bruce’s storytelling and the emotions, that he poured into the live versions of these songs, got me warmed up and ready for the studio versions.
Now let’s get into the next album of the “Who’s the Boss?” series – Darkness on the Edge of Town.
Darkness on the Edge of Town was Bruce Springsteen’s fourth studio album. It was the follow-up to Bruce’s big breakthrough album, Born to Run. Darkness on the Edge of Town was released in 1978 – three years after Born to Run. It took so long because Springsteen got into a legal battle with his former manager and producer, Mike Appel. Without getting bogged down into too much detail, basically Springsteen was young and naive when he first signed on with Mike Appel. It turns out that Bruce was getting a raw deal on royalties, and he did not have the publishing rights to his own songs. While Bruce was getting out of that contract, he signed with a new producer, Jon Landau. Appel filed an injunction that prevented Bruce from entering a recording studio. The matter was finally settled out of court. To get more details about this, and to see the recording process of this album, I highly recommend watching the awesome documentary, The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story – Bruce Springsteen.
Although this album did not have any high charting singles, it is one of Springsteen’s most beloved albums. It actually stayed on the charts for nearly two years and is certified triple-platinum.
So, let’s see what everybody is raving about. You can click on the song title to listen to the song/watch the video.
Love! I first heard this song on Live 1975/85. The music and vocals are great. So far, I really enjoy the songs where Bruce’s voice is at a deeper tone. And of course the lyrics are awesome. Here is a perfect example,
Talk about a dream
try to make it real
You wake up in the night
with a fear so real
Spend your life waiting
for a moment that just don’t come
Well, don’t waste your time waiting
I know this song from Live 1975/85. I like this song. It rocks. But, I prefer the live version. So far in this series, I kind of liked the live versions and the studio versions of songs equally. But, this is one of those instances that the live version is far superior.
Another song that is on Live 1975/85. If I started the series with this album, I would be bored with this song. But as I become more educated, I know to pay special close attention to the lyrics on these slow songs. Bruce really paints a picture in his storytelling.
Not to sound like a broken records, but this is another one that I first heard on Live 1975/85. This is another classic Bruce song with incredible lyrics.
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain’t got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
This is Bruce being Bruce, hammering into your head that he speaks for the working man. Putting my facetiousness aside, I do like this song. I’m finding that not too many people, if any, can tell a story in song better than Bruce.
This is a new one for me. I like this song a lot. It kind of feels like a Jackson Browne song. I love the sax solo and then how it goes into a guitar solo. I think this is my favorite of the songs that were new to me on this album.
I have gotten all of these facts from 100.7 WZLX (a Boston classic rock station)
– The album cover was shot at the photographer’s home in New Jersey.
After doing photography for Patti Smith and notable early punk rockers, photographer Frank Stefanko was given the task of shooting the album cover and inner photos for Darkness. The two met through Patti as a mutual connection. Bruce drove down to Stefanko’s house in Haddonfield, New Jersey with just a change of clothes and shot both inside the house and on surrounding streets. The cover for Darkness was shot in Stefanko’s bedroom, while a photo from the same shoot was later used for The River.
– Bruce wrote 70+ songs for the album
According to Jimmy Iovine, Springsteen wrote at least 70 songs to be chosen for final inclusion on Darkness, and over 50 of them were at least partially recorded but not completed. Bruce ultimately wanted to retain the themes present in the album’s main tracks and avoid “singles” that may not have fit the narrative. But some of those songs eventually saw the light of day…
– Unreleased tracks like “Because the Night” were re-purposed or given to other artists
Springsteen’s compilation The Promise contains 21 unreleased tracks that were recorded mostly from 1976-1978, many of which from the Darkness sessions. Most notable is “Because the Night”, which Bruce gave to Patti Smith and became one of the latter’s signature songs.
– At least 16 songs remain unreleased
Despite the dozens of recordings that eventually saw release on the River or subsequent compilation albums, there are at least 16 known recordings that are circulating as bootlegs but have never been given an official release. These songs include “Preacher’s Daughter”, “Down By the River”, “Castaway”, “Cheap Thrills”, and “Blue Moon”.
Does anybody else like this album or have any memories you would like to share? And don’t forget, please check out my friends Steve and Kristin on the Rock Out Loud podcast. It is a lot of fun, and it is a great place to rock out and enjoy music that you may not hear on any other podcast.
Hi Everybody, welcome to the first album of the “Who’s the Boss?” series. On my quest to become a Springsteen fan, as I mentioned in the introductory article, Rock Out Loud’s Kristin suggested that I begin with the album Live/1975–85. There were several reasons for this. Among them are the fact that Bruce Springsteen has a reputation for putting on incredible live shows. Also, this album is a collection of tunes from several of his earlier albums. So, we get a little taste of everything. It also works out in that this album was released in the ’80s. We will be delving into pre and post ’80s albums. But this is a great place to start.
Since Live/1975–85 consists of 3 discs, this premiere album will be split up into 3 parts. So, let’s begin.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band released the 40-track box set Live 1975/85on November 10th, 1986. The set either consisted of 5 records (ahhh, vinyl), 3 cassettes, or 3 cd’s. This album is not from one particular concert. These tracks span through several concerts. For each song, I will list the date and venue from which it came. Live 1975/85 became the first album since Stevie Wonder‘s 1976 set Songs In The Key Of Life to debut at Number One. This album is the second-best-selling live album in U.S. history, going 13x platinum. It only trails Garth Brooks’ Double Live, which is 21x platinum.
I can’t remember what I did 5 minutes ago. But, I do remember seeing this album in the store for the first time. It was the first box set I had ever seen. I didn’t have a job yet, so I didn’t have the money to buy a box set like that. But now, with the click of a button, this album is mine!
Now let’s play this thing! You can click on the song title if you want to listen to the song on YouTube.
Recorded October 18, 1975 at The Roxy Theatre Initial thought: I knew the title, but not the song. Usually, a concert starts out rocking. This is more intimate. It’s a different approach, and I like it! I like the song too. Good start!
Upon further listening: I already liked this song right from the start. I like it more and more with each listen. This Springsteen dude might make it big someday!
Initial thought: Another Rock ‘n’ Blues song. While the last song was more guitar heavy, this one is more keyboards and sax heavy. I like this one too. I’m not sure if there is a studio version of this song, but it seems like this would be a much better live song than a studio song.
Upon further listening: This one didn’t get any better, or any worse for me. I still think this is a cool live song.
Initial thought: OK, I have a new favorite Bruce Springsteen song, and this is it! At the beginning of the song, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. But by the time he hit the first chorus, I was hooked!
Upon further listening: Still love it!!! It is in regular rotation on my iPod.
Recorded December 16, 1978 at the Winterland. The short spoken intro is from July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre
Initial thought: It might take me a few more listens to like this song. It’s not bad. But, if you’re doing something else while it’s on, you forget that it’s playing.
Upon further listening: I totally forgot that this was a Pointer Sisters song. I love the Pointers, and their version of this song is on my iPod. Now this is coming back to me. I do like this song a lot more now too. This is another one that just keeps getting better and better.
Initial thought: Nice recovery. I like this song a lot. Clarence Clemons rocks! Wait a minute. Where did the music go, and what is this yapping?! Oh my God, shut up already!! Can’t Clarence jump back in? OK, after four long painful minutes this song is finally rocking again. I would have absolutely loved this song if the four minutes in the middle were cut out.
Upon further listening: This is one of the first things that Kristin schooled me on. Apparently, Bruce is known for talking in his shows. It is all part of his storytelling. That helps a little. It seems like this would be better to see live than just listening on my headphones. That’s no a knock. Seeing him do this in person would make it feel like he’s connecting to his audience on a more personal level. I appreciate this more now, thanks to Kristin. If there is a studio version of this song, I’m sure I will love it.
Initial thought: This is a good bar song. I think I would rather listen to “Raise Your Hands” from Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. This isn’t bad though. Oh dear God! There is just over 2 minutes left in the song and he’s yapping again! I liked the song. That was a fun one.
Upon further listening: This is another winner. I really like this one too. The part of the song where he is talking, he is getting the crowd into the song even more.
– Now I have an idea to why I took an instant liking to “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).” Long time readers may know that Kiss Unmasked was one of the first albums I ever owned. There was a ballad called “Shandi” on that album. Well, according to KISS: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography, “Shandi” was inspired by the Hollies cover of “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”
And special thanks to Kristin for providing the rest of these fun facts:
– Last week, one of the fun facts was that the first song Bruce learned to play on guitar is “Twist and Shout.” In relation to that, the night John Lennon was murdered (December 8, 1980), Springsteen was playing in nearby Philadelphia. He also played another show in the same place the next night, and addressed the tragedy – “It’s a hard night to come out and play, but there’s just nothing else you can do.”
– Bruce won’t have an opening band because he was actually booed (not BRUUUUUUCED) as an opening act, and he said he never wanted to put another band in a position like that.