Tag Archives: 20 Day Album Challenge

20 Album Challenge – Day 13

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is the Rocky IV Soundtrack

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Rocky IV epitomized over-the-top 80s cheesiness (as did all mid-80s Sly Stallone movies). The movie was fun. But, perhaps my favorite part of the movie was the soundtrack. I had never run to music before this soundtrack. While running during the summer, I would throw this tape in my Walkman and run and have a great workout. From Survivor’s “Burning Heart” and once again “Eye of the Tiger“, to Rhode Island’s own John Cafferty belting out “Heart’s on Fire“, to Robert Tepper’s “No Easy Way Out” and “The Sweetest Victory“, there was no stopping me! If it was good enough for Rocky, it was good enough for me! And if that wasn’t enough, the James Brown classic “Living in America” is featured as well as the duet “Double or Nothing” by legends Kenny Loggins and Gladys Knight. Even the instrumentals by Vince DiCola were great. One was called “War“, and the other is literally called “Training Montage“. If you can’t train to that song, what’s the point?

Here is the album on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get the album from Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 12

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. My pick for Day 12 is Contact by The Pointer Sisters.

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While “Jump (For My Love)” and “I’m So Excited” got all the attention for The Pointer Sisters, my favorite song by them was “Dare Me” from this album. It really pumped me up before Cross Country meets, and it always put me in a good mood when I needed it. This is another album that is very solid. I love every song on it. In addition to “Dare Me“, I fell in love with “Back In My Arms.”

The Pointer Sisters will forever hold a place in my heart. While serving on a Naval hospital during the Gulf War (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), the Pointers came on our ship at Christmas time, and headlined a show as part of the Bob Hope tour. All the female performers from that year’s special put on the show. Ann Jillian was the host, and other performers included Marie Osmond and Khrystyne Haje (Head of the Class). All of those performers will always have my love and respect. And it may be nos surprise, but the Pointer Sisters’ playlist included “Jump (For My Love”), “Dare Me”, and “I’m So Excited.” I will never forget it.

I cannot recommend this Contact album enough. You can check it out on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get the album from Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 11

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is Shout At the Devil by Mötley Crüe.

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Thanks to MTV, Shout at the Devil was my introduction to Mötley Crüe. The music rocked, and was different from anything else that was out there. Unlike the Theatre of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls albums that followed, every song on Shout at the Devil was great.

After this album came out, my mom was buying me a new tape. She asked if I wanted this one or Van Halen’s 1984. “Jump” was all the rage at the time, so I think she was hoping I would go for that one. But, I went with Shout at the Devil. I loved the way “In the Beginning” started off the album and went into “Shout At the Devil”. At the time I got this album, the only songs I knew were the title track and “Looks That Kill”. I ended up loving every song on here. This was also my introduction to “Helter Skelter,” which I fell in love with. My parents didn’t own any Beatles album post Rubber Soul, and the only Beatles songs that played on rock radio were “Come Together” and “Get Back.” I also loved “Red Hot” and “Too Young to Fall in Love.” And just as “Love’s a Bitch” made me feel baddass that I had an album with a swear in the title with Quiet Riot, I felt the same with “Bastard” on this one. I still love this album, and would be in the running for a desert island pick.

Here is the album on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get the album from Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 10

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is Queen’s Greatest Hits.

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After Star Wars came out in 1977, and changed my life, sci-fi and fantasy movies became all the rage, capitalizing on the Star Wars success. One of these movies was 1980s Flash Gordon. One of the greatest things about that movie was the theme song. It was my introduction to Queen, and I was obsessed with that song. Not long after that, “Another One Bites the Dust” was released, and I became a Queen fan for life. At the time, the only songs I knew other than those two were “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You“. Those songs alone were worth getting the Greatest Hits album. The first song on the first side was “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It was my first time hearing that song since the radio stations in the U.S. never played it. Within one second of hearing the song, “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”, I was blown away, and my music world was turned upside down! And then we get to the opera portion of the song, which was insane! And then Brian May’s guitar blowing off the roof! There didn’t need to be another song on there! But, man am I glad there was! I loved “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Bicycle Race.” And I was once again blown away. This time it was by “Now I’m Here“. If you listen to the song on headphones, you hear Freddie sing “Now I’m here” in one headphone, then you hear him sing “Now I’m there” in the other headphone. You can do that?! Queen was now my favorite band. And move over Steve Perry (but not too far over), Freddie was, and still is, my all-time favorite singer. And this was the first full album that started it all for me.

Here is the album on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get the album from Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 9

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is ZZ Top’s Eliminator.

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There were several artists who had been around since the 1970s who I did not discover until the early to mid ’80s (Thank you MTV!). Along with David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top is one of those bands to me. Of course most of us remember the iconic trilogy of videos – “Gimme All Your Lovin’“, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs“. However, the entire album is awesome. “Got Me Under Pressure” is a solid track. And while the “trilogy” gets all the music video attention, I absolutely loved the video for “TV Dinners,” which is also a great song. And my favorite underrated track on the album is “Thug“.

While I love the follow-up album, Afterburner, the Eliminator album helped shape my taste in rock music, and kept me glued to MTV. And while I was bored in class in high school, I loved drawing the ZZ Top logo on my book covers and notebooks.

Here is Eliminator on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 8

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is Raised On Radio by Journey.

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In the ’80s, Journey was my favorite band. From the mid-70s through 1983, the band released a new album every year or 2. After Frontiers was released in 1983, Journey took a little break. Lead singer, Steve Perry, had a mega-successful solo album in Street Talk. In 1986, they returned with Raised On Radio. The drummer, Steve Smith, and founding member and bassist, Ross Valory, were no longer in the group. A lot of people complained about this album, but I loved it. This is the first album I remember going against the grain with. I always liked what I liked unashamedly. But, this is the first time where I saw so much backlash against something.

Now with the internet, and connecting with people all over the world, I’m happy to find that I’m not crazy, and that a lot of other people love this album too. I could not get enough of “Suzanne” and “Be Good To Yourself”. And the title track kicking off the second side was an incredible rocker. Another great memory I have from this album is that we took a family trip from Rhode Island to Pennsylvania. On the drive down, I listened to this brand new tape on my Walkman the entire time.

Here is Raised On Radio on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 7

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

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In 1982, I listened to mainly rock music, and whatever was playing on the Top 40 station. Then one of my best friends got this 12-inch vinyl album by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five called “The Message”. I was blown away by this brand new genre called rap! We got into the new rage – break dancing. My friends and I would practice all kinds of break dancing moves. We got giant pieces of cardboard to spin on, and even spray painted logos on it. I was also thrilled when I got some parachute pants! Since rap was so new at the time, it was very difficult to find new music. There was The Sugarhill Gang and Kurtis Blow. But, “The Message” was our go-to. It was a great song, and since it was a 12″ record, it played for a while before you had to start over or find another song.
I don’t have any old pictures of me in my parachute pants. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But here is the actual record that we played:

Here is The Message album on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:

20 Album Challenge – Day 4

The 20 Day Album challenge continues. My pick on Saturday, February 8 was Journey’s Departure album.

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This album had a huge impact on me because Departure was the first CD I ever bought. The Compact Disc was a great brand new technology in the ’80s. We had collecting cassette tapes and vinyl albums. Now, with these new CDs, the sound was crisper, and you could skip songs immediately and much easier.
After my parents purchased a new stereo system, which included a CD player, I went to Ann & Hope and looked for a CD by my favorite band at the time – Journey. The CD section was small, and the only Journey CD they had was Departure, which was fine by me. I already had several Journey cassettes, but Departure was not one of them.

The only song I had known on there at the time was “Anyway You Want It“, which was also the first song on the CD. What a way to start! The whole album impressed me. I was blown away by “Where Were You“. And my new favorite song on the whole CD was “People and Places“. It is something so different from all of Journey’s other music. It was the coolest thing I ever heard. And it was awesome hearing Steve Perry and Gregg Rolie sharing lead vocals.

It was also cool opening up the CD insert and seeing: “Join us for our departure into the 80’s”

I still highly recommend this album. It is jam packed with a wide range of music. There are classic Journey tracks, ballads, and blues.

Here is the album on Spotify:

And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below: