If you haven’t heard Tina Turner died yesterday after a long illness. Tina Turner’s music helped me get through my father’s death and she was a total badass. She played the Acid Queen in The Who’s musical Tommy and she was Aunty Entity in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Plus, she made one of the better albums that came out of the 1980’s; Private Dancer. If you have never listened to it give it a spin because it is excellent.
This coming Record Store Day is chock full of cool releases. The only record store where I live has closed so I will have to find them online. Which itself is not a big deal because there are tons of options on Discogs when it comes to purchasing them. If you have never been on Discogs it is a very cool website in which people sell physical copies of music. If you are a collector of physical media it is a very helpful site and you can get some good deals on there.
These records are the ones that I will personally be purchasing. I am not independently wealthy so I am going to be buying them over the course of a few weeks and not all on the same day.
A Flock Of Seagulls – Rare Birds B-Sides And Rarities
This one is an obvious purchase for me because I love the hell out of A Flock Of Seagulls. Anything they put out I purchase. It’s like I have been trained as a Pavlov dog when it comes to this band. Since I have most, if not all, of their 12″ singles I more than likely own the B sides already but I am intrigued as to what the rarities will be. They are perhaps the most underappreciated band to come out of the 80’s. Unlike a lot of other 80’s era bands their music doesn’t sound dated.
Donna Summer – Hot Summer Nights
This is the 40th anniversary of the album and I am excited as hell about it because I love disco and Donna Summer. I grew up in the 70’s/80’s so her music was always around and being played. She had a really extraordinary voice and sang with a lot of soul. Great lady and I can’t wait to listen to this.
Missing Persons – Live in New York 1981
This is a double album reissue. Love them and don’t have this album so this one is a no brainer.
Nena – 99 Luft Ballons 12″
I remember taping this song when it came out and listening to the lyrics over and over again to figure them out. Growing up towards the end of the Cold War, and with the threat of nuclear annihilation constantly in the background, this song will always mean a lot to me. This is a 40th anniversary reissue.
Romeo Void – Live From Mabuhay Gardens November 14th 1980
Romeo Void was an early new wave/post-punk band that came out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Since I am from that area I used to hear some of their songs on the radio all of the time. I feel like I am duty bound to get this. Crossing my fingers for some live saxophone action.
Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna Live 1981
I have always loved Stevie’s music. Did you know that Prince performed the keyboards in her song Stand Back? I know that it isn’t on this album but I think its a cool factoid. I need to own some of her vinyl so this is where I am going to start.
Tears For Fears – Saturnine Martial & Lunatic
Tears For Fears were one of my favourite bands when I was a teen in the 80’s. This is a collection of their B Sides and other rarities from their years with Mercury. This is, yet again, a no brainer for me.
U2 – Two Hearts Beat As One/Sunday Bloody Sunday 40th Anniversary Edition
I make it no secret on here that I love early U2. This has the two original songs on one side and two new versions of them on the other. Only getting this because of the old songs being front and center on this release.
Various Artists – Monsters, Vampires, Voodoos & Spooks
I’m a huge fan of horror punk and spooky Halloween themed songs so this is meant for me. I feel seen.
The Virgin Prunes – The Debut EPs
Love The Virgin Prunes and I plan on buying all of their reissues as they come out.
Some people are probably wondering why I am not going to be buying the Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees reissues. Truthfully? I am not a huge fan of either band. I don’t hate them or anything like that, it’s just that I don’t collect their music. Remember to always buy music that you like, not what others say that you have to buy. If you don’t like any of the releases I have mentioned that’s fine; you do you.
If you were any kind of weirdo in the 80’s you more than likely loved Prince to some degree. Seriously, he has always had a very large fanbase in alternative circles. So much so that I have never met a weirdo who hates his music. I have even talked to dudes into heavy hardcore punk who loved and respected him for doing things the way he wanted to instead of bowing down to music industry pressure. Also, his music was played in every single alternative club back then and it was fun as hell to dance to.
With all of that being said I have loved him since the early 80’s when I first saw the videos for1999 and Little Red Corvette on MTV. I also really liked the earlier song I Wanna Be Your Lover but I didn’t know that was made by him for years. During that time I actually went and saw Purple Rain in a theater as a double feature with Mad Max II(Road Warrior). I got my mom to buy the soundtrack and I listened to it so much that I ended up warping the cassette. In fact I still know all of the words to the songs off of it.
I liked some of the songs he did after Purple Rain but his earlier material is what I have always connected more with. When he died it upset me more than any other celebrity death because here was a man who was a musical genius that died because he became a Jehovah’s Witness. That cult believes that you cannot have blood transfusions because it is against the word of God, or something silly like that. Prince really needed to get hip replacement surgery but he couldn’t because of the whole blood transfusion thing. Instead he got addicted to pain pills and overdosed. I still get teary thinking about it sometimes.
Prince is the number one musician that I regret never seeing live. However, through the magic of the internet, we can watch all of his videos and performances. These are my all time favourite Prince songs in no specific order. If you have never listened to his music before you are in for a treat.
I make so secret on social media about having a huge fondness for disco, soul and funk coming out of the 70’s and 80’s. I grew up during those decades so I came of age while this music was being played on the radio. Not surprisingly it really means a lot to me and I will never turn my back on it. This list is not exhaustive and is in no particular order since my very favourite songs from these genres fluctuates at times. Some songs are partially in one of the genres and some are in several.
DONNA SUMMER – I FEEL LOVE (1977)
This a very pioneering song that merged disco beats with pure electronic music. I love Donna Summer’s vocals so much in this because she weaves her voice among the beats not overwhelming them. It’s a perfect pairing that still sounds futuristic even though it was made about forty-five years ago.
MARY JANE GIRLS – IN MY HOUSE (1985)
The Mary Jane Girls was a group formed by Rick James, who wrote their songs and produced their recordings. I remember watching this video on MTV and thinking that they looked very cool, and that the song had a cool beat. It’s really fun to sing along with!
PRINCE – CONTROVERSY (1981)
I love the hell out of Prince, especially his work from Purple Rain backwards. This is hands down my favourite song of his because it has such a deep funky beat to it. Plus the lyrics are very political! When you think about it the man was brave as hell to make this song, so I will respect and celebrate him by dancing like crazy to it!
ISAAC HAYS – THEME FROM SHAFT (1971)
Probably the funkiest theme song ever made! If this song doesn’t make you want to dance then you should go see a doctor because you are probably dead. If you have never seen the movie I command you to go see it now!
THE GAP BAND – YOU DROPPED A BOMB ON ME (1982)
I love The Gap Band and this is my favourite song by them. Everything about the song is so cool! The groove, the vocals and the bomb dropping effects come together to form a perfect dance tune! This is so 80’s Cold War that it reminds me of when I first saw The Day After. Hmmmmm…….this could have a strange connection as to why I love post-apocalyptic/dystopian themed films so much.
ANITA WARD – RING MY BELL (1979)
I distinctly remember doing some roller disco to this song. That’s right, I used to roller skate to disco music in Golden Gate Park when I was a kid, which means I was very cool and could actually skate! I haven’t skated in over thirty years so I would probably now break an ankle, but if I could this would be the first song I would choose because it’s fun!
EDWIN STARR – WAR (1970)
This was made the year before I was born but I distinctly remember this song from when I was a kid. I was raised on anti-war music so this song really ties into my childhood of learning about how wrong the Vietnam War was. This is the most political song on my list and its message still stands today. War is fought by the common man, and what is it good for? Nothing. This song will get you emotional, so if you are feeling too down to listen to it I understand.
CHAKA KHAN – I FEEL FOR YOU (1984)
Guess who originally wrote and performed this song in 1979? Prince! That is part of the reason why this song is so cool. The other reason why? Chaka Khan’s voice is really stellar! The woman can sing like hell! Plus, the rapping portion of the song, done by Grandmaster Melle Mel, is fun. If you can breakdance you should be doing it to this song!
DEBBIE DEB – LOOKOUT WEEKEND (1984)
When I would go to high school dances in 85-86 this was one of the only songs that I actually liked. Mostly because it has a cool beat and the laser-ray sounds are pretty cool and dorky at the same time. This song lives in a total 80’s time capsule along with neon clothing and perms…both of which I never had! *proud*
KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND – THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE IT (1975)
This is such a fun band! They made so much cool music that it was hard picking my favourite song out of the bunch. I finally chose this one because the female vocals add some extra oomph to it that inches it over the cliff for me. Their music was played constantly in the 70’s, so I knew the music before I knew who they were. If you have never heard their name, and you’re older like me, I guarantee you will recognise quite a few of their songs.
There is no way I could fit all of my favourite songs of these genres in one post so there will be a part two later this week. Get on down and boogie!!!!!