Thermal, CA: home to the #1 song of the '80s.
During the '70s and early'80s, the small, arid farming town
was home to Freedman Co., run by Mr. Steinberg and his son, Billy
, who ran vineyard operations. Billy also made music
, time permitting. After his demo was secretly given to a star
, he went to L.A., and met his musical collaborator, but the farm pulled him back. He kept writing in Thermal, though.
"I remember writing the lyrics. . . while driving around in a red pickup truck that I owned and I was driving around my father’s dusty desert vineyards. I had been involved in a very emotionally difficult relationship that had finally ended I had met somebody new... I came up with the line, ‘I made it through the wilderness...I was beat, incomplete, I’d been had.’ All of the lyrics just poured out"
That was Steinberg & Kelly's
first #1 hit
... followed by four more
, along with other hits
you might not suspect.
posted by markkraft
on May 11, 2012 -
...there’s some desperation to this junk version of “Dancing in the Street,” with both parties trying to affirm their A-1 celebrity status. One of the more pernicious effects of the whole Live Aid/Farm Aid/Band Aid spectacle was to cement the hierarchy of the “legend” rock acts and a smaller tier of anointed successors from the slightly-younger generation (Tom Petty, Sting, Dire Straits, U2). It was the height of the Boomer Counter-Reformation. The late Eighties would see the over-publicized returns of everyone from Steve Winwood to the Monkees to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, to a revamped George Harrison to a MOR version of Pink Floyd to Robbie Robertson pretending that he was Peter Gabriel (a version of Gabriel who couldn’t sing) to an all-star Yes and a Zeppelin-sampling Robert Plant, culminating in the return of the “revitalized” Stones in 1989, the touring company now reincorporated into a gleaming multinational. As Marcello Carlin said back when Popular covered this single: “Suddenly we were once again reminded who in pop and rock mattered and who didn’t…With their massacre of “Dancing In The Street,” Bowie and Jagger seemed to relish rubbing it in.“
-The Annotated Jagger/Bowie "Dancing in the Street"
posted by anazgnos
on Jan 17, 2012 -
As a historical document the book is exhaustive and valuable. But I did not come away feeling that I knew or understood Hüsker Dü — the musicians themselves, their music, or any of the people around them — any more intimately than I already did. Earles’ writing is at once densely opinionated and emotionless. He expertly follows the chronology of the band’s tours and releases, but he never makes it understandable why some of us look back on this band so reverently, or why it would be worth somebody’s time to discover Hüsker Dü today. (previously)
posted by Trurl
on Dec 3, 2011 -
A band of the 80's and 90's, that you've very probably listened to, is touring again.
If you listened to the radio in 1986, you heard this.
In 1991, you probably heard this.
If you are a superfan, you've probably got a copy of their live farewell show in Sydney, 1996
. If you're a zealot, you probably watched them live on the Jimmy Fallon Show last night.
In my humble opinion, one of the most underrated composers and underrated bands around, still.
posted by legweak
on Jul 21, 2010 -
In 1989, Hollywood heavy metal band Rock Sugar was stranded on a desert island. For the last twenty years, the only music they had to listen to was the 80's pop CD collection of a 13 year old girl. And now, Rock Sugar has come home
. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Feb 15, 2010 -
Some videos: In 1985, Tipper Gore's PMRC
released a list they called the "Filthy Fifteen," detailing what they believed to be the fifteen most objectionable songs of the time, and the reason they felt each song should be censored... [more inside]
posted by the_bone
on Jan 3, 2009 -
Y'all think whatever you want about Michael Jackson now,
knaamean? But on this day back in 1983, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever
was being taped before a live audience. Since he was no longer contractually tied to Motown, MJ planned to attend but not perform at the function; he was finally able to negotiate a solo spot singing a non-Motown song. Thriller
had been released more than a year prior; Billie Jean
had been the Number One single on Billboard's Top 100 for two weeks. It was time for a Pop Culture "Do you remember where you were when...?" moment.
And then came the moonwalk.
posted by t2urner
on Mar 25, 2008 -
Something to Hüsker
: Bob Mould
, Grant Hart
and Greg Norton
live with Joan Rivers
on the Late Show. Also live versions of the Byrds' Eight Miles High
, The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill/I Apologize
, Pink Turns to Blue
, Every Everything, Makes no Sense at All, Ticket to Ride
, New Day Rising
, These Important Years, Every Everytime
, and a video for Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely
posted by psmealey
on Sep 21, 2007 -
On the cusp of DEVO's first tour of Europe since 1990
, it's become clear that, though largely cast aside after their 1980 hit "Whip It", DEVO's influence is finally being felt on modern audiences, around the world. DEVO has inspired tribute bands, some traditional
, some not
. They've also spawned new bands, domestic
[MySpace link], and Foreign like Japan's POLYSICS
[YouTube], and Germany's Mutate Now
[YouTube]. With musical inspiration like this, can't we forgive such missteps as Devo 2.0
posted by SansPoint
on Jun 15, 2007 -
Happy Birthday Ric Richard Otcasek
turned 58 today. It's All Mixed Up
, I had no idea he was so old. Well, no matter how old you are, you still need to let the Good Times Roll
, so Let's Go
wish him our very best, since it's pretty much Touch and Go
for any rock star approaching age 60.
Though many of the Cars hits where sung by the late, great Ben Orr
, Ocasek was one of the more recognizable front men of the 1980s. So distinctive that, on April 18, 2006, he was ranked number 50 in The Boston Phoenix list of "The 100 unsexiest men in the world."
Ocasek has had a low-key, but reasonably successful career as a solo artist
, written a book of poetry and had a cameo role in the John Waters feature film Hairspray
. He also appeared on the Colbert Report where he volunteered to lead a commando mission to "rescue" Stephen Jr.
, the baby eagle at the San Francisco Zoo
. Ric also is notable as a producer, though he is probably best known (or infamous in indie circles) for producing Guided by Voices'
much maligned Do the Collapse
. As for my own personal connection, the first time I saw him was in 1984, when the Cars played a show with Wang Chung
and the last time was when I stood next to Ric at Luna's Farewell show
at the Bowery Ballroom, a well known Nightspot
. Nice guy, he let me buy him a beer. It was, he said, Just what he Needed
posted by psmealey
on Mar 23, 2007 -
For most musicians, it's difficult to pinpoint a particular event that forever sullied their image and destroyed their popularity. For 80's rocker Billy Squier
, however, the reason
posted by starkeffect
on Aug 11, 2006 -
Yes, We're The Mini*Pops!
For a few brief, shining years in the 80s the Mini*Pops were the ne plus ultra
of every pre-adolescent's rock star fantasies. From the classic Mini*Pops
, to the haunting Mini*Pops Let's Dance
, to everyone's seasonal favourite Mini*Pops Christmas
, the Mini*Pops embodied the hopes and dreams of
children everywhere. Of course, no retrospective of the Mini*Pops would be complete without listening to their
tribute to Abba
posted by filmgoerjuan
on Sep 28, 2003 -
80's ROCK IS DEAD (LONG LIVE 80'S ROCK)
Holy crap, I saw an ad on the teevee for a new BOSTON album called Corporate America
. A new Boston album!
A self-described "in your face" indictment of big business and what it is doing to our world. You'll be comforted to know that the music is still way overproduced and the political content has all the impact of Mike + the Mechanics "Silent Running." In other words — don't change a thing! It turns out all the big 80's rockers have 2002 albums, even the little king himself: Phil Collins. Testify
. I'll be damned if one of his new songs doesn't sound like "Take Me Home (Redux)." Def Leppard's "X"
? Same. Poison's "Hollyweird"
? Same! Poison even does a party rock version of The Who's "Squeeze Box." Wonderful. Bon Jovi
, Robert Plant
— what year is this again? Who cares. Let's rock. As soon as this Family Ties
posted by Dok Millennium
on Oct 31, 2002 -
Rhino Records' latest orgy of nostalgia, The '80s Pop Culture Box
, arrived in stores this week
. The package boasts seven disks, 142 songs, and an impressive array of extras, including liner notes by Jamie Malanowski of Spy magazine
, so this may be all that you need to become an instant '80s expert. If the $99.98
sticker price is too steep for you, and you're already
an expert, though, you can try their contest
for a chance to win a set (and a whole bunch more!) Gag me with a spoon!
posted by yhbc
on Jul 22, 2002 -
How do you prove you're not crazy?
Adam Ant would like to know. He has shown himself to be a little nuts in a recent interview
, but isn't that what we expect from our washed-up stars of yesteryear who wore tights and streaks of makeup under his eyes?
But really, how do you prove you're sane - especially if you're a preformer?
posted by tsarfan
on Jan 16, 2002 -
Take the 1980s Music Quiz
(via Net Buzz). Guess the song and artist of each. Hint: No two songs are by the same artist, and all were produced between 1980-1989.
222 lines from 222 songs from 222 different artists. This is quality time-wasting.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet
on Nov 27, 2001 -