This is the final 1984 post where everything else fits in. This is the music which came into my life from music television, movies and the older siblings from my friends, or my brothers friends.
And if you look at some of the sale numbers from the albums, these albums became so big it was hard to avoid the songs on them as radio played em and music television played em.
Here is the playlist.
The movie was everywhere.
It’s music was everywhere.
There wasn’t a person alive in 1984 that could have missed this cultural phenomenon.
And it’s funny how the same repeat offenders appeared on the same big soundtracks.
Kenny Loggins delivers a stellar title track, with roots in the 60’s Rock and Roll movement. He also wrote “Danger Zone” for the “Top Gun” movie in 1986 , “Hearts On Fire” for “Rocky IV” and “Meet Me Half Way” for Stallone’s “Over The Top” which also had a killer Sammy Hagar track in “Winner Takes It All”. Stan Bush was another artist who had his songs appear in movies.
Ann Wilson (from Heart) and Mike Reno (from Loverboy) deliver a stellar ballad in “Almost Paradise”.
Bonnie Tyler’s anthem, “Holding Out For A Hero” appears while “Somebody’s Eyes” by Karla Bonoff is very Police like; just think of “King Of Pain”, even Gotye would have been inspired by it.
“The Girl Gets Around” from Sammy Hagar is on the soundtrack, but it’s not on the Spotify version of the soundtrack, but then again, a lot of the Sammy stuff is missing from Spotify Australia.
The original soundtrack ended with the song “Never” from Moving Pictures. And that synth lick to kick the song off, sounds heavy on distorted guitar. Plus it has a galloping riff in the verses which reminds me of “The Trooper” verses.
In 1998, a 15th anniversary edition was released and it added “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” from Quiet Riot, “Hurts So Good” from John Mellencamp and “Waiting For A Girl Like You” from Foreigner. To me, it’s a triple home run and almost 10 million in sales in the U.S alone.
Huey Lewis And The News – Sport
This album really came out in 1983 but its success came in 1984.
Over 7 million in sales in the U.S. plus extra royalties, when Huey Lewis put in a copyright complaint against Ray Parker Jnr for using, “I Want A New Drug” and renaming it “Ghostbusters”.
And “Walking On A Thin Line” could have come from John Mellencamp, so it was no surprise that the album crossed over to different styles.
But overall, I couldn’t relate to any of the other songs.
Weird Al Yankovic – In 3-D
“Weird Al” found a niche.
What a great concept to make parodies of popular songs, all the way to platinum sales.
“Eat It” kicks it off, a parody of “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. The clip was doing the rounds routinely on the music video TV shows so there was no way to avoid it.
There are some misses, and then “King of Suede” starts, a parody of “King of Pain” by The Police, about a discount sale happening for suede.
The “Theme from Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser)” is a parody of “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and hits the mark about a boxer who purchased a deli and is asking customers, do you want the rye or the Kaiser roll.
Billy Ocean – Suddenly
Now here is another artist that sold a lot of product, with over 2 million in sales in the U.S.
From the first four albums, that is close to 20 million in U.S sales.
“Caribbean Queen” hits the mark. Just check out the chorus vocal melody.
“Loverboy” has some cool single note pentatonic riffs in the verses and a Chorus that sounds like “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “I Love Rock N Roll”.
“Suddenly” is a power ballad. It’s a massive song and it would work in a hard rock context. Replace the piano riffs with acoustic guitars and the song will start to sound like a Beatles/ELO blend.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome To The Pleasuredome
Here is another artist that couldn’t be avoided. The film clips for “Relax” and “Two Tribes” were in constant rotation.
“Two Tribes” had this riff that reminded people of Pink Floyd and suddenly, they are crossing over into the Floyd’s fan base.
And the cover of “Born To Run” from Bruce Springsteen does the original justice.
Madonna – Like a Virgin
Regardless of your viewpoint, Madonna knew how to market herself and bend the media to her will. The film clips to “Material Girl” and “Like A Virgin” will be forgotten with time, but for anyone who lived through the 80’s they still remain in our memories from over exposure.
And my neighbour, she was into Madonna, so I kept hearing the songs mentioned along with “Dress You Up” and Stay” over and over again. And Madonna built a career on this album, with over 10 million in sales in the U.S and over 20 million in sales worldwide.
Billy Squier – Signs Of Life
Just forget about the video clip and the visuals and let the ears guide you.
“All Night Long” is a rocker, with a catchy guitar riff and vocal melody, with a hedonistic guitar solo.
“Rock Me Tonite” has a keyboard riff which sounds like it came from a Queen album and a guitar riff that decorates it nicely.
“Reach For The Sky” has this “King Of Pain” feel from The Police, like the song “Somebody’s Eyes” from the Footloose soundtrack by Karla Bonoff.
“Can’t Get Next To You” has a guitar riff that feels like it’s got a bit of “Long Way To The Top” and in the Chorus it’s a bit of “All Right Now”. Music is a sum of influences.
Wham – Make It Big
There was no escaping Wham and their hit songs like “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” on music television and radio.
But the song on this album is “Careless Whisper”.
Listen to it, it’s a bonafide hard rock song and it crosses over easily. It’s one of George Michael’s best songs.
Seether covered it in the 2000’s and did a stellar job with it, especially how they translated the saxophone solo into a fuzzed out guitar solo.
Zebra – No Telling Lies
It didn’t do great commercial business compared to the debut and it got the label worried. It’s not a bad album, it’s just not as good as the debut. The material feels like more filler than killer.
In saying all that, how good is the intro riff to “Wait Until The Summers Gone” and that exotic Arabian sounding lead break?
“I Don’t Like It” is a good listen.
And then the intro riff starts for “No Telling Lies” and I’m stopped in my tracks. Once the vocal melody kicks in, I’m hooked. It’s not a track for the charts, it’s a track for the artist. And these kind of tracks hook in the real fans.
Armored Saint – March of The Saint
One song defines this album to me and it’s “Can You Deliver”.
It’s perfect and timeless.
The pedal point intro riff kicks it off and it gets doubled for the verses. The vocal melody starts off in one register and goes higher as it builds.
Even CC DeVille was listening intently, as it seems he used the riff for “Look What The Cat Dragged In”.
The Angles – Two Minute Warning
If you like AC/DC then you will love this album. I guarantee it or your money back. They had a bigger selling album towards the late 80’s, but this one is my favourite.
They are rock and roll royalty in Australia, with their street brawling rawk and roll.
“Small Price” has a groove reminiscent to “Long Way To The Top” from AC/DC.
“Look The Other Way” is another foot stomper in the vein of AC/DC.
“Underground” has a vocal delivery that Bon Scott delivered from the grave and “Razor’s Edge” continues the AC/DC spirit.
Running Wild – Gates To Purgatory
It’s basically Metallica’s “Kill Em All” merged with the fast songs from Iron Maiden’s catalogue, merged with the fast songs from Motorhead’s catalogue with a touch of Scorpions thrown in.
My favourite track is “Soldiers of Hell” because of the harmony guitar solos. “Preacher” sounds like a song a more popular band copied and made popular. “Prisoner Of Our Time” has a kick arse hard rock riff.
And that’s a wrap for 84. I started this series in March, 2018 and it’s finally done.
Here are all the other posts.