Showing posts with label 80s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 80s. Show all posts

Monday, May 23, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 57 - New Order (Blue Monday)

Blue Monday is an amazing piece of 80s electronic synth-pop music and has to be included in my list of favourite songs.  Released in 1983, it peaked at number 9 and spent 38 weeks in the top 75.  It fared slightly better when it was re-released in 1988, and reached a much better number 3 in the UK charts.

As soon as this song comes on in the car, the volume goes straight up!

A small bit of personal trivia - Blue Monday was one of the very first songs I attempted to 'track' on my Commodore Amiga in the early 90s due to its simplistic bassline.


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 54 - Tears For Fears (Everybody Wants to Rule the World)

Here's another song from Tears for Fears, and probably one of their most well-known tracks.  I loved this song when growing up in the 80s and it will always remind me of a great 80s comedy flick called "Real Genius" that starred a young Val Kilmer and featured the song playing over the credits at the end (and a house full of popcorn!)

The song was released in March 1985 as a single from their second studio album "Songs from the Big Chair" and peaked at number 2 on the UK charts a month later.

This song is one of the defining new-wave/synth-pop tracks of the 1980s and is one of my all-time favourite songs.


Friday, April 15, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 53 - Tears For Fears (Mad World)

Today's song is a favourite of mine from 1982 by Tears For Fears.  Mad World was a single from their debut album "The Hunting", and it reached a pretty good number 3 in the UK charts.

A classic 80's track, and definitely one of my favourites.

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 52 - El DeBarge (Who's Johnny)

Today's track is from one of my favourite 1980s movies - Short Circuit.  Who's Johnny by El DeBarge was released in 1986 and reached number 3 in the US Billboard Top 100 Charts.  

I remember the song not being as widely available in the UK (I don't think it even charted here), and this was in a time before the internet, so opportunities to listen to it were rare.  As I recall, the song only appeared a few times in the film (incomplete) - in a short scene when Stephanie Speck, played brilliantly by Ally Sheedy, is showing Johnny 5 around her home, and later when Johnny 5 has commandeered a Nova Robotics van.

A great tune, from a great movie.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 48 - Erasure (Sometimes)

So here we are with my 48th track, and it's surprising that I've only had one Erasure song on the list so far considering how much of a fan I am of the synth-pop duo.  Well, here we are with track number two!

For me, 'Sometimes' is one of the defining synth songs of the mid to late 1980s.  It's amazing and deservedly sat in the UK charts for an impressive 23 weeks, peaking at Number 2 in December 1986, and only being beaten from the top spot by Europe's "The Final Countdown".

Guaranteed to cheer me up when I feel down (which is a lot these days, but hey ho),  

It does make me think back to a comment my son Kieran made a few weeks ago about how happy songs sounded in the 1980s compared to what is in the popular charts today.

"It's not the way you lead me by the hand into the bedroom
It's not the way you throw your clothes upon the bathroom floor
Been thinking about ya, I just couldn't wait to see
Fling my arms around ya as we fall in ecstasy"

You know the rest :)

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 45 - The Piranhas (Tom Hark)

While searching for Zambezi by the Piranhas, their cover of Tom Hark popped up and instantly took me back in time to over 40 years ago.  Man, I forgot how much I loved this song when I was little.  It entered the charts in August 1980 (I was three years old), and remained there for twelve weeks, peaking at number six.  It was The Piranha's biggest hit.  Check the video out and enjoy the nostalgia.

"Does anybody know how long to World War III?
I wanna know, I gotta book me holiday
They want me in the Army but I just can't go
I'm far too busy listening to the radio"

What great lyrics!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 44 - The Piranhas (Zambezi)

Flipping heck... this is a blast from the past!  I remember loving it when I was a kid

A cover of Zambezi by Lou Busch and his Orchestra, this version was released back in 1982 by The Piranhas (and featuring Boring Bob Grover - The Man With The Golden Trumpet) where it entered into the UK Top 40 in September/October.  I was but a 5 year old lad with obviously no decent taste in music.

"Well if my bank should phone, tell them I ain't at home,
Just say I packed my plastic bag and went away.
As for the landlord's rent, I spent it on a tent,
So if he's asking questions, you'll know what to say.

 You don't get lyrics like that anymore.

Saturday, March 05, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 42 - Phil Collins (Don't Lose My Number)

Whilst reacquainting myself with Phil Collins's excellent "No Jacket Required" album, Don't Lose My Number has given me a massive flashback feeling.  Gosh, I forgot how much I love this song, and how good an album it is.

As already mentioned, the song comes from his excellent No Jacket Required album, but wasn't actually released as a single in the UK.  It did reach an impressive number 4 in the US, and ranked 64th in the US Top Pop Singles for 1985

Anyway, here's the music video.  Stick with it...  the song begins around the 1 minute and 30 seconds mark.

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 41 - Nik Kershaw (Dancing Girls)

As I've probably mentioned before in a previous post, my sister was a massive fan of Nik Kershaw, and quite often when I was a young lad in the mid-80s I would be able to hear his tunes coming through the wall between our two bedrooms.  At the time, I was not a fan but over the years I've grown to really like his music.

Whenever I listen to Dancing Girls, I have a vivid memory of helping my sister write a "Nik Kershaw" lyrics program on our Commodore Plus 4 computer in BASIC, a program I still have stored on one of hundreds of old cassettes to this day, named "Nik 16"

Released 38 years ago, on April 2nd 1984, Dancing Girls was a single from his excellent "Human Racing" album and peaked in the UK charts at No. 13 around the same time as classic favourites of mine such as Queen's "I Want To Break Free", Depeche Mode's "People are People" and Blancemange's "Don't Tell Me"


Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 40 - Johnny Hates Jazz (Shattered Dreams)

There are a large number of songs that constantly remind me of family walks from Leigh-on-Sea to Southend, mostly because we used to stop off at different pubs on the way, and most had the songs of the day playing over the speakers.  This was around the mid to late 1980's where we'd jump on a Class 302 from Laindon, get off at Leigh-on-Sea, and stop for a quick drink at the Peterboat, Ye Olde Smack, and then onwards towards Southend-on-Sea with a quick stop at the Cliffs Pavilion for another bevvy - or in my case, another pint of orange squash!.

Shattered Dreams by Johnny Hates Jazz is one of those songs that was played a lot in those pubs at the time.  It was released in March 1987 and went straight to number 97 in the UK charts.  Only through lots of airtime on the radio did it finally reach a deserving number 5 two months later.

An absolute stonker of an 80s track.  Enjoy.

And as a bonus for those like me who also like some classical/orchestral music, here is the track from the 80s Classical live event in 2019.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 39 - Freiheit (Keeping The Dream Alive)

Released in 1988, "Keeping The Dream Alive" peaked at number 14 in the UK Charts during December of that year and was their only UK hit.  It's often played on the radio at Christmas and features on many festive compilation albums mainly due to it being released around that time of year, despite the song having absolutely nothing to do with Christmas!

Crank up the volume and listen to that awesome orchestral sound.  It definitely has a hint of ELO to it with some 80s Paul McCartney thrown in too!


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 38 - Feargal Sharkey (A Good Heart)

Whenever I feel down, I usually resort to listening to some 80s music, and this is one song I can always count on to cheer me up.  Today, I have decided to pick Feargal Sharkey's "A Good Heart" which reached number 1 in the UK Charts in November 1985, and where it stayed for 2 weeks.  It was his only UK number one, and what a great song it is too.

It will always remind me of family walks along the seafront at Southend.  Many of the 'watering holes' where we would stop off between Leigh-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea would play this on the jukebox whilst I drank my pint of orange squash and spent countless 10p's on the arcade machines.  Happy days.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 37 - Carly Simon (Why)

Here's another song that always brings back nostalgic memories of when I was a wee lad in the early 1980s.  There's nothing special about the song - in fact, the video is three and a half minutes of cringe-worthy footage of Carly prancing along a street (back in the days when music videos could be done on the cheap and still be successful).   Still, it has a nice melody and I remember listening to this on the radio when it came out.  I guess that memory has just stuck with me ever since. Whenever I hear it, I think back to happy times when I was little.

Released in 1982, it reached number 10 in the UK charts in August of that year....  I was only 5 years old at the time.  Gosh, I feel old. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 35 - Men at Work (Down Under)

It's funny how this song always reminds me of a particular memory so long ago.  Men at Work's "Down Under" brings back vivid memories of getting ready to go on a family day trip to London to visit the Cutty Sark.  It was on in the kitchen, and I can still remember my Dad's old radio that it was playing on.


Such happy times, and good memories from a period of less stress and worry.

Anyway, it's a great song that was released way back in 1981 when it stayed in the UK charts for 12 weeks, 3 of which were at Number 1...  Back when I was just 4 years old.

And for even further nostalgia, here's a picture of me on that very trip to the Cutty Sark.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 34 - Visage (Fade to Grey)

As a massive fan of 1980s music, I find that this song pretty much sums up the beginning of this great decade, during a time when pop culture movement New Romanticism was beginning to take over the nightclubs (ok, I was a bit too young for that) and the charts.  It was a time when it was perfectly acceptable for a guy to wear more makeup than your average woman!  It was also during this great period when synth music was set to become much more widespread in the music world leading to some of the best pop songs ever written in subsequent years by different groups.  This itself is one of the main reasons why I love this song.

It was released in 1980 and reached number 8 in the UK Charts. 

Such a great song, and great memories from a time long gone. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 32 - Pet Shop Boys (Always On My Mind)

Yes, I will start by saying THIS is the best version of this song.  Forget Brenda Lee...  Forget Gwen McCrae...  Forget Elvis Presley.

Following on from my last blog post, I'm keeping with the Pet Shop Boys because Always on my Mind stands out as not only being one of the best cover songs ever made but possibly one of the greatest pop songs of the 1980s (perhaps all time?)  It's also a massive favourite of mine since I was a wee lad.

The song was released in November 1987 and spent an impressive 14 weeks in the UK singles charts.  Even more impressive is that it reached number 1 and stayed there for 4 weeks, making it Christmas number one of that year, and beating Fairytale of New York by The Pogues.  

Why can't modern groups produce belters like this anymore, instead of the usual Crap Factor wannabe turds?

Also, you've got to love the video, featuring clips from their rather bizarre movie "It Couldn't Happen Here", starring De Nomolos himself (from Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey) Joss Ackland, and even Biggles (Neil Dickson).

"Where are you going?"

 "I'm going there....  But I like it here wherever it is".

Monday, January 10, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 25 - Nik Kershaw (Wouldn't It Be Good)

Nik Kershaw was (still is?) one of my sister's favourite artists and like Howard Jones, he was heard many times through the thin walls that separated our bedrooms.  Released way back in 1984, Wouldn't It Be Good was released as the second single from his Human Racing album (the others being I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Dancing Girls, and Human Racing).  I was never really that fond of the song when I was younger, but that was probably due to hearing it over, and over again.  However, as with many things from my childhood, it has grown on me immensely and I've really come to appreciate and enjoy Nik's work.  Perhaps it's the nostalgia that comes with listening to him or the feeling of reliving the 80s again?  Either way, it's a really good song.  Modern musical artists should take note.

It spent 15 weeks in the charts, peaking at a very impressive number 4.  The music video is memorable for featuring Nik Kershaw as an alien wearing an insanely bright (and animated) suit, created using chroma key technology.  

"Wouldn't it be good to be in your shoes
Even if it was just for one day
And wouldn't it be good if we could wish ourselves away
Wouldn't it be good to be on your side
The grass is always greener over there
And wouldn't it be good if we could live without a care"

Also, check out this insanely brilliant version of the song, recorded at the 80s Classical event in Leeds 2019.  Nik Kershaw performs Wouldn't It Be Good with the Orchestra of Opera North.

Sunday, January 09, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 24 - Mental as Anything (Live it Up)

Live It Up was a big hit for Australian new-wave group Mental as Anything and was released back in 1986.  It reached number 3 in the UK charts, and was featured in the Paul Hogan movie "Crocodile Dundee". 

As with Invisible Touch by Genesis, this is another song that reminds me of family nights out walking from Leigh-On-Sea to Southend.  Many of the pubs we visited would play this on the jukebox whilst I drank my beverage of choice (a pint of orange juice) and played classic arcade games. 

Ahhhhhhh the memories.  

It's fun and lively - typical mid 80's pop, and definitely one of my favourites.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 23 - Genesis (The Brazilian)

The 23rd song in my list of favourite songs is this little-known instrumental from UK rock band Genesis.  "The Brazilian", featured as the last track on their four-times platinum UK hit album Invisible Touch from 1986.

Name a Genesis song from the mid-1980s and most people will probably say Invisible Touch or Land of Confusion, but ask them if they've heard of The Brazillian and they will just look at you with a confused look.  Yes, Genesis also did some amazing experimental instrumental work too.  

As great as their more familiar songs are, I've always had a soft spot for this track, but then I think it's because I've always preferred instrumentals to songs with vocals in.  This is just great, especially Mike Rutherford's guitar finale.  A perfect excuse to turn the volume up to maximum, and let those goosebumps appear.

The track was featured in an episode of Magnum, P.I, used extensively by the BBC during their TV coverage of the 1987 World Athletics Championships, and in 1987 it had a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, but lost out to Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens with the "Top Gun" anthem.  Sorry Top Gun fans, but I prefer this!

Big thanks to my sister Stephanie for introducing me to this song all those years ago.  Enjoy.

Friday, January 07, 2022

Game Covers - Out Run (Commodore 64)

You're cool, the engine's hot, the girl's gorgeous, a tank full of gas and an open road...  the rest is up to you..!!

The ultimate experience in motorsports simulation, the absolute challenge to nerves and reflexes.  Feel the wind in your hair and the pull of the G-force as you power your way along the highways and byways, a girl by your side and open country before you.  Experience the exhilaration and excitement of driving a high-performance sports car in this teasing time trial where your coordination and nerve will be tested to unbelievable limits.  Out Run the coin op starred as an arcade sensation.  Out Run the computer simulation mirrors this exciting all action spectacle.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)