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ohtani's jacket

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  1. Y.M.O.'s Naughty Boys... God, I love this album. I must have listened to it half a dozen times recently. Y.M.O.'s members took time off to record solo projects. This was a group record they released in the meantime that was more pop oriented than their usual material, but man, what glorious pop music. Slayer's Show No Mercy... not much needs to be said about this album. The only thing that could have been better is if I'd been old enough to save up my lunch money for it. New Order's Power, Corruption & Lies... I don't get too involved in the hype of this album. It's good, but not transcendently great. There were a lot of other good albums from '83, and honestly, I prefer Joy Division, but I will say that New Order is one of the greatest continuations of a band ever. Metallica's Kill 'Em All... there are times when I convince myself that this is my favorite album because of how raw it is and the limited budget they had to work with. Violent Femmes' Violent Femmes... this is an undeniably great album. Blister in the Sun may be overplayed but it's still catchy as f--k, and the rest of the album is just as good. Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind... I wasn't a metal fan growing up and there was a time in my life when I would have rolled my eyes at metalheads debating what the best Iron Maiden record is. One of my best mate's younger brother and his friends used to drive my mate up the wall with their metal talk to the point where he still refuses to listen to any music with guitars in it. Anyway, I got into metal of my own accord and this record was one of my entry points. In another life, this album would have inspired me to learn the guitar so I could play those freaking solos. Mercyful Fate's Melissa... I'm trying to imagine putting this record on for the first time and hearing the opening track. It would have blown my mind. What a searing opener. It's a damn wonder it didn't scorch the record player. Cock Sparrer's Shock Troops... I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I'm not a big fan of Oi! and this is the most Oi! sounding record ever, but it's really good. Perfect working class punk. Accept's Balls to the Wall... I love Accept. There are better metal albums than this from '83 but Accept still kick ass and take names. I didn't realize there are so many people who write them off as a second rate Judas Priest or ACDC. Ingrates! Misifts' Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood... still a fun record. You'd think the novelty of horror punk would wear off after a while, but this record is so fast that it just leaves you revved up. Tatsuro Yamashita's Melodies... Tatsuro Yamashita is the King of City Pop and records like this are the reason why. Really beautiful LP from a master of his genre.
  2. Headpins' Line of Fire... This Canadian group is very much hard rock in the AC/DC mode with scorching vocals from female vocalist, Darby Mills. Worth a listen if AC/DC is your thing. Jan Garbarek Group's Wayfarer... my interest in jazz starts to peter out in the 70s, so I never got too far into genres like ECM Style Jazz. I don't know what to expect from ECM jazz, but this was soft, gentle record that didn't accost the eardrums. Anita Baker's The Songstress... This was Baker's debut album. Lush, smooth production, but not the greatest songwriting. Anita's voice is nice. John Holt's Police in Helicopter... this was some steady roots reggae. Fun album cover. Daily Fauli's Fauli til Dauli... cult underground minimal synth record from Denmark. Pretty weird, but that's the appeal I guess. John Bender's Pop Surgery... another weird minimalist record. This time from Germany. Absolute Body Control's Figures... okay, this one I liked a bit more! This is minimal synth but with more of a twee sound. A much more enjoyable listen. Re-Flex's The Politics of Dancing... pretty catchy new wave/new romantic record. These guys only released one LP otherwise they'd probably be more well known. Spear of Destiny's Grapes of Wrath... I haven't been high on a lot of 1983 post punk, but I genuinely enjoyed this. I liked the fact that it was more up tempo than a lot of their contemporaries, had a great brass section and more melodic vocals. Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear... this record has never done much for me. A lot of people love it, and more power to them, but it's over produced to my ears. Bacamarte's Depois do fim... this is a pleasant Brazilian prog-rock album that is better than the neo-prog that I've listened to from '83, but that's cheating a bit as it was recorded in 1979 and not released until '83. It's pretty damn good, though. Heavy Load's Stronger Than Evil... hold up, I did not expect this to rock as much as it did. Straight Swedish heavy metal with awesome riffs and great vocal melodies with awesome Swedish accents. Some people might find it a tad gringy as it does veer towards grandiose metal anthems, but I thought it kicked ass.
  3. Eskaton's Fiction... this was a French progressive electronic album that blended elements of jazz, progressive rock and modern classical. It sounds a bit dated in parts like an early family com version of electronic music, but overall it's a good record. Planet P Project's Planet P... this was interesting if for no reason than it was a German band trying to do progressive AOR. It was spearheaded by former Rainbow keyboardist, Tony Carey. They had a decent hit with the song Why Me? which had a trippy music video that was somewhat legendary among late night MTV viewers. Battiato's Orizzonti perduti... Francesco Battiato was a highly regarded Italian artist from the 70s. This was album was viewed as part of a creative decline because he moved toward a new wave/pop sound. Fortunately, we don't listen to that sort of noise around here. The only reservation I have about recommending this is that Battiato is known as an amazing lyricist, and well, if you don't understand Italian that's unfortunate. Death in June's The Guilty Have No Pride... run of the mill post-punk, gothic rock. I am kind of tired of spoken word singing. It's barely singing at all. SSQ's Playback... now this is more like it! This is Stacey Q before she went on to have a solo career. Takes a lot of electronic and synth pop influences and blends them into cool original songs. I liked this a lot. Pink Industry's Low Technology... I have to be in the mood for minimal wave, but I find it fascinating that it exists as a counter point to the trends in music at the time. There are some hauntingly beautiful tracks on this if you give it your time. Conflict's It's Time to See Who's Who... so, I've decided when it comes to early 80s punk I care a lot more about the music than the message. This was very message-oriented. Not bad, but didn't blow my socks off. Pete Shelley's XL1... I hate myself for saying this, but this ain't the Buzzcocks. Spinetta's Mondo di cromo... pleasant Argentinian pop rock. Luis Alberto Spinetta was a hugely important rock musician not only in Argentina but in the Spanish speaking world as Argentine rock led the way for Spanish-language rock. At this stage of his career, Spinetta was moving towards a jazz rock sound that was in opposition to the dominant sounds in Argentine music at the time. Good stuff. U.V. Pop's No Songs Tomorrow... low key post-punk. Not bad, but tends to drone on a bit. Chateaux's Chained and Desperate... this isn't bad. Ebony records doesn't have a great reputation for NWOBHM bands or LPs, but I enjoyed this. Steve Grimitt is on vocals (pre Grim Reaper) and that definitely perks up the ears. Antisect's In Darkness, There Is No Choice... this goes pretty hard but again it hits you over the head with its messages. I would've been all for that as a teenager, but now I just want to switch off and listen to some thrashy guitar work. Nitzer Ebb's Basic Pain Procedure... this was weird. It's basically danceable industrial music but the vocalist is just screaming about random bullshit. One of the weirder LPs I've heard in a while. Dadisi Komolafe's Hassan's Walk... soulful jazz music. Very much inspired by post A Love Supreme John Coltrane. Given I think A Love Supreme is arguably the greatest album of all-time, you know this album will find a home in my collection.
  4. Thin Lizzy's Thunder and Lightning... Thin Lizzy go out swinging with their heaviest album. The injection of Tygers of Pan Tang guitarist, John Sykes, gives this record a steely edge. There was some hope at the time that Sykes would revitalize Thin Lizzy, but as we now it turned to shit for them not long afterward. Still, a hell of a way to go out. Konomi Sasaki's Ninjin... creepy album cover. This is haunting, atmospheric folk pop that grows on you as the record plays. It's very Japanese with the sad existential undertones. Definitely not city pop. Spinetta Jade's Bajo Belgrano... this is an excellent Argentinian jazz-rock record. I would actually go as far to say that if you are a fan of jazz-rock from the late 60s and 70s then this is the lineage you should be following through to the 80s. Aster Aweke's Hagerae... another great record. It's not every day I listen to Ethiopian music, but this was outstanding. Aweke has a beautiful voice. I-Ten's Taking a Cold Look... this was slightly more sophisticated AOR. Very melodic. Mioko Yamaguchi's Moonlight Princess... this is such a nice album. It's basically ambient art pop, taking the influences of Yellow Magic Orchestra and creating a mix of atmospheric synthpop and orchestral arrangements. The impressive thing is how Yamaguchi is able to strike the perfect balance between pop and spacey ambiance. Midori Tanaka's Through the Looking Glass... the power of YouTube. YouTubers constant search for old-school Japanese records led to this out-of-print ambient album being repressed. Ambience isn't my thing, but I acknowledge that this is a fine record. Fikret Kızılok's Zaman Zaman... Turkish chamber folk. Mostly played in minor keys. Kızılok was a pioneer of Anatolian rock. This album represented a switch from political songs to love songs. Very good, I thought. The Astronaut's It's All Done by Mirrors... this was a unique album as it sounded nothing like other punk records from the era. It was absolutely pure folk punk. You don't hear too many punk records with fiddle solos. It shouldn't work as well as it does here, but somehow it's catchy as hell.
  5. Doc coaching the Bucks would be hilarious. Doc, how do you blow a 3-1 lead? Well, Greg, it's quite simple...
  6. Loudness' The Law of Devil's Land... Loudness are probably my favorite Japanese heavy metal group from this era. This was right before their breakout Disillusion album, but it was the album where they made a big leap forward. You can really hear the classic Japanese speed metal sound on this record. Akira Takasaki is the man. Tank's This Means War... this was a solid record. Tank appeared to go down a hard rock route with this LP as opposed to the grandiose heights that Maiden were trying to reach. It's a good record, though I'd be lying if I claimed to really care about the message since every rock band in the world in 1983 had some type of song about war or cold war paranoia. Junko Ohashi's Point Zero... great record! The mix of city pop and synth funk was genius. Junko died in November last year so I felt it was time to fire this up again. She really was a cut above some of her contemporaries in terms of the sophistication of her records. When this odyssey is over, I want to explore her discography further. Roswell Rudd, Steve Lacy, Misha Mengelberg, Kent Carter & Han Bennink's Regeneration... I know next to nothing about any of these artists. All I can tell you is that this was a post bop jazz record that was amongst my favorite jazz records from '83. Such a groovy record. Quintal de Clorofila's O mistério dos quintais... psychedelic folk record from Brazil. Pleasant music for the most part. Doji Morita's Wolf Boy... Morita was a darling of the student movement generation. This was her last record before dropping out of the music business. She had a soft, gentle voice full of sincerity. The Japanese folk movement was all but over by 1983, but all of her records are worth listening to from '75 until this final record. Later on, her songs became commercialized and used in television dramas and adverts, which is so often the case in Japan, which is crass but kept her music alive for the next generation. Anvil's Forged in Fire... if you think about the central imagery of heavy "metal" music, this album has a lot to live up to. It's pretty good, though it's more of a guitar/drums album than the total package. The vocals don't really stand up to the great heavy metal records of the year but the music is good. The Romantics' In Heat... at first I was reading to laugh this off, but the more I listened to it, the more I started to think it was actually pretty solid power pop. Won me over by the end. Go Romantics. Pink Industry's Who Told You, You Were Naked? This was surprisingly good. It was moody, minimal post-punk that stood out from the pack thanks to the pleasant vocals of Jayne Casey. This band came from the same Liverpool scene as Echo & the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes. They never made it big, but their music sounds criminally underrated to me. I really think Casey's vocals make the difference instead of listening to another whiny bloke. Laid Back's ...Keep Smiling... this was a fun slice of synthpop! Even the pop reggae tracks worked for me. High Society Girls is an awesome track. Check it out if you're new wave or synthpop inclined.
  7. Teresa Teng's Dàndàn yōuqíng... Teresa Teng was a Taiwanese singer known as "The Eternal Queen of Asia Pop." She laid the foundations for modern popular Chinese music. This record has songs based on old Chinese poems and incorporates a lot of classical Chinese music, which makes it a huge departure from the rest of 1983 pop music. It sounds a bit old-fashioned (traditional might be a nicer word.) Teng has a beautiful voice, though. Akina Nakamori's Fantasy... another early effort from Japanese pop queen Akina Nakamori. If you close your eyes, you'll be transported right back to 1983 Japan. I particularly liked the upbeat numbers with the horns that sounded like they could be anime opening themes. Congresso's Ha Llegado Carta... this was cool. Some progressive rock from Chile. I'm not overly familiar with Congresso, but it seems they incorporated some ethnic sounds into this record along with a bit of jazz fusion. The instrumental tracks were great. TSA's TSA... this was a Polish hard rock album. One of the better hard rock albums of the year in what was a sorry year for hard rock albums. Chris Rea's Water Signs... apparently, Rea was ready to throw in the towel and quit the music business when this record was released. His label wouldn't fund the record and he had to release it as an album full of demos. The record sold particularly well in Ireland, which led to an extensive tour there that saved Rea's career. The cool thing about the record is that because it's demos Rea plays most of the instruments. I like Rea's voice and enjoyed the non-existent production on the record. Disciplina kičme's Sviđa mi se da ti ne bude prijatno... wow, this packed a punch. This was a bass/drum duo from Belgrade that played extremely noisy post-punk. This kicked ass. Exciter's Heavy Metal Maniac... I really like this speed metal record from Canadian band Exciter. Great album cover as well. There's an interview with the band at the end of the record where talking about Metal with Canadian accents which I find amusing for stupid reasons. The Celibate Rifles' Sideroxylon... The Celibate Rifles is a stupid name for a band. I really dislike that name. It's almost enough to make me not listen to the record. Fortunately I did because this is some kick ass Australian punk music. These guys were still kicking around when I was a teenager, but I have no recollection of them. That won't stop me from declaring them Australia's greatest punk band, though. Tokyo Blade's Tokyo Blade... I never really got why Tokyo Blade called themselves Tokyo Blade. I guess it sounded exotic to a bunch of lads from Salisbury. Anyway, this rules as many of you will already know. It's everything you love about NWOBHM from the scorching riffs to the soaring vocals and guitar solos. Love it. Savatage's Sirens... I'm not a power metal guy by and large, but there are a few bands that I listen to and Savatage are one of them. This album kicks ass. The guitarwork and the vocals are as good as any metal album from '83 and it's probably the creepiest record to boot. Chaos U.K.'s Chaos U.K... okay, this was another version of a harder form of UK82 and UK street punk and it was very, very good. They kept a blistering pace on the best tracks. I'm totally down with this type of UK82.
  8. The Blood's False Gestures for a Devious Public... this is unlike any other UK Oi! or street punk album from '83 as it's mostly punk vocals over the top of metal riffs. Crossover wasn't really a thing yet and crust punk hadn't fully emerged. This seemed like a bunch of dudes who liked a bit of everything from metal to hardcore. I quite liked it. Sounded fresh. EPO's Vitamin E・P・O... City pop record but far from my favorite. It was a bit too idol kayo for my tastes. A lot of people love Eriko Sato though. Maybe I'm too cynical for her nonstop doopy doopy doos. John Terlazzo's Honor Among Thieves...Terlazzo was an American poet who released this Cohen-esque folk album in the early 80s that was rediscovered years later by folks who are into collecting psychedelic folk pop oddities. It's a pretty good record. Definitely recommended if you like folky singer-songwriter stuff and want to branch out past the 60s and 70s. Metgumbnerbone's Ligeliahorn... this is... noise. When would you listen to this? When you're stoned? What prompts people to create this type of noise? Perplexing. Omega Tribe's No Love Lost... this was melodic anarcho-punk. It kind of verged on pop punk at times. The problem was the vocalists. There were two of them, a man and a woman, and it was a serious contest as to who was the more annoying of the two. George Strait's Right or Wrong... now here's something you see a lot in '83: a recommended country album. Most of the country recs from this year are the leftover scraps from the Outlaw Country movement, but this was more of a neo-traditionalist country album and mighty fine if you ask me. Lee Perry's Megaton Dub 1... I've fully immersed myself in dub culture. I will never slander it again. At least not when records like this exist. Kaka de Luxe's Las canciones malditas... how good was the Spanish music scene in 1983? So many fantastic records. This was a garage punk/punk blues record and another cracker from Spain. Muhal Richard Abrams' Rejoicing With the Light... Jesus Christ, what a racket. Most of the jazz from 1983 is avant-garde, which is always hit and miss for me. I'm very much a bop fan when it comes to jazz, though I will branch out and listen to free jazz and jazz fusion from time to time. This was okay but kept blasting me with jarring sounds. That's kind of the point but it doesn't make it pleasant. Platinum Blonde's Standing in the Dark... this Canadian group went an interesting route, mixing New Wave with AOR. Interesting. Snatch's Snatch... this was cool. If you like the Slits or New York Dolls, you should check this out. It's stripped back punk from two American girls who moved to the UK in 1974 and were on the ground during the UK punk explosion. This is a compilation of their recordings, if I'm not mistaken. John Peel was a big fan. Doe Maar's 4 US... this was pop reggae from the Netherlands. Kind of like a Dutch version of Madness or The Police. The record cover was better than the music, IMO. Jane Birkin's Baby Alone in Babylone...Jane Birkin was famous for being the lover of Serge Gainsbourg whom she collaborated with on several records. Gainsbourg continued to write for Birkin even after they broke up. This was the first LP they released after their break up. It's quite soft chanson, but rather haunting at times. Kraut's An Adjustment to Society... this was some barreling hardcore punk from the East Coast. I could barely hear the vocals in the mix but somehow that made it even better.
  9. Snowy White's White Flames... Snowy White was a former member of Thin Lizzy and a backing guitarist for Pink Floyd. This was his solo debut and featured a UK top 10 hit, Bird of Paradise. Loved the mix of Snowy's guitar work and the 80s pop production, but Snowy's vocals aren't the greatest. Some great solos, though. Yellowman's Zungguzungguguzungguzeng... or how I learned to love dub? If there's one genre I've come around on during this 1983 odyssey it's been dub. Couldn't stand it in the beginning, now I find myself involuntarily bopping along to it. The Church's Seance... The Church are one of the finest bands to ever come out of Australia and they're still making records 40 years later in 2023. They're one of those rare bands whose entire discography is worth listening to. This was during their early jangle pop phase and is one of those records that is overlooked at times as it came out right before some of their more critically acclaimed albums, but it's a fantastic LP from a timeless band. Top of the pops. Manowar's Into Glory Ride... this was quite the production. I give these guys credit for this level of heavy metal cosplay. However, for the band that has the Guinness record for the loudest performance, you'd think this would be a little louder. The Mob's Let the Tribe Increase... this was an interesting LP. It was a mix of straight up anarcho-punk and darker post-punk. Pretty bleak. Don't listen to it if you're depressed. The vocals are a bit whiny at times, but I quite liked the guitarwork. Lifetones' For a Reason... this was a post-punk dub record back when every post-punk act in the UK was dabbling in dub. I liked the instrumental tracks more than the whiny Brit on vocals tracks. Saxon's Power and Glory... I love how you can guess a Saxon record by the opening riff. I love Saxon. Who doesn't love Saxon? If there's a perfect bridge between hard rock and metal it may be Saxon. Witchfinder General's Friends of Hell... I lost all my music data when my computer crashed last year, including all the info on metal albums I'd listened to. The good news? I can just listen to them again. Witchfinder General kick ass. They're spiritual heirs to Black Sabbath and put out doom metal records before doom metal grew monstrously heavy. Awesome stuff. Jaguar's Power Games... NWOHBM will always be my first love when it comes to metal even if thrash is my favorite sub-genre. I love me some Jaguar. This was right at the tail end of NWOHBM (sniff), and had a speed metal feel to it. Kick ass. Bi Kyo Ran's Parallax... Bi Kyo Ran are a Japanese prog-rock group that were hugely influenced by King Crimson. They started out as a King Crimson cover band and guitarist Kunio Suma emulated Robert Fripp's guitar sound. Fans of King Crimson will hear the influences here more than I did. For my part, I thought it was engrossing prog.
  10. Clannad's Magical Ring... I mostly know Clannad as being the band that did the Robin (The Hooded Man) theme song for the ITV series I loved so much as a kid, but they'd already gained some fame in the UK for producing the ending theme to a mini-series called Harry's Game, set in Belfast during The Troubles. I was expecting this album to be a bit more folky (and ethereal), but there was a steady dose of 80s pop production. Not bad, but not great either. Anne Clark's Changing Places... fans of Anne Clark tried to convince me that Clark's spoken word was better than most spoken word and that it was poetry. I'm glad they enjoyed it, but I'm not in a hurry to listen to Ms. Clark's other work. Pablo El Enterrador's Pablo "El Enterrador"... this is a prog-rock band from Argentina. Very melodic and accessible prog-rock, I might add. A pleasant record. Barón Rojo's Metalmorfosis... this is a disappointing LP. Volumen brutal is a much better record. This LP sees the band move in more of a commercial hard rock direction and the results are average. Herbie Hancock's Herbie Hancock Quartet... in the same year that Hancock released Future Shock we get this old school post-bop record. I dug this a lot, though people who hate Wynton Marsalis (and there's a lot of them) might shit all over it, but not me. The Soft Boys' Invisible Hits... this was way better than I remember the Soft Boys being. Maybe I've had a breakthrough with neo-psychedelia or perhaps it's an appealing alternative to the dominant 1983 sound. This is a compilation of unreleased tracks. Gets a bit zany at times, but on the whole I enjoyed it. Grim Reaper's See You in Hell... I love Steve Grimmett's vocals on this album! People complain about the production, but I'll see them in heeeeeeeeeell. Moebius' Tonspuren... no, this isn't by the French comic book artist, though it would be cool if it was. This is the Swiss electronic artist, Moebius. I have listened to more beeping noises than I thought possible before starting down this slippery slope of 1983 records. Some of it I've hated and some of it I've enjoyed. This was the enjoyable kind. Happy beeping noises, if you will. Kip Hanrahan's Desire Develops an Edge... love that album title. This is avant-garde jazz (kind of, it's hard to classify really.) It's pretty low key. The vocalist sounds like Nina Simone without Nina Simone's genius.
  11. Gang 90 & Absurdettes' Essa tal de Gang 90 & Absurdettes... this was a Brazilian new wave group that leaned more toward playful, humorous music. Not bad. Daniel Johnston's More Songs of Pain... I kind of lean towards this guy being a genius. Even though he doesn't really write complete songs, his songwriting is impressive, and I like his lyrics as well. Creating all these amazing songs and recording them in your room is the pinnacle of DIY music. Arsenal's Created With Their Own Hands... this was a Russian jazz fusion record. I liked this a lot, especially the more frantic numbers. Albert Marcœur's Celui où y'a Joseph... this was a French record. Kind of a mix of avant-prog and art pop. Sounded pretty good to me. Zoopark's Small Town Called N... Zoopark were one of the founding Russian rock bands. They played a straight blues rock sound. I'm tempted to make a bad joke about Ladas and whatnot, but these guys were really good. This style of music may not have been overly popular in the West anymore, but this record was proof that it still sounded good when the band was tight. Emmylou Harris' White Shoes... this is another of many cases in '83 of a 70s artist trying to produce a record that sells while all the way alienating parts of their fanbase. Fans of Emmylou Harris won't like this record. Random listeners will probably appreciate it more. It's very much on the pop side of country pop. Still, Harris is a pro and handles the material well. Nina Hagen's Angstlos... Nina Hagen was the "Godmother of German Punk" and had mostly done new wave material before looking up with Giorgio Moroder on this record. Naturally, that gave her LP more of a dance-pop sound that not all of the critics appreciated. Personally, I thought it was quirky and fun. Zelda's Carnival... one of the finest Japanese new wave/art pop albums from the 1980s. Almost like a Japanese version of the B52s or the Slits but more experimental.
  12. Casiopea's Jive Jive... Casiopea are a Japanese jazz fusion group. Probably the most famous Japanese jazz fusion group, actually. They produce a lot of upbeat, feel good music and this record was no exception. Highly enjoyable. The Great Unwashed's Clean Out of Our Minds... this comes from New Zealand! Specifically, from the Dunedin music scene. Dunedin is what I guess you'd refer to as a college town. Students move from all over New Zealand to attend university there. In the early 80s, a local music scene sprung up that gained some traction overseas. It produced a murky, lo-fi sound that meshed together elements of jangle pop and slacker rock. One of the best known bands was The Clean. The Great Unwashed formed after The Clean broke up, playing the same type of sound as The Clean but a bit more countrified. I may be biased, but as far as I'm concerned it's some of the best indy music on offer from 1983. One Way System's All Systems Go... this was a decent UK82 street punk record. I tend to prefer the hardcore sound over British "Oi", but this was fine. Clara Mondshine's Memorymetropolis... progressive electronic with a touch of new age. To my surprise, I actually quite liked this. Nice ambient electronic music. The Legendary Pink Dots' Chemical Playschool Volumes III/IV... this was originally a cassette tape release full of demos and earlier versions of later songs, making it essential listening for fans of the group, but not as compelling for the non-initiated. Terveet Kädet's Terveet Kädet... this was straight up disappointing. When I hear Finnish hardcore record, I immediately expect it to be the greatest album of all-time or at least the biggest discovery of this week, but this was meek. Bodine's Three Times Running... very good Dutch metal record. Reminded me of the Scorpions. Unfortunately, the band broke up after this album was released. Survivor's Caught in the Game... it wasn't hard to shift gears and enjoy this, mainly because I think Dave Bickler is a charismatic vocalist. The rest of the band weren't bad either. Deserving of being remembered as more than just the group that did Eye of the Tiger. Def Leppard's Pyromania... I think this holds up pretty well. I'd actually go as far to call it a solid hard rock album and not just hair metal. Molly Hatchet's No Guts... No Glory... solid effort from this Southern rockers from Jacksonville, FL. I had zero expectations going into this and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
  13. Cobra's First Strike... Okay, this effing rules. I've officially decided there's Johnny Lawrence AOR and everything else, and this is some sweet ass Johnny Lawrence AOR. Seriously, though, this is a cut above the rest in the AOR genre. Virus' Agujero interior... Virus isn't the name I'd expect for a pop rock band, but this Argentinian group was pretty tight. K. Yoshimatu's Sepia Reminiscence... I love this guy's stuff. Progressive electronic is totally outside of my wheelhouse, but the melodies are so pretty. Wild Dogs' Wild Dogs... this was so great. Love the band name, the Adrian Adonis S&M gear they're wearing on the cover, and the proto speed metal sound. One of the best US metal albums of the year, IMO. Red's Red... this was an excellent prog rock album that tapped into the jazz fusion sound of the 70s. There weren't a lot of albums that sounded like this in 1983, which is a plus. Lisa's Lisa... here's a little gem for you -- a pulsating mix of Hi-NRG and space disco straight from the LGBT clubs to your stereo. "Rocket to Your Heart" is one of the best tracks of the year. Whodini's Whodini... this wasn't a bad record, but hip hop crews weren't ready to drop a classic album yet. Battleaxe's Burn This Town... I've always loved this record and still do. Just pure NWOBHM. I love the album cover so much. KaS Product's By Pass... didn't see this one coming. This was a French duo who mixed synth psycho-billy with a little bit of jazz. Unique, cool-sounding record. 100 Flowers' 100 Flowers... hello, one of my new favorite albums of 1983. This was supposed to be post-punk, but it was so up beat and energetic that it was hard to identify with the typical post punk sound. I guess it was more of an art punk record. In any case, it was great. So many deep cut 1983 albums are a downer, but this was one high after another.
  14. Fastway's Fastway... Fastway was formed by ex-UFO bassist, Pete Way, and ex-Motorhead guitarist, Fast Eddie Clarke. Their express purpose appears to be to keep alive the hard rock sound of the 70s. If you like that sound, then this the direction you should head in when the decade flips over to the 1980s. The Michael Schenker Group's Built to Destroy... speaking of hard rock bands clinging to life. Michael Schenker is an interesting cat and a brilliant guitar player. I have sympathy for these hard rock acts who struggled with their era passing them by. That is until I listen to some of the metal from this year. Ippu-Do's Night Mirage... this was really good! Similar in a lot of ways to YMO. Just a fantastic, otherworldly synthpop album. Saga's Heads or Tails... Saga were a Canadian prog band that morphed into an AOR act. Clearly there was an audience for this type of stuff in '83, but it's not me. Night Ranger's Midnight Madness... the most unashamedly AOR record yet. The opening track assures me that I can still rock in America. Sure I can, if I listen to some thrash, garage rock or hardcore punk. Jesus, what a pressing concern. God forbid people want to dance. I sometimes think fans forget that the original rock 'n' roll was dance music. Plan 9's Dealing With the Dead... this was AWESOME. It was retro-sounding psychedelic garage rock, and it was amazing! Of all the throwback albums from '83, this was the best! Duet Emmo's Or So It Seems... why did I sync this up? Was it the album cover? Minimal synth, dark ambient industrial sounds... apparently, I've learnt nothing from six months of listening to 1983 music. Necros' Conquest for Death... I must have written about this before, but it came up in my playlist and I needed something to cleanse the palate. Fast, furious, with whinny vocals. Love it.
  15. John Cougar Mellencamp's Uh-huh... Mellencamp has a reputation for being a dumber version of The Boss, but he was sincere about it. Authority Song is a kicker, and there are some keen observations about blue-collar, working class life. Better than expected. Eyeless in Garza's Red Rust September... one of the reoccurring themes of 1983 music has been post punk bands shifting their music in different directions (mostly new wave), but this group in the direction of dream pop. The result was pleasant sounding though a little mild. S. Kiyotaka & Omega Tribe's Aqua City... groovy city pop record. Puts a spin on the beach/vacation theme by concentrating on after dark. Triumph's Never Surrender... Triumph were a hard rock band who remained a hard rock band until the end. I can respect that. This was a solid rock album in an era where there weren't a lot of solid rock albums. The Varukers' Bloodsuckers... this was a very good UK82 record. I wish the vocals had been a bit gnarlier, but loved the guitarwork. Fra Lippo Lippi's Small Mercies... on this record, Norway band Fra Lippo Lippi move from a cold, harsh sound to more wistful melodies. Worked for me. Chakra's Nanyo de Yoisho... it wasn't all city pop and idol records from Japan. They could do weird ass art pop too. I mean it's Japan, what do you expect? Picture's Eternal Dark... one of the first Dutch heavy metal acts. Broke in around the time of the NWOBHM and have a similar sound. Not a bad record, but could have been a bit heavier. Dome's Will You Speak This Word... I should have steered clear of this one. Ambient, minimalistic post-punk. Not my thing. Yuri Antonov's Your Home's Roof... decent Russian pop. Yes, they had pop music in the USSR. Rick Springfield's Living in Oz... on one hand, this record is kinda amusing to me as Rick Springfield is trying to create an AOR record about living in Australia. On the other hand, he actually makes a good fist of it, to the point where you kind of end up thinking why not make an AOR about Australia? Screw this cultural cringe. I don't think he ever made another LP like this, however.
  16. I will give it another listen for you, Curt!
  17. Derribos Arias' En la guía en el listín... kind of meandering Spanish post punk. Didn't do a lot for me. Sergio Caputo's Un sabato italiano... this was a nice change of pace. It mixed jazz, latin jazz-pop and 50s Italian swing into an excellent jazz pop record. I liked this a lot. Rip Rig + Panic's Attitude... Rip Rig + Panic were Neneh Cherry's band before she became a solo artist. It's basically post punk jazz-funk. Okay, but you can always listen to real jazz funk instead. Letta Mbulu's In the Music the Village Never Ends... hey, look! It's a South African boogie record. Not gonna lie, it was fun listening to this kind of soul and contemporary R&B coming out of the Republic. Good stuff. Todd Rundgren's The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect... I was curious about Rundgren's output in '83. Apparently, this LP was a contractual obligation and was Rundgren half-arsing it in the studio, but as far as half-arsing goes, it's an interesting listen. Not gonna champion it or anything, but it was just as curious sounding as it looked on paper. Trans-X's Living on Video... this was a fun synth pop, electro-disco album. Made me wanna pop-lock. P'o's Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie for Attention... boring spoken word crap mixed with weird noises. Awful. The Undertones' The Sin of Pride... The Undertones were trying to stay with the times with this record. That makes for an okay record from 1983 but an underwhelming Undertones LP. Dinosaurs With Horns' Dinosaurs With Horns... speaking of records with repetitive, weird noises. WTF was I thinking listening to this? Osamu Sato's Objectless... more ambient electronica. I have no idea what I'm doing at this point. The Comsat Angels' Land... this had some tunes! This was slicker than the bands' fans would have expected, but had some nice pop tunes. The transition from post punk to new wave was a tricky bridge for a lot of UK bands around this time, but this was one of the better efforts, IMO. The Call's Modern Romans... now this was an exciting New Wave/Post Punk effort. A number of cracking tunes despite the band not really having a proper vocalist. Very similar to Talking Heads. They had a decent MTV video too for The Walls Came Down. Gazebo's Gazebo... Oh yeah, Italo-disco! This was so good. Gazebo was one of the stars of the genre. This was his debut and it was so classy. T-Bone Burnett's Proof Through the Night... this was a nice slice of Americana. It was folkier than I was expecting, but then I read that he played with Dylan and was the producer of O Brother, Where Art Thou? so that made sense. 45 Grave's Sleep in Safety... I really wanted to like this as it was interesting looking horror punk, but it wasn't as cool as I'd hoped. Kiyohiko Senba and His Haniwa All Stars' Haniwa... wow this was an art pop record that messed with bon odori music. Kind of a head trip for anyone who lives in Japan. Maitre Gazonga's Les jaloux saboteurs... feel good music from the nation of Chad! God bless the internet for bringing us music from every square inch of the globe.
  18. Billy Joel's An Innocent Man... my mother owned this record, and I used to listen to a lot as a kid. It's Billy Joel cutting loose and writing a bunch of fun songs. Even though the up-tempo numbers are mostly doo-wop, it takes me back to my own childhood. Alaska y Dinarama's Canciones profanas... Spanish new wave! Very cool. I've had my fill of new wave this year, but everything sounds better in Spanish. The Pointer Sisters' Break Out... this was awesome. The remix of I'm So Excited bangs. The Pointer girls can sing and the production is actually good. This was a popular LP at the time of its release that should have more cred than it does. This would rank high on my list of contemporary R&B from 1983. Amenophis' Amenophis... a holdover from classic 70s German prog. I went through a massive prog phase where I listened to record after record and this gave me flashbacks. Definitely worth checking out if you want to venture past the 70s into the dark era of prog. Scream's Still Screaming... this is a strong hardcore album from this Virginian group. It's more melodic than a lot of hardcore records, which I guess some people feel a need to defend, but I've got no issues with it. I actually kind of like hardcore punk you can sing along with. Kissing the Pink's Naked... like the band name. Basically, an "artsy", experimental New Wave/Synthpop record that draws on some unusual inspirations. The vocals don't always work for me, but I can respect the experimentation. Akira Inoue, Masataka Matsutoya, & Hiroshi Sato's Seaside Lovers: Memories in Beach House... this is so chill, and more than a little cheesy. Everything you want from a city pop record. The obsession with summer and tropical vacations in the city pop genre was so strong you could record an entire album about it, making it almost a sub-genre in itself. This was a nice record, though I did it an injustice listening to it in winter. Culprit's Guilty as Charged... Not bad! US Power Metal isn't my go to metal fix, but this Seattle group had some serious chops. They could play as well, as evidenced by the prog elements. JFA's Valley of the Yakes... this sounds exactly how I'd imagine a 1983 skate punk record to sound like. Very good! Flue's Vista... this is a particularly cold post-punk record. The band were from the Netherlands, so I guess that makes sense, right? Some decent hooks and somewhat enchanting. Marine Girls' Lazy Ways... this is Tracey Thorn from Everything but the Girl. Stripped back Twee Pop. This could have been an indy hit in any decade that followed. Super underrated. Fungus Brains' Ron Pistos Real World... if you're gonna call yourself Fungus Brains, you better deliver, and for the most part these Aussies do albeit in a quirky Australian fashion. Le Roux' So Fired Up... This album had me so fired up. I felt like Johnny in Cobra Kai. AOR at its finest. Demon's The Plague... Didn't go hard enough. Sorry, you can't call yourself Demon and record an album called The Plague and deliver soft AOR hard rock. Boo. Magnum's The Eleventh Hour!... another group whose music was too soft for the imagery it used. Amos & Sara's Invite to 'Endless Latino'... this was cool. It was basically minimal wave with a Calypso vibe. Groovy. Government Issue's Boycott Slab... an earful of DC punk. Pretty cool. I can imagine people leaving it all on the dance floor slamming to this group.
  19. Antonio Sanches' Buli Povo -- what a cool album! I liked this a lot. Sanches was a musician from Santiago and was apparently emblematic of the Cape Verde sound at the time. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that he recorded much else, which is a bummer as I was ready for more. Ric Ocasek's Beatitude -- this was Ric Ocasek's debut album. I dug this. Ocasek was one of the vocalists from The Cars and much of the positive feedback surrounding this LP is that it would have made for a decent Cars album. Not a bad compliment for a solo album. Adrian Belew's Twang Bar King -- there's a bit of everything on this album from Belew. It was made shortly after he became the front man for King Crimson and his versatility is on full display. Belew was a new waver who loved art rock and liked to have fun with his music. You've probably heard most of the tracks done better by other artists, but this wasn't a bad listen. Wildfire's Brute Force and Ignorance -- this is a slice of NWOBHM that sounds like it came straight out of 1983, but that's not a bad thing. Sometimes you want to hear a record that was a product of its times. Ignore the album title, though, there's no brute force whatsoever. It's melodic not raw. Joan Armatrading's The Key -- this is the type of 80s album that gets instantly rubbished for the production -- adding synths to an artist who previously had a soulful folk sound -- but that snobbery has no place around here. Instead, I salute Armatrading for continuing to write and put her music out in the world. Good stuff. Steps Ahead' Steps Ahead -- easy listening jazz fusion music. Not bad as background music late at night. The Blasters' Non Fiction -- hmm, a lot of rockabilly is basically punk music, but this sounds like guys who take it seriously. Rock 'n' Roll will never die, I suppose. Tappi Tíkarrass' Miranda -- Did you know that Bjork was in a post-punk band called Tappi Tikarrass? You probably did if you're a big Bjork fan, but I had no idea. I remember her from the Sugarcubes, but not this group. Imagine my surprise when she starts singing. It's cool that her voice is instantly recognizable, though. Dalek I Love You's Dalek I Love You -- I liked this a lot. Dalek I Love You were a synthpop band with ties to Godot, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and The Teardrop Explodes. It's the kind of record I'd recommend to people who want more New Wave from '83 and are not too hung up on great albums. Just a chill record with decent grooves. Manfred Mann's Earth Band's Somewhere in Afrika -- this is in part an anti-apartheid album (Manfred Mann was born in South Africa) and a hybrid progressive pop record that includes traditional African music similar to what artists like Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon were compelled to record in the 80s. The rest is a mixed bag. I prefer to hear actually African records whenever possible, but I believe the artists involved were sincere about championing world music. Akina Nakamori's New Akina... who is Akina Nakamori, I hear you ask. She was a pop sensation in Japan during the 1980s, somewhat akin to Madonna. She was known for changing her image with each new release, and like Madonna, dabbled in acting. This record was straight pop, but not bad. Not as groovy as city pop, but interesting to listen to. The Tubes' Outside Inside -- every time I hear AOR from this era, I think I'm in a movie montage. A happy movie montage, but a movie montage nonetheless. I wonder if any AOR artists wrote songs with that specific goal in mind. Play Dead's The First Flower -- Play Dead is an amusing name for a goth band. Someone called this bog standard 80s goth music, and they're not wrong, but I'm not mad at it.
  20. Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Egypt 80 Band's Perambulator -- you can't go wrong with some Fela Kuti and this is no exception. Funky, funky afrobeat. Good times. Lo Ta-yu's Master of the Future -- I know next-to-nothing about Mandopop, so this was exciting to hear. I have no basis for comparison, but I'm always interested to hear singer-songwriters from other cultures and I dug the overall feeling and atmosphere of this record. K. Yoshimatu's Commercial Romanticists -- this was a total surprise. It was a cassette tape packed with lovely, melodic minimal wave songs. This guy was releasing tapes throughout '83 and now I feel obliged to track them all down. This was a big hit with me. Anthony Braxton's Four Compositions (Quartet) 1983 -- I haven't listened to a lot of jazz from '83, or the 80s in general for that matter, and avant-garde stuff isn't my go-to jazz, but this wasn't a particularly difficult record to listen to. It didn't immediately make me want to listen to every other album the artist recorded like great jazz does but it was fine. Hamlet Gonashvili's Georgian Folk Songs -- that title is my own translation so don't quote me on it. Hamlet Gonashvili was a big deal in Georgia. He sang traditional Georgian folk songs and was dubbed the voice of Georgia. He died at the height of his fame falling out of an apple tree. This was cultural if nothing else. Riistetyt's Skitsofrenia -- this kicked ass! Finnish crust punk! Loved it! Ronald Shannon Jackson's Barbeque Dog -- weird title for a weird jazz fusion album. Not much else to say really. Pistones' Persecución -- I may have written about this before. I'm losing track of all these records. This is so peppy and upbeat. Fantastic Spanish power-pop. Mick Milk's Songs for Citizens -- I'll say this for Mick Milk, he was a happy chap. This manic electro stuff with a Devo feel to it. Okay if you like that sort of thing. Nihilistics' Nihilistics -- these boys were angry. This is some guttural hardcore punk right here. Good stuff if you wanna get revved up.
  21. Feeling a bit empty after that. I had a bad feeling when I turned the game on and saw it was raining. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. We showed some fight with a man down and had some chances but couldn't take them. South Africa defended well, especially Pieter-Steph du Toit, and New Zealand made some costly mistakes inside the opposition 22 much like England had done the week before. I don't feel like getting into all of the controversy. I'll just say that the TMO being constantly involved is frustrating to watch. I never thought the All Blacks would get this far, but it still hurts that they couldn't get over the finish line. I really like the South African captain, though, so I'm happy for him.
  22. I guess I should say something about this morning's game. England played perfect wet weather rugby for more than an hour and would have won the game if they had made the most of two attacking opportunities they had in the corner. I thought the game was out of reach for South Africa after Farrell's drop goal, but once they got a sniff at scrum time they were like a shark with blood in the water. It's a shame that England had to lose because of a single facet in the game when they outplayed South Africa for most of the match, but sport is cruel. England needed to be more clinical with those two scoring opportunities in the corner. It was a proper semi-final, but it was slow and there was so much kicking. Plenty of emotion and passion, though.
  23. Definitely the best episode in a while.
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