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  1. Sun Ra and his Outer Space Arkestra's A Fireside Chat With Lucifer... I've been ignoring 1983 jazz, largely because my interest in jazz barely extends into the 70s let alone 1983, but I couldn't resist the title for this LP. This includes the amusing track Nuclear War, which has awesome lines like "if they push that button, your ass gotta go," and "gonna blast your ass so high in the sky, you can kiss your ass goodbye." The rest of the record is forgettable. Negative Approach's Tied Down... I have no idea where this fits into the history of hardcore punk or thrashcore, but the vocals are great. It's also fast, and 16 minutes long. That ticks all the boxes. James Blood Ulmer's Odyssey... People say this isn't Ulmer's best album, but I frigging loved it. This is jazz fusion using a mix of rock, funk and electric blues. Totally up my alley. I really need to listen to more Ulmer albums. Kath Bloom & Loren Mazzacane's Restless Faithful Desperate... Very folky, very singer-songwriter-y. Not bad if you like that type of music but felt fairly out of place in 1983. Turbo's Dorosłe dzieci... Turbo are a Polish heavy metal group. Once again, we love the fact that metal spread around the world. I don't think you can really expect a Polish group to be ahead of the curve, but I guess you never know. To my ears, this was solid 1983 metal in the hard rock/NWOBH vein. Wally Badarou's Echoes... OK, here's where it gets very musician's musician-y. Wally Badarou is a French musician who worked closely with Level 42 and was a session musician and producer on a bunch of 80s stuff. If you're at all interested in the music behind synthpop and not just the karaoke friendly hits, then this is worth listening to. This dude was right at the cutting edge and exploring all sorts of new electronic sounds. Soft Selection 84... this is a compilation album of Japanese minimal synth and minimal wave tracks. Some of them are poppier than you'd expect. Not bad. Monsoon's Third Eye... This is kind of ethnic psychedelic pop. It's hard to describe. It's almost as if the group was trying to mix Bollywood sounds with modern dance music. The Tomorrow Never Knows cover is probably the key to understanding this record. Ever So Lonely was a big enough hit that they were able to appear on Top of the Pops, which was a pretty big deal as you didn't see too many singers wearing a sari on TOTP. Virna Lindt's Shiver... Swedish art pop. Sounds a bit like ABBA meets Blondie. I was neither moved here nor there, but I can imagine this being an extremely cool discovery if you like chic records.
  2. Stan's final FF story was a two-partner in issues #124-125 that saw the return of Monster from the Lost Lagoon. Not the greatest story, but better than I expected. There was a great cliffhanger at the end of issue #124 where a terrified Sue Storm thought she was about to drown. Stan ends with a message about brotherhood and accepting each other's differences, and that's a wrap. So, what to make of it? Stan didn't pen any classic Fantastic Four adventures after Jack left, but it wasn't a total disaster, and I should really preface that by saying that Jack wasn't producing classic FF stories either. The saving grace was the artwork. Romita and Buscema weren't able to emulate Kirby, but they were no slouches themselves, and it's fair to say that the art didn't suffer, especially with Sinnott still doing the inking. The stories were average, and there was a distinct lack of character development, but they were good enough that if you were 12 years old and still using your allowance to buy FF books, that you wouldn't notice the difference. I think post-Ditko Spider-Man is MUCH better. Whether that's because Stan was better at writing Spider-Man than the FF, I'm not sure. A case can be made that Stan and Romita took Spider-Man to greater heights than Stan and Ditko did. I'm not sure I agree with it, but it's an argument I'd listen to. I don't think that you can argue that Stan and Buscema made the FF better. Ditko left much earlier than Jack did, if I'm not mistaken, and it's possible that Stan was more concerned with the comics at that time than he was in the 70s, but having read the post-Kirby Fantastic Four I can definitely see why Kirby's family said he wasn't a science fiction guy and didn't share the wealth of knowledge that Jack had. He liked to write existential Silver Surfer musings, and he was keen on promoting peace, love and brotherhood. I don't think that was a gimmick. He made a point to include anti-war and anti-prejudice messages in just about every story he scripted. The time was right for him to step down, and I don't think anyone wishes we could have gotten more Stan Lee FF stories. I don't have any plans on reading the issues that follow. I read the storyline that culminated with FF #200 a while back, and enjoyed it, but I've had my fill of the FF for the time being.
  3. Fantastic Four #120-123 sees the return of Stan from what I believe they dubbed a vacation. Nice for some. Forget about all that exposition that the whippersnappers are into, Stan's FF is all-action. This is a long and convoluted Galactus story that is not merely a rehash of the original Galactus story, but a rehash of the rehash in FF #74-78. It starts with the arrival of what appears to be Galactus' latest herald, Gabriel the Air-Walker, who blows his horn to announce the end of the world. I'm not a huge fan of the character design, to be honest, and it's an absolute waste of print space when he turns out to be a robot and is cast aside. Big John does draw a pretty cool splash page at the end of #120, but that's about all the Air-Walker is good for. He's really just a precursor for the reappearance of Galactus and the Silver Surfer. Galactus wants his herald back and there's a lot of grandstanding and moralizing. The public are panicking again, as they have been throughout the post-Kirby era, and who can blame them really? They must have PTSD from the constant threats to mankind. The Surfer is prepared to sacrifice himself for the good of mankind, but Reed's not having a bar of it. He keeps telling everyone he has a plan, but no one will listen to him. Nixon orders the military to get involved and one of the soldiers mistakenly shoots Reed. There's no blood, but we're told that Reed is at death's door. Instead of rushing him to an emergency room, the Surfer takes him to a meadow somewhere and performs surgery with his eyes. Reed's plan works and Galactus ends up trapped in the Negative Zone where we'll never hear from him again. The coolest part of this story arc is a sequence where Sue rides on Reed's back through the city, including walking across his outstretched back like a tightrope walker, and they fly in a rocket to Galactus' ship where Reed manages to make his way into the giant cockpit and take control of the ship. This all takes place in the span of about five minutes while Galactus is fighting Johnny, but it's beautifully drawn. Stan didn't create too many original characters after Jack left, but the most effective one may have been the Baxter Building landlord, Walter Collins, who is a constant thorn in the group's side and keeps upsetting them by labelling them freaks. Either Stan was having trouble with his landlord or he felt the FF needed a Jameson type character to rile things up. The scenes with Agatha Harkness continue to be ridiculous. She has now taken on the role of The Watcher when it comes to warning the FF of galactic threats, and Reed uses her at the end to communicate with everyone on the planet and assure them that the threat is over. FINALLY, someone points out the fact that Reed is entrusting the care of his child to a witch, and it takes the Silver Surfer, an alien, to point it out! Reed is blasé about it. He basically says, "Oh we didn't know that she was a witch at the time, but now that we do, we can't think of anyone better to protect our son." Another pet peeve, and possibly No Prize time, Reed needed special equipment to detect Ben's heartbeat after he was sucker punched by the Hulk, but he can find Ben's pulse without any trouble. Bullsheet. So, I'm sensing a pattern here with Atlantis' invasion of New York, the coming of the Over-Mind, and the return of Galactus, and that pattern is that Stan didn't really have much clue when it came to story ideas, which adds fuel to the fire that Jack came up with most of the storylines and that Stan made limited contributions. He may have been coasting, but considering it was panic stations when Kirby quit, you'd assume he was putting his best foot forward, at least in the beginning. The fact that Stan went back to Galactus and the Surfer, and would do so again in the future, makes me doubt his ability to come up with fresh, original ideas. Even with the Over Mind, Archie Goodwin did all of the heavy lifting. There's one storyline left to go, and it resurrects one of the low points of the Kirby/Lee run, so we won't hold out breath for that one.
  4. Fantastic Four #119 is a one shot story by Roy Thomas. I'm not sure how fondly it's remembered today, but it manages to pack a fair punch. It starts off weak with a squabble between Johnny and Ben, and Reed introducing a new invention of his, a robot named Auntie (AUtomatic Neuro-robot in charge of Tidying up with Increased Efficiency), but we do get a bit of continuity with Johnny still moping about Crystal and Reed revealing to Sue that he's working on a way to allow Crystal to live outside of the Great Refuge (like that's going to work.) The bulk of the story is a Johnny and Ben adventure where they travel to Rudyarda, a neighboring country of Wakanda known for its apartheid regime. Their mission is to recover a device called a Vibrotron, which augments the power of Vibranium, and discover what happened to T'Challa, who crossed the border to to retrieve the device himself, but hasn't been heard from since. There ends up being an obligatory fight scene with Klaw, but the purpose of the issue is Roy's commentary on apartheid. Ben and Johnny can't stomach the regime in Rudyarda and make several statements about it throughout the issue, including a definitive statement at the end when Ben destroys a segregated border gate. Not your typical issue of the FF. Stan often included social commentary in his scripting, but rarely based an entire issue around it. It's an incredibly wordy issue, but you get your money's worth with a Roy Thomas story. The reason that apartheid was topical was because it had escalated in South Africa with nonwhites no longer allowed to hold political office, and the country of Rhodesia had recently declared itself a Republic with a white government. Roy even manages to touch on the spate of plane hijacking that was occurring at the time when Ben and Johnny stop a hijacker from diverting their flight to Cuba. Ben does a couple of badass things in this issue -- first he contains the blast of the hijacker's grenade in his own hands, and then he crushes Klaw's soni-claw. One change that Roy made which didn't stick was T'Challa changing his name to The Black Leopard to distance himself from the Black Panther Party. I'm not sure how I feel about the covers during this era. The solid borders (if you can call them that) seem ugly at times.
  5. Fantastic Four #117-118 are a letdown. Hot-head Johnny has become love sick again. It's hard to say who the most annoying member of the Fantastic Four is. I'm generally sympathetic towards Sue since she has to put up with three idiot males, but even Sue can be prone to histrionics when Stan is scripting her. It's probably a three way tie for first, but tormented Johnny Storm is really frigging annoying. Archie's story is continuity heavy as it ties into an issue of Namor and references a couple of other stories. It turns out that Crystal and Lockjaw never made it to the Great Refuge. Instead, Lockjaw transported Crystal to a distant future where humanity has been wiped out. There she encounters the Master of Alchemy, Diablo, who had been banished there by Dr. Doom. Diablo uses one of his potions to take control of Crystal and Lockjaw so that he can exact his revenge against Doom. Little does he know that Doom is busy licking his wounds after his battle with the Over-Mind, unless that was a Doom-bot, in which case all bets are off. Diablo plans to overthrow the dictatorship of a South American country so that he can steal the country's rare chemicals and become all-powerful. He convinces the locals that Crystal is the Mayan Goddess, Ixchel, who has returned to free them from tyranny. I t's a flimsy plot that can barely sustain an issue and a half. I'm not joking. The plot is so thin that they have to run a backup story in issue #118. Johnny discovers that Crystal is in South America thanks to, you guessed it, Agatha Harkness and her crystal ball. I do like the fact that Ben is still spooked by Agatha's house and her cat, Ebony. It also amuses me that Johnny doesn't give a frig about other people's problems such as Maximus the Mad having seized control of the Inhumans' kingdom or the South American dictator launching an air strike against the peasant uprising. No sir, all that matters to our Johnny is that he can neck with Crystal for five seconds. I guess no one ever accused Johnny Storm of being the most mature hero around. The FF have seemingly accepted Agatha at face value. If Reed and Sue discussed whether it's appropriate for a centuries old witch to be taking care of their son then it happened off panel. Issue #118 has a brief fight between Crystal and Johnny after Johnny tries to plant one on her. The cover teases a larger fight between Crystal and the FF, but to be honest, after Ben and then Reed, it's become a tired trope. The most fun part of the issue is Ben scrapping with Lockjaw. Archie has been using Ben for comic relief, but things get a little trippy in the backup story. Lockjaw and Ben take a little side trip to an alternate Earth where Ben Grimm became Mr. Fantastic and married Sue, and Reed became the Thing and turned into a recluse. It's the type of sci-fi that's right up Archie's alley, and probably would have made for a more interesting story than the Diablo mess. It does raise the question of whether Ben still has a thing for Sue. It wouldn't surprise me if that was one of the topics they argued about in the bullpen breakroom. It's interesting that even though Stan didn't write these stories, he gets first billing as editor. I'm sure that 90% of kids glossed over the details and simply thought this was another Stan Lee story. Archie is far more detailed than Stan, and very much a Bronze Age style writer, he just didn't have a great story idea for these fill-in issues. Even the flow of the story is pensive. The art is fairly strong, though, and it seems that Buscema is coming into his own even if his work here isn't as good as it was on The Avengers. Roy Thomas fills in next issue and then Stan is back for a final run.
  6. Archie Goodwin takes over the writing duties with Fantastic Four #116 after scripting the previous issue. I believe this was a temporary gig while Stan was busy schmoozing in Hollywood. As you can imagine, the plotting is tighter with Archie on deck but the dialogue lacks pizzazz. I don't know if Buscema was working from a full script, but the art for issue #116 is the best work he's delivered since taking over from Romita. The battle between Over-Mind and the Fantastic Four is probably the best fight scene since Kirby left, and Over-Mind comes across a truly worthy FF opponent. A large part of the appeal is witnessing Doom lead the FF in Reed's place. Archie doesn't have a lot of panels to work with when roping Doom into the story, and has to rush things a bit, but it's tidy enough that a kid wouldn't question the logic behind it. Once again, Agatha Harkness steps in and intervenes. That seems to be the go-to solution when the heroes are at a loss. They ought to make her a member of the team! I could just imagine her rocking her unstable molecules outfit. She'd probably add more to the team than Sue does. Doom vs the Over-Mind is badass. Finally, a fight scene worth of the World's Greatest Comic Magazine. It's similar to the battle Doom had with the Beyonder in Secret Wars, or that badass fight he has with Terrax during Byrne's run. Reed turning heel in the previous issue was supposedly a ruse, but he can't stop the Over-Mind from taking over his mind and tries to kill Sue. Eventually, he's able to fight off the Over-Mind's control by remembering he has a wife and child, but the question I have is why does Franklin's hair keep changing color? Is it blond or brown? You tell me, Marvel colorists. New York is raging with hatred, and people are brawling with each other in the streets. Doom falls in battle. The gizmo that was meant to stop the Over-Mind is destroyed. The end of the world is nigh. Franklin's hair keeps changing color. And then Archie pulls out the most brazen piece of dues ex machina you'll see in a Bronze Age book. It works in the sense that it's a Bronze Age comic for 12 year olds, but it's absolutely ridiculous. The saving grace is that Doom cuts an awesome promo as he staggers off. The FF are kind of bummed that that they were useless in the fight, but the Watcher pops out of nowhere and gives them a pep talk All's well that ends well. Joking aside, it's a great issue.
  7. Fantastic Four #113-115 introduces what I'm assuming is the first original Fantastic Four villain created after Kirby left, the Over-Mind. Off the top of my head, I'm only familiar with the Over-Mind from J. M. DeMatteis using him in his Defenders run, but he certainly looks the part as far as cosmic villains go. The design is similar to something Kirby might have come up with, although Jack would have given him more grotesque features. He gets introduced in fairly weak "the Over-Mind is coming!" fashion with a guest spot by The Watcher and a warning from Agatha Harkness, however it seems he may be behind the chaos that has been happening over the past few issues, both internally within the team and externally with the public turning against them. Long term plotting from Stan? We shall see. Ben's not really dead, it's just hard to pick up a heartbeat beneath that orange rock. Reed is a giant prick towards everyone, but manages to save Ben's life. Ben smashes the machine that changed him back to his human form and declares that the Ever-Lovin' Blue-eyed Thing is back and happy to stay in that form. That was easily resolved. Johnny apologizes for the things he said to Reed, and Reed has the audacity to praise Johnny for apologizing like a man. When do you ever apologize, Reed? It's a wonder your teammates didn't up and leave a long time ago. A few panels later, Johnny has a meltdown over Crystal and almost kills himself by jumping out the window before flaming on (stupid.) Sue agonizes over what's happening to the team, and it seems like it's a deliberate plot point. It's irritating, but I do like the way every time they fight there's a kernel of truth in what they're saying. They might be a family, but they're a hugely dysfunctional one. The Fantastic Four end up being arrested and Reed bails them out. The Over-Mind walks around in his space duds and draws too much attention so he disguises himself in a ridiculous vest outfit that does nothing to disguises the fact that he's over 7 feet tall. That was a fail by Buscema. He has a short skirmish with the team and decides their powers are nothing to worry about and erases their memories of the encounter. Issue #115 is a bit of a doozy. By this stage, the reader isn't really sure who this Over-Mind dude is other than he's a threat to the entire universe, but to give him a backstory, Stan does this ridiculous trick of having Agatha Harkness help the FF communicate with the Watcher, who tells them the Over-Mind's origin story. Why he couldn't have done that a few issues ago when he popped up to warn them of his coming is beyond me. The origin itself is fairly good. It involves an aggressive race of aliens named The Eternals (!!!) who are basically a substitute for the Roman Empire, and the Over-Mind is a gladiator turned all-powerful villain. It's very Fantastic Four-esque. Interestingly, it's scripted by Archie Goodwin, and plotted by Stan Lee, which adds fuel to the fire that Stan wasn't the driving force beyond a lot of these science fiction storylines. Once that's done, Reed suddenly turns bad without any warning (other than the fact that he's been even more of a prick than usual the past few issues.) Looks like the Over-Mind has got him too. I guess it will be up to the other dumbasses on the team to save the day. The cover for the next issue has Dr. Doom replacing Reed on the team, which is pretty wild. I can only imagine there were a fair number of kids still buying the FF off the racks post-Kirby, the same way I keep reading the X-Men after Claremont left. I mean, what kid could resist a cover like that? I forgot to mention that when Reed was in the Negative Zone, it appeared that Marvel used some of Kirby's old collage work for the backgrounds. Another example of how Jack's presence is still being felt.
  8. Fantastic Four #110-112 are pretty good. Reed is stuck in the Negative Zone at the beginning of issue #110, having sacrificed himself to allow Johnny and Ben to escape. He ends up escaping with a little help from his teammates, and Agatha Harkness, who finally reveals that she's a witch. Strangely, Reed and Sue barely react to the fact that their child's nanny is a witch. If there's been a major flaw in Stan's scripting thus far it's a lack of attention to detail. Ben starts acting like a dick again while Reed is fighting for his life in the Negative Zone after having put that plot point on the back burner during the past few issues. That leads to a panel where Sue slaps Ben, which is about as much backbone as Sue has shown in these Bronze Age issues. She gets to use her powers a bit during these issues, which is a welcome respite from her constant fretting. The plot contrivance of her constantly having to fly between the Baxter Building and Agatha's creepy house to spend time with Franklin is annoying. Franklin is a problem in general, but the situation is a fairly realistic depiction of what it would be like for superheroes to have children, especially celebrity types like the Fantastic Four. Stan keeps hinting that Franklin has powers of their own, though they're pretty boring powers thus far. Ben turns heel and goes on a rampage. This escalates quickly and within a few pages, J. Jonah Jameson is leading a witch hunt against the Fantastic Four, there are protesters outside the Baxter Building, and Reed has a heated confrontation with his landlord, who he calls a human parasite. The Hulk is shoehorned into the plot in the weakest way imaginable, and there's a classic Thing vs. Hulk fight in issue #112. Buscema tries his damnedest to draw a worthy Thing/Hulk fight, but it pales in comparison to Kirby's layouts. Reed and Johnny bicker over the best way to help Ben. Johnny keeps calling Reed old. Reed is a condescending prick. The fighting gets a bit old after a while. One thing Stan is great at is the single panel cliffhangers. They're fantastic. Ben is dead at the end of issue #112 and it's all Reed's fault. If that doesn't get you to pick up next month's issue, I don't know what will. Of course that implies that the Hulk killed Ben, which was never gonna happen, but the final panel was dope.
  9. Waterboys' Waterboys... I always quite liked the Waterboys. They were unfairly compared to U2, and when they blew up it was because of their big music become popular, but I always felt like Mike Scott was a songwriter with something to say. This was raw Scott. He didn't even have a proper band, but he had a handful of songs ready to unleash on the world and you could already tell he was ambitious. UB40's Labour of Love... UB40 are one of those bands I would never claim to like but sing along to whenever they came on the radio. I was surprised by how many of the songs I knew on this record. While there's an element of white guys pinching another culture's music, I can definitely understand why the group was popular. Killing Joke's Fire Dances... I don't think Killing Joke fans like this album very much, and I can understand that, but again, context... It was extremely difficult for late 70s bands to continue producing successful LPs in the early 80s. There were all sorts of pressure to add synth sounds to the production and follow the New Wave crowd. Post-punk bands were particularly lost around this time as they weren't at the cutting edge anymore. Killing Joke didn't quite get things right on this album, but it did lead to the more successful Night Time record in '85, so you can view this as a decent transition album if you wish. The Plimsouls' Everywhere at Once... Decent power pop record with elements of a few other styles I like thrown into the mix -- garage rock, jangle pop, and rockabilly. None of the tracks stood out to me, but the music wasn't bad. The Stranglers' Feline... I liked this a bit more of a second listen, but on the whole, I'd say this a lot worse than the Killing Joke's LP while being in a fairly similar predicament. Einstürzende Neubauten's Zeichnungen des Patienten O.T.... I have my limits, and here they are... This was noisy crap. Sorry if you're a fan. Circle Jerks' Golden Shower of Hits... this held up pretty well, but it's not as hard as you'd expect. The songs are short but have a pop ring to them that I wasn't expecting. ABC's Beauty Stab... now we're getting into the territory of music my father listened to. He had an ABC cassette tape that he practically wore out listening to in the car. Little OJ used to hoon around in the car singing "Blame Cupid, Cupid!" out the window. This was a step down from the Lexicon of Love record and didn't have any bangers on it, but it reminded me of my dad who's ailing at the moment, so it was a nice trip down memory lane. Kajagoogoo's White Feathers... Too Shy is a massive tune. If there's a song that instantly takes you back to 1983, that may be it. Unfortunately, there's nothing else on this LP that remotely compares to that song. What a song though.
  10. John Buscema takes over the penciling duties with Fantastic Four #107, and it seems like he's making a concerted effort to draw Kirby faces (or perhaps it's Sinnott trying to keep the look of the book consistent.) Issues #107-109 are built around a Kirby story that Stan had rejected for unknown reasons. Kirby's pencils are reworked into a flashback story in issue #108 with Romita and Buscema working on the framing sequences. It's a bit of a mess, as you can imagine. The original story was later published as Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure in 2008. Naturally, there are folks who are skeptical about Marvel using a Kirby inventory story just as New Gods was about to debut, but personally, I'm more skeptical of whether Stan had any original ideas up his sleeve. I doubt very much that Big John Buscema is going to produce stories on the level that Kirby did. Buscema does a terrific job of penciling the action sequences, and his women look just as attractive as Romita's, but aside from some of the work he did on Conan, I don't think Buscema has a tremendous reputation as a plotter. Stan is well aware that the story's a mess, as he keeps adding captions apologizing to the readers about how confusing the story is. It's interesting that after the short-lived policy of one and done stories that Lee is stretching this out over three issues. That lends weight to my theory that Stan was struggling for ideas. Jack's original story was a one issue deal and pretty forgettable by Kirby standards. In fact, it's fairly typical of late period Kirby Fantastic Four. Jack was clearly saving his best ideas for the Fourth World. Sometimes I imagine how incredible it would have been if those characters had been part of the Marvel Universe, but I digress. Ben can now change into the Thing at will, which leads to disturbing panels where he's midway through the transition and becomes the Thing with Ben Grimm's hair. It's making him act like a jerk, though. Johnny suddenly remembers that Crystal has left and is tormented. Reed is a complete asshole to Sue and goes on a sexist rant that's pretty common during the Stan Lee years. Sue mentions how strangely everyone is behaving lately, but it's not clear whether it's a plotline. It's kind of weird that Reed and Sue leave their son with creepy Agatha Harkness. Lee is struggling with how to write Sue as a mother. She gets left behind to fret when the boys go off on an adventure in the Negative Zone and loses her shit when Harkness scolds her for skipping her visit with Franklin. I thought this was the reason Crystal replaced Sue in the team in the first place? Sue as damsel in distress is tough reading these days. Annihilus gets shoehorned into the plot, but that's okay as I suspect he scared the crap out of most children. These issues aren't terrible, they're just messy. This isn't going as well as Spider-Man post Ditko, that's for sure.
  11. My plan for now is to keep reading until Stan leaves the book with issue #125.
  12. Fantastic Four #105-106 concludes Romita's caretaker stint on the book. According to Romita, he sweat through the four issues he penciled, desperately trying to emulate Jack's style. He must have been relieved when Buscema took over. Romita gets flak for his pencils not being Kirby-esque, but he's not the type of artist who can draw crazy machinery, and there's no way that anyone could emulate the panel layouts that sprang from Jack's imagination. Romita's pencils are tight and heavily focused on storytelling. The script is detailed, but there aren't a lot of dynamic looking panels. The "villain" in the second story isn't a heavy hitter, and Romita doesn't get a lot to work with in terms of producing a story worthy of the World's Greatest Comic Magazine. The women look good, though. Crystal gets written out of the series quick as a flash. I wonder whose decision that was. Reed is constantly shouting at everyone. I can't understand how such an incredible genius as Reed can have these sudden emotional outbursts. It makes it seem like he's frustrated by how stupid his wife, brother-in-law, and best friend are. He even tears strips off a fellow scientist in issue #106. World's biggest asshole? Stan chucks in an obligatory anti-war message without exploring the theme too much beyond a couple of lines about powerful weapons not being the solution to ending wars. So, where are we at? The book hasn't nose-dived since Jack left, but the artist is under immense pressure and there's no evidence that Stan can come up with new characters going forward. It will be very interesting to see how Lee handles the book the rest of the way.
  13. It's crazy how Alcarez was able to win Queens and Wimbledon having played only two tournaments on grass, but at the same time that's a damning indictment on the rest o the tour. It annoys me when people throw out that old line about Federer winning Grand Slams during a weak era for tennis yet here we are with so few grass court specialists.
  14. Shriekback's Care... Shriekback was a post-punk/new wave band formed by ex-members of Gang of Four and XTC. Pretty good pedigree there. Decent record with a minor club hit in the song Lined Up. Divinyls' Desperate... if the name Divinyls sounds familiar to you, you may be thinking of that song about touching yourself. Like many one hit wonders, this Aussie pub rock act had a couple of solid albums under their belt before their hit. This is a solid fusion of pop rock, new wave and power pop. The Comsat Angels' Land... 1983 is littered with albums that are considered the beginning of the end of a lot of late 70s acts. This Comsat Angels record is a perfect example. They had three successful albums under their belt prior to this record and a lot of people point to this as the record where they started to drop off. But I say bollocks to that. If you're listening to this in the context of a hundred or more other albums from '83, it's a perfectly good record. A bit poppier, perhaps, but get over yourself and dance a bit. Freur's Doot-Doot... Massively underrated Welsh band that doesn't get enough love. You may be familiar with the title track as it gets used in soundtracks every now and again. The band should have been at the forefront of the New Romantic movement but didn't sell enough. They eventually morphed into the electronic music group Underworld, who were prominent in my era. This is the type of LP that the cool kids rediscover. Sonic Youth's Confusion Is Sex... early Sonic Youth record. Noisy. They didn't quite have the melody and structure of their later records. It's amazing to think that within a few short years they'd become one of the most important groups of the alt-rock movement. Heaven 17's The Luxury Gap... Ooh, listen to those synthesizers and drum machines! Heaven 17 was started by two guys who broke away from The Human League. They struggled to make an impact at the first, but the singles on this LP did well with two UK top 10 hits. Their objective here was to mix soul music with electronic music, which may sound like an affront to soul music, but most r&b acts had been doing the same thing in the States since the end of disco. I was down with this LP. A Flock of Seagulls' Listen... I really liked this record. I really like A Flock of Seagulls. Yes, it's not as good as their first record, but it's more Flock of Seagulls, so go ahead and inject it directly into my veins. Adam Ant's Strip... Here's another record people hate. I get it if you were an Adam and the Ants fan, or if you liked his first solo LP, but to me it was goofy fun. Some bizarre songs, but quirky and enjoyable. He sure does wanna get naked, though. Thompson Twins' Quick Step & Side Kick... now here's a record that time forgot. This was a top 5 record in the UK but barely cracked the top 40 in the US, which I guess accounts for the fact that it's largely slept on these days despite being a major synthpop/new romantic LP. Very good record. A lot of people find the musicianship in synthpop questionable. The cream of the crop speaks against that. Gene Loves Jezebel's Promise... Post-punk/Gothic Rock that grew on me with repeat listens. There's a bit of glam rock in there too. This was a keeper. China Crisis' Working With Fire and Steel: Possible Pop Songs Volume Two... this is one of those records that gets criticized for sounding "so 80s" like there's something wrong with that. My only criticism is that the record label were desperately trying to cash in on similar acts' success. The music video for Tragedy and Mystery swipes liberally from Depeche Mode. Other than that, it's pleasant stuff.
  15. I'm back with a new computer. Xmal Deutschland's Fetisch... Xmal Deutschland were a German post-punk band that leaned heavily into gothic rock. Not dazzlingly original, but not half band either. The female vocalist reminded me of someone but I couldn't quite pin down who I was thinking of. It was a very 80s sounding vocal at any rate. The Lords of the New Church's Is Nothing Sacred? This was another post-punk act that veered into gothic rock. One of the most fascinating aspects of 1983 music is the different forms that punk is splintering into. The Lords of the New Church formed out of the ashes of the punk band, The Dead Boys, and there style morphed to the point where you have synths on this record and strong new wave leanings. Punk wasn't dead in 1983, but it was barely recognizable from its 70s heyday. Wang Chung's Points on the Curve... Not sure how a London new wave band ends up calling itself Wang Chung, but needless to say, this is not a Chinese pop record. It's a fairly decent new wave album, to be honest. Lost in the shuffle of '83, but rock solid. Wire Train's In a Chamber... Now this was a pleasant surprise. I had been complaining that the jangle pop I was listening to didn't live up to the likes of The Smiths, The Go-Betweens, or early R.E.M, but this was the best jangle pop record I've listened to thus far. If I had a third thumb, it would be three thumbs up. Gary Numan's Warriors... Man, people hate this album. I don't care enough about early Numan to muster that sort of reaction. For my money, it was perfectly listenable. It didn't distinguish itself from a ton of the other music being released in '83, but you would think it was a crime against humanity the way some people go on about it. You try remaining commercially viable in 1983 buckaroo. The Golden Palominos' The Golden Palominos... this was a no wave record. It doesn't take a genius to understand why the no wave movement started, but beneath all the experimental shit, there's actually some pretty decent funk rock and jazz rock on this record, which my ears naturally gravitated to over the more art enthused stuff. 10,000 Maniacs' Secrets of the I Ching... this was an honest to goodness indie pop effort in 1983. It had a little bit of everything in terms of stylistic attributes, but it was mostly engaging pop music led by Natalie Merchant, who went on to have a distinguished solo career in the 90s. Altered Images' Bite... another female driven band with the extra wrinkle of a Glasgow band putting a bit of synth polish on their sound. Bit of a forgotten band it seems. Worth rediscovering, if you ask me, as they have some nice tracks and the vocalist knocks it out of the park.
  16. Just out of curiosity, I read Fantastic Four #102, which was the last issue Kirby handed in before he quit, and Fantastic Four #103-104, which were penciled by John Romita. According to interviews, the Marvel Bullpen went through the entire gamut of emotions when Kirby quit with some Bullpenners convinced that they couldn't continue the Fantastic Four without Jack. Those emotions eventually turned into defiance and a batten down the hatches approach to continuing with the title. Romita has openly said that he tried to draw in the style of Kirby to make the transition appear seamless. That proved impossible, as you can no doubt imagine. It's difficult to compare the issues story-wise as Kirby handed in the first chapter of a three part story, but you can clearly see a difference in the layouts. Kirby uses far less panels and even draws a awesome looking Namor splash page/pin up, whereas Romita uses far more panels and his two issues are tightly plotted and feature far more dialogue than the Kirby issue. The impression I received was that Stan was far more hands on with the Romita issues given the circumstances. I didn't notice a discernable drop off in quality. If I'd been reading the book as a kid in 1970, I would have kept reading the Romita issues. According to the artist, it was an incredibly stressful experience, but I think he did the best he could under the circumstances. The story pales in comparison to the prime Kirby/Lee years, but Jack had been mailing it for a while before he quit. It's not bad, it's just kind of generic. It's always weird for me to see Magneto as a one dimensional villain, and Namor often comes across as pompous in the Silver Age. It's worth noting that the story ends with a classic Stan-ism about how humans have landed on the moon but still can't achieve peace on Earth. Interesting to see Nixon make an appearance as well, and immediately clash with Reed.
  17. 1983 will never end. Basa Basa's Homowo: High Music Life... this was originally released in Nigeria in 1979 and re-released in the Netherlands in 1983. It mixes traditional African music and electronic dance music, and it's a bit of a gem really. I'm biased (as in if it comes from Nigeria, it must be good), but this was really good. Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and Touch... now we're getting into the territory of music my parents listened to all of the time when I was a kid. My mother was besotted with Annie Lenox (I'm sure someone told her she looked like Annie Lenox or some shit. I think she even tried to have the same haircut at one point.) Did you know the Eurythmics released two albums in 1983? I did not know that. Even as a kid, I realized Sweet Dreams, the song, sounded different from everything else on the radio. It's overplayed at this point, but you've got to appreciate the experimentation. Here Comes the Rain Again is also a great song, perhaps even better than Sweet Dreams. If they'd merged these records into a single album they might have had a classic New Wave record, but musically the records are fairly cutting edge for pop music, and Lenox has a strong presence. Yazoo's You and Me Both... this is the type of record where if you haven't got a sympathetic ear towards synth-pop you'd probably dismiss as generic 80s music, and let's face it, this type of music is easy to parody along with the hair, makeup and fashion from the era. Fortunately, I love me some synthesizers. This didn't reach great heights, but it was catchy and fun. And it reminded me that Alison Moyet existed. Now there's someone I haven't thought about since the 80s ended. The Glove's Blue Sunshine... okay, so this is a side project by Robert Smith of The Cure and Steve Severin of Siouxsie and The Banshees. You may have heard of those groups. Naturally, there a lot of people who cream their pants at the idea of these guys working together, which inevitably leads to disappointment when it's not the greatest record of all-time. I'm here to tell you that it's perfectly listenable. Just don't expect greatness and you won't be disappointed. Men at Work's Cargo... y'know, I've never listened to a Men at Work record before. Now that I've righted that wrong, I can honestly say this was a lot of fun. It's hard to make quirky, humorous records and not wear out your welcome, but these guys were talented and excellent musicians, so that helps. XTC's Mummer... this was kind of a weird, in-between, transitional album for XTC. It's the kind of record that people will either view as not as good as XTC's other records or massively underrated. I liked it a lot. It doesn't have a lot of standout tracks, but it was steady throughout. Ministry's With Sympathy... If you didn't know that Ministry started off as synthpop new wave band in the early 80s, you're in for a shock. It's almost like finding out that Dre was in a boy band. I'm sure this gets down voted by people because it's not remotely the same as future Ministry records, but they were a decent New Wave band all things considered and it's not a bad record. I don't think you could sell many Ministry fans on that argument, though.
  18. I don't get the Chris Paul trade at all. Doesn't fir their style of play at all, injury prone, doesn't make them bigger. Baffling.
  19. 1983! The Flesh Eaters' A Hard Act to Follow... The Flesh Eaters were an LA punk band that added an element of Hollywood to their music. The Hollywood fringes, that is. Totally up my alley. Nick Lowe's The Abominable Showman... not a highly regarded Nick Lowe album, and a questionable album title, but the songs were pleasant. This is the type of album I would have ignored in the past because it's not rated highly enough, but this little project of mine has forced me rethink things a bit and try to appreciate where various artists were at at the time. Pistones' Persecución... Spanish mix of new wave and power pop. Very pleasant and enjoyable. Pagans' Pagans... The Pagans were an on again, off again punk rock band from Cleveland that released this raw, lo-fi garage punk gem in '83 and not much else. They're the kind of bands that bands you like cover. If you're into punk, especially from this era, I would add this to your collection. Loudon Wainwright III's Fame and Wealth... this was the album where Wainwright transitioned from more of a rock sound to a stripped back, wiry singer-songwriter folksinger (with a little help from Richard Thompson along the way.) Not all of the songs worked for me, but the ones that did were excellent, and there is no way that this is the 830-something best album of 1983 like rym is trying to tell me. Freeez' Gonna Get You... I.O.U. is such a banger of a track. I could easily convince myself that it's the best song of 1983. The rest of the album's not bad, either, if you can tolerate a bunch of whiny Englishmen trying to record a funk album. There was a genre coined called BritFunk, which just sounds wrong. Gwen Guthrie's Portrait... the post-disco landscape of 1983 wasn't a great time for black female recording artists, which is one of the many travesties of the disco backlash, but they were still working and occasionally getting a Larry Levan remix that was popular in the clubs. This is a perfectly solid example of a working artist's record from '83. Gets the thumbs up from me. Toxoplasma's Toxoplasma... German street punk. Worth a listen to hear what an angry group of German kids sounds like in 1983. The Milkshakes' After School Session and In Germany... The Milkshakes is such an innocent sounding name for a band until you hear them make a racket. At first, I was surprised that there was a garage rock band trying to play a Merseybeat style, but considering there were a ton of rockabilly acts at the time I guess it's no surprise that there would be a Merseybeat group too. Fun stuff, more so if you like early Beatles. Hunters & Collectors' The Fireman's Curse... Hunters & Collectors were a great Australian band. One of the first bands that come to mind when I think of Australian music, actually. This was their second album, and like a lot of the film and music from Australian in the late 70s and early 80s, it is surprising dark. Must be all that isolation from the rest of the world. Rick James' Cold Blooded... If you're expecting this to be Street Songs, you'll be disappointed, but if you're expecting anything to be Street Songs, you'll be disappointed. This is a perfectly OK Rick James album with some okay songs and a couple of really good ones. U Bring the Freak Out is a good 'un. Mary Jane Girls' Mary Jane Girls... speaking of Rick James, it's his protegees. James wrote and produced the entire thing, and it's probably the closest he came to being a Prince level producer. The singles are excellent, especially All Night Long, and the rest of the album is fun as well. Yumi Matsutoya's Voyager and Reincarnation... Yumi Matsutoya is an incredibly talented and prolific Japanese singer-songwriter with a highly idiosyntric voice. Many of you will be familiar with her songs from Kiki's Delivery Service, which used her 70s work for the opening and closing themes. She is mistakenly referred to as a city pop artist by some enthusiastic Western fans, but she was much more than that and an incredibly successful artist in Japan. Voyager is close to pure city pop, which is perhaps where the misunderstanding comes from, but it's a phase she was going through, perhaps tapping into the zeitgeist a bit. Reincarnation is closer to her older style will still trying to push the boundaries. Yutaka Ozaki's Seventeen's Map... A friend introduced me to Yutaka Ozaki many years ago and his dramatic, soul-wrenching live performances turned my world upside down for a bit. He never came close to capturing that on record, which is hardly surprising since the record company was looking to cash in on his good looks, but the songwriting is there and all of the material he used for those extraordinary live performances.
  20. This series feels like the 1999 Spurs/Knicks redux.
  21. The Rain Parade's Emergency Third Rail Power Trip... okay, so I've finally found a Paisley Underground album that I think is amazing. This was a fantastic record, and could have easily been an indie release in any decade since. Unfortunately, The Rain Parade doesn't have a huge catalogue of work, so I may have to settle for this gem alone, but definitely the best of its genre in '83. The Cure's Japanese Whispers... I've never been a huge Cure fan. I mean, I like them enough to listen to their records, but they strike me as the kind of band that attract fanatics and I don't find them that appealing. If I'm being honest, Robert Smith annoys me a bit. I used to have a co-worker from the UK who'd give me endless shit for liking Morrisey and the daffodil in his back pocket, and Smith is kind of like that for me. This record did nothing to change my opinion on any of that. Some decent tunes, though. Big Boys' Lullabies Help the Brain Grow... This sounded more like punk rock/funk than hardcore to me, but not a bad record. Peter Tosh's Mamma Africa... fairly standard Peter Tosh album. Nothing remarkable about it. An easy listen if that counts for anything. Billy Idol's Rebel Yell... Rebel Yell is a great song. Nothing else on this LP compares to Rebel Yell, however the rest of the tracks are extremely interesting considering Billy Idol was being positioned as a guy with high commercial appeal. I imagine that if you bought this record in '83 and listened to it until you wore it out that you would love the other tracks on this LP in the way that only a true fan of any album does. Yello's You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess... LOVE the album name, love the painting of the gorilla on the LP cover, and that's about it... European synthpop. Probably sounded good in the clubs, who knows. Ramones' Subterranean Jungle... I really wanted to come out all guns blazing about what an underrated record this, but the truth is it's not very good. A couple of catchy tunes but highly mediocre by Ramones standards. The S.O.S Band's On the Rise... I'm a big S.O.S Band fan, and think Take Your Time (Do it Right) is just about the best song ever, but this LP has one great song on it (Just Be Good to Me) and a bunch of filler. Hellhammer's Death Fiend... I felt like this was the weakest of the Hellhammer demos. Rough production and the songs didn't feel shaped yet. Sparks' In Outer Space... So, because it's the early 80s, there are a lot of great 70s acts producing lesser works, not only because creativity has a short shelf life, but because the music business had changed so dramatically in such a short span of time. This could easily be written off as an inferior Sparks record, but I thought it was a perfectly enjoyable slice of new wave synthpop. Certainly not worth getting your knickers in a twist over. Black Uhuru's The Dub Factor... Black Uhuru released two LPs in 1983, a roots reggae album, Anthem, and this dub record. I'll give you two guesses as to which I liked better. You got it. The Dickies' Stukas Over Disneyland... this was something of a comeback record for The Dickies and a very good LP. I particularly liked the song about having a hunchback girlfriend. G.I.S.M.'s Detestation... now here's a record I haven't listened to in a while. I was surprised by how metal this sounded. It almost sounded like a thrashcore record at times. Very few things are as cool as Japanese hardcore even if G.I.S.M are a bit immature at times. Teena Marie's Robbery... Teena Marie hanging in there with her version of contemporary r&b. A nice record but nothing earth shaking. The Comes' No Side... Japanese hardcore record with a screeching female vocalist. How can this not rule? The F.U.'s My America... Now this is what I call a hardcore record... About 15 minutes long and punchy as heck. Excellent. Depeche Mode's Construction Time Again... this almost comes across as a concept album. I love Everything Counts in Small Amounts (one of my favorite songs of '83), but a grew a little tired of Dave Gahan singing about saving the earth. The Triffids' Treeless Plain... I'm not sure if people overseas realize how strong the Australian and New Zealand music scenes were during this era. That said, there's always a tinge of cultural cringe when you hear an Australasian band trying to sound like they're The Fall. I know I shouldn't feel that way but it's hard to shrug that feeling, especially when the band is from Perth of all places. BUT, this is an excellent record and David McComb seems like a fine songwriter, so cultural cringe be damned. Check this out if you're curious.
  22. I finished Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise (and amazingly managed to do spoiler free.) Despite the fact that I hated a lot of the prose text and song lyrics, completely skipped the Molly and Poo stuff, disliked many of the plot turns, and even some of the characters, and wasn't 100% satisfied with the final issue, it was still a hell of a journey with two incredible central characters. There was one issue during the final stretch that was so amazingly well told that it had me in tears. Moore poured 14 years of his life into SIP, which is impressive given how so many creator owned series wind up abandoned and left to collect dust. Thanks for the ride, Terry!
  23. 1983... Gary Moore's Victims of the Future... man, this was 80s sounding. There were a number of tracks that could have easily been in a movie soundtrack. I much prefer the grittier, less commercial Japan release from this year. Crass' Yes Sir, I Will. -- noisy anarcho-punk. Lots of bitching about Thatcher's England. I've had my fill of bitching about Thatcher over the years, and to be honest, this was completely over the top. Mariah's Utakata no Hibi... Mariah were a group of well-known Japanese studio musicians who formed a jazz-fusion group that dabbled in progressive rock and other genres. Here they go totally art-pop with an avantgarde mix of Japanese synth pop and Armenian folk songs. This is the kind of thing you'll either appreciate as an interesting LP or disregard as hipster crap. I can't see much middle ground myself. Subhumans' The Day the Country Died... more anarcho-punk. I liked this better than the Crass album. It was recorded in 5 days and mostly plays off George Orwell's 1984. I'm not an anarchist, so the message here doesn't mean a lot to me. I'm in it for the music, and personally this wasn't hardcore enough to really excite me. Randy Newman's Trouble in Paradise... this was a solid Randy Newman album. It was pretty much what you'd expect from him -- strong songs, clever song-writing, and witty lyrics. African Head Charge's Drastic Season... dub fans think this is amazing. I found it monotonous. Not my favorite genre of music. The Barracudas' Mean Time... Now we're talking... garage rock with a mix of power pop and jangle pop... how could I not love this? Looking at the music landscape as a whole in '83, there was definitely room for revival acts to have a little fun with their music and The Barracudas are tops. Los Abuelos de la Nada's Vasos y besos... Argentinian new wave, pop rock, yes please! I'm totally aware that I have an unfair bias towards this because it's Spanish and from another country, but I love it anyway. Lyrically it could be the shits, but musically it pricked up my ears. Tracey Ullman's You Broke My Heart in 17 Places... I'm old enough that i remember when Tracey Ullman was popular. I read a neat quote from Ullman about how she likes visiting record stores and finding her old LPs mixed in with far more famous records. She was going for a retro Girl Group vibe here, but she does a comedy bit on the version I listened to where she does different accents, which was a specialty of hers, and I swear she would have made a better punk rock vocalist than a Ronette. Malcolm McLaren's Duck Rock... this basically alternates between hip hop and African music. It was an important LP at the time of its release, as it helped spread both forms of music to a wider audience. I liked it, but I'd argue it's more famous than good. Herbie Hancock's Future Shock... this album doesn't have a great rep. I don't know if that's because jazz fans hate it. It's not as bad as its rep suggests, although there's nothing on the record that matches the brilliance of Rockit. If it had been entirely scratch based and more of a turntablism LP, I probably would have liked it more, but Hancock was also embracing the emerging electro and synth funk scenes, and those tracks don't work as well. Willie Nelson's Tougher Than Leather... Willie Nelson is a National Treasure and one of the greatest living American songwriters. He wrote this while he was in hospital with a collapsed lung and meditating on reincarnation. It's a followup album in a way to Red-Headed Stranger, just not as good. Basically, it's Willie Nelson, and if you can't find something to enjoy here, I don't know what to tell you. Was (Was Not)'s Born to Laugh at Tornadoes... this didn't sound like any Was (Was Not) that I've heard. So weird. I listened to this a few times, and I began to appreciate how clever it was lyrically and dig some of the songs, like "Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like a Rubber Ball)" with its brilliant low budget music video, and "Zaz Turned Blue," an awesome cocktail jazz blues song that they get Mel Torme to sing. I think it's the guest vocalists that threw me off on the first listen, as they get a ton of people to sing on this, including Ozzy Osbourne, Marshall Crenshaw, and the Knacks' Doug Fieger. It's not really the art funk from their first LP, but art pop. Commercially unsuccessful, but I'm glad I gave this another shot because it gets more rewarding with each listen.
  24. Nah, that was on an EP they released called The Last of the Mohicans.
  25. More from '83... Hellhammer's Triumph of Death.. another demo tape from the Swiss band, Hellhammer. There wasn't a lot of extreme metal being recorded in '83, so kids like Hellhammer had to turn to hardcore punk for inspiration. Poorly received at the time, their demos were later recognized as some of the earliest examples of black metal and became highly influential. Two of their members went on to form Celtic Frost. Pretty cool in retrospect. Nile Rodgers' Adventures in the Land of the Good Groove... Nile Rodgers was in a tough spot in '83. The backlash against disco had crippled his career, and he was still transitioning into his role as a writer-producer. He disowned this album later on, claiming he was doped up and unsure about what he wanted to do musically, but Bowie liked it enough to have Rodgers produce Let's Dance. More interesting than good, but not a bad LP. Johnny Thunders' In Cold Blood... they sure were putting out a lot of Johnny Thunder records in '83, including this cobbled together double album (a mix of studio and live recordings), but that's okay because I freakin' love Johnny Thunders and spent a couple of days with You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory stuck in my head. Quintessential rock and roller, died young and left behind a brilliant catalogue of music. Love all of his stuff. Cybotron's Enter... important electro album. Bit of a mixed bag. I've never been a huge techno fan, so take my words with a grain of salt. Could be a classic LP for all I know. Change's This is Your Time.. Change were kind of middle of the road as far as funk bands go, but they always produced highly quality boogie/synth funk records and this was no exception. Like many of the better r&b acts from this era, they were able to mix it up with male and female vocalists, and the songs get better with every spin. Pulp's It... it's crazy to think that Pulp were around in '83. This has its fans, but I found it to be largely forgettable. I don't know if Cocker was aping Morrisey, but it sounded that way to me and I found it annoying. Social Distortion's Mommy's Little Monster... this did nothing for me. I dunno why. It's been a long time since I've been on a punk kick, but I did love that Dicks album. I guess I don't really care about the things bands like Social Distortion are rallying against. Toy Dolls' Dig That Groove Baby... humor based punk is the worst punk if you ask me. Bow Wow Wow's When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going... I was not expecting to like this as much as I did. The opening track, Aphrodisiac, is such a great song and sets the tone for the rest of the LP. I love Annabella Lwin's vocals. Hard to believe she was 16 or 17 at the time and wrote all of the lyrics. Husker Du's Everything Falls Apart... I absolutely love Husker Du's debut record. I don't know why this doesn't get more love. It kicks so much ass.
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