Thursday, August 25, 2005

Leader of the Band Answers...and some of my thoughts

A.3 - The Alarm/Mike Peters - I've always felt that The Alarm were one of those bands that, sadly, slipped under most people's radar. I've heard them occasionally described as a "poor man's U2". There certainly are some similarities, but I think it's an unfair assessment. And hey, Mike Peters never went nuts and thought he was a human fly or started walking around wearing devil horns. They were actually on VH1's Bands Reunited not too long ago, and it was good to hear and see them again.

B.12 - The Bangles/Susanna Hoffs - A lot of people seem to think that you can either be a Bangles fan or a Go-Go's fan, and that you can't like both equally. I disagree. I like them both, but was never so rabid about either one that I would ever feel the need to rank them. They both had some good songs. I liked them because I was a chick (still am!) and they were chicks, and bands comprised of all chicks were few and far between in those days (still are!). I think from a guy's point of view, the girls in the Go-Go's were hotter. Although Susanna had all that hair and the eye thing going on. I will say that my favorite song out of both bands' catalogs put together would be a Bangles one - "Hero Takes a Fall".

C.9 - Crowded House/Neil Finn - Tragically, heinously underrated band. They were actually on a show about one-hit wonders! If we're being technical, they had two hits ("Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong") based on the Billboard definition of a hit, which is any song that cracks the Top 40. However, they were no mere flash in the pan. Most people will remember songs like "Better Be Home Soon" and "World Where You Live". Fans will remember records full of great stuff, all which somehow never caught on with the generic mainstream. I still love these guys and Neil Finn remains one of my favorite vocalists.

D.21 - Duran Duran/Simon LeBon - Okay, now if anyone missed this one, shame on you for 6 weeks. If anything, you could've easily cheated by going down to my huge post about the Double D. I think everyone knows how I feel about this band at this point. I won't gush any further!

E.19 - Echo and the Bunnymen/Ian McCulloch - When these guys were popular, they were a little too "arty" for me. I did like their cover of "People Are Strange" and have always been a big fan of "Lips Like Sugar". I guess "The Killing Moon" was probably their best known song, but I never really got into that one. Last year I bought Ian McCulloch's solo record, Slideling and I love it. Lots of older, wiser Brit-pop with jangly guitars. Highly recommended.

F.23 - The Firm/Paul Rodgers - Paul Rodgers could sing the national anthem of Uzbekistan and I would be enthralled. I am going to go out on a pretty sturdy limb here and shout from my treetop at you all that he is the greatest rock singer of all time. That voice is just Heaven-sent. I loved him in Bad Company, but it was so great seeing him paired up with Jimmy Page in The Firm. And let's not forget the bald drummer and the crazy-haired bass player. (Random bit of trivia: crazy-haired bass player, Tony something-or-other, went on to play in Blue Murder, whose song "Jellyroll" is an oft-forgotten '80s rock gem.) Their big hit was "Radioactive" but my favorite was always "Satisfaction Guaranteed". That song is just pure sex. But then Bad Company's "Burnin' Sky" is the sexiest song in the world to me, and it's about a prison break. It's all in the man's voice. He feels like makin' And when he sings, so do I!

G.6 - Go-Go's/Belinda Carlisle - I've already talked a little about these gals, so there's really not much left to say. My brother Joe thought Belinda was the hottest thing on two feet. I always liked Gina Schock, the drummer. Mostly for her name, but I thought a chick drummer was super cool and I liked her haircut. Plus, she was kinda butchy, but still pretty. I was so excited to find out in my adult years that America's Sweethearts were total drugged-out sluts!

H.11 - Human League/Philip Oakey - The lead singer and the two girls looked nearly identical. They all wore so much makeup, it was hard to tell who was who. This guy even put Nick Rhodes to shame. As far as their music, if you can name more than 3 songs I'll give you a cookie. Of course I'd have to ship it and by the time it got to you it would be all crumbled and nasty. But then I really don't think anyone knows 4 or more Human League songs off the top of their head.

I.25 - INXS/Michael Hutchence - I get a little depressed when I think about INXS now. Obviously because of what happened to lovely Michael. But mostly because they're taking part in that stupid reality show, looking for a new singer. Earth to the surviving members: you will not be INXS without Michael Hutchence. You will not find anyone that good looking, charismatic and talented that will win over the hearts of your fans. Hang it up or start playing under a new name. Although...I might decide to pretend I can sing and ask for a private audition with Jon (hot drummer boy) Farriss.

J.14 - Judas Priest/Rob Halford - I really don't have much to say about Priest. I liked a few of their songs. Never knew Halford was gay until the '90s, like most people. Ummm....that's about it.

K.26 - Kajagoogoo/Limahl - I liked "Too Shy" but that Limahl dude annoyed the hell out of me. He just looked like a pompous ass, strutting around with that porcupine on top of his head, making fancy-boy pouty faces. Name another Kajagoogoo song (without looking it up, sneaky) and there will be cookies for everyone!

L.22 - Lone Justice/Maria McKee - Maria is my girl! Not many people that I know remember that this band existed. They were kind of countrified pop-rock. Their best known songs are "Ways To Be Wicked", from their first record and "Shelter", from the second and final one. WTBW was always one of my favorites, but another one is "Dreams Come True (Stand Up and Take It)", which earns serious '80s points for having been featured in that horrendous Coreys movie, Dream a Little Dream. Maria has several solo albums and of them all I would recommend You Gotta Sin to Get Saved to just about anyone.

M.5 - The Motels/Martha Davis - Martha always looked like a bit of a psycho to me. She kind of had those bulging eyes and the big pouty lips, and always seemed to wear an expression of shock. I saw her on Bands Reunited though and she seemed pretty darn normal. She also carries the distinction of being one of the "three most important people in the world" in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. You go, Martha. I was never a huge fan of The Motels, but "Only The Lonely" is one of my favorite '80s songs. It's just got such a great mood, great lyrics and the vocals are out of sight. On the other hand, "Suddenly Last Summer" is one of those '80s songs that I wish I could wipe from my memory forever. Yuck.

N.10 - Night Ranger/Jack Blades - Weird as it may sound, I had kind of a mini-crush on Mr. Blades. It must've been the hair. Or maybe it was his name. Say it a few times...Jack Blaaaaades. You have to draw out the "a" sound. It's an awesome, totally tubular name. Now, technically Night Ranger had 2 singers who switched leads (though Jack got the bulk of the singing duties), but no one ever remembers Kelly Keagy, which is odd considering he sang lead on their most famous song - that radio staple -"Sister Christian". I guess it's not really his fault. He sat behind the drum kit and Jack Blades got to dance around with his guitar rocking tight jeans, with his pretty long hair blowing around. Of course everyone is going to focus on Jack. And he did sing my favorite NR song, "Four in the Morning". Don't ask me why that's my favorite. I don't know. It just is. Better than the crappy song from that equally crappy Michael J. Fox movie.

O.4 - The Outfield/Tony Lewis - I know virtually nothing about these guys. They had a few good songs, "Your Love", "Since You've Been Gone" and "All The Love". All fairly bland, yet likable. I don't think there will be an Outfield Behind the Music anytime soon.

P.18 - The Pogues/Shane MacGowan - Shane did nothing to dispel the stereotype of the sloppy, Irish drunk. He was kind of hard to understand, but the guy only had about 3 or 4 teeth rolling around in his head, so that's to be expected. I never really got too into The Pogues, although their records are must-haves come St. Patrick's Day.

Q.7 - Queensryche/Geoff Tate - Generally I don't like Jeffs who spell their name "Geoff". That's just silly. Especially because they get mad when people pronounce it "Jee-off". Anyway, I'll let this Geoff slide because he's got one hell of a voice. I didn't get into Queensryche until Empire came out, and I played that tape (yes, that was back in the days of cassette tapes, kids!) until it nearly unraveled. I could've done without hearing "Silent Lucidity" every hour on the hour though. That has to be one of the most overplayed songs in the history of music. The rest of that record is bitchin'.

R.13 - Ratt/Stephen Pearcy - Round and round...blah blah blah. Not a Ratt fan. Not at all. I liked "Round and Round" and "Lay it Down". I couldn't stand Stephen Pearcy's voice, who was apparently involved in some decade-long glass eating competition with Tom Keifer of Cinderella. Honestly, I think Tom won.

S.2 - The Smiths/Morrissey - Now here's a guy I would love to slap. Then he would cry and write a song about it. It would sound the same as all their other songs.

T.17 - The Thompson Twins/Tom Bailey - I won't get into the standard Thompson Twins discussion about how they were neither Thompsons nor twins. I have no real opinion on this band one way or the other. I start to think they had some good songs and then I think, eh, they weren't that great. I probably wouldn't turn them off the radio if they came on and I probably still know all the words to most of their tunes. I still wouldn't bother to buy a record though.

U.24 - UB40/Ali Campbell - Not into the white reggae thing. Come on. I just needed a "U" band that wasn't super-obvious U2.

V.20 - Vixen/Janet Gardner - Of all the hair bands, I think these girls really put the men to shame. No one had bigger hair than they did. I thought at one point that Eric Brittingham of Cinderella and Janet Gardner were quite possibly the same person. And then there was that lead guitarist, who wanted to be Nancy Wilson in the worst way, only with much bigger hair of course. Identity and hair issues aside, I actually really liked Vixen. Well, I never owned one of their records, but I dug the songs they had out. I think "Edge of a Broken Heart" was my favorite.

W.1 - Warrant/Jani Lane - Jani Lane was always goofy looking. I have no idea how he hooked up with that Bobbi Brown chick. Well, she pretty much hooked up with one member of every '80s hair band, so I guess by the time she got to the W's, the rest of the guys in Warrant were already shagging other supermodels. I always kind of had a thing for the bass player (historically, I go for bassists) with the big, bushy eyebrows. I really liked Warrant's first record and then by the time Cherry Pie came out, I wasn't really digging it as much. I could make a joke about how Jani had too much cherry pie and that's why he's on Celebrity Fit Club now, but I think it's been done.

X.15 - XTC/Andy Partridge - I think this guy had some kind of weird John Lennon complex. He was strange. Still, they had some good songs with some fairly Beatlesque melodies. My fave is "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead". I'll always remember the video for that, where they drew parallels between the deaths of Jesus and John F. Kennedy. Odd, but interesting.

Y.16 - Yaz/Alison Moyet - No real comments here. I only vaguely know this band. I think "Situation" is a great '80s dance tune. Other than that, I don't have much to say. I used to read this magazine when I was younger called "Star Hits", which I believe was a British mag. They were always mentioning Yaz. I just wanted pictures of John Taylor.

Z.8 - ZZ Top/Billy Gibbons - I've never been a huge fan of ZZ Top, but like everyone else, I thought their videos were fun. All their songs pretty much sound the same though. There is a really great parody of them on a Sesame Street video tape that I bought for my nieces. The muppets had the long beards, they were called Over the Top and the song was called "ZZ Blues". It was about how hard it is to write songs because "there ain't enough Z-words, got the ZZ Blues". Yes, I know all the words to that and every song on that tape. Sesame Street rules.


Teri said...

hmmm, I actually saw Human League in concert once. I might be able to come up with four songs. I can tell you which friends I went with and that the guy with the seat next to ours was named Paris and he liked Peter Gabriel. He was with a friend, who had a totally non-memorable name and equally uninspiring personality. Where was I? Oh yeah, songs.


Don't you want me

keep feeling (fascination)

um, ah, ummmmm, I'm thinking, I'm thinking! Hang on.

Heart Like a Wheel

Robin said...

I saw the Alarm open up for U2 during their "War" tour--really loved them, and you're right, oft forgotten (sigh)

Lone Justice is another one I saw open up for someone...someone...maybe Bryan Adams? I keep wanting to say that it was the talking heads or U2, but I don't think she was that cool. Thanks for the very nice (and very much agreed with) walk down memory lane

BeckEye said...

Heart Like a Wheel. Son of a....

I totally forgot that song existed! I'm cramming your cookie into an envelope right now.

The Zombie Lama said...

Wow. Cool post!!!! Personally, I thought Sussan...Susannah... that chick from the Bangles was much hotter than any of the Go-Go's. And that "Hazy Shade of Winter" song... grrrrooowwllll

I actually met Rob Halford once. I was working security at the Hyatt and Judas Priest and Megadeath was (were?) staying there, and this kinda freaky guy was hanging out in the lobby outside the hotel restaurant. Turns out, he was a stalker... I mean "intense fan" of ol' Rob. Seems he followed the band around and got a picture of him and Rob together wherever the band went. I was going to throw him out, because he was creeping me out, when Rob and his manager walked out of the restaurant, so instead I approached him and explained the situation. He was totally cool with it. He recognized the guy. I took the picture for him.

Cool follow-up: Later, the manager came by the security office with free autographed posters from the band and free tickets for the concert. Really classy guy, I thought.

Eric said...

What a strange walk down memory lane. I dont think I've even heard of The Alarm; I must check them out.

Queensryche - oh man, Operation: Mindcrime was a GREAT concept album.

Rob Halford - gay, not gay; didn't matter, Judas Priest has that BIG sound like the best of the rock bands - think Queen (also gay as Xmas, also not important). Dream Theater was the last band that I can think of quickly that had that BIG sound. Grunge, god bless it, killed a lot of big, orchestral rock arrangements.

Love the site, will be back.

Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

Don't you just love-love-love Bands Reunited? OHMYGOD, to see them now is just the coolest! What is with VH1 rocking so much?

I have to agree with Eric about Operation: Mindcrime. One of my all time favorite albums ever! It is the rock opera of my generation, which missed "Tommy" and "The Wall" by just a couple years. Whew, I'm going to have to get that CD out and listen to it. Man, that was cool.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Sangroncito said...

Wow! You are such a music person and I am such a music neanderthal. Your music posts are good for me because they give me ideas for new i-pod is screaming for something new.

Lavinia said...

That Sesame street song sounds cool. Have you heard Cookie Monster's "I lost my Cookie at the Disco" ?

Its hilarious. Im sure there's a lot of subterfuge that goes right over kids' heads in Sesame Street.

BadGod said...

So when is your appearence on VH1?

Holy crap.

Kate said...

We've got the same knowledge of music; if only I could write as well as you! :)

Lee Ann said...

I saw ZZ Top open for the Rolling Stones in Houston, TX at the Astrodome. The acoustics were terrible, but ZZ Top seemed to handle it better than the Stones. Mick just echoed. All in all, it was an awesome show for both bands.

Anonymous said...

Paul Rodgers is the new singer for Queen, whats your take on that? The drummer from Crowded House hung himself so sadly no reunion coming there

Bonanza Jellybean said...

You don't like the eyebrow guy in Warrant. Trust me on this one. Looks are the best part about him. I had a friend... well, anyway, let's just say they drink/drank so much the equipment wasn't usually up and running. TMI, definitely.
And Jani Lane looks like a frog. Always has.

Maris McKee is a favorite of mine too. Always.

And Simon LeBon, dear Simon... please stay around so all the chicks will follow you and leave me a clear path to John Taylor. :)

Brooks said...

"(Keep Feeling) Fascination"

"Mirror Man"

"Don't you want me baby"

(I like chocolate mint milanos the best :)

Nice break down of some '80s bands I loved, some I was indifferent about and others I didn't even really know like The Firm. You are so right about Crowded House. Neil Finn is such a great songwriter and I love his solo work along with The Finn Brothers.

I thought The Bangles were considered too much of a novelty band. They wrote some excellent pop songs and rocked the hell out "Hazy Shade of Winter."

I totally agree with you about INXS. It makes me sad too to see the band lumped in with all the other reality show trash. Those barbie girls who had nothing better to show than their ass in the bands face -- tragic! Dave Navarro is the only salvation for the show, but I still have to wonder why he even bothered with it. Speaking of other shows, "Bands Reunited" with The Motels was fabulous, but Jani Lane on "Celebrity Fat Club" is just sad sad sad. I never liked Warrant so it's no loss.

Yea Lone Justice! I loved "Shelter" and Maria McKee -- such a beauty.

Nice list here BeckEye! Even though I didn't do so hot on the test, at least I got the Human League bonus points.

Layla said...

INXS = Michael Hutchence.

The Firm, great, great band


The Everglades said...

I have a prized Double D tour shirt that makes most people beg for a trade. It is so old and soft--I think it is from '88. I got it at a Goodwill, and I never looked back.


no milk said...

alison moyet has an incredibly powerful and soulful voice. after she left yaz (also called yazoo), her solo records proved she was more than a dance queen. i recommend her 1st two albums. after that she went on hiatus, but she had released a new album a year ago...

no milk please


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