Ever since Depeche Mode released their new single “Ghosts Again,” I have been on a bit of a Depeche Mode kick. While my favorite album of theirs is Songs Of Faith And Devotion, my close second is Music For The Masses. This album is truly fantastic. From the moment it starts with “Never Let Me Down Again” to “Pimpf” there’s not one song that feels out of place on it. One of the songs I’ve been stuck on for a long time is “Behind The Wheel.” I love this song. It’s darkly seductive and yet the beat behind it gives it a bit more of an upbeat feel. “Behind The Wheel” you could say is a bit of a blueprint for future Depeche songs that you’d hear later on with albums like Ultra and even a bit of Exciter. The video was directed by longtime collaborator Anton Corbijn and it actually picks up where the video for “Never Let Me Down Again” leaves off. This song is for sure one of those in Depeche Mode’s catalog that stands out and in the late 80’s gave a precursor as to where electronic music was going and influencing.
Back in 1986, Iggy Pop was on a roll with his solo career. His most recent album at the time (his 7th solo album) Blah, Blah, Blah would go on to be one of his most successful in his discography. This album also saw Iggy and David Bowie work together again after a 4 year hiatus. This would be their final collaboration but the end result is tremendous. Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols also co-wrote three songs on the album. On this album, Iggy did a cover of Johnny O’Keefe’s “Wild One.” The track would go on to appear in Crocodile Dundee II, Pretty Woman, the Problem Child movies and more. Iggy’s version is easily the most recognizable of all the versions out there.
Yesterday, the music world lost Jeff LaBar, guitarist for the band Cinderella. Cinderella is one of those bands from the 80’s that got lumped in with the whole “hair metal” sub-genre but, when you strip away all the glam aspects, deep down, they were a really great blues rock band. Arguably, singer Tom Keifer has one of the best rock voices. After hearing about the passing of Jeff, for some reason the Cinderella song “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” popped in my head. The song is featured on the band’s second album, 1988’s Long Cold Winter. The song was the bands highest charting song. It’s more than a “power ballad” it’s just a really great and well written song.
Cinderella- Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone):
There are songs that when you hear them on the radio, you always have the inkling to turn up the volume and commence rocking out. It doesn’t matter what era those songs are from either. One of those songs that always gets me is “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You) by Dramarama. Originally released in 1985, the song was not a hit right away. It took a couple things for it to make an impact. LA radio legend and KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer began spinning the track heavily in their rotation as well as being featured in the movie Nightmare On Elm Street 4. The song has gone on to be one of the most requested songs in the station’s history. You can also find the song on the bands album, Cinema Verite.
I still remember it like it was yesterday. The first time I ever heard that band and song. I was just about 3 years old and the people working at my house had their boom box on and I’ll never forget the words and what happened next. “Shot Though The Heart and You’re To Blame. Darlin you give love, a bad name.” From that moment, I was sold. The first band that ever had a real impact on me and the album that set everything in motion. Bon Jovi and Slippery When Wet. What a way to start things off. The song “You Give Love A Bad Name” was and still is to this day, a huge favorite of mine. Every time I hear it, I can’t help but sing along. And when I go see a Bon Jovi concert. You best believe that I’m singing as loud as I can.
The 80’s were a very fun time. I grew up listening to all the bands from that era. Some are still favorites to this day. It’s fun these days to hear certain songs from that era and it not only takes you back but, it also provides a bit of fun. One of those songs I remember being a lot of fun is Def Leppards “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” Hysteria was such a huge album for the band and for the era. That whole album is basically full of singles. I’ll never forget seeing the videos for all those and singing along. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” was definitely the one that stood out the most at the time. Interestingly, this song was the 4th single from the album and it’s what helped propel the album to sell even more millions of copies.