Bottom Feeders: The Rock End of the ’80s, Part 20
We’re going to end the letter G this week with a super post filled with great tunes and the Grateful Dead. Enjoy a ton of music as we continue our alphabetical trek through the rock end of the ’80s.
“Innocent Days” 1989, #11 (download)
This is a pretty brilliant track by the Huff brothers and Giant. I lamented about Giant back in the original Bottom Feeders series and how they were labeled both hard rock and glam of which they were neither. However, Last of the Runaways from which “Innocent Days” was from, had quite a few moments of brilliant pop-rock. I’m not sure they would have made it even if they weren’t mislabeled, but “Innocent Days” is a lost gem.
Gillan & Glover
“Telephone Box” 1988, #15 (download)
I have always kind of enjoyed “Telephone Box” by Deep Purple members Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. I’ve never heard Accidentally on Purpose, the one album credited to Gillan & Glover, However I do think that Deep Purple was one of the few classic rock bands that still had some fresh ideas in the ‘80s, so it’s not a surprise to me that this is a decent song. Sure it’s a little cheesy, but cheese is what the decade is about.
About Face was David Gilmour’s only solo record in the ‘80s and is simply a wonderful listen. I’ve never been a fan of Pink Floyd and of course Gilmour’s voice gives you that unmistakable Floyd feeling but the album is a rock record that’s completely accessible to the masses, so I’m sure that’s what makes me like it so much.
“All Lovers Are Deranged” is a great rocker, co-written with Pete Townshend and “Murder” starts off slowly but then builds up to almost epic proportions. It might be the most Floyd sounding song on the album.
I’ve read so many reviews of this disc over the years, some praising it and some hating it that it’s hard to understand what it’s like if you’ve never listened to it, but the end result is that if you are going into it looking for a Pink Floyd replica then you won’t be happy. Free yourself from that notion and this should excite you.
“Do Me Right” 1985, #41 (download)
I really can’t stand the sappy shit on Gregg Giuffria’s debut album but “Do Me Right” as the lead track on the self-titled disc gave a little promise for a heavy arena rock record. Unfortunately, as you listened to the rest of the disc you quickly realized that Giuffria was going to focus too much on crappy ballads as their main way of going for the big time.
“She Did It” 1989, #42 (download)
The lead singer being the son of Ric Ocasek didn’t help Glamour Camp out at all. The singer of the band was Chris Otcasek which makes the Cars sounding keys in this completely understandable. This was their only “hit” song but I remember it more for the video which featured Bobbie Brown in a warm up for Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” video the following year.
“The Mask” 1984, #20 (download)
Roger Glover recorded Mask while Deep Purple were on hiatus and just like the Gillan & Glover record, I’ve never heard this one either, but “The Mask” is also a pretty damn good song. The rest of the G&G paragraph applies here as well. And check out the hilariously bad video for it.
“Was There Anything I Could Do?” 1988, Modern Rock #16 (download)
I remember it was 1999 in college when the Go-Betweens hits compilation Bellavista Terrace came into my office. That was the first point that I actually heard of the Go-Betweens and realized they started all the way back in ’82. It’s the lead track on that disc and rightfully so as it’s really their only hit song. I’ve since went back and listened to 16 Lovers Lane, the disc from which it came and while it’s not really my thing, I understand why it’s regularly considered the best disc in their catalog.
I know two Godfathers records and I absolutely love them both. Birth, School, Work, Death is also the name of the album from which the first track comes and is a great power pop record, though it doesn’t even hold a candle to 1989’s More Songs About Love and Hate. That’s a masterful record of powerful pop tunes like “She Gives Me Love” with absolutely zero let up on the killer riffs and fun danceable nature of the tunes.
“He’s So Strange” 1982, #46 (download)
Since I wrote the blurb for the original series I have went back and listened to the Go-Go’s albums and I really think they were quite overrated. They made some catchy singles but there’s no depth on their albums making a greatest hits disc the best choice for me. “He’s So Strange” is one of those bland tracks from Vacation that just doesn’t scream out to me to revisit.
“Quiet Eyes” 1986, #31 (download)
Although “Quiet Eyes” is unmistakably a Golden Earring track it’s about the only thing worth listening to on 1986’s The Hole. In fact it might be the final track worth listening to in the vast Golden Earring catalog.
“Here It Comes Again” 1981, #53 (download)
I didn’t realize up until I started listening to this that the majority of this post is from the late ‘80s and “Here It Comes Again” is really the first one to still have that ‘70s sound to it. Mellow gold, baby!?
“Compulsion” 1989, Modern Rock #18 (download)
Martin Gore released his Counterfeit e.p. in 1989 as a little one off side bit (well, until the follow up in 2003). The six songs were all cover tracks, “Compulsion” originally by an artist I’ve never heard of named Joe Crow. Although not as dark as what would appear on Depeche Mode’s Violator album later that year it’s not that far removed from that sound that you couldn’t immediately place this.
“Bang” 1989, #41 (download)
I’m so happy this finally comes up. This is one of those tracks that I probably shouldn’t like but I just go crazy for. Their self-titled album was produced in part by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora who championed the group to Mercury records which landed them the deal in the states. They are billed as a glam band and they might be close to that but a simple “rock” label suits them just fine. The album totally blows, but “Bang” is just completely irresistible.
“Heartache” 1987, #47 (download)
Interestingly enough, I know that I like Lou Gramm debut (Ready or Not) but I can only remember the title track and of course the wonderful “Midnight Blue”. Listening to this while I’m writing, it’s like I’m hearing it for the first time which really shouldn’t be for a album I claim to enjoy. Guess it’s back to the turntable!
“Shout” 1983, #43 (download)
Six years before Gorky Park’s “Bang” and yet this has the exact same feel, doesn’t it? Grand Prix was a short lived rock group that is known simply for having Robin McAuley as the singer. He would later go on to form the McAuley Schenker Group which wouldn’t be a heck of a lot better.
“Ripple (Live)” 1981, #50 (download)
“Dire Wolf (Live)” 1981, #37 (download)
“Hell In A Bucket” 1987, #3 (download)
“West L.A. Fadeaway” 1987, #40 (download)
“When Push Comes To Shove” 1987, #45 (download)
“Throwing Stones” 1987, #15 (download)
“Foolish Heart” 1989, #8 (download)
Sometimes you just know when you are overmatched, so with the Grateful Dead I surrender. You talk about them, because I can’t stand any of these songs.
“Maybe It’s You” 1981, 48 (download)
Great Buildings’ singer Danny Wilde has a dance hit back in 1980 with his group the Quick, then formed Great Buildings in 1981 with guitarist Phil Solem, putting out just the one album from which “Maybe It’s You” came from. You probably know the group best however though when the formed the Rembrandts in the ‘90s and wrote the song that became the theme to Friends. Good to know these cats will have money coming in for life.
Great White were never really anything more than generic cock-rock and both “Stick It” and “Lady Red Light” fit that mold perfectly. “Mista Bone” is unbelievably bad though and crazily enough was the rock radio follow-up to “Once Bitten Twice Shy” maybe their only really semi-decent song.
“Radio Silence” 1989, #44 Modern Rock #7 (download)
It’s kind of funny that what very well might be the only two Russian artists in this series are in the same post. Boris Grebenshikov is considered the Godfather of Russian rock music and broke into the US market just like Gorky Park did, by having an established US artist give their praise. Radio Silence was also the name of Grebenshikov’s Columbia records debut album, championed and produced by Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics. He is considered the first Russian artist to have signed a major label deal in the US, beating Gorky Park by the hair on the mustache of a mail order bride.
“Always Saturday” 1989, #7 (download)
If you’d like your band to have hit songs, you probably don’t want to name it something that dorks like me have to sound out each time they say it. Their original name of Emergency Broadcast System was much easier to say. I don’t know a whole lot of music from these guys, but give “Always Saturday” a listen and tell me you don’t totally hear the Barenaked Ladies?
Best Song: The Godfathers, “She Gives Me Love”
Worst Song: Grateful Dead, (any one of them).
Also appeared in the Hot 100
Giant (1): “I’m A Believer”
David Gilmour (1): “Blue Light”
Giuffria (3): “Call to the Heart”, “Lonely In Love”, “I Must Be Dreaming”
Glass Tiger (3): “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”, “I Will Be There”, “I’m Still Searching”
Goanna (1): “Solid Rock”
Godley & Crème (1): “Cry”
Go-Go’s (5): “Our Lips Are Sealed”, “We Got the Beat”, “He’s So Strange”, “Get Up and Go”, “Head Over Heels”
Golden Earring (2): “Twilight Zone”, “When the Lady Smiles”
Lou Gramm (3): “Midnight Blue”, “Ready or Not”, “Just Between You and Me”
Eddy Grant (2): “Electric Avenue”, “Romancing the Stone”
Grateful Dead (1): “Touch Of Grey”
Great White (4): “Rock Me”, “Save Your Love”, “Once Bitten Twice Shy”, “The Angel Song”
GTR (2): “When the Heart Rules the Mind”, “The Hunter”
Guns N’ Roses (5): “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Paradise City”, “Nightrain”, “Patience”