So I’ve listened to all the tracks in the letter “P” already and we’re going to have a damn fine couple of weeks here with Bottom Feeders. Enjoy more tracks from the ass end of the Billboard rock charts in the ’80s.
You know, I’ve given Jimmy Page a hard time in this series and I still think rightfully so but for some reason I seem to kind of enjoy a little of the music above. These all come from Outrider which has been almost universally panned and for the most part that’s a pretty accurate assessment. Individually, I’ve given these three tracks more time than I ever gave the album though and while I don’t particularly like any of them, I do keep listening.
“Prison Blues” is dreadfully slow paced but has some decent solos. “Wasting My Time” is what I figure Zep would have sounded like at this point, though of course not with John Miles on vocals and “The Only One” certainly makes you think of Zeppelin because Robert Plant is singing. And yes, Jason Bonham is drumming on the album.
“Some Guys Have All the Luck” 1982, #59 (download)
I love Robert Palmer. Riptide and Heavy Nova are two of my favorite albums of the decade. One of the things I’ve always been surprised about with Palmer is how many songs of his were really covers. For the longest time I had no idea “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On” wasn’t an original. He covered songs soon after the original came out so some of them sort of became his own. “Some Guys Have All the Luck” does not fall into that category as the Persuaders made it a hit back in ’73. And this is kind of weird for me to say about Mr. Palmer’s music but this is a damn train wreck. Off his 1982 album Maybe It’s Live, this cover is just so scattered it’s tough to listen to. If this was an original it wouldn’t have went anywhere.
“Temporary Beauty” 1982, #52 (download)
“You Hit the Spot” 1982, #42 (download)
“Get Started, Start A Fire” 1988, #23 (download)
“Don’t Let It Break You Down” 1988, Modern Rock #27 (download)
“Big Man On Paper” 1989, Modern Rock #18 (download)
I must be in a good mood this week because I’m seeing the positive in a lot of things that I wouldn’t normally. Graham Parker has never really done much for me but I’m really digging all five of these right now so maybe I’m flat out wrong about him.
I do think it’s funny though as I keep hearing everyone but Graham Parker when I listen to his songs. “Temporary Beauty” is pretty easy to confuse for an Elvis Costello tune and I hear E-Street Shuffle era Springsteen in the verses of “Big Man On Paper.” Of the five, I think “Don’t Let It Break You Down” is the best, the lead track on The Mona Lisa’s Sister.
Despite the fact that I have no love for prog-rock, I’ve always really loved the Alan Parsons Project. Although their final album – 1987’s Gaudi – really is the only one of the APP’s records that I don’t like (though Dw. tends to disagree), “Standing on Higher Ground” is one of my favorite tracks on it. That’s Geoff Barradale on the vocals. “You’re Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned” is a great track from Eye in the Sky, sung by Lenny Zakatek.
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Joe Perry Project
“Listen to the Rock” 1981, #48 (download)
I’m a little surprised this didn’t hit the hot 100, though there definitely is something missing. I think it’s a great song but Joe Perry’s guitar work outside of the solos isn’t very dynamic and let’s face it, Charlie Farren is no Steven Tyler. “Listen to the Rock” is actually Farren’s tune which he recorded with his band Balloon, prior to hooking up with Perry for his I’ve Got the Rock’N’Rolls Again record.
“I Believe” 1984, #43 (download)
This is another song that I’m surprised I like so much because it’s just so unrock that it’s not my style. But I love the Street Talk album and love Steve Perry’s voice so there’s no reason not to bob your head a little with this one.
And just so the crawlers pick it up and I get Steve Perry superfans here to build up my hits, Steve Perry is a douche. (I really don’t care or think that but if that’s what it takes for Perry fans to read it…fuck I’m a whore).
“Nightwatchman” 1981, #21 (download)
“We Stand A Chance” 1982, #37 (download)
“One Story Town” 1982, #15 (download)
“Between Two Worlds” 1982, #35 (download)
“So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star” 1985, #9 (download)
“Runaway Trains” 1987, #6 (download)
“Think About Me” 1987, #36 (download)
“All Mixed Up” 1987, #19 (download)
“Feel A Whole Lot Better” 1989, #18 (download)
“Love Is A Long Road” 1989, #7 (download)
Tom Petty has always been hit or miss with me. He obviously has some great hits but some of his Hot 100 ones are pretty dull too. I’ve always thought there should just be many more fantastic songs from the guy then there is. But the Petty tracks that hit the rock charts tend to excite me more than say “You Got Lucky,” or “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”
I’ve always loved Full Moon Fever from start to finish so “Feel A Whole Lot Better” and “Love Is A Long Road” are my favorites here. “Yer So Bad” is another favorite of mine from the album that charted in early ’90.
“Nightwatchman” is probably the next best track here, the third track on Hard Promises. Long After Dark generated the next three here and while none of them are terrible, they all sort of fit right in with the mold of that very uneven record. “Runaway Trains,” “Think About Me,” and “All Mixed Up” are all from his least successful album (Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)) but are interesting enough to keep listening to.
Best Song: Graham Parker, “Don’t Let It Break You Down”
Worst Song: Robert Palmer, “Some Guys Have All the Luck”
Also appeared in the Hot 100
Pablo Cruise (1): “Cool Love”
Robert Palmer (6): “You Are In My System” “Addicted To Love” “Hyperactive” “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On” “Simply Irresistible” “Early In the Morning”
Graham Parker (1): “Wake Up Next To You”
Ray Parker Jr. (1): “Ghostbusters”
John Parr (3): “Naughty Naughty” “Magical” “St. Elmo’s Fire”
Alan Parsons Project (9): “Snake Eyes” “Psychobabble” “Eye in the Sky” “You Don’t Believe” “Prime Time” “Don’t Answer Me” “Let’s Talk About Me” “Days Are Numbers” “Stereotomy”
Henry Paul Band (1): “Keeping Our Love Alive”
Michael Penn (1): “No Myth”
Tom Petty (12): “The Waiting” “A Woman In Love” “You Got Lucky” “Change of Heart” “Don’t Come Around Here No More” “Rebels” “Make It Better” “Needles and Pins (Live)” “Jammin’ Me” “I Won’t Back Down” “Free Fallin’” “Runnin’ Down A Dream”
(Note: Pere Ubu should be in this post but at the last minute I realized there was a glitch in my MP3 of “Waiting For Mary,” so I will create a new version and it will be the first thing up next week)