All posts tagged: Mr. Mister

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Like, Omigod! Digging Through the ’80s Pop Culture Box, Part 23

We’re well into the home stretch of Disc Six now, and I hope you’re all rested up — because this week, we’re BRINGIN’ THE PAIN. #11 Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (1985) Number One in the US, Canada, and Norway; #11 UK. Jon Cummings – Everything about this is awful. OK, not everything — the melody in the chorus is nice and powerful. But the burbly synths in the verses are dreck, the lyrics are inane when they’re not ridiculous (“When I was young I thought of growing old / And what my life would mean to me” … really? No shit! That’s profound…), the “dramatic” touches lose their drama completely when piled so relentlessly atop one another, etc., etc. I hated Mr. Mister. It’s been well over a quarter century since I allowed this to get past the first a cappella “Eleison” before hitting the radio tuner, and if I have my way I’ll never get past it again. Jack Feerick – LA studio cats with pop chops and a not-so-hidden fascination for fusion say, “Hey, …

Friday Night Videos!: The Hits of 1986

If you’re holding your breath for the day MTV starts playing music videos again, let it go. It’s never going to happen, not while there’s a solitary teen mom left in America to exploit (and really, it’s 2010. Is there any other kind of mom anymore?) But who needs MTV in the digital age? We’re here, the time’s right, and the videos are waiting for us. So set the way-way-back machine for 1986, strap on your shoulder pads, poof up that hair and layer those jackets. It’s time to rock. Daryl Hall – Dreamtime: ’86 is when the overall testosterone level of the nation began to plummet. How could I make that assumption? Daryl Hall provides one of the very few rockin’ moments this evening. Epic Win. The Dream Academy – Life In A Northern Town: A heyo, nah, nah, nah, a nino nayah, potato, nah, nah, nah, a no papaya… Van Halen – Why Can’t This Be Love: Here’s a short list of why – syphilis. That is all. Jermaine Stewart – We Don’t …

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 60

There’s something terribly wrong with me right now. Just like everyone, there are points when I get a song stuck in my head that I just can’t get rid of. But right now I have a medley stuck in my brain which apparently only comes out when I’m singing in the shower (thankfully). It goes like this: “I’m gonna take you by surprise and make you realize / Amanda / I’m gonna tell you right away / I can’t wait another day / Amanda / I’m gonna say it like a man and make you understand / Amanda / I love you / You know it’s you babe / Giving me the courage and the strength I need / Please believe that it’s true / Babe, I love you.” Every morning for at least the last two weeks I’ve found myself singing some ungodly blend of Boston’s “Amanda” and Styx’s “Babe.” And I don’t even know why. I don’t remember hearing the tunes lately and it’s not like they are my favorite songs. Why couldn’t …

Death by Power Ballad: Tommy Shaw, “Lonely School”

Maybe eight or ten years ago, if you’d wanted to make some pretty decent money on a minimal investment, all you had to do was find a CD copy of Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw’s 1984 solo debut, Girls with Guns, at a yard sale or in the used bins at your local strip mall record store (you remember them, don’t you?), then turn around and put the copy on eBay.  I once saw a one go for upwards of $200, and it made me longingly recall the time I saw a $10 used GwG at the Keystone Music Exchange and didn’t pull the trigger on the purchase.  And my fists shake with rage at the memory once again. “Lonely School” was the second single off the record, a follow-up to the album’s more raucous title track, and it’s notable for containing just about every element that Shaw hated in Dennis DeYoung’s music, the primary reason he left Styx.  It’s a keyboard-heavy tune, for one thing; the guitars (Shaw’s stock in trade) mainly provide bits of …

White Label Wednesday: Mr. Mister, “Is It Love”

Are you ready to rock?! Wait, no, that’s not right, let me try that again…are you ready for some melodic rock?! The whole reclassification of early ‘80s arena rock as “melodic rock” – there is even a Melodic Rock web site, which is rather popular – is really rather amusing. The implication, of course, is that the category exists in order to separate the melodic rockers of that era from the non-melodic bands…of which there were none. Basically, unless you were a thrash band (Metallica, Anthrax) or an SST band (Husker Du, Minutemen), you were playing melodic rock. Perhaps the fans prefer to call it melodic rock – and make no mistake, the phrase is a fan-driven phenomenon – because they felt that the previous nicknames for the genre, like arena rock, or, God forbid, classic rock, carried a negative connotation with them. They’re not wrong, but rechristening an entire decade’s worth of music as melodic rock doesn’t really change the way any of it sounds. The new label, however, has proven to be more …

Cutouts Gone Wild!: Mr. Mister, “I Wear the Face”

Mr. Mister – I Wear the Face (1983) purchase this album (Amazon) Well, well, well. If it isn’t Mr. Mister. First things first: I have to give credit where it’s due here — if it weren’t for the impassioned words of our pal Kurt, who favorably compared the Misters to XTC in an old Chartburn, I might never have realized I had a copy of this fossil on my shelf. In fact, I probably would have gone the rest of my life without listening to it again. Wait, did I say “give credit”? I think I meant “lay blame.”