Wish me luck: The Holy Grail! (and don’t poach it from me).
Seems fitting that I’m still in M when that record shows up. Here’s the final week of the 13th letter of the alphabet as we look at the Billboard rock charts in the eighties.
The Moody Blues was a group that I grew to like due in part to my collection. My Mom always liked them and a lot of her taste passed off onto me very early (Queen, Chic, Patrick Hernandez, KC and the Sunshine Band) but the Moody Blues didnâ€™t make the cut for some reason. As I started collecting and even more so these days, I started loving â€œGemini Dreamâ€ and that made me go back and dig into their â€˜80s albums at least and I found that their early â€˜80s work was pretty damn great. Long Distance Voyager is a pretty brilliant record thanks in part to â€œGemini Dreamâ€ but â€œ22,000 Daysâ€ and â€œMeanwhileâ€ are awesome as well.
â€œHere Comes the Weekendâ€ is a fun track, though I definitely wouldnâ€™t put it up against any of their more popular tunes. Sur La Mer is an album that very much sounds like 1988 but I like it less and less the more I like earlier works.
If you know Gary Moore for anything outside of his solo work it would be for his two brief stints in Thin Lizzy in the â€˜70s but for the most part he was a solo artist. His albums wouldnâ€™t generate too much in the way of hits and his biggest success was after this decade with his bluesy rock record in 1990 called Still Got the Blues.
â€œDonâ€™t Take Me For A Loserâ€ is from Corridors of Power which is probably his best record of the decade. I like â€œReady For Loveâ€ the best of all his singles but thereâ€™s a track on that album (After the War) called â€œLed Clonesâ€ thatâ€™s sung by Ozzy and makes fun of bands like Kingdom Come that sounded just like Zeppelin. Thatâ€™s the one track I will always remember from Gary Moore.
â€œThe Last of the Famous International Playboysâ€ 1989, Modern Rock #3 (download)
â€œInteresting Drugâ€ 1989, Modern Rock #11 (download)
â€œOuija Board, Ouija Boardâ€ 1989, Modern Rock #2 (download)
I have a tremendous respect for Morrissey now but back in the day I wouldnâ€™t get anywhere near him. All the depressed, sad sacks in my school were listening to him and I just was way too happy of a person at the time. In the end, I look back and kind of regret not catching him at his prime because all three of these songs are quite brilliant. They are all from Bona Drag which was his second record and ended up being a compilation of one-off singles and b-sides that released after Viva Hate was released in 1988.
I swear to God that one day Iâ€™m going to sit down and listen to Astral Weeks but thatâ€™s so far down the list that it may be a while. Van Morrison has never been on my radar at all as I simply donâ€™t consider him and â€˜80s artist but both of these are pretty cool, laid back tunes. Neither are anything that make me want to immediately go buy his catalog but they are decent lounging music. Morrison started writing â€œTore Down A La Rimbaudâ€ (about poet Arthur Rimbaud) back in 1975 but he says it took him about eight years to get the lyrics right. Of the two, I like the Râ€™nâ€™B flavored â€œIvory Towerâ€ better though â€“ from his album No Guru, No Method, No Teacher.
I hate both these songs by the Motels, the riffing in â€œMission of Mercyâ€ just sounding totally fake and I really dislike the lyrics and vocals of Martha Davis in â€œLittle Robbers.â€ Give me â€œTake the Lâ€ or â€œOnly the Lonelyâ€ any day over these two.
â€œShout at the Devilâ€ 1983, #30 (download)
Itâ€™s a little bit of a surprise â€œShout at the Devilâ€ didnâ€™t cross over to the Hot 100 but not as much as youâ€™d think. The song didnâ€™t have a pop hook to be played on Top 40 radio but even moreso, the song just wasnâ€™t very good. I bet youâ€™re shocked to hear me say that but the damn thing is just played way too slow for any energy to be drawn out of it. The band surely knew that as it was often played faster in concert and rerecorded for Generation Swine in â€™97. It may be kind of blasphemous to say but that version is simply much better than the original.
â€œSee A Little Lightâ€ 1989, Modern Rock #4 (download)
I started college in 1994 and despite that being quite a few years after Husker Du had broken up thatâ€™s all I heard about in my freshman year at our campus radio station. That year was my first introduction to the group and Bob Mould solo and Iâ€™ve loved him ever since. I prefer his harder material with Husker Du and albums like 1998â€™s The Last Dog and Pony Show but overall I just love his total versatility going from pop to rock to electronic, electric to acoustic and being skilled at all of them.
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â€œThe Line Between the Devilâ€™s Teeth (and That Which Cannot Be Repeat)â€ 1989, Modern Rock #18 (download)
I donâ€™t really know much of Murphyâ€™s solo work as after Bauhaus I kind of went the Love and Rockets way as if somehow I could only choose one of the two branches of the original gang. This track came from Deep which I am familiar with and just find well â€“ kind of odd I suppose.
Best Song: Bob Mould, â€œSee A Little Lightâ€
Worst Song: The Motels, â€œLittle Robbersâ€
Also appeared in the Hot 100
The Monroes (1): â€œWhat Do All the People Knowâ€
Moody Blues (7): â€œThe Voiceâ€ â€œGemini Dreamâ€ â€œSitting at the Wheelâ€ â€œBlue Worldâ€ â€œYour Wildest Dreamsâ€ â€œThe Other Side of Lifeâ€ â€œI Know Youâ€™re Out There Somewhereâ€
The Motels (5): â€œOnly the Lonelyâ€ â€œTake the Lâ€ â€œSuddenly Last Summerâ€ â€œRemember the Nightsâ€ â€œShameâ€
Motley Crue (7): â€œLooks That Killâ€ â€œToo Young To Fall In Loveâ€ â€œSmokinâ€™ in the Boys Roomâ€ â€œHome Sweet Homeâ€ â€œGirls, Girls, Girlsâ€ â€œDr. Feelgoodâ€ â€œKickstart My Heartâ€
Alannah Myles (1): â€œBlack Velvetâ€