With the release of Bruce Springsteen’s new single, “Radio Nowhere”, which sounds to me like a tune straight out of 1981 (that’s a good thing), I was suddenly filled with thoughts about the year in question. The 80’s decade is perhaps best known for two things; new wave and hair metal, and, thus, perhaps the best year of the decade is so often overlooked in the process.
So, this week, as far as this blog is concerned, is 1981.
Tom Petty challenges his label, MCA, when they attempt to unveil their new higher pricing with the release of his new album, Hard Promises. The label eventually balks and the album is released at the lower price.
1981 was the year Cheap Trick entered into a transitional period. Original bassist Tom Petersson had left the band – replaced by Pete Comita, a veteran of the Chicago rock scene – and the group’s last album, All Shook Up, had failed to live up to expectations. Their appearance at Chicagofest (basically a hometown gig for the Rockford-based band) was televised and, thus, I (along with all my pals) was glued to the boob tube watching my heroes, including new bassist Comita, put on what has come to be regarded as one of their most legendary shows.
Behind the scenes, though, the band was in a tug of war with their record label. They had recorded two songs for the wildly successful soundtrack to the Heavy Metal movie, and it was reported that the Elektra Records (home of the Cars and the label that had issued the Heavy Metal soundtrack) were eager to lure the band away from CBS.
Regardless, the band’s Chicagofest performance was a portrait of a band at the top of their game.
Stop This Game
I Want You To Want Me
On Top Of The World
Baby Loves To Rock
Gonna Raise Hell
Nielsen Guitar Solo
Ain’t That A Shame
Just Got Back
The Police release their fourth studio album, â€œGhost In The Machineâ€, which shows them breaking away from the formula they’d used to great success on their previous efforts. The album features one of the yearâ€™s best-selling singles, â€œEvery Little Thing She Does Is Magicâ€ (#3 US/#1 UK).
Here are four demos recorded by Sting prior to the sessions: