I picked up a UK 45 of Pat Benatar’s “Treat Me Right” and it struck me that while she’s generally remembered for one hit these days, she had plenty of them, usually featuring an undercurrent of violent action—songs like “Love is a Battlefield,” “Heartbreaker,” “Invincible,” this track and, of course, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” Every song found Pat struggling with the wrong guy, and she had plenty of hits beyond the ones I mention here.
So why is she relegated to playing large clubs these days while, say, a Bob Seger—same era and about as many hits—still plays arenas? [No emotional stake in either act; just throwing it out there].
Is it sexism? You could take her music as proto-feminist, paving the way for the P!NKs and Alanises that came later (thanks, I guess, maybe) so perhaps there’s societal blowback there.
On the other hand, we always look to see ourselves in an artist’s work; would her original fans—now in midlife and higher—actually WANT that much drama in their current relationships? Good God, no. But apparently there’s lots of people who still like to get nostalgic and buy trucks, hence Seger’s mysteriously enduring—if off the radar—popularity.
Sad lesson learned: For career longevity, young pop starlets should sing about the guy who got away instead of the guy who should go away.
This one is interesting for an unexpected reason. As I always admit, I love gimmicky records, and UK singles in the 1980s were uniformly released with gimmicks to boost sales and get them on to the charts. Case in point: This UK limited edition pack of Tears For Fears’ “Shout.” It came in a big envelope (upper left) that contained the single and a bunch of cards that made for a full calendar of 1985, so they were literally trying to turn the band into pinups. I stumbled across this the other day in a used record shop and snapped it up for $5; when I got it home, I looked closer and noticed something interesting: The days are in sync with 2019, so in theory, you could use the calendar for this year. Pretty cool.
So is IG back up and running again? Let’s find out with a test post: This is a shop I went to a few weeks ago—Vinyl Paradise, far out on Long Island. Unfortunately, the truly awesome storefront, referencing Elvis Presley and Clash album covers, is the best thing about it. Inside, you’ll find lots of carefully curated screamo bands and everything else appears to be randomly scrounged from garage sales—lots of Judy Collins and Seals & Croft. Apparently they’ve been there three years, which says to me their rent must be dirt cheap.
David Sylvian’s Alchemy, AKA Words with the Shaman, is one of my Top 5 records of all-time. An instrumental affair of what today we’d call world music, it has captivated me for decades. Alas, it’s been only available on import EPs- and used ones at that, so inevitably, they were noisey during the quiet interludes. I’ve bought multiple copies over the years, futilely trying to find a clean one, but now it has been re-released finally (the copy on the lower left) and it sounds GORGEOUS. Listening to it was like sending my ears to a spa for 40 minutes.
RIP Mark Hollis, leader of new wave-turned-avant garde progsters Talk Talk. Life’s what you make it indeed. This is “Its My Mix,” an Italian EP of 12” remixes from before they deep dived into their minimalist psychedelic phase with Spirit of Eden.
#newwave #eighties #mtv #rock #pop #dance #vinyl #vinyls #record #records #recordcollection #talktalk #markhollis #recordcollector #recordcollecting
What fabulous design—at first glance, it looks like a reflection and of course it’s not. In addition to being great songsmiths, Madness has great visual flair—understated but distinctive all the same.
A pretty sweet clear 12” single of Split Enz’s “I Don’t Wanna Dance.” Now that is an awesome design.
A few weeks ago, I had fun taking my kid to her first arena concert, Panic! at the Disco, so when I spotted their LP for sale at Newbury for $17, I picked it up. The kid bought it on iTunes ages ago but was fascinated when I brought the actual physical album home. Keep in mind, I’ve dragged her into a million record shops over the years and she’s used to seeing me pull out a record and put it on, so she’s no stranger to the format. But this was different—because it was music she cared about. “Dad, it has LYRICS!” she said when she pulled out the inner sleeve. “Wow, look at all the people who worked on it,” she added, looking at the liner notes. She sat there and read it all, and pored over the gatefold sleeve, and it was a revelation for both of us—she got suddenly why Dad loves having real physical manifestations of his music around, and I got to see in person what a huge part of the music enjoyment experience her generation has missed out on by not having an object that you hold in your hands and discover while you listen to the music you love. It was a great moment of bonding and insight for both of us.
I wound up with some Amazon credit and used it to get a phonograph needle cleaner. It’s all about packaging because in truth, the thing is just a small, quarter-sized blob of sticky stuff. You drop your needle on to it and dust and debris that accumulated on the needle is transferred to the blob. It seems to work OK.
Finally got to visit a Bull Moose record shop in Maine after years of hearing about them. Turned out to be sort of a mini-Newbury Comics, which is fine but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I probably have more vinyl in my house than they had in their store.
#bullmoose #records #record #vinyl #vinyls #recordcollector #recordcollection #recordcollecting #maine #portland #bigrepnopep