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25 years since1982. Fuck!

Donald Fagen – I.G.Y.
The Nightfly had one of the coolest album covers in rock history: a monochrome shot of Fagen as graveyard shift DJ, smoking a Chesterfield (Warning: smoking is not cool, kids. Only when Fagen does, it is). When the Steely Dan man’s solo album came out, I had to hunt it down; I don’t know if it sold out or whether the record shops were unprepared for the demand it elicited.

Dexys Midnight Runners – Respect (live)
Yeah, a cover of the Otis Redding song (covered as well by Aretha something). This is a bonus track on the special edition of Too-Rye-Ay, one of the finest albums of the ’80s (check out Until I Believe In My Soul). I love the idea of the celtic soul sound infusing the soul classic; it’s the sound The Commitments should have adopted, not the karaoke gig the producers opted for.

Yazoo – Bad Connection
Upstairs At Eric’s came out of nowhere. They were an odd combination: synth boffin Vince Clark and would-be soul diva Alison Moyet. It worked brilliantly, with Moyet investing a warmth in Clark’s cold electronic sound. An album later they were done. Clark reappeared a couple of years later with Erasure, Moyet had a couple of successful solo albums before fading from view. This is the loveliest track on Upstairs At Eric’s.

Toto – Rosanna
Stop sniggering at the back. This is Toto in their pomp, Coke Rock at its best. Written about Rosanna Arquette, you know (as you did). These days retro-minded DJs and VJs will dig out “Africa”, which is a decent pop song. “Rosanna” is miles better: the jazzy keyboard, the coke-fuelled guitar solos, the fantastic horns, and a killer chorus. Toto were never good enough to produce a credible Best Of album, but this (as well as “Hold The Line” and “Georgy Porgy”) would make owning a copy worth the slight embarrassment one inevitably would suffer when pals rifle through one’s CD collection.

Crocodile Harris – Give Me The Good News
A South African classic, but a bigger hit in France (where it shifted 650,000 copies) than at home. The Croc didn’t get another hit, but this one will lasts. On constant rotation on Johannesburg’s Radio 5 at the time, the lyrics were interpreted as a veiled criticism of apartheid. Amandla!

  1. Anonymous
    June 25th, 2007 at 21:19 | #1

    I’m sorry, Toto still suck! Dexy’s doing Respect more than exonerates you though!! Thanks for another great posting.

  2. Anonymous
    October 31st, 2014 at 22:51 | #2

    You can find a lot of the nepotistic valley kids still in the studio producing & writing for some poor
    long gone race horses that once held a day old title in the Bill Board charts by passing swagerballs (some imaginary race horse) on the stretch & wining by a horsey puck on the line (hense “hold the line” I paid for it dude) these guys (valley Neps) will fight to the death to hold on to their glory days of corporate 80s rock hits that were taylor made to satisfy some asshole A&R creep or some coked out 80s lawyer that deluded themselves into thinking they were anything more then a fucking nutcake with no talent making musical decisions. That’s the kind of vibe I get listening to that stuff (i’m not the only one) I can imagine you’ll find more than one of these poor souls drunk on the beach playing air guitar popping off about how much money they made (at the expense of sucking A&R dick night & day) gathering a crowd (like Betty Davis in “whatever happened to sweet baby Jane”) I’m sorry but when I hear these songs (corporate rock it just makes me want to blow chunks because the real cats & kittens (Hendrix etc) didn’t let those plastic west coast A holes tell them how to create music.

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