Tag: 1980sPage 1 of 16

Various Artists, Footloose: Original Soundtrack of the Paramount Motion Picture, 1984 on Columbia

So in 1984 I’d have thought myself too cool for the Footloose soundtrack: Kenny Logins and Deniece Williams? But I also would have secretly loved it (as I…

INXS, Listen Like Thieves, 1985 on Atlantic

This was INXS’ fifth studio album, but had their first US breakthrough hit with “What You Need.” Recorded at Rhinoceros in Sydney and produced by Chris Thomas. Includes…

Dead or Alive, Youthquake, 1985 on Epic

Dead or Alive sometimes get put in the one hit wonder category, based on the massive success of “You Spin Me Round” but this is really a great…

R.E.M., Green, 1988 on Warner Bros.

R.E.M.’s sixth studio album, which came out my freshman year of college – I believe the last time I saw them live was on the Green tour at…

R.E.M., reckoning, 1984 on IRS

R.E.M.’s second full length LP (following Murmur – Chronic Town was just an EP) and the best album titled Reckoning to come out in the 80s (the second…

Bronski Beat, Truthdate Doubledare, 1986 on MCA Records

This was Bronski Beat’s second full lengthy, after the mega success of The Age of Consent – and the first after Jimmy Somerville departed (to form the Communards)….

R.E.M., Document, 1987 on IRS Records

Their last full-length on IRS before making the jump to Warner Bros, capping really a perfect run from 1982 (Chronic Town) to 1987. The “No. 5” on the…

Spandau Ballet, True, 1983 on Chrysalis

Spandau Ballet’s third album and major breakout – with Steve Norman on Sax adding to the New Romantic sound. The title single was unavoidable in the early 80s,…

Thompson Twins, In the Name of Love, 1982 on Arista

This was the first Thompson Twins album in the US – a compilation of two tracks from 1981’s A Product Of . . . (their debut album in…

Herb Ellis, At Montreux, 1980 on Concord Jazz (CJ-116)

Recorded live by Mountain Studios at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland July 1979. With: Produced by Carl Jefferson, who founded Concord Records (as well as the Concord…

Willie Nelson, Always On My Mind, 1982 on Columbia.

I had always thought that “Always on My Mind” was a much older song than 1982 – and it turns out it is. It was recorded by Brenda…

Billy Bragg, Brewing Up With Billy Bragg, 1984 on CD Presents

Billy Bragg’s sophomore full length, subtitled “a puckish satire on contemporary mores.” This was released on Go! Discs in the UK but David Ferguson‘s CD Presents in the…

Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Almost Blue, 1981 on Columbia

Recorded in Nashville, this is Costello’s covers album of country greats – including Hank Williams and George Jones. I love Costello in his Americana / roots / country…

Depeche Mode, Speak & Spell: The 12″ Singles, 2018 on Mute

Reissued box of singles by Rhino / Sire / Mute. The singles: “Dreaming of Me,” “New Life,” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” all came out in 1981, the…

Let’s Active, Cypress, 1984 on IRS Records

Mitch Easter, Faye Hunter, and Sara Romweber’s debut full-length as Let’s Active, following after the Afoot EP. My copy is UK pressing – “A & M Records Ltd…

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Legend (The Best Of Bob Marley & The Wailers), 1984 on Island Records.

This was required listening and a mandatory part of any healthy CD collecting heading into college in the 80s. It didn’t matter what musical subculture you came from,…

Stray Cats, Stray Cats / Pin Up, 1981 on Arista

This was their debut album – after forming in NY they moved to the UK and this was first released there in early 1981. It wasn’t released in…

Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense, 1984 on Sire

It’s hard to overstate how critical this album and movie were – the impact on live music films, the impact on shows themselves (in staging and effects) and…

James Blood Ulmer, Free Lancing, 1981 on Columbia.

A happy and accidental find at Academy Records in New York. Ulmer had played on several Ornette Coleman releases before going out on his own – this was…

Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel (aka Peter Gabriel III, or Melt), 1980 on Mercury

The third in the series of self-titled releases Gabriel put out between 1977 and 1982, Melt features lots of complex synthesizer and percussion work, with guests like Robert…