Posts Tagged ‘1982’


One of the best things about Contemporary Christian Music singer Amy Grant is that she isn’t afraid to tell the truth. Though the truth can hurt, she does it in a very loving way. This is what makes her rather popular even to this day in Contemporary Christian Music.

On 1982’s Age To Age, Grant shows that she is now a beautiful, young, Christian woman. Grant, whose previous albums included her self titled debut album (recorded when she was only a teenager), My Father’s Eyes, 2 live albums, and 1980’s

Cover of "Age to Age"

forgettable Never Alone.

Grant takes a new musical direction with Age to Age. She and then-piano player Michael W. Smith experiment with some of the musical stylings that made the music of Fame popular at the time on Don’t Run Away.  Grant also grows up lyrically on Got to Let It Go where she exclaims “Lord, here’s my heart/ I’ve been keepin’ it from you/ And I’ve got to let it go/ Holdin’ on just brings me worry.

Other songs, she takes a more classically-inclined approach. Songs such as Sing Your Praise to the Lord, and El Shaddai, which is sung partially in Hebrew. The latter talks about the death of Christ.

Age to Age  was the first Christian music album to gain gold certification status in 1983. It became the first of its genre to be certified platinum in 1985. Upon its release, it became the fastest-selling CCM album during that time – unheard of in that genre back then!

Overall this is a good album, but if you are not familiar with Grant’s earlier work – only her later work, you will be dissappointed.  However this is still a classic.


On July 27, 1981 Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks released her landmark solo album Bella Donna. That album with songs

30 years of entertainment and white-winged doves

like Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, Leather and Lace – both duets with Tom Petty and Don Henley respectively, and the ever-popular Edge of Seventeen launched her enduring solo career. Though its a belated birthday, I, would like to present you with the 10 facts that you probably didn’t know about Bella Donna.

  1. The most well-known single from this album is, of course, Edge of Seventeen. Nicks has said that this song is about the death of her uncle and the death of John Lennon. She explained in her Live In Concert video that “I was in Australia when John Lennon was shot. Everybody was devastated. I didn’t know John Lennon, but I knew Jimmy Iovine, who worked with John quite a bit in the ’70s, and heard all the loving stories that Jimmy told about him. When I came back to Phoenix I started to write this song. Right when I got to Phoenix, my uncle Bill got cancer, got very sick very fast, and died in a couple of weeks. My cousin John Nicks and I were in the room when he died. There was just John and I there. That was part of the song when I went running down the hallways looking for somebody – I thought where’s my mom? Where’s his wife and the rest of the family? At that point I went back to the piano and finished the song.”
  2. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around was one of the earliest videos to air on a new network that debuted on August 1, 1981 at midnight called Mtv. Mtv ended up being massively popular with teenagers and young adults and introduced both Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Nicks to a younger audience.
  3. Producer Jimmy Iovine (who has since worked with rap artist Eminem, Dr. Dre and R&B singer Mary J. Blige among others) produced the album. Iovine and Nicks ended up moving in together during the making of the album.
  4. Bella Donna is an italian expression for “beautiful woman.”
  5. Some tracks did not make the final cut of Bella Donna, but were included on other albums. Some of these tracks were “I Sing For Things (which was eventually re-recorded for her 1985 album Rock A Little), Gypsy (which was included later on Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage album in 1982), Sleeping Angel (which was included on the soundtrack to the hit film Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Blue Lamp (which was included on the Heavy Metal soundtrack) and Gold and Braid, which Nicks has performed live for the Bella Donna tour.
  6. The Bella Donna tour kicked off in Houston, TX at the the Summit, which was also where fellow rockers Journey recorded their 1981 Live In Houston – the Escape Tour video. Nicks herself would later return to The Summit in 1989 for her The Other Side of the Mirror tour and film the video for Whole Lotta Trouble at said concert. The Summit was the home of the Houston Rockets and later became known as the Compaq Center. It now currently houses bestselling Christian author Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.
  7. There are many tracks that still remain officially unreleased but have become popular on sites like youtube and other peer-to-peer sites. Some of these tracks include “Castaway,” “Lady From the Mountains,””China Doll”, “Christian (Spinning Wheels)”, another duet with Tom Petty, and “Stay Away.”
  8. Bella Donna hit #1 on the US Billboard charts in September 1981 and was awarded platinum status 2 months later. It has since gone 4x platinum.
  9. This was the 1st recording to feature Nicks’ longtime backup vocalists Sharon Celani and Lori Perry Nicks.
  10. Nicks wrote Leather and Lace for a duet album for country singer Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. However it wasn’t used by either singer so Nicks recorded it as a duet with Don Henley. The song itself hit #6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1982.

Get Nervous

Image via Wikipedia

Pat Benatar is one of those artists that can be angry, sweet, and in this case, insane within one album: Get Nervous.

One of the greatest things about what Benatar does is that she sings from her gut. She does this well on Anxiety (Get Nervous). As a listener, you can feel the fear and trembling in the opening lines “I feel a little shaky, I can’t control my nerves/I know you think I’m freakin’, but can’t you feel the curves?/I swear to you this feeling it scares me half to death/It gathers in my throat and it gathers up my breath.” She also screams and cries her way through Fight It Out and Tell It To Her.

Benatar and husband-guitarist Neil Giraldo are also ones that know how to write an inspiring anthem.  Shadows of the Night is a clear follow-up to her signature hit Hit Me With Your Best Shot from her 1980 album Crimes of Passion. It is a song about running into the arms of love despite anything bad happening. However, Benatar and her band return to their classic music formula with Little Too Late, which is an amazing rock song. However that’s only a warm-up to creepily amazing I’ll Do It.

Get Nervous is essentially a concept album without actually being a concept album. In this case the concept is Pat Benatar goes insane. Insane about what? From possibly her 2010 autobiography it could be a metaphor for both her relationship with her then-record company, Chrysalis, and all of their demands. Concept albums aside, Get Nervous is a keeper!


photo courtesy of amazon.com

Chances are, if you were born after 1986 in the US, you have never heard of Joe Jackson. That is because by some, he has had very few hits in the US, the 2 being Is She Really Going Out With Him and Steppin’ Out. However, he is one artist that needs to be heard much more on this side of the pond due to both his songwriting and sophisticated style. He’s hardly a rocker these days, but he is the embodiment of cool.

With Jackson’s 1982 release Night & Day, Jackson both captures both what it is like to live in New York City in 1982 – both the wonder, excitement, and even scariness. He also captures the music of the various districts, including Spanish Harlem with the latin jazz-tinged Target. With that track, its just a mere warmup to the albums most popular track, the no. 1 single Steppin’ Out.

Steppin’ Out perfectly captures both the promise of whatever you want to happen in life: love, success, or both. Jackson sings “Now/ the mist across the window hides the lines/ but nothing hides the colour of the light that shines/ electricity so fine/ look and dry your eyes/ we/ so tired of all the darkness in our lives/ with no more angry words to say can come alive/ get into the car and drive/ to the other side.”

Two songs deal with rather touchy issues even to this day in some circles: cancer causes and the gay lifestyle on such songs as Cancer and Real Men. Jackson attacks the fact that all these medical reports, in some way shape or form, tell you that you will contract cancer if you ingest modern-day things such as nicotine, booze, or even protein. Real Men deals with the social expectations of men as seen from the point of view of a gay man living in New York in the early 1980’s.

Overall the album is pretty good, but at times a tad bit repetitive with the drum bits – it has the same parts at the same time. However this is the albums only real weakness. It was nominated for the 1982 Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance Male.

 


Band fights: Almost every single band goes through this. Fleetwood Mac was no

Mirage is another example of what can come from pain: beautiful music.

exception with their release of 1982’s Mirage. There was much in-fighting within the band that seems to stem from the time during when Rumours was released in 1977.

One of the best tracks on the album is the Lindsey Buckingham-penned Can’t Go Back. It’s made even better by the beautiful piano playing and finger-picking guitar combination of Christine McVie and Buckingham. However, the melody of the song does not seem to match the overall lyrics. The overall lyrics are about lost love.

On the country-tinged That’s Alright, Stevie Nicks talks about a mutual breakup. Overall, it doesn’t seem to stand the test of time as the other great Nicks-penned track. Gypsy. Gypsy is a beautiful track that has a beautiful piano highlighting the entire track with Buckingham on backup vocals. Also, the lyrics are completely impeccable when Nicks says “So I’m back to the velvet underground/ Back to the floor that I love/ To a room with some lace and paper flowers/ Back to the gypsy/ that I was/ To the gypsy/ that I was.” She only gets better on Straight Back – which seems like a deeper version of Dreams. It keeps getting better when she starts singing with McVie.

Keyboardist Christine McVie never seems to disappoint with her contributions to Mirage. Only Over You, a love song written to her then-boyfriend and late member of the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson. McVie’s voice is often underestimated and it should not be because it is the thing that makes this track absolutely beautiful.

However, one of the most annoying tracks is Book of Love, where Lindsey Buckingham cries throughout the chorus “Oh tell me who wrote the book of love/ Was it somebody from above/ Surely he must know all the rules.” Overall, the writing is on the wall about whom the song is about: Stevie Nicks.

Hold Me has to be the best album track overall due to McVie and Buckingham’s almost duet-like singing. McVie and Buckingham blend very well vocally.

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