George Michael – Faith (The ’59) #181

The ’59 2018 #181: 180630

George Michael – Faith (1987)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 29 – 1987

Faith was the late George Michael’s debut, released on 30 October 1987 by Columbia Records and Epic Records.

The album has won several awards, including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1989.

It also produced six top-five singles that substantially helped it dominate the charts in 1987 and 1988. “Faith” was the first by a white artist to reach number one on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 480 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

INXS – Kick (The ’59) #180

The ’59 2018 #180: 180629

INXS – Kick (1987)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 29 – 1987

Kick was the sixth studio album from INXS, released in 1987 by WEA in Australia, Atlantic Records in the United States and Mercury Records in Europe.

The band’s most successful studio album spawned four top 10 singles, “New Sensation”, “Never Tear Us Apart”, “Devil Inside” and “Need You Tonight”.

At the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards, the band took home five Moonmen for the “Need You Tonight”/”Mediate” video.

The album was produced by British producer Chris Thomas and recorded by David Nicholas in Sydney, Australia, and in Paris, France. It was mixed by Bob Clearmountain at Air Studios in London.

The Cure – Kiss me kiss me kiss me (The ’59) #179

The ’59 2018 #179: 180628

The Cure – Kiss me kiss me kiss me (1987)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 29 – 1987

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me was the seventh studio album from The Cure, released in May 1987.

It helped put the band into the American mainstream, becoming their first album to reach the Billboard Top 40.

It was also a big international success, reaching the Top 10 in six other countries including the UK.

Michael Jackson – Bad (The ’59) #178

The ’59 2018 #178: 180627

Michael Jackson – Bad (1987)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 29 – 1987

Bad was Jackson’s seventh studio album released on August 31, 1987 in the United States by Epic Records and internationally by CBS Records.

“Bad”  was recorded during the first half of 1987 and, even though it has been five years since the previous album – “Thriller” –  the album cemented Jackson’s status as one of the most successful artists of the 1980s.

Prince – Sign O the times (The ’59) #177

The ’59 2018 #177: 180626

Prince – Sign O the times (1987)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 29 – 1987.

Sign O the Times (with the ‘O’ depicted as the peace sign) was the ninth studio album from Prince, released on March 30, 1987 by Paisley Park Records and Warner Bros. Records. It’s the follow-up to ‘Parade’ (1986) and was Prince’s first album following his disbanding of the ‘Revolution’.

The songs were largely recorded during 1986 to 1987 in sessions for albums Prince ultimately aborted: ‘Dream Factory’, ‘Camille’, and finally the triple album ‘Crystal Ball’.  Prince eventually compromised with label executives and shortened the length of the release to a double album.

The album’s  release was supported by several singles, among them the socially conscious title track and “If I Was Your Girlfriend” as well a well-received concert film of the same name. Sign o’ the Times was Prince’s most acclaimed album and was voted 1987’s best album in the Pazz & Jop critics poll.

U2 – The Joshua Tree (The ’59) #176

The ’59 2018 #176: 180625

U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today we’ve reached year 29 – 1987.

The Joshua Tree was the fifth studio album from U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records.  The album is influenced by American and Irish roots music, and through sociopolitically conscious lyrics embellished with spiritual imagery, it contrasts the group’s antipathy for the “real America” with their fascination with the “mythical America”.

Recording began in January 1986 in Ireland, and to foster a relaxed, creative atmosphere, the group primarily recorded in two houses. Several events during the sessions helped shape the conscious tone of the album, including the band’s participation in the Conspiracy of Hope benefit concerts for Amnesty International, the death of roadie Greg Carroll, and lead vocalist Bono’s travels to Central America.

Recording was completed in November 1986 with additional production continuing into January 1987. Throughout the sessions, U2 sought a “cinematic” quality for the record, one that would evoke a sense of location, in particular, the open spaces of the United States. They represented this in the sleeve photography depicting them in American desert landscapes.

The Joshua Tree received critical acclaim, topped the charts in over 20 countries, and became the fastest-selling album in British history. According to Rolling Stone, it increased the band’s stature “from heroes to superstars”. It produced the hit singles “With or Without You”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, and “Where the Streets Have No Name”, the first two of which became the group’s only number-one singles in the US. The album won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1988.

U2 supported the album with the Joshua Tree Tour throughout 1987.

 

Steve Winwood – Back in the high life (The ’59) #175

The ’59 2018 #175: 180624

Steve Winwood – Back in the high life (1986)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 28 – 1986.

Steve Winwood’s fourth solo studio album was released on 30 June 1986.

It was a top ten hit on the album charts, peaking at No 8 in the UK and No. 3 in the US. The single “Higher Love” topped the singles chart and won the Grammy Award for “Record of the Year”; “Back in the High Life Again”, “The Finer Things” (the second biggest hit from the album), and “Freedom Overspill” were also big hits.

After 20 years with the label, this was Winwood’s last studio album with Island Records. The album also features collaborations in backing vocals, featuring Chaka Khan in “Higher Love”, and James Taylor in “Back in the High Life Again”. It also features Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh performing slide guitar and co-writing the track “Split Decision”.

Eurythmics – Revenge (The ’59) #174

The ’59 2018 #174: 180623

Eurythmics – Revenge (1986)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 28 – 1986.

Revenge was the sixth album from the Eurythmics, released in 1986.

Following on from their previous album, “Be Yourself Tonight”, Revenge delved deeper into an embraced rock n roll style and includes several hit singles, including ‘Missionary Man’. The album’s release was followed by an extensive world tour.

On 14 November 2005, SonyBMG repackaged and released Eurythmics’ back catalogue as “2005 Deluxe Edition Reissues.” Each of their eight studio albums’ original track listings were supplemented with bonus tracks and remixes.

The bonus track “Revenge 2” is a radically different remake of “Revenge”, the closing track of the duo’s 1981 debut album “In the Garden”. A line from the song (“She said revenge can be so sweet”) is also heard at the end of “A Little of You”

Peter Gabriel – So (The ’59) #173

The ’59 2018 #173: 180622

Peter Gabriel – So (1986)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 28 – 1986.

So was the fifth studio album from Peter Gabriel, released on 19 May 1986 by Charisma Records.

After working on the soundtrack to the film Birdy (1984), producer Daniel Lanois was invited to remain at Gabriel’s home during 1985 to work on his next solo project. Initial sessions for ‘So’ comprised  Gabriel, Lanois and guitarist David Rhodes, although this later grew to include a number of percussionists.

Although Gabriel continued to use the pioneering Fairlight CMI synthesizer, songs from these sessions were notably less experimental than his previous material. Nevertheless, he drew on various musical influences, fusing pop, soul and art rock with elements of traditional world music, particularly African and Brazilian. It is Gabriel’s first non-eponymous album, So representing an “anti-title” that resulted from label pressure to properly market his music.

Often considered his best and most accessible album, So was an immediate commercial success and transformed Gabriel from a cult artist into a mainstream star, becoming his best-selling solo release. The album’s lead single, “Sledgehammer”, was promoted with an innovative animated music video and achieved particular success, reaching No.4 in the UK top 40 and winning a record of nine MTV Video Music Awards. It was followed by four further singles, “Don’t Give Up” (a duet with Kate Bush), “Big Time”, “In Your Eyes” and “Red Rain”.

‘So’ was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1987 but lost to Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’. It has continued to appear in lists of the best albums of the 1980s and was included at number 187 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was remastered in 2002, partially re-recorded for Gabriel’s 2012 orchestral project ‘New Blood’ and issued as a box set the same year.

Paul Simon – Graceland (The ’59) #172

The ’59 2018 #172: 180621

Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 28 – 1986.

Graceland, Paul Simon’s seventh solo studio album, was released on August 25, 1986, by Warner Bros. Records.

In 1984 Simon became fascinated with a bootleg cassette of South African township music. He planned a trip to Johannesburg in the new year where he spent two weeks recording with South African musicians.

Recorded in 1985 and 1986, Graceland features an eclectic mixture of musical styles, including pop, rock, a cappella, zydeco, isicathamiya, and mbaqanga. Simon created new compositions inspired by the recordings made in Johannesburg, collaborating with both African and American artists. He faced controversy for seemingly breaking the cultural boycott imposed by the rest of the world against South Africa because of its policy of apartheid, but, following the album’s completion, he toured alongside South African musicians, combining their music and the music of Graceland.

Despite the controversy, Graceland was a major commercial hit, becoming Simon’s most successful studio album. His highest-charting effort in over a decade, Simon’s return to the forefront of popular music was considered a remarkable comeback. It was lauded by critics, won the 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and is estimated to have sold up to 16 million copies worldwide.