Tears for Fears – The seeds of love (The ’59) #193

The ’59 2018 #193: 180712

Tears for Fears – The seeds of love (1989)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 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 31 – 1989.

The Seeds of Love was the third studio album from Tears for Fears, released on 25 September 1989

The album, which reportedly cost over £1 million to produce, retained the band’s epic sound while incorporating influences ranging from jazz and blues to The Beatles, of which the latter is most evident on the hit single “Sowing the Seeds of Love”.

It was an international success, entering the UK Albums Chart at number one and reaching the top ten in numerous other countries including the US.  However,  it would be the last album that band members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith would work on together for over a decade.

Advertisements

Joe Jackson – Night & Day (The ’59) #146

The ’59 2018 #146: 180526

Joe Jackson – Night & Day (1982)

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 24 – 1982.

Night and Day was Joe Jackson’s fifth album, released in June 1982. It reached the Top 5 in both the UK and US and sold over one million copies, earning platinum disc status.

The main single release from the album – “Steppin’ Out” – earned Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. It reached No.6 on both the UK and the US charts. The follow-up single release – “Breaking Us in Two” -reached No.59 in the UK and No.18 across the pond.

In 2016 independent record label Intervention Records reissued Night and Day on 180-gram vinyl.

Michael Jackson – Thriller (The ’59) #145

The ’59 2018 #145: 180525

Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)

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 24 – 1982.

The late Michael Jackson released his sixth album on November 30, 1982.

Then, in just over a year, Thriller became — and currently remains — the world’s best-selling album, with estimated sales of 66 million copies.

It won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year and produced seven singles — “The Girl Is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, “Human Nature”, “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”, and “Thriller” — all of which reached the top 10.

Thriller also broke racial barriers in pop music, enabling Jackson’s appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, and the videos for the songs “Thriller”, “Billie Jean”, and “Beat It” all received regular rotation on MTV.

In 2001, a special edition reissue was released, which contains additional audio interviews, demo recordings and the song “Someone in the Dark”, a Grammy-winning track from the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook. In 2008, it was reissued again as Thriller 25, containing remixes with contemporary artists, previously unreleased songs, and a DVD with three music videos and Jackson’s performance of “Billie Jean” from the 1983 television special Motown 25.

In the same year, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Tears for Fears – Tears roll down (Epic #322)

The Epic 2017 Project #322: 171118

Tears for Fears – Tears roll down (1992)

Tears Roll Down is a compilation of the band’s hits between 1982 and 1992, released in 1992. Preceded by the hit single “Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)”, the album contains 12 of the band’s UK Top 40 hits. It’s been certified double platinum in the UK, platinum in the US, and gold in several other countries including Canada and France.

Tears Roll Down originally peaked at No.1 in Italy and No.2 in the UK and France upon its release, but returned to the UK Top 10 (No.6) in 2004 for several weeks following the success of Gary Jules’ cover version of “Mad World”.

A compilation video under the same title was also released in 1992, and later issued on DVD.

The album itself was reissued in 2004 as a 2CD/1DVD set under the “Sound+Vision Deluxe” line, and again in 2005 with a bonus disc containing various remixes.

10cc – How Dare You (Epic #314)

The Epic 2017 Project #314: 171110

10cc – How dare you (1976)

How Dare You! is the fourth album by 10cc. Released in 1976, it included UK hit singles “I’m Mandy Fly Me” and “Art for Art’s Sake”. It was also the last 10cc album by the original line-up of Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme, with the latter two departing to work on their own musical projects, and eventually becoming music video pioneers. The album was the band’s third with cover artwork by the Hipgnosis creative team.

Queen – Hot Space (Epic 2017 #242)

The Epic 2017 Project #242: 170830

Queen – Hot Space (1981)

Hot Space – Queen’s tenth studio album – was released on 21 May 1982 by EMI Records in the UK and by Elektra Records in the United States. Marking a notable shift in direction from their earlier work, they employed many elements of disco, funk, rhythm and blues, dance and pop music for this one. This made the album less popular with fans who preferred the traditional rock style they had come to associate with the band. Queen’s decision to record a dance-oriented album germinated with the massive success of their 1980 hit “Another One Bites the Dust”.

“Under Pressure”, Queen’s collaboration with David Bowie, was released in 1981 and became the band’s second No.1 hit in the UK. Though included on Hot Space, the song was a separate project and was recorded ahead of the album, before the controversy over Queen’s new disco-influenced rock sound. The album’s second single, “Body Language”, peaked at No.11 on the US charts.

In July 2004, Q magazine listed Hot Space as one of the top fifteen albums where great rock acts lost the plot. Most of the album was recorded in Munich during the most turbulent period in the band’s history, and Roger Taylor and Brian May despised the new sound, with both being very critical of the influence Freddie Mercury’s manager Paul Prenter had on the singer.

Having said all that, I still really like the album – and for all the right reasons. Here’s ‘Back Chat’

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) – The Pacific Age (Epic 2017 #195)

The Epic 2017 Project #195: 170714

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) – The Pacific Age (1986)

The Pacific Age was the seventh album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, released in 1986. “(Forever) Live and Die” became the group’s third hit single in the US and returned the group to the top 20 in the UK, peaking at number 11.

For the first time, brothers Graham and Neil Weir were formally credited as full members of OMD for this album. They had been involved with the group as session musicians since the re-recording of “Julia’s Song” in 1984 as a “Talking Loud and Clear” single B-side, and were credited as “also playing” musicians on the 1985 album Crush. The single “(Forever) Live and Die” was written by the Weir brothers with Paul Humphreys.

Owing to label-enforced time constraints, the first nine songs written for The Pacific Age appeared on the album. Two new songs, “Cajun Moon” and “Cut Me Down” were almost featured, but according to Andy McCluskey, “democracy won out”. 1983 holdover “Heaven Is” was nudged off in favour of “Flame of Hope” (“Heaven Is” was eventually included on 1993’s Liberator).

The Pacific Age met with negative reviews from the British music press.Melody Maker described the record as “Wheezing, crumpled and limp… a bitter, bitter disappointment”. In Sounds, it was portrayed as “Slick and slobbery, just a bunch of bored (sounding) professionals really”.

In a retrospective review, Trouser Press said: “Except for the smoothly contrived hit “(Forever) Live and Die” and the catchy “We Love You,” this dilettantish mess is less a set of songs than a meaningless collection of sounds.” A more favourable Dave Connolly of AllMusic noted “OMD’s mastery of melody and mood” and wrote that the group “continues to string snippets of sound together to create interesting patterns”, as well as “bring their technical skill to bear on a few cuts”. In a 2013 online poll, The Pacific Age was voted the 46th best album of 1986 based on the opinions of almost 53,000 respondents.

Andy McCluskey said that on The Pacific Age, the band had “lost the plot” due to being afforded “no real time to take stock and write some decent material”; he also feels that the album’s production “just doesn’t sound like [OMD]”. McCluskey noted that the record features tracks he wishes the band had never released, but considers “(Forever) Live and Die” to be “a good song”

So here it is…