Planet Earth

Today’s selection is the first song I ever heard by the English new wave/art-rock/new romantic band Duran Duran. Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, the band takes its name from the character Dr. Durand Durand from the 1968 science fiction film Barbarella, which starred American actor, environmentalist and political activist Jane Fonda. Duran Duran isContinue reading “Planet Earth”

Sowing the Seeds of Love

One of the most remarkable bands to emerge in the 1980s has to be Tears for Fears. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith: an English twosome who, I feel, revolutionized music by merging new romantic/new wave sensibilities with the rawness of arena rock, mixed with socio-political consciousness. “Sowing the Seeds of Love” perfectly represents all thoseContinue reading “Sowing the Seeds of Love”

High Fidelity

Well, I just can’t seem to leave the 1980s behind. Let’s have just one more from that decade, shall we? Elvis Costello and the Attractions recorded the high-energy, uptempo “High Fidelity” in 1979 and released it on their 1980 record, Get Happy!! The song is familiar to me, but I have not heard it inContinue reading “High Fidelity”

In a Big Country

Well, happy Friday, friends! Another week has gone by so quickly… how does that happen when we are still so restricted and isolated? Surely, time should be dragging! My province, Manitoba, continues to be subject to seemingly (or realistically) ever-widening restrictions, and it’s my opinion that this is primarily due to the arrogant, myopic leadershipContinue reading “In a Big Country”

Losing My Religion

It’s been a busy day of appointments plus a bike ride, a few phone calls and an online gathering before I took the time to sit down and complete today’s post. During a free moment this afternoon, I thought I’d visit my YouTube feed for a song idea. Of course, several of Rick Beato’s WhatContinue reading “Losing My Religion”

Under the Milky Way

Sometime in the recent past, I heard a song on KEXP Seattle’s The Morning Show with John Richards. And like I do when I don’t know the song, I capture it with the Shazam app. (I swear, sometimes it seems to take only a fraction of a second… how do they do that!) Anyway, onContinue reading “Under the Milky Way”

Lips Like Sugar

Hanging back in the 1980s for a bit, here… I’ve mentioned before that a school friend of mine was in a local avant-garde/art-rock/new wave band, A New Man Celebration, in the early ’80s. I remember one of his favourite bands at the time was Echo & the Bunnymen, and I’m sure he put one ofContinue reading “Lips Like Sugar”

(Just Like) Starting Over

I remember, in 1980, being excited about Double Fantasy, a new record by John Lennon (1940-1980) and Yoko Ono, after Lennon had pretty much disappeared from the music industry a few years earlier. Back then, I was a 20-year-old with a few circles of friends, a great job, and several relationships with women that wouldContinue reading “(Just Like) Starting Over”

Always Returning

After a wonderful morning that began with a delicious cup of coffee and then went on to reading, journaling, meditation, some music and a moderate bike ride early this afternoon, I’m resting before meeting a friend at Canadian Blood Services. We are former colleagues and haven’t seen each other in a long time, so weContinue reading “Always Returning”

Walking on Sunshine

Katrina and the Waves were a British-American band active from 1981 to 1999. The band actually started in 1975 as The Waves, but never recorded any music and morphed into Mama’s Cookin,’ a pop cover band from England which featured American Katrina Leskanich as singer and keyboard player. Some more personnel changes led to theContinue reading “Walking on Sunshine”

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

Today I was catching up on past episodes of Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, a two-hour collection of songs, interviews and various segments and features that appears weekly on BBC 6 Music. I finished the show from January 13 (guest host “Nadine Shah Sits In” -and by the way, check out my post from last yearContinue reading “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want”

Reap the Wild Wind

In my post on former Japan front person David Sylvian’s “Orpheus,” I talked about my weekly record shopping excursions of the mid- to late-1970s. On one of those trips, I discovered the British new wave band Ultravox (which went by Ultravox! from 1976 to 1978) and their 1977 debut, eponymous album. I don’t remember ifContinue reading “Reap the Wild Wind”

Alive and Kicking

It’s Friday! (And, to begin, my apologies… I planned to post much earlier in the day, then an appointment, groceries and other obligations got in the way. But here we are now. Let’s settle in and enjoy, shall we?) Back when I was working, Friday was a day that arrived with much celebration of planningContinue reading “Alive and Kicking”

Limelight

Formed in 1968, Rush has to be one of Canada’s most extraordinary rock acts. And clearly, institutions agree. In 1996, band members Geddy Lee (vocals, bass, keyboards, composer), Alex Lifeson (guitars, composer) and Neil Peart (1952-2020; drums, percussion, lyricist), were named as Officers of the Order of Canada, the Canadian government’s highest distinction for aContinue reading “Limelight”

Symphony No. 1, I: Subterraneans

Two days ago, I posted a song by David Bowie (1947-2016) on the 74th anniversary of his birth. Today is the fifth anniversary of his death. On Sundays since June 2020, I’ve been posting classical music pieces. Today, I’m sharing one that has a deep connection to Bowie’s music, written by American composer and pianistContinue reading “Symphony No. 1, I: Subterraneans”

Handle With Care

The Traveling Wilburys were a British-American supergroup formed in early 1988 after joining together to record a song to accompany a single by ex-Beatle George Harrison (1943-2001). “Handle With Care” was meant to be that song, but when it was complete, it was decided the track was far too good to be used as aContinue reading “Handle With Care”

Stay

Seventy-four years ago today, English singer, songwriter, musical innovator and actor David Robert Jones was born. Professionally he became known as David Bowie, an artist who crossed and mixed many musical genres and performance styles in his long, influential career. I’ve featured Bowie’s songs several times before on this blog: “A New Career in aContinue reading “Stay”

New Year’s Day

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2021. This blog will be one year old in a few days, and I’m looking forward to sharing more music with you, each day this year. It might be a corny choice for today to pick “New Year’s Day,” the lead single from Irish band U2’s 1983 album, War.Continue reading “New Year’s Day”

The NeverEnding Story

A few days ago, I came upon a song that made me think of some studies I did back in the 1990s. I’ve mentioned before here that from 1993 to 1996, I was at home full-time caring for my sons as that was the arrangement that best suited our family at the time. I supplementedContinue reading “The NeverEnding Story”

It’s My Life

Three years after forming in 1981, the English band Talk Talk released a song that was one of the biggest hits in their repertoire, “It’s My Life,” the title track of their second album. Music videos had become a significant part of music marketing in the early 1980s. I remember this single being accompanied byContinue reading “It’s My Life”

Holiday

Holiday, anyone? “If we took a holidayTook some time to celebrateCome on, let’s celebrateJust one day out of lifeHolidayIt would be, it would be so nice You can turn this world aroundAnd bring back all of those happy daysPut your troubles downIt’s time to celebrate” (from “Holiday,” by Lisa Stevens, Curtis Hudson) If there wasContinue reading “Holiday”

Worlds Away

Many have said that after the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the 1980s were a wasteland for music. I beg to differ. The emergence of post-punk, new wave, new romantic, synthpop and other genres, combined with other major genres like folk, progressive rock, heavy metal, arena rock and others, led to many different sounds for modernContinue reading “Worlds Away”

Quiet Life

Happy Friday! Well, I’m not going to point you to the barn-dance kind of venue where the video for last night’s post on Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” takes place, but I hope this song inspires you to get up, move around and celebrate life. Even a “quiet life.” Japan is a band I told youContinue reading “Quiet Life”

Love Theme (from the film, Blade Runner)

Today, I’m sharing an old favourite from the electronic music genre, “Love Theme,” from Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, Blade Runner. Spoiler alert: in this post I reveal some of the ending of the film so if you haven’t seen it yet, you may not want to read on! The movie depicts Los Angeles in 2019,Continue reading “Love Theme (from the film, Blade Runner)”

True Colors

On March 22, 2020, London, England a capella, jazz, and pop vocal group Camden Voices posted a YouTube video that now has 1.8 million views. It’s the ensemble singing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” remotely, in self-isolation at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown. “True Colors” is a beautiful song of encouragement and hope — aContinue reading “True Colors”

MLK/Pride (In the Name of Love)

My philosophy on anything the British musician, visual artist, sound designer, music producer, theorist and activist Brian Eno puts his name to is simply, “buy it.” That practice has never failed me since first picking up one of Eno’s albums at the behest of one of my brothers in 1976 (as I’ve mentioned before here,Continue reading “MLK/Pride (In the Name of Love)”

Rain, Rain, Rain

Rain, rain, rain. That’s the one thing I didn’t plan for on my bike ride today. After all, the weather forecast said 0% probability of it. But then, the outlook also called for a mild wind out of the south at ten kilometres per hour (six miles per hour). So I headed south as theContinue reading “Rain, Rain, Rain”

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Okay, so we’re stuck in the 80s for another day… call it a distraction from the challenge I’ve told you about, with me not wanting to let go of summer. It’s real, folks, I tell ya… Anyway, today’s selection reminds me of summer. The most powerful memory I have of hearing Tears for Fears wasContinue reading “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

I Melt with You

Do you ever notice how, when you start your day off with an upbeat song, it has an influence on your mood for the rest of the day?  I think music can have that power, though I wouldn’t claim it will cure all ills. But I believe it does make a difference. Maybe that’s whyContinue reading “I Melt with You”

Listening Wind

Today I was thinking of the 1980 album by Talking Heads, Remain in Light. In my opinion, it’s their best and most inspired work. A visit to the vinyl collection in the basement and a look at the album and liner notes reminded me that Brian Eno, David Byrne and Talking Heads co-wrote the album’sContinue reading “Listening Wind”

I Want to Know What Love Is

When I think of it, it’s funny how the relationships in youth often seemed so predicated on competition, on one being better than the other. Today, Sweety and I were on a mission to find some fresh-picked corn-on-the-cob. There’s a farmers’ market we went to once this summer, but it did not feel safe toContinue reading “I Want to Know What Love Is”

Stars

After a bike ride in the heat today, I was grateful to be lounging in the shade of our summer porch and listening to some oldies this afternoon. At some point, I got onto Simply Red. Someone among our family and friends was talking about them in the past week… I can’t remember whom orContinue reading “Stars”

The Dreaming

Today a dear friend and mentor shared an article from DailyOM.com. This website promotes “… a universal approach to holistic living for the mind, body, and spirit and supports people who want to live a conscious lifestyle.”  The article, “Aboriginal Dreamtime,” is about the Indigenous people of what is now known as Australia. It’s aContinue reading “The Dreaming”

Lawyers in Love

Today I thought of the Jackson Browne song, “Lawyers in Love,” from the 1983 album of the same name. And whenever I think of it, I recall one of my brothers asking me what I thought about the keyboard part echoing Browne’s “love call” in the then-new song. I honestly didn’t catch that at first, butContinue reading “Lawyers in Love”

I Drove All Night

Here is another one of the songs Sweety, my boys and I heard when we watched the “best of” album companion DVD Twelve Deadly Cyns… And Then Some. (I recently posted on another, “I’m Gonna Be Strong,” and the memories associated with that song and the album.) Our family enjoyed the DVD many times togetherContinue reading “I Drove All Night”

Arena

Today’s selection is another 1980s song. It’s by the English electronica band Colourbox, who released albums from 1982 to 1987. They were among the 4AD record label artists that collaborated on the project, This Mortal Coil, from which I recently featured the cover, “Song to the Siren.” “Arena” comes from the band’s 1985, self-titled record.Continue reading “Arena”

Song to the Siren

By 1984, my musical tastes were quite distant from those of my friends (I mentioned in an earlier post that they were diverging around that time). I think this was a symbol of my sense of our decaying friendship; even “friends 2.0” started to disperse, and I was exploring different groups of people trying toContinue reading “Song to the Siren”

New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)

Today’s song is one of my favourite Simple Minds songs. It grabs me from the beginning synthesizer lines and percussion to the arrival of the thundering main drum kit. And yeah, there are credits to two drummers on this song on the LP… I was wondering if it was a drum machine, but, nope, a drummer. Continue reading “New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)”

Black Stations/White Stations

Serendipity is something one of my brothers and I talk about a lot. He and I both experience it all the time; maybe we’re just more open to observing and receiving it; I don’t know. Anyway, I thought it was time to venture down the basement to visit my vinyl collection to find an oldieContinue reading “Black Stations/White Stations”

Space Age Love Song

An internet search for concert dates in the 1980s for the band A Flock of Seagulls didn’t help me find when they played in Winnipeg, Canada at the Centennial Concert Hall; I think it was in 1983 or 1984. I also don’t remember if there was an opening act!  All that said, I do rememberContinue reading “Space Age Love Song”

Akanaki Nokunaka

In the late 1990s, my two young sons and I spent a lot of time in the Manitoba Children’s Museum, as we had a membership to it as well as the Manitoba Museum (I recall there was some package deal among museums). We didn’t have much money at the time, so these places were goodContinue reading “Akanaki Nokunaka”