Monday, March 23, 2009

Classic Purchases

For those of you who are new to the website, this used to be a somewhat regular feature when I first started it. Between 1999, when I graduated college, and 2004, when I got engaged, I used to spend frivolously on movies, music, and video games. The majority of these purchases were made through Why go the mall and pay regular prices when one can order at the convenience of their own home, possible be slightly intoxicated to induce more offbeat purchases, and get free shipping all at the same time?

Thankfully keeps your order history so let's take a look back at one of my more random purchases...this one was completed on September 25th, 2001.

1.) U2 - Pop Mart (VHS)

I'm a fan of U2 but not one of those crazy die hard fans. I think their best output was in the 1990's with Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and my all time favorite U2 album "Pop". Typical U2 fans with crucify me for saying that but the singles on the CD were some of their strongest if not most offbeat songs..."Discotheque", "Staring At The Sun", "Until The End Of The World" and "Please" all can be considered greatest hits with "MoFo" and "Gone" being very underrated. Anyway, the tour behind this album was their famous Pop Mart tour where the band would go through costume changes, including Bono's change into his Mr. Memphisto character for the final part of the show. The setlist spans every part of their career up to that point and since I'm not a major fan of their most recent three albums (probably because it sounds like their 80's sound), it was a perfect fit for me.

* Do I regret the purchase?: Nope! In fact I just bought the DVD version of this show a few weeks ago.

2.) "The Book Of Horrible Questions: Everyone Has a Price, What's Yours?"

This was a book filled with just random questions and how much would you need to be paid to do them. Here are some examples:

a.) For $2,500 would you caress your sister's naked breast for a full minute?
b.) For $10,000 would you take a bite out of a urinal puck in a bathroom?
c.) For $50,000 would you take a dump (including wiping) at work while on an office wide closed circuit TV?

I regret that I somehow lost this book when I moved back to NY because no other book has ever made me laugh so much. I'm laughing right now as I write this.

* Do I regret the purchase?: Haha, I might just have to order it again.

3.) "Quarterlife Crisis" The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties"

Ugh, this was just a stupid attempt for an author to cash in on the whole "quarterlife crisis" phenomena that was going on in the earlier part of the decade. Of course I got sucked into it. I think I read about half of the book before giving up on it. I don't even remember what it was trying to say other than the fact that the authors believe that its very scary and depressing to be in your mid 20's. Now that I'm in my early 30's, I'd love to be in my mid 20's again so I don't know what the author is talking about.

* Do I regret the purchase?: Thankfully the book only cost $12 but that money could have gone to purchasing a movie like "Cruel Intentions" instead.

4.) The Godfather DVD Collection:

I'm not going to go into a long analysis into the Godfather movies (just go to and click on "External reviews" for that) but I will say that it was nice to watch these classics in a good quality picture, good sound, and not have to worry about changing the VHS tape a couple of times per movie. I still watch these movies (well at least the first two parts) once a year. If the final 30 minutes of either movie is on TV, I'll stop what I'm doing and watch that too. Good stuff.

*Do I regret the purchase?: One of my most cherished DVDs.

5.) Best Of The 80's Boxset - IMPORT (6 CD's)

Before there were all of these 80's Greatest Hits collections, and having a virtual music library at your fingertips in ITunes, one had to go to England to find anything that resembled anything wide ranging. Unfortunately, England's taste in what's considered a "hit" is very different from what the U.S. buying public thinks. As a result, out of the 108 songs that came in this collection, I'd say 50 are songs that I've even heard of. Still, this was the only place at the time to find some of these oddish songs without buying the whole album with 10 or 11 crappy songs.

Too Late For Goodbyes-Julian Lennon
It's My Life-Talk Talk
(I Just) Died In Your Arms-Cutting Crew
Tonight I Celebrate My Love-Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack
Nineteen-Paul Hardcastle
And The Beat Goes On-The Whispers
Pump Up The Jam-Technotronic

Anyway, it got the job done but I'll admit, having 5 plus CD's of songs you've never heard by artists you sort of heard of (there were FOUR Spandau Ballet songs on the set), was tough to swallow.

Do I regret the purchase?: At the time, no. But considering I probably could easily buy the above songs I wanted on ITunes for $7 today...yes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Looking Back at the Careers of the Grammy Nominated Best New Artists of The 1980's - Part 2

A couple of days ago, I looked at the Grammy Best New Artist winners and nominees from 1980-1984. Today, let's look at those from the second half of the decade known as the 1980's...

1.) Best New Artist of 1985: Sade

Other nominees: A-Ha, Freddie Jackson, Katrina & The Waves, Julian Lennon

Analysis: This is an interesting lot. Sade easily has had the most sustainable career with a string of hits like "Smooth Operator", "Sweetest Taboo", "Paradise" and that wedding song dirge "By Your Side". I own her "Lovers Live" CD and its not a bad driving CD when I'm on a trip with Hungiewoman.

As for the others, you have two of the biggest one hit wonder hits of the entire music history, much less the 1980's, in A-Ha's "Take On Me" and Katrina & The Waves "Walking On Sunshine". Julian Lennon had one major hit in "Too Late For Goodbyes" and a pretty cool secondary hit in "Valotte" but that was pretty much it for him. Its eerie how much he sounded like his famous father. Freddie Jackson carved out a nice R&B career with hits like "You Are My Lady" and "Rock Me Tonight".

* Did the Grammy's get it right?: I think its safe to say that Sade had more hits than the other four combined.

2.) Best New Artist of 1986: Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Other nominees: Glass Tiger, Nu Shooz, Simply Red, Timbuk 3

Analysis: Bruce Hornsby put together a decent string of hits like "The Way It Is" (T'Pac, were he alive today, would be sending Bruce a Christmas card every year for that sample he took), "Mandolin Rain" (a personal favorite), "Every Little Kiss" (featuring the most annoying synthesizer sound), and "The Valley Road". Hornsby also wrote a couple of number one hits for Don Henley ("End Of The Innocence") and Huey Lewis and The News ("Jacob's Ladder"). I believe he still tours today.

As for the others...oh boy. I literally stared at those nominees for a good minute before even trying to formulate a thought. Glass Tiger had that one hit "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone"...the one where Bryan Adams mysteriously appears at the end to sing a few words. Nu Shooz had that goofy song "I Can't Wait" which features a pretty cool synthesizer bass line and the staccato line "Ba-ba-baby, I-I-I can't wait"...hah, funny stuff. They also had a good song in "Point Of No Return" yet it features one of the most whiny voices. Simply Red was a super serious band who had that hit "Holding Back The Years" and a couple of other minor hits like "Stars" and a remake of "You Make Me Feel Brand New". I have no idea who Timbuk 3 so let's go to wikipedia...whoa! They did that song "The Future So's Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades". Okay, that makes them a tiny bit respectable.

* Did the Grammys get it right? Can't complain with this one although Simply Red still puts out albums...I can't say if Bruce Hornsby has in the past few years.

3.) Best New Artist of 1987: Jody Watley

Other Nominees: Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Terence Trent D'Arby, Swing Out Sister

Analysis: Interesting group here. Jody Watley had that one monster hit "Looking For A New Love" and a decent one in "Real Love". Other than that, I can't say I know many of her songs off the top of my head.

The others feature some of my favorite songs of all time. Breakfast Club did that song "Right On Track" which has to be one of the most underrated songs of the 80's. That's all from them though. Cutting Crew was another one hit wonder with "I Just Died In Your Arms". I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the studio when they recorded that "Woooo-AHHHHH, I just died in your arms tonight!!!" beginning part. Terence Trent D'Arby thought he was the next John Lennon but ended up with two hits "Wishing Well" and "Sign Your Name" instead of Lennon's 1,000 hits. Plus he has three names and you all know how I hate people with three names. Finally, Swing Out Sister had a pretty cool hit in "Breakout". What a nice uplifting song...great little horn part in there.

* Did The Grammys Get It Right? Its slim pickings here in terms of a long career. You could have gone with any of these and still be okay looking back.

4.) Best New Artist of 1988: Tracy Chapman

Other Nominees: Rick Astley, Toni Childs, Take 6, Vanessa Williams

Analysis: Damn it, I've been Rick-Rolled! How could he not win here. Just kidding...Tracy Chapman was a pretty good singer-songwriter with two monster hits, "Fast Car" and "Give Me One Reason". Other than that, her image was greater than her music capabilities in my opinion.

As for the others, Rick Astley had two major hits "Never Gonna Give You Up" and the graduation anthem "Together Forever". Toni Childs and Take 6 are people I've never heard of and looking at their chart performances, didn't even have a top 40 hit. I'd pass that off to slim picking but wasn't 1988 when Guns and Roses was eligible? Vanessa Williams was the former Miss America, former Playboy centerfold, who got into singing and had maybe two decent hits with "Saved The Best For Last" and "Running Back To You". Other than that, she's better known as hosting third rate award shows and a quasi acting career.

Did The Grammys Get It Right? I think this will solve the debate. Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" was selected by an overwhelming margin to be the New York Mets theme song last year before the team overrode the contest. Also, the only person on this entire 1980's New Artist list that performed at last year's Thanksgiving Parade in NYC? Mr. Rick Astley.

5.) Best New Artist of 1989: Milli Vanilli

Other Nominees: Neneh Cherry, Indigo Girls, Soul II Soul, Tone Loc

Analysis: , I loved Milli Vanilli...not only did they have some great singles, they also had one of the most memorable "Behind The Music" episodes ever...who can't think of that part when they're performing and the "girl you know its, girl you know its, girl you know its" part starts skipping. Anyway, the Grammys took the award away from them but didn't appear to give it to anybody else. I would have given it to the grizzly Jamaican and the two chicks that actually sang on the album. I can't remember which one, Rob or Fab, ended up killing himself. Sad story...but at least some great music came out of it.

As for the others, Neneh Cherry had a super 80's hit in "Buffalo Stance" (super cool synthesizer line in that song). The Indigo Girls brought about "lesbian rock"...I could never get into them (no pun intended). Soul II Soul had a great dance hit that I still love today "Back To Life" and Tone Loc...well I guess he was the first major rap act to be nominated for best new artist but his two hits "Funky Cold Medina" and "Wild Thing" sound exactly alike.

* Did the Grammys get it right? Another "slim pickings" category. I think Milli Vanilla has the longest legs of this group but for all the wrong reasons...

"Girl you know its, girl you know its, girl you know its..."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Ending Of Teen Wolf

This gives you an insight as to how my mind works: In yesterday's post about the Grammys Best New Artist analysis, I said that Amy Holland (nominated in 1980) never did anything else in her career. When I went to bed last night, it occurred to me that her name still sounded somewhat familiar and then it hit me...she sang the song over the end credits of the classic movie "Teen Wolf". Then it also hit me, that the reason I would know that is because of the random thing that occurs in the background of the final scene that has made me watch the scene over and over again anytime the movie is on.

Here's the clip...

First of all, I get the chills watching this scene to begin with. When I was a kid, I tried to reenact the basketball SLOOOOWLY going around the rim before it falls but I'd usually just brick it (I had a two handed jump shot which was destined to fall me).

Anyway, Amy Holland's sweet voice kicks in around the :42 second mark. I have to admit, her voice isn't the greatest but its a pretty melody and I'm sucker for a nice piano part. By the way, whatever happened to the blond in this movie? She gave me a "rise in my Levis" when I didn't know what a "rise" was back then. Actually, what happened to the entire cast outside Michael J. Fox??? The overweight teammate had that classic line "Its Enrico Polatzo!!!" in the Naked Gun movie, but that was it. You'd think the Dad in this movie would go on to at least a cameo in a Law and Order spinoff.

Back to the purpose of this post the 1:47 mark, there's a guy with a red sweater on with his fly down and what appears to be his penis hanging out. I don't know if the guy did this on purpose or not but he spends the rest of the scene hiding it and zipping up his fly. How could the editor of this movie miss this? Anyway, I know I'm not the first person to mention this but its pretty neat stuff.

I watched this scene so many times that the song eventually stuck in my head so when I see Amy Holland's name, it vaguely sounded familiar.

I also enjoy a slow motion credit sequence as well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Looking Back at the Careers of the Grammy Nominated Best New Artists of The 1980's - Part 1

For some reason I've been on a music history kick lately. Today, I'm going to analyse the Grammy Award winners (and nominees) for the category of "Best New Artist" from the 1980s. Time will show at how many errors were made and how most of the nominees who didn't win, had a much longer career. I'll break it over two posts and this first one will cover 1980 to 1984.

1.) Best New Artist of 1980: Christopher Cross

Nominees: Irene Cara, Robbie Dupree, Amy Holland, The Pretenders

Analysis: Christopher Cross had that one monster album that I discussed in the last column so I won't go into it again. Since then he had three semi hits...."Think Of Laura" (the most depressing song ever, I thank that I don't know anybody named Laura or I'd be crying like Mark Messier at any Ranger ceremony when it would come on), "All Right" (a very underrated 80's song with a great hook), and of course the immortal "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do" which I hum in my head any time I come out of the LIRR steps onto 7th Ave.

Irene Cara had two major hits..."Fame" and "Flashdance, What A Feeling" (great backing vocals). That's about it. Robbie Dupree had one main song, "Steal Away" which is probably the best song of the lot here. Amy Holland is more famous for marrying Michael McDonald than her brief career. The Pretenders easily had the most staying power with a run of hits "Back on the Chain Gang", "I'll Stand By You", and many others. So much so that they were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

* Did the Grammys get it right?: Not even close but Christopher Cross would be the second pick by a country mile.

2.) Best New Artist of 1981: Sheena Easton

Nominees: Adam & The Ants, The Go-Go's, James Ingram, Luther Vandross

Analysis: I'll be honest, I had no idea Sheena Easton was making music in the early 80's. I remember her more from the Prince type songs she did in the mid 80's like "Sugar Walls" and "U Got The Look". She pretty much faded into obscurity although she still is viewed as one of the more sexier acts on the 1980's. Plus, I love the line "I want you to climb inside my Sugar Walls"...there's no sugar on the walls she's talking about, that's for sure.

As for the others...damn, that's a pretty good list. Adam & The Ants were the closest to punk around that time though other than "Goody Two Shoes", I don't think they had a major radio hit, The Go-Go's would go onto make several good songs and Belinda Caryle would go onto a successful solo career (one of the most random songs ever heard in Vegas casino is "Circle In The Sand"). James Ingram had a run of great R&B hits (nobody could do a "WOOOOO!!!!" like him) and a starring vocal role in "We Are The World" and lastly Luther Vandross has one of the most legendary R&B voices of all time.

* Did the Grammys get it right?: Nope....other than Adam & The Ants, the other artists enjoyed a much more successful career than Sheena E. and still tour today (well except for Luther Vandross).

3.) Best New Artist of 1982: Men At Work

Nominees: Asia, Jennifer Holiday, Human League, Stray Cats

Analysis: Its interesting that except for Jennifer Holiday, each of these artists had more than one hit but no more than 3. Men At Work had two major hits in 1983 that you couldn't escape, "Who Can It Be Now" and "Down Under"...I'll admit those are two pretty timeless songs though a tad overplayed. I was 6 years old yet I knew what a vegemite sandwich was (but I didn't want to take a bite of one if offered to me). Other than one more song "Overkill", they really didn't have any more radio friendly songs. Their lead singer still tours today so they have some kind of staying power.

As for the rest, Asia has two pretty good songs, "Heat Of The Moment" (which actually timedates 1982 with the line "and now we find ourselves back in 82'") and "Only Time Will Tell" (one of the greatest "F' You" songs ever). Human League made three all time favorite songs of mine with "Don't You Want Me", "Fascination", and "Human". The male lead singer was sort of scary looking though. I could never get into the Stray Cats though I did like the Brian Setzer Orchestra for while. Finally, Jennifer Holliday had one hit "And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going", later featured in the movie Dream Girls but she has one of the most famous cameos in all of music as the gospel voice heard screaming at the end of Foreigner's classic "I Want To Know What Love Is"...I love wikipedia.

Did the Grammys Get It Right: I can't complain with Men At Work only because the other artists didn't really do much themselves.

4.) Best New Artist of 1983: Culture Club

Nominees: Big Country, Eurthymics, Men Without Hats, Musical Youth

Analysis: Well, Culture Club sure had a string of hits and one of the best "VH1 Behind The Music"'s of all time. "Time", "I'm Tumble For You", "Miss Me Blind", "Karma Chameleon", and "Do You Want To Hurt Me" are pretty much on any 80's radio station. Boy George got to sing an ad-libbed line in the immortal "Do They Know Its Christmas Time". They've toured off and on throughout the years though Boy George is currently in jail for tying a mail escort to a bed...that's pretty cool too.

The Eurthymics had a good but slightly overrated career with three big hits ("Sweet Dreams", "Would I Lie To You", and "Here Comes The Rain Again")...Annie Lennox has that distinctive voice. Other than that, its slim pickings for the other nominees. Big Country had that really lame song "In A Big Country" (who name checks their band in the title of a song?!?). Musical Youth had that one niche song called "Pass The Dutchee" which is repeated over and over and over again ad naseum. Men Without Hats had that quirky song "Safety Dance". The safety dance itself looked like it was created by someone who had severe arm spasms. In fact, I need to show the video since its very random.

Did They Get It Right? I have to say yes here. You could make a minor case for the Eurthymics but you'd have to through in Annie Lennox's solo career and that's not fair. If you did that, you'd have to throw in Boy George's "The Crying Game" and that makes me want to lick the curb.

5.) Best New Artist of 1984: Cyndi Lauper

Nominees: Sheila E., Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Corey Hart, The Judds

Analysis: This is so far the easiest one to say the Grammys got it right. Cyndi Lauper has had a pretty solid career though she hasn't had any hits lately. Still, she's one of the icons of the 1980's with "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", "True Colors" "I Drove All Night", and my personal favorite "The Goonies Are Good Enough".

As for the others...hmmmm. Well Sheila E., turned out to be a decent drummer and had one hit, "The Glamorous Life" and I believe was the band leader for Magic Johnson's short lived talk show. Frankie Goes To Hollywood had one monster hit "Relax" but I swear that was done by Duran Duran for the longest time. Corey Hart had two pretty cool songs, "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" and "Never Surrender"...I can't recall ever seeing him smile. As for the Judds, I'm not a country fan so I can't tell you much about them except that Ashley Judd gets naked in a random movie called "8 Seconds" also starring Luke Perry....sadly I didn't need wikipedia for that one, I knew that one off the top of my head.

* Did the Grammys get it right?: Umm, is the Pope Catholic? Am I currently obsessed with HBO show "Tales From The Crypt"? Do I think Cheap Trick is overrated? Does Duran Duran deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame? A resounding "Yes" to all of the above.

Back for 1985-1989 later this week...

Monday, March 2, 2009

The State of Music in 1980


Music today is VERY different than what it was in 1980. How different you might ask? Just listen to the music playing right now. You are listening to the Grammy award nominees from the year 1980. 1980 was a weird year for music because you still had a bit of disco, still had that easy rock sound going, and then you had the very beginnings of 1980's pop music sound that would later dominate. Anyway, here are the nominees for the major categories from the 1981 Grammy Awards (which included all music released in 1980) with some thoughts on each category. I wish I could publish the addresses of the Grammy voters you can mail them some Anthrax but I'm assuming they are beyond contempt.

1.) Album of the Year: "Christopher Cross" by Christopher Cross

* Hmmm...I am sort of ashamed to admit that I bought this CD years ago mainly for one song, "Ride Like The Wind", mainly because it featured Michael McDonald in it. To my surprise , it contained two somewhat decent songs in "Sailing" and "Never Be The Same". Yet, all the other songs are really just bad mellow rock songs.

Other Nominees:
Billy Joel - Glass Houses
Pink Floyd - The Wall
Frank Sinatra - Trilogy: Past, Present, Future
Barbra Streisand - Guilty

* Looking at the other nominees, its a true mixed bag. I doubt you'd ever see Pink Floyd and Frank Sinatra in another category together. Looking back, Pink Floyd's The Wall has stood the test of time and yielding at least three classic songs (Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, Comfortably Numb, and Hey You). That Frank Sinatra album yielded one classic song as well, "New York New York", which is played after every Yankees win...but that's really about it. The Billy Joel album had three radio staples on it (You May Be Right, Don't Ask Me Why, and It's Still Rock and Roll To Me) and the Barbara Streisand album was written by the Bee Gees and had two AM Radio staples (Guilty and Woman In Love).

2.) Record Of The Year (best overall song): "Sailing" by Christopher Cross

* "Sailing" is a guilty pleasure though you'd be caught dead to play this anywhere other than your bedroom quietly weeping. I do love the piano breakdown in the middle with that weird drum machine.

Other Nominees:
Bette Midler - "The Rose"
Kenny Rogers - "Lady"
Frank Sinatra - "Theme From New York, New York"
Barbra Streisand - "Woman In Love"

* Oh baby, what a list of really bad yet good songs. No wonder the 1980's were ripe for the taking by bands like Human League, Tears For Fears, and Rick Astley. "The Rose" is just a really sad song that I don't know anything about. "New York, New York" was Frank Sinatra's final hit though it sounded like it was from 1955 and not 1980. "Woman In Love" epitomizes the soft rock sound and has this really thick sound and also one of the oddest guitar/synthesizer riffs you'll ever hear. I do want to single out "Lady", not only because it was written by Lionel Richie, but also because I learned how to play the opening piano part when I was 8 years Kenny Rogers was the bomb.

3.) Song Of The Year (best songwriter) - "Sailing" written by Christopher Cross

* God damn, this song won a lot of awards. I can't tell you what its about other than sailing. At least N'Sync thought it was cool enough to cover live while flying around at a random awards show.

Other nominees:

"Fame" (Michael Gore & Dean Pitchford)
"Lady" (Lionel Richie)
"Theme From New York, New York" (John Kander & Fred Ebb)
"The Rose" (Amanda McBroom)
"Woman In Love" (Barry Gibb & Robin Gibb)

* Looks pretty much like the same batch of songs as Record Of The Year with that song "Fame" thrown in there. "Fame" actually has on the better guitar solos from that era in it if you decide to last that long listening to the song.

4.) Best New Artist - Christopher Cross

* My goodness, Christopher Cross wins again. His career was much like Fred Lynn and Jerome Walton. Had a terrific start and then flamed out quickly (though Cross had three more hit songs...Think Of Laura, All Right, and the immortal "Arthur's Theme" aka the "if you caught between the moon and New York City" song)

Other nominees

Irene Cara
Robbie Dupree
Amy Holland
The Pretenders

* The Pretenders definitely had the longest career. Irene Cara just did that "Fame" song and not much else. Robbie Dupree did that song "Steal Away" which is sort of catchy (on the above playlist). I have no idea who Amy Holland is or if she's even alive.

5.) Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female - "The Rose" by Bette Midler

* Apparently there was a movie also called "The Rose" that this was from. Again, I haven't seen that. Did I mention how depressing this song is?

Other nominees:
Irene Cara - "Fame"
Olivia Newton-John - "Magic"
Barbra Streisand - "Woman In Love"
Donna Summer - "On The Radio"

* I love that song "Magic". It starts off a little scary and then gets happy and then gets scary when she starts singing the "have to believe we are maaaaagic" part. I loved Olivia Newton-John but couldn't tell you why since I was 4 years old at the time. Donna Summer's "On the Radio" song will now be in my head the rest of today and I will jab Q-tips in my ears to get it out.

6.) Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male "This Is It" by Kenny Loggins

* In a way, Michael McDonald helped two different artists win Grammys. He has the coolest part about this song. I admit this song would be in my top 250 songs of all time for that reason alone. Kenny Loggins voice is pretty whiny but in a good way here.

Other Nominees:

Christopher Cross - Christopher Cross
Kenny Rogers - "Lady"
Paul Simon - "Late In The Evening"
Frank Sinatra - "Theme From New York, New York"

* Again, just the same nominees over and over again although you get a pretty good Paul Simon song in here with "Late In The Evening". I love a song with a good bass line and horn part.

7.) Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group - "Guilty" by B. Streisand and Barry Gibb

* This was the time when there were true duets (not Justin Timberlake or Rhiannon popping in to sing the chorus). I heard this song yesterday on the radio and its one of those guilty pleasures (no pun intended). Plus it has the Bee Gees singing backup so that makes it charming as well.

Other nominees:
Ambrosia - "Biggest Part Of Me"
Pointer Sisters - "He's So Shy"
Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes - "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer"
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - "Against The Wind"

* Again, you can see how much the Grammy's loved soft rock (or hated guitars and drums). These are all pretty much AM radio staples and the Kenny Rogers song has a soaring chorus. Poor Bob Seger...he's written so many good songs but gets nominated for this one. The Ambrosia song has pretty cool high voice part in it too. "He's So Shy" starts out musically like a bad porno scene.

8.) Best R&B Song - "Never Knew Love Like This Before" (Reggie Lucas & James Mtume)

* This is a pretty good song sung by somebody I can't remember right now (good in terms of 1980). Sort of a transition between disco and 80's pop. I like the screams of "Never" at the end of the song too.

Other Nominees:

"Give Me The Night" (Rod Temperton)
"Let's Get Serious" (Lee Garrett & Stevie Wonder)
"Shining Star" (Leo Graham & Paul Richmond)
"Upside Down" (Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers

* Hmmm...I'll have to admit that I'd take Upside Down or Give Me The Night as better songs than the one that won. "Give Me The Night" is just a classic odd 80's song and "Upside Down" has just a great vibe and beat to it (check out that funk guitar at the end). "Shining Star" is a goofy song in the soft rock mold.

9.) Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group "Against The Wind" Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

* Well at least Bob won an award here. I still think its a pretty boring song.

Other Nominees:

Blondie - "Call Me"
Pink Floyd - The Wall
The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"
Queen - "Another One Bites The Dust"

If you're looking at purely vocals, how can you deny Freddy Mercury or Deborah Harry? How?!?
Well that's it for the year in music 1980. I threw a few other songs from 1980 in there for you to cringe at.

Until next time...