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The Guitar Train Travels “Back in Time” to 1985

For the glorious month of May, Quirky T is conducting The Guitar Train to travel “Back in Time” to the year 1985. It’s hard (and a little depressing) to believe it’s been 30 years since that great year for music and pop culture. This Guitar Train stop looks at my favorite musicians from 1985. I remember 1985 as being a year when any time I turned on the radio, I would recognize the song being played as well as know whose song it was.

 

Favorite Musicians from 1985:

  1. Huey Lewis and the News
  2. Phil Collins
  3. Tears for Fears
  4. Dire Straits
  5. Whitney Houston

 

Huey Lewis and the News did not release an album in 1985 (their great album, “Sports” was released in 1983) but they did contribute two songs to the soundtrack of the classic movie “Back to the Future”. “The Power of Love” is one of my favorite Huey Lewis and the News songs and stands alone as a great song apart from the movie. The other song from the movie, “Back in Time”, is the opposite as it is basically a summary of the movie. It is still a good song and better than many typical soundtrack songs.

 

Phil Collins - No Jacket Required

Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

Phil Collins released his third solo album, “No Jacket Required” in 1985. As I have written before, this is the first Phil Collins CD I bought and still my favorite of his. I bought a CD player just so I could play this album in CD format since only the CD contained the song “We Said Hello Goodbye” which is still my all time favorite song. Two songs from this album (“One More Night” and “Sussudio”)   as well as a duet Phil Collins sang with Marilyn Martin, “Separate Lives”,   were all #1 hits in 1985.

Tears For Fears tape cover

To continue on the English side, Tears for Fears released “Songs from the Big Chair” in 1985.   It contains three of my favorite of their songs – the #1 hits “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout” as well as “Head Over Heels”. Those songs are still played on the music system piped into my workplace and I still like them.

 

Another English group, Dire Straits, also released a classic album in 1985. “Brothers in Arms” contains two of my favorite of their songs – “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life”. “Money for Nothing” of course came along with a great video which was very MTV friendly. Tragically, I did not have cable TV in 1985 so I could only see the video on a local channel’s “Friday Night Videos” TV show and obviously that was only on a Friday night. I hesitate to call the video innovative since MTV was so new that every video was innovative in some way. Creative and eye-catching are better adjectives to use to describe this video.

Whitney Houston tape cover

The only female on my list is Whitney Houston who released her self-titled debut album in 1985. What a debut it was! My favorite songs from that album are “All at Once”, “How Will I Know”, and “Greatest Love of All”. My school chorus sang “Greatest Love of All” in one of our school concerts that year. Of course we were nowhere as good as Ms. Houston was; nobody is. She had such an amazing voice and it’s a shame that more great music did not come from her.

 

Other songs I enjoyed from 1985:

 

  1. “Into the Groove” by Madonna from the movie “Desperately Seeking Susan” starring Aidan Quinn (and Madonna)
  2. “We Built This City” by Starship
  3. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds from the movie “The Breakfast Club”

 

I really enjoyed the music from 1985 and in most cases, still do. What a great time it was to put the radio on and there be a huge chance that I would enjoy whatever song was playing. I miss that time.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what is your favorite song, album, musician, or band from 1985?

 

Hop back aboard The Guitar Train for the next stop as Quirky T continues to travel back to 1985 to look at the great (Huey Lewis related) movie “Back to the Future”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ode to My iPod

Walkman and batteries

Musically speaking, the one invention I am really grateful for is my iPod.  It freed me from carrying around a clunky Walkman and about ten cassette tapes.  I loved my Walkman but it was bulky and the batteries never lasted long.  I learned the hard way not to leave the batteries in the Walkman when traveling.  One time the Walkman rewind button was pushed into the on position while in my suitcase and the batteries were used up.  So from then on, I carried an extra two AA batteries with me (as well as leaving only one battery in the Walkman while traveling).  All that added to the Walkman’s large entourage.

iPod Shuffle and batteries

I was skeptical about the iPod because I thought I would be forced to buy again from iTunes music I had already bought on CD.  When I discovered I could import my own CDs onto the iPod, I bought an iPod Shuffle.  What astonished me the most about the Shuffle was the fact that it is smaller than the two AA batteries I used in my Walkman.  I couldn’t believe that something that small could hold all that music.  Even the iPod earphones were an improvement over all the earphones I had before.  I don’t know how people can jog wearing non iPod earphones; I couldn’t even walk without them falling out.

iPod Nano

A few years later, I upgraded to the iPod Nano which allows me to see which songs are playing. I can now make playlists and organize songs by artists and theme.  It’s a much easier way to make a “mixed tape” of my favorites.  I’m so happy with my Nano that I haven’t thought about upgrading it.  The only complaint I have is that every time my non-Apple computer crashed and eventually died, I had to re-import the whole contents of my iTunes playlists on my computer.  I wish I could just synch everything from my iPod back to my laptop.

Excluding my favorites (Gloria Estefan and Huey Lewis), here is a list of my Party songs playlist.

  1. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves  
  2. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” – Wham! 
  3. “Copacabana” – Barry Manilow
  4. “Neutron Dance” – The Pointer Sisters
  5. “Pump Up the Jam” – Technotronic  http://youtu.be/9EcjWd-O4jI
  6. “Roam” – The B-52’s
  7. “Footloose” – Kenny Loggins
  8. “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
  9. “La Bamba” – Los Lobos
  10. “Walk Like an Egyptian” – The Bangles 
  11. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” – Simple Minds 
  12. “Gimme Some Lovin’” – Spencer Davis Group
  13. “While You See a Chance” – Steve Winwood
  14. “Back in the High Life Again” – Steve Winwood 

It’s pretty much an 80’s party mix.  I have yet to play it at an actual party.  That is a dream of mine.

Guitar Train passengers, what songs are on your favorite iPod playlist?

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