Ana was a no-hit wonder from the late 80’s. I had no knowledge of her until I found this 12” Single, but apparently she released two albums of material. (She re-emerged on the music scene over a decade later under the name Mia and released a Spanish-language album.) This song is notable because it was co-written & co-produced by Frank Wildhorn, who went on to be the terrible Broadway composer of such classics as “Dracula: the Musical,” which is still one of the worst musicals I have ever seen.
This is, by far, Thompson Twins’ best non-album track. It originally appeared as the b-side for “You Take Me Up” and later was used again as the b-side for “In The Name Of Love ‘88,” which is where this recording comes from. It’s a little more on the crazier, cartoonier side for the TT’s, but I love it. And for those of you who might want to snag a copy of the track on CD, the song is on the deluxe 2-disc reissue of Thompson Twins’ album “Into the Gap.” http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/Product.aspx?ProductID=3691 Unfortunately it’s only an import (for those of us living in the USA), but you can get it for a reasonable price on Amazon.
This is the opening track from the famously panned album by Cher and then husband Greg Allman. I guess they were madly in love and decided to record an album of duets under the name Allman And Woman. It bombed so badly that it has never been reissued since it’s original 1977 release. It sold so few copies that to buy one on Ebay today would cost you a pretty penny. I found this “official remaster” (although I don’t think it’s official at all) online the other day and thought I should share. Rolling Stone called this album “worthless” when it was released. I wouldn’t go that far. (I’d reserve “worthless” for anything that Will Smith releases.) It is pretty bad though. I wanted to post this particular song because the guitar intro sounds suspiciously like something Vampire Weekend would do.
Madonna has never been prolific when it comes to b-sides. This is the first non-album b-side she ever released and it didn’t even appear until the True Blue era of her career! The strange thing though is that it was recorded around the time of her debut album. It also appears on a Warner Bros. b-side compilation called “Revenge of the Killer B’s, Vol. 2” which, ironically, was released before the song was actually used as a b-side. Nevertheless, when Madonna does actually take the time to release a non-album b-side it usually kicks ass…and this song is no exception.
The funny story about this song is that I found an extended remix of it on someone’s music blog and I listened to it and loved it. The very same day I heard the song I went to a music store and serendipitously found the entire Thinkman album in the dollar bin. YAY! The entire album is pretty good, but this remains my favorite song. Thinkman apparently was a “virtual band,” essentially a solo project from producer Rupert Hine with actors portraying the rest of the “band.” Rupert Hine is a very successful producer who has produced albums for Tina Turner, Howard Jones, Thompson Twins, Stevie Nicks and, I believe, every album by The Fixx. He also released several solo albums under his own name. He released 3 albums as the Thinkman “band.”
ORDINARY MAN - (I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S COME TO THIS) GOODBYE AMERICA
Part 2 of the “man” trilogy
I believe this is the only thing Ordinary Man ever released. I can’t find any information regarding a full album or any other singles. This single was not released in the USA, but I’m not surprised considering the song’s title. (Generally, Americans don’t take kindly to criticism, do they?…) But it had me wondering what the song is about. As much as I love music I’m not the kind of person who pays attention to lyrics, so I sat down and tried to figure the song out. Best I can tell is it’s something about African Americans saying “fuck you” and heading back to Africa…or something like that? (Interesting, coming from 5 white guys in the band.) Anyway, whatever it’s about I still think it’s a pretty song.
This week I’m going to post three songs from three 80’s bands that I’ve newly discovered that all happen to have the word “man” in their name. First up is Illustrated Man. They were a very short-lived group that formed from ex-members of Japan, Gang of Four and a couple other bands you’ve never heard of. They only released two singles and an EP. This is the extended remix of their first single.
This is the title track to the film of the same name. A disco classic from the same man who brought you the song “Manic” (from the film “Flashdance”).
"Summer Lovers" was a film about a menage a trois. I haven’t seen it since I was a kid, but I remember watching it several times because I was madly in love with Daryl Hannah (who stars in it along with Peter Gallagher and some unknown actress I can’t remember) at the time. I still love this song.
OK, I went ahead and changed the blog web address to http://songsfromthebighair.tumblr.com/ because it was bugging me having that old web address. Hopefully this doesn’t screw up anything in regards to those following the blog. More music to come!
Here’s a song from Landscape, the band Richard James Burgess was in before he became a popular producer. It’s probably the most notable song they had. I remember there was a video for the song that had a woman who looked a lot like Janet Leigh from “Psycho.” I’d be interested to hear what an entire album sounds like by this band, as I only have the single.
Richard James Burgess started out as a member of the electronic band Landscape, but he is probably most known as a producer. He produced Spandau Ballet’s first two albums, as well as stuff for Adam Ant, King, Living in a Box, When in Rome, Shriekback & Kim Wilde. He was one of the first people to incorporate computer sampling in music and he co-designed the first standalone electronic drum set. He also apparently is the person who coined the term “New Romantic” for that particular style of music that was coming out in the early 80’s. This song comes from a 1984 EP he released as a solo artist. Sadly, it’s not very good. This was the best song on the EP that didn’t have skips in it. (Ah…skipping…the one thing I still HATE about vinyl!)
SHALAMAR - DANCING IN THE SHEETS (EXTENDED DANCE REMIX)
Back to something more familiar… Here’s a song from the classic 80’s soundtrack “Footloose.” Almost every song on the soundtrack was released as a single. [6 out of 9!] It was pretty huge back in the day. The 80’s were a time when some films almost seemed to be made just to sell the soundtrack. Here’s an extended remix I found of the Shalamar single. In 1999 “Footloose” was transferred to the Broadway stage. They used seven of the nine songs for the Broadway production in addition to many newly written songs. “Dancing in the Sheets” did not make it to the Broadway version.