A re-appreciation of 80's vinyl.
JERMAINE JACKSON - (CLOSEST THING TO) PERFECT
Oh Jermaine…He always wanted Michael’s career, didn’t he? But he’s no Michael.
Here’s the title track from that horrible 80’s movie “Perfect.”
PEPSI & SHIRLIE - GOODBYE STRANGER
These two owe their success to George Michael. Pepsi & Shirley were the original backup singers for WHAM! It only goes to show you the magnitude of WHAM!’s success that their backup singers got a recording contract on their own.
Pepsi & Shirlie released two albums before drifting off into obscurity. This song comes from their first album, “All Right Now.” [Side note: Shirley married Martin Kemp, bass player for Spandau Ballet.]
DEBBIE GIBSON - ONLY IN MY DREAMS (EXTENDED CLUB MIX)
Oh Debbie…look at that hair! I half-expect some sharks to come flying out of it. ;)
DONNY & MARIE OSMOND - MORNING SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN
OK, here’s one last piece of 70’s era cheese. This song has a lot of sentimental value to me, so I was quite pleased when I found the 7” in the bargain bin.
Let’s just say there is a recording somewhere of my sister and I singing this duet when we were kids. (But you didn’t hear that from me!)
YVONNE ELLIMAN - LOVE PAINS
I’m gonna continue the 70’s disco cheese with this track by Yvonne Elliman. She got her start after playing Mary Magdalene in the original Broadway cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Then she became a disco singer and even had a song on the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.
I was first introduced to this song via Liza Minnelli’s 1989 album “Results,” which was produced by the Pet Shop Boys (and is essentially a PSB album that just happens to have Liza singing the vocals). It was my favorite song off that album and I was really happy when I found this 12” single of the original version in the bargain bin.
LOVE UNLIMITED ORCHESTRA - THEME FROM KING KONG (PART 1)
I’m dipping into the 70’s for this next cheesefest. Here’s the mega disco-flavored theme song from the 1976 Dino De Laurentiis movie “King Kong.”
Funny thing is, I remember loving this movie as a kid, but I saw it again a couple years ago and it’s atrocious. (And I think it was also Jessica Lange’s first film role.)
When I found this 7” single in the bargain bin I was not only taken aback by its hysterical cover picture, but perplexed because I had no recollection of what the theme song sounded like (even though I had re-watched it not long ago). The Love Unlimited Orchestra was soul/funk/disco singer Barry White’s backing band…or, “orchestra.” Disco must have been at its peak when this came out because the song seems wildly inappropriate for a King Kong movie. LOL! [Random fact: Ray Parker Jr., who sang the theme to “Ghostbusters,” was a member of the Love Unlimited Orchestra.]
PAC-MAN FEVER - BUCKNER & GARCIA
I’m in the mood to burn through some of my cheesier music I’ve saved for posting. Let’s start with “Pac-Man Fever.” I have no idea who Buckner & Garcia are, but I think this was the very first song written about (and featuring sounds from) a video game. If I remember correctly, this song was quite popular. LOL! Ah, the 80’s…
JOHNNY MATHIS - IF YOU BELIEVE (FROM “THE WIZ”)
OK, after years of unemployment and much aggravation, I finally got a full-time job! YAY! In celebration I’m going to post a super-duper-guilty-pleasure: Johnny Mathis’ version of the song “If You Believe,” from the musical “The Wiz.” I’ve liked Johnny Mathis since I was a kid…he’s probably my favorite crooner of Christmas music. And “The Wiz” is honestly one of my top 5 favorite musicals. (Ease on down, baby!) This song comes from a 70’s-era album I found of Johnny’s called “You Light Up My Life.” The title song is a cover of the Debbie Boone classic. Glorious cheesiness, indeed. He also does a cover of the Bee-Gee’s “How Deep Is Your Love” on that album. I know! Too much! You’ve gotta get it. LOL!!!
MICHAEL SEMBELLO - AUTOMATIC MAN (EXTENDED REMIX)
Michael Sembello is mostly well known for his song “Maniac,” which was used famously in the movie “Flashdance.” (He also did the theme song from the movie “Summer Lovers,” which I’ve posted previously on my blog.) His debut album “Bossa Nova Hotel” includes both “Maniac” and this song, of which I’m posting the 12” remix. (Note: The quiet intro on this mix is quite long.)
URTH - LAPTI NEK OVERTURE (FROM “RETURN OF THE JEDI”)
Here’s a Star Wars goodie that I didn’t know existed until I found it in a used bin. I am a big original trilogy Star Wars fan, so I was thrilled to find this. I’ve always loved “Lapti Nek,” which is the tune sung by Sy Snootles and the Max Rebo Band during the Jabba’s palace scene in “Return of the Jedi.” This song, unfortunately, was removed by George Lucas when he did his special edition of ROTJ and was replaced by a far inferior song called “Jedi Rocks.” I won’t go into detail about how awful that replacement song is or how terribly obnoxious and in your face the re-edited scene is. Not to mention the absurdity of the song title.
So anyway, back to this song. It comes from a 12” single by a band called Urth. Who exactly are Urth is a complete mystery. The vocals are sung by a man, as opposed to the original song’s female vocals. The name of the vocalist is Joseph Williams. I have no idea if he is related to John Williams, the composer of the Star Wars films (and this song). It is sung both in English and Huttese. It also incorporates part of the “Ewok Celebration” song into the mix. It’s a disco extravaganza and a great listen for old school Star Wars fans like me. ENJOY!
GIORGIO MORODER featuring PAUL ENGEMANN - REACH OUT (EXTENDED DANCE MIX)
Noted as the “Track Theme from The Official Music of the XXIIIrd Olympiad - Los Angeles 1984.”
Here’s a piece of Giorgio Moroder disco goodness. The vocals are by Paul Engemann, who was also lead singer for the one-hit-wonder (“Hanging on a Heart Attack”) 80’s band Device. This is the extended remix of the song that appears on the “soundtrack” to the 1984 Olympic Games. Also appearing on that soundtrack were Christopher Cross (swimming theme), Toto (boxing theme), Foreigner (marathon theme) & Loverboy (team sports theme), among others. Movie soundtracks were all the rage in the 80’s, so I’m not surprised an album like this exists. I can’t imagine them making an album for the Olympics nowadays. (Or maybe they still do and I’m not aware of it…) Paul Engemann worked with Giorgio Moroder on a few other singles, including the theme song to the film “Scarface.”
KRISTY & JIMMY MCNICHOL - HOT TUNES
I excitedly found a Kristy & Jimmy McNichol album in a dollar bin a few months back. I was a huge Kristy fan when I was a kid, primarily due to her performance in “The Pirate Movie” which was one of my favorite films. The cheese factor on this album is extensive. Some of the tracks are cover versions (like Kristy singing “My Boyfriend’s Back”) and some are original songs. I’ve decided to post my favorite track off the album, “Hot Tunes.” Miraculously, two original inserts that came with the album were still included in the copy I found in the bargain bin. I’ve attached photos of them below.
ALLMAN AND WOMAN - MOVE ME
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.
YVONNE ELLIMAN - MOMENT BY MOMENT
In honor of an incredibly boring set of Oscar nominations being announced today, I want to post this classic theme song from this classic bad movie: “Moment By Moment.” This film is a love story starring Lily Tomlin and John Travolta. It was written and directed by Lily’s wife Jane Wagner. It has to be seen to be believed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17QZhHrpWHQ
The movie bombed terribly and it has yet to appear on home video in ANY format, even VHS! I found the soundtrack in the 25 cent bin and had to pick it up, for the cover alone. The theme song appears FIVE times on the soundtrack in various reprise & instrumental versions.