I love Elvis Costello but he made 2 acclaimed records in the 80s I never quite understood - Imperial Bedroom and Blood and Chocolate........but he also made 2 I love Get Happy!! and King Of America which rank with his best imo. But this song, the closer on Blood and Chocolate is one of his greatest songs and a lyrical ending that's a knockout punch: Sometimes I name and number all the things you gave to me Your elastic love, this velvet-line purgatory You used to take the breath out of me Now I think you'll be the death of me
Circle Jerks were masters of this short sharp truth telling style. They would go crazy with today's social media style climate all which is made for this kind of social commentary. Do you think this sounds 80s - because this sound to me never really existed prior or after really.
Sort of the Circle Jerks peers, but The Descendents were even better, broader and holds up better too. Years later when they reformed as grown middle aged men they were still quite good - which showed how good these songs actually were.
The Cars 3rd album was weirder, darker and and more offbeat than their 70s ones.........like most early 80s stuff it left people baffled. Today it sounds pretty interesting and proof that people are often wrong in music and movies........for album 4 they went back to giving the people exactly what they wanted. Sales went back up and hey they got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - so much for challenging your audience.
Noel Gallagher has a great quote that says something like when you first see a band they should look like a slight skewed version of reality - you should recognize them on some level but they should seem from a different planet too.
This band agrees - the singer was an interplanetary version of your science teacher who just discovered he can sing (and really loves show tunes), the two girls were straight from a B movie from Hell and the guitarist and drummer were too cool for all of it but the job pays well.
Their best song and the best subversive reason for their look - a lot of thought went into this.......and being disposable was the precise point.
If the B-52s were mocking what a band could look like, XTC here mocks their potential audience and what they look like - all middle class respectability and hypocrisy - a song that name drops abortion (literally), class status, sexual mores, and religious double talk. One of the decades great singles and as contemptuous of who's listening as any of Ray Davies social critiques.
Not only that but the song is remarkably buoyant and bouncy - it's insanely catchy while it's ripping everyone.
So if the way the band looks and if the band can question how their audience looks, the next step in the 80s was how authentic did you have to be anyway in your sound? This really scary song, an original by the Violent Femmes is some dark stuff about......well you'll see.
It is not authentic at all, it doesn't come from any American songwriting "reality" for this singer but it mixes the old Americana country-gospel template and sound that something really scary is happening America and still is. Sometimes the copy is better than a mere copy and even more effective than an original in a way because well he doesn't have to sing this, but in copying this style he goes into scarier stuff than someone who actually is "authentic".
One of the 80s best bands and one of their best cuts. Everyone generation relives 20 years earlier so the 80s were fascinated with 60s but the Blasters being cooler than that had no time for hippie nonsense and they knew 50s Rock was actually more subversive and dangerous than the 60s ever were.
Stiv Bators of The Dead Boys and Brian James original guitarist for the Damned formed the Lords Of The New Church in that exciting period - the early 80s - when they were genuine Rock and Royalty - a supergroup sort of. More a singles band than an album band - they basically mixed Punk, Light Metal, New Wave, Classic Rock and a gothy/Doors-y sensibility..........the only time you could really get away mixing all those styles.
This song with James in full guitar hero mode basically sounds what the Stones could have sounded like in '83 too.
Like their fellow Bostonians - the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr. took a blueprint that they then perfected on their 2nd and 3rd releases - their really special ones imo. All their work is at least pretty good but they really peaked early because like the Pixies they were so conceptual in design - Dinosaur Jr. songs followed 2 patterns - they were either furious Punk freakouts or slow turgid emotionally wrenching gut checks.
This song - the great opener of album #2 - is the closest they got to melding the two sides of themselves - the song is almost in slow motion and listening to it you might as well be running in quicksand. The tempo is slow, layered with fuzzed out guitar and the noise gets louder and more uncomfortably dissonant and faster - it's an uptempo (for them) downer.
It was the 80s answer to pulling the blankets over your head and staying in bed......