One of the late 80s bands - and there were a lot - who decided that since The Replacements were changing and Husker Du broke up they'd be the "new" Replacements/Husker Du - they weren't but they were a good band on this debut .........they came off though as closer to Soul Asylum who of course had been deciding they were the new Replacements/Husker Du way before The Buck Pets came along.
Some songs are great and suck simultaneously. REM cut this song in '85 when they started to slip to maybe the 3rd best US band - it's sweet, but it's wussy dumb too - it is so constructed and affected it seems alien and fake, how they "believe" in humanity or some bullsh*t when hungrier and smarter bands would just write what they felt ...........and maybe kick their teeth in.
The banjo at the start is maybe the best part - an Uncle Tupelo influencer.
On the same album as the half-hearted "I Believe" - one of 3 quite good albums they cut in 85-87 after the great Reckoning REM slipped in a stunning song that explained why even as I began to like them less other people began to like them more.
This song sounds like a cover but it's an original and has a whole dazzling concept behind it lyrically and in performance. This song could be 150 years old.....
Only they could pull this off and it remains one of their best tracks:
Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers were such a great band that ex-Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook used them as the template for their 80s band The Professionals - a full 5+ years later.
This song could be sung by Walter Lure, Thunders on the guitar solo and Jerry Nolan on drums......except the danger has been completely removed - Thunders would describe this as bullsh it most likely .......it is insanely catchy though......but the formula can only be copied so much.
British rock in the 80s didn't much care for the music the Jacobites actually liked themselves - the druggy 60s side of the Rolling Stones, the acoustic shambling aspect of the Faces and the spacey vibe of early 70s T. Rex. They were really good at what they did though - with those influences it's hard to mess it up isn't it - and this single was the closest they ever came to an actual hit.
The 2nd best band of the 80s with one of their template songs - one they could have done for 50 more albums probably - pop hooks, great guitar solo that lifts the song to another level and some great lines "Your thoughts are dead.......and you still got some time to kill".
Bands would kill to have this formula.........to them it was automatic........
One of the late 80s songs along with bands like Mudhoney and Naked Raygun that pointed the way towards a lot of big 90s bands, Boston's Bullet LaVolta made a classic right out of the gates......this literally could have Black Flag in 84......The Stooges in 69......it wasn't new but in '88 this sounded like it.......and like the next big thing.
Another early-80s Boston classic/obscurity - that's how deep and quirky the city's music went and - and you could easily picture fellow Boston bands The Lyres (note the organ!) and The Pixies (note the lyrics!) taking a crack at covering it.
I often joke that Pixies songs weren't usually about anything but maybe just sounding cool - but this song, the lead off track of their 2nd release and 1st full length was quite different - a brutal, snide, cheating girlfriend bash - with big screams and walloping drums.
"You're so pretty when you're unfaithful to me" - yup, it's weird but it's no joke .....he even names the girl - "Carol" upfront too and you know ........the title. This was as direct as they ever got and it's a classic.
One of his best songs and it came out at the very end of the decade too - the song works like its topic, by the end of it you're sort of hypnotized and wrapped up in it at the expense of everything else. It's a perfect song for zoning out.....in isolation.
The last album from REM I really like - and I don't like it that much and after this I bailed - but it's the last time I recognized them and was the last time I couldn't "read" their moves and predict what they'd do.
This song - one of their loveliest along with "Nightswimming" a couple albums later explicitly links this incredibly personal band to incredibly "big and general" ideas - references to "the world" etc. and if you're spending a lot of time in your house looking outward - it makes more sense than ever.
A classic 80's song that the band first released in '79 and then kept tweaking and adding organ and making it in this improved album version a full 5 years later....no one ever messes this song up ........and it gets covered a lot.
Moe Berg was sorta famous as a kinda Canadian power-pop wunderkind with The Pursuit of Happiness in the mid-80s - and the previously posted "I'm An Adult Now" - but his first band The Modern Minds were maybe on to something even better. They only released a single in 1980 but you can get a cd of their outtakes too - and this song "Go" an early demo with different lyrics version of their singles B-side trades the pop for the power .......both versions are knockouts but "Go" is the real little known Buzzcocks/Nerves gem.
Early 80s genre revisionism - a minor classic which you got a lot of then in concept (like Dream Syndicate doing the Velvets or The Lyres who did much this same thing) - The Fleshtones were an update of late 60s garage/Nuggets songs and were on I.R.S. too - people who play this in 2020 tend to have a very specific and wonderful sense of what Rock and Roll is.......or should be anyway.
pacinoyes hot take - King of America (1986) is the best Elvis Costello record outside of his first 4 classics (77-80). It's better than Trust (which dips on side 2), the impressive but overrated (and pretentious) Imperial Bedroom and the rocking but weak in songs Blood & Chocolate. It was also the best Rock record of 1986 (take THAT Queen Is Dead, Psychocandy, Candy Apple Grey and er, um Graceland etc!)
.........it also had this song which is one of the meanest, most misogynistic songs he ever wrote and it's stupendous - and those things are not a contradiction either. Costello couches this song in a sweet country pop atmosphere, he sings it beautifully but what he actually spits out here is something else entirely.