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The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #1 Super Freak


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5 hours ago, timschochet said:

83. The Police “Spirits in the Material World” (from Ghost in the Machine

https://youtu.be/BHOevX4DlGk

Really more of a solo effort by Sting: that’s him on vocals, synthesizer, and bass. Summers and Copeland were barely involved. A complex melody, and later in his career Sting would sing a slow jazz version in concert which I actually preferred a little more. 

I can't change the station fast enough when this comes on.  

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I have a ton of video from MTV’s inception (1982) through 1992 or so and Quarterflash dominates the first couple of years if it. Tons of concert footage in those early years. Not a fan (shocker), but I acknowledge their success. 

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #82. Sign of the Gypsy Queen

82. April Wine “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” (from The Nature of the Beast

https://youtu.be/4ohq2xImvUU

Another band that I was introduced to during the early days of MTV, when this video was played often. They had two radio hits off of this album (we’ll get to the other one a little later) and then disappeared for me. I now read that they continued to produce albums for many years afterwards. 
The guitar solo in this tune is quite good. 

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4 minutes ago, timschochet said:

82. April Wine “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” (from The Nature of the Beast

https://youtu.be/4ohq2xImvUU

Another band that I was introduced to during the early days of MTV, when this video was played often. They had two radio hits off of this album (we’ll get to the other one a little later) and then disappeared for me. I now read that they continued to produce albums for many years afterwards. 
The guitar solo in this tune is quite good. 

Love love this song. Have drafted it a few times over the years.

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15 hours ago, timschochet said:

Quarterflash “Harden My Heart”

Three days after turning 19 I moved to Colorado to work at a ski resort.

I remember this song playing many times the first month, a magical time.  I would find myself looking around in awe at the mountains and snow being so thankful so this tune is special for me.

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11 hours ago, timschochet said:

83. The Police “Spirits in the Material World” (from Ghost in the Machine

https://youtu.be/BHOevX4DlGk

Really more of a solo effort by Sting: that’s him on vocals, synthesizer, and bass. Summers and Copeland were barely involved. A complex melody, and later in his career Sting would sing a slow jazz version in concert which I actually preferred a little more. 

:wub:

It may not sound like much, but it's a brilliant drum track. Copeland is just putting the bass drum on 2 and 4 most of the song (with his signature hi hat work over the top), but due to where all other the notes are being played, and the fill he leads into the song with not starting on 1, it ends up sounding like some crazy time signature polyrhythm thing. Then the chorus kicks in and it sounds like a regular old 4/4 rocker - but Stewart's been playing in 4/4 the entire time. It's the genius of Copeland, making simplicity and space sound interesting. 

Edited by Gr00vus
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1 minute ago, Gr00vus said:

:wub:

It may not sound like much, but it's a brilliant drum track. Copeland is just putting the bass drum on 2 and 4 most of the song (with his signature hi hat work over the top), but due to where all other the notes are being played, and the fill he leads into the song with not starting on 1, it ends up sounding like some crazy time signature polyrhythm thing. Then the chorus kicks in and it sounds like a regular old 4/4 rocker - but Stewart's been playing in 4/4 the entire time. It's the genius of Copeland, making simplicity and space sound interesting. 

Yeah that was a mistake of mine. I should have just written that Summers isn’t doing much- at least, the guitar is drowned out by the synthesizer. 

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9 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Yeah that was a mistake of mine. I should have just written that Summers isn’t doing much- at least, the guitar is drowned out by the synthesizer. 

I've read Sting didn't want Andy to play on the song at all. He wanted it to be all synthesizer - it pretty much ended up that way. The demo tapes Sting created for his songs for this album are available on the internet, you can see how little change happened from those to the finished tracks - except for the drum tracks.

This album (and its recording sessions) was the beginning of the end of The Police - Sting wanted total, uncompromising control over the music, Stewart and Andy weren't interested in being just his backing band or the direction Sting wanted to go with the sound of the band.  I've also read the record company wanted to release Andy's only songwriting contribution to the album as the first single, Sting refused to allow it. As Sting clearly wrote the best songs, the record company had to capitulate to his wishes. Sting also rewrote the lyrics to Stewart's only songwriting contribution to this album.

The Police are one of the bands that fell apart pretty much completely due to creative differences, as opposed to money or who was more famous.

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2 hours ago, timschochet said:

82. April Wine “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” (from The Nature of the Beast

https://youtu.be/4ohq2xImvUU

Another band that I was introduced to during the early days of MTV, when this video was played often. They had two radio hits off of this album (we’ll get to the other one a little later) and then disappeared for me. I now read that they continued to produce albums for many years afterwards. 
The guitar solo in this tune is quite good. 

They had many hits up here in Canada.  This is one of their best. :thumbup:  It's certainly aged the best, I'd say. One of my first concerts was April Wine. :yes:  Fun band. 3 guitar players plus a bass player, you don't see that every day.

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3 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

 

This album (and its recording sessions) was the beginning of the end of The Police - Sting wanted total, uncompromising control over the music, Stewart and Andy weren't interested in being just his backing band or the direction Sting wanted to go with the sound of the band.  I've also read the record company wanted to release Andy's only contribution to the album as the first single, Sting refused to allow it. As Sting clearly wrote the best songs, the record company had to capitulate to his wishes.

The Police are one of the bands that fell apart pretty much completely due to creative differences, as opposed to money or who was more famous.

Funny - you could substitute Roger Waters for Sting, David Gilmour for Stewart, and Richard Wright for Andy (obviously different instruments for the latter two, but similar relationship-wise) and it wouldn't be too far off from Pink Floyd.

The egos on these guys... 

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17 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

:wub:

It may not sound like much, but it's a brilliant drum track. Copeland is just putting the bass drum on 2 and 4 most of the song (with his signature hi hat work over the top), but due to where all other the notes are being played, and the fill he leads into the song with not starting on 1, it ends up sounding like some crazy time signature polyrhythm thing. Then the chorus kicks in and it sounds like a regular old 4/4 rocker - but Stewart's been playing in 4/4 the entire time. It's the genius of Copeland, making simplicity and space sound interesting. 

I went to see Oysterhead on their first tour just because I wanted to see Stewart Copeland play drums. The participation of Trey Anastasio and Les Claypool was a bonus. 

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2 minutes ago, zamboni said:

Funny - you could substitute Roger Waters for Sting, David Gilmour for Stewart, and Richard Wright for Andy (obviously different instruments for the latter two, but similar relationship-wise) and it wouldn't be too far off from Pink Floyd.

The egos on these guys... 

But it’s also a fascinating thing that so often when bands are having their biggest fights, when the egos are clashing and they’re about to break up- THATS when their best music is produced. This is true in rock history again and again. 

Edited by timschochet
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6 minutes ago, zamboni said:

Funny - you could substitute Roger Waters for Sting, David Gilmour for Stewart, and Richard Wright for Andy (obviously different instruments for the latter two, but similar relationship-wise) and it wouldn't be too far off from Pink Floyd.

The egos on these guys... 

Ego is part of it. I know in Sting's case, he got to a point where he wanted to hear the songs played as he had envisioned/written them and wasn't really interested in any large scale collaboration. I can understand that. He was transitioning into jazzy pop and ez listening - Stewart and Andy wanted none of it. It's a shame that it destroyed the band, as I think their output was better than Sting's solo work, but I can still understand it.

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1 minute ago, Pip's Invitation said:

I went to see Oysterhead on their first tour just because I wanted to see Stewart Copeland play drums. The participation of Trey Anastasio and Les Claypool was a bonus. 

I love Oysterhead. I had no idea Copeland was involved. 
Their cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” is sublime. 

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7 minutes ago, falguy said:

They had many hits up here in Canada.  This is one of their best. :thumbup:  It's certainly aged the best, I'd say. One of my first concerts was April Wine. :yes:  Fun band. 3 guitar players plus a bass player, you don't see that every day.

There's a great live version of the tune from back in 1981 here. The three guitar attack really shines.

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I was BarMitzvahed in late '81. Shortly thereafter I took some of my ill gotten gains to The Warehouse in the mall and made my first ever independent album purchases (adults had purchased albums for me occasionally). I bought 5 albums. I'm pretty sure entries from 4 of them will appear (entries from 2 of them already have). I'm really curious to see if the 5th gets represented (I'm leaning toward no). Guess the albums (PM if worried about spotlighting) - I will give you one fabulous heart emoji on some random post of yours for each correct guess :excited:

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8 minutes ago, zamboni said:

There's a great live version of the tune from back in 1981 here. The three guitar attack really shines.

Three axe attack?! I started a thread on three axe attacks about three years ago. I'd seen Spoon in concert and they went with that instrument set up. Would have been nice if you'd posted in it. (I'm sure you just missed it. It's by way of making conversation, this three-guitar thread history. I happen to love double drums and three axes.)

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1 minute ago, rockaction said:

Three axe attack?! I started a thread on three axe attacks about three years ago. I'd seen Spoon in concert and they went with that instrument set up. Would have been nice if you'd posted in it. (I'm sure you just missed it. It's by way of making conversation, this three-guitar thread history. I happen to love double drums and three axes.)

Huh - not sure how I missed that. 

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8 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

I was BarMitvahed in late '81. Shortly thereafter I took some of my ill gotten gains to The Warehouse in the mall and made my first ever independent album purchases (adults had purchased albums for me occasionally). I bought 5 albums. I'm pretty sure entries from 4 of them will appear (entries from 2 of them already have). I'm really curious to see if the 5th gets represented (I'm leaning toward no). Guess the albums. 

I'll reserve judgement to avoid spotlighting, 

 

Edited by zamboni
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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #81 Freeze Frame
15 minutes ago, timschochet said:

81. J Geils Band “Freeze Frame” (from Freeze Frame

https://youtu.be/wHo43B6nu60

Another band that had been around for years with some pretty good songs along the way, but with MTV they exploded. Peter Wolf continues to make some very good music; I have several of his most recent songs on my playlist. 

 

 

Now 3 of my 5 albums represented. 13 year old me is loving this countdown - except for the painful/awkward slow dance memories.

Edited by Gr00vus
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1 hour ago, Gr00vus said:

I was BarMitzvahed in late '81. Shortly thereafter I took some of my ill gotten gains to The Warehouse in the mall and made my first ever independent album purchases (adults had purchased albums for me occasionally). I bought 5 albums. I'm pretty sure entries from 4 of them will appear (entries from 2 of them already have). I'm really curious to see if the 5th gets represented (I'm leaning toward no). Guess the albums (PM if worried about spotlighting) - I will give you one fabulous heart emoji on some random post of yours for each correct guess :excited:

late '81? gotta be Amy Grant Live, Vol 2

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2 hours ago, Pip's Invitation said:

I went to see Oysterhead on their first tour just because I wanted to see Stewart Copeland play drums. The participation of Trey Anastasio and Les Claypool was a bonus. 

I also enjoyed the two albums Animal Logic (Copeland,Stanley Clarke, Deborah Holland) released.

I have to say I never really noticed Copeland's drumming at the height of The Police fame. I had to go back to the records after they had split up to really appreciate what he did.

 

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59 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:
2 hours ago, Gr00vus said:

I was BarMitzvahed in late '81. Shortly thereafter I took some of my ill gotten gains to The Warehouse in the mall and made my first ever independent album purchases (adults had purchased albums for me occasionally). I bought 5 albums. I'm pretty sure entries from 4 of them will appear (entries from 2 of them already have). I'm really curious to see if the 5th gets represented (I'm leaning toward no). Guess the albums (PM if worried about spotlighting) - I will give you one fabulous heart emoji on some random post of yours for each correct guess :excited:

Expand   Expand  

late '81? gotta be Amy Grant Live, Vol 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHSNZK4Je-Y

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I liked this and the other J Geils big hit when I was a kid, but I can’t say I ever listen to them on purpose now. 
 

Big fan of Spirits in the Material World. Love the vibe and the melodies. 
 

April Wine was a solid band with some good tunes. 

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #80 Physical
1 hour ago, timschochet said:

80. Olivia Newton-John “Physical” (from Physical

https://youtu.be/vWz9VN40nCA

This was the biggest hit of 1981 and it’s a pretty good song actually. It changed hwe career for sure. Also one of the most famous videos ever. 

 

Another guitar solo by Steve Lukather here. Has that guy ever not worked?

Fellow Toto band mate David Hungate on bass.

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2 hours ago, timschochet said:

80. Olivia Newton-John “Physical” (from Physical

https://youtu.be/vWz9VN40nCA

This was the biggest hit of 1981 and it’s a pretty good song actually. It changed hwe career for sure. Also one of the most famous videos ever. 

 

tru dat

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43 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:
2 hours ago, timschochet said:

80. Olivia Newton-John “Physical” (from Physical

https://youtu.be/vWz9VN40nCA

This was the biggest hit of 1981 and it’s a pretty good song actually. It changed hwe career for sure. Also one of the most famous videos ever. 

 

No, you didn’t.

You know what he means.

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On 2/23/2021 at 10:59 AM, Doug B said:

I'm not sure about now, but as of my mid-1990s Joel Whitburn Top 40/Hot 100 Singles books ... "Waiting for a Girl Like You" held the record for most consecutive weeks at #2 on the Hot 100 without reaching #1: 10 weeks. I am curious if the songs that blocked "Waiting" will appear in this countdown. In a sense they kind of have to, but that will depend on how iconoclastic this list ends up being.

“Physical” was indeed one of the songs that kept Foreigner at #2 for nine of those ten weeks.

...

I agree with zamboni here — “Physical” might be 80s cheese, but it’s 80s cheese with great instrumentation.

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79. Loverboy “Working for the Weekend” (from Get Lucky

https://youtu.be/cxhj1Is7HpY

Yet another Canadian rock band that made it big in 1981. Yeah this is a guilty pleasure but a pleasure nonetheless, with some of my favorite cheesy 80s lyrics of all time: 

You want a piece of my heart? 
You better start from the start! 
You want to be in the show? 

Come on baby let’s GO!!!

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #79. Working for the Weekend
5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

79. Loverboy “Working for the Weekend” (from Get Lucky

https://youtu.be/cxhj1Is7HpY

Yet another Canadian rock band that made it big in 1981. Yeah this is a guilty pleasure but a pleasure nonetheless, with some of my favorite cheesy 80s lyrics of all time: 

You want a piece of my heart? 
You better start from the start! 
You want to be in the show? 

Come on baby let’s GO!!!

All their hits are guilty pleasures in my book. As an aside, their drummer is the drummer I never want to look like when I play.

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #1 Super Freak

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