Cheap Trick – She’s Tight —-Powerpop Friday

We had fun with this song in high school. I’m surprised it only peaked at #65 in 1982 because it got a lot of airplay and MTV exposure. The song was on the album One On One and it peaked at #39 in the Billboard Album chart in 1982. I liked the album and it had my favorite Cheap Trick song…If You Want My Love.

Cheap Trick does what Cheap Trick does best in this song. They give us a great edge with the guitar with Beatles type harmonies. The song was written by Rick Nielson as were most of their songs. I only got to see them in concert once but it was worth it. They didn’t take themselves seriously and had a good time as did everyone else.

She’s Tight

When I’m down I make a call.
Got the number written on the wall.
First it’s busy then I try again.
Oh, who’s she talking to, could it be him?

I got the number and it starts to ring.
I get excited and I start to dream.
I start to fantasize of memory lane.
Then she answers and she says right way.
She says I’m home on my own, home all alone.
So I got off the phone.

(She’s tight.) She’s ahead of her time.
(She’s tight.) She’s one of a kind.
(She’s tight.) She’s a talented girl.
(She’s tight.) She’s got her head down tight.

I have something got to say to you.
Amnesia and my train of thought.
On the tip, tip of my tongue.
I had a vision when I was young.

You floated in, we floated up.
Through the window and down the hall.
I had a smoke and went upstairs.
Turned the door and opened the key. She spoke…
I’m on my own, home all alone.
So I got off the phone.

(She’s tight.) She’s ahead of her time.
(She’s tight.) She’s one of a kind.
(She’s tight.) She’s a talented girl.
(She’s tight.) She’s got her head down tight.

(She’s tight.) She’s giving me the go.
(She’s tight.) She’s giving me the high sign.
(She’s tight.) We’ll turn off the lights.
(She’s tight.) Pull down the shades.
(She’s nice, she’s tight.) Turn on the cam’ra.
(She’s nice, she’s tight.) And getting ready for action.

Turn off the radio.
Turn on the video.

Night Shift 1982

This is one of the first movies I ever rented. It was one of the few left on a shelf at the video store…remember those? I had never heard of it but it was a good comedy.

This little movie from the early 80s gets forgotten but it a very good comedy. Ron Howard directed this movie about straight-laced morgue attendant Chuck Lumley (Henry Winkler) who gets a wonderfully crazy co-worker Bill Blazejowski (Michael Keaton in his breakout role) who talks Chuck into running a brothel out of the morgue…Chuck and Bill become unlikely pimps (or Love Brokers) after a group of call girl’s pimp gets killed by being dropped out of a window. Chuck falls for one of the prostitutes who is his neighbor named Belinda (Shelley Long).

Henry Winkler plays a character far removed from his Happy Day’s character…the cool Fonz. Henry is very good in this movie and is perfect as the straight man for Michael Keaton.

Micheal Keaton is great in this movie. His timing is perfect and foreshadows some of his comedies such as Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice.

Shelley Long had reservations about playing a call girl but decided to do it…Long, Winkler, and Keaton worked really well together. This was released a few months before she starred in Cheers.

Something to watch for…Kevin Costner makes one of his first big-screen appearance in a nonspeaking role in this movie.

Some quotes:

Chuck Lumley: As we sit here and idly chat, there are woman, female human beings, rolling around in strange beds with strange men, and we are making money from that.

Bill Blazejowski: Is this a great country, or what?

If you get a chance to watch this movie…give it a chance. It even has a 80s music montage.

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John Lennon – (Just Like) Starting Over

Yesterday I posted a Wings song so today I’ll even it up with John.

Great song but every time I hear it…it’s December 1980 again and I’m watching news stories about Lennon’s death. Double Fantasy was a strong comeback album for John…a little more Yoko than I would have liked but a good album all the same.

When it was released Ringo had said John Lennon sounds like Elvis at the beginning of this song…then he said no…he doesn’t sound like Elvis…he is Elvis. John Lennon himself said: “All through the taping of ‘Starting Over,’ I was calling what I was doing ‘Elvis Orbison.’ It’s like Dylan doing Nashville Skyline, except I don’t have any Nashville, being from Liverpool. So I go back to the records I know – Elvis and Roy Orbison and Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis.”

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the UK, #1 in Canada and #2 in New Zealand.

From Songfacts

This song embodied the sense of renewal in Lennon and Yoko’s professional and personal lives during the writing and recording of Double Fantasy. “It was kinda obvious what ‘Starting Over’ was about,” said journalist David Sheff, who did the last major interview with Lennon, to Mojo. “He’d been untrusting of Yoko, she’d been untrusting of him, all that kind of stuff. But in that one song was this incredible optimism and joy.”

This was released in the United States October 27, 1980, which was the same day Mark David Chapman bought the gun he would use to kill Lennon on December 8. “Starting Over,” which came out in the UK on October 24, was Lennon’s first release since 1975. The Double Fantasy album was issued on November 17.

Lennon wrote this while vacationing in Bermuda earlier in the year.

Despite being the first single in five years from one of the most famous musicians on the planet, this song took a while to catch on. In America, it entered the Hot 100 on November 1, 1980 at #38 and made a slow but steady climb up the chart. Here’s the progression:

Nov. 8: #32
Nov. 15: #10
Nov. 22: #9
Nov. 29: #8
Dec. 6: #6
Dec. 13: #4
Dec. 20: #3
Dec. 27: #1

When Lennon was killed, fans quickly scooped up the single along with lots of other Lennon material, but it took a few weeks for the chart to reflect these sales. When it hit #1, it stayed there for five weeks.

This was recorded at The Power Station in New York City. Musicians included Tony Levin on bass, Earl Slick on guitar, and Andy Newmark on drums.

Double Fantasy was released on David Geffen’s record label, DGC. Many labels were competing for the album, but Geffen impressed Lennon when he wrote directly to Yoko and agreed to release it without hearing it first. All of Lennon’s previous albums were released on The Beatles’ label, Apple.

John and Yoko were considering doing a tour when this was climbing the charts.

This was one of the last songs recorded for the album. Lennon was not sure he should record it, but his producer and session musicians convinced him it would be a hit. It became the first single from Double Fantasy.

The day this was released, Yoko Ono hired a skywriter to write “Happy Birthday” above New York.

The copy of Double Fantasy that Mark Chapman asked Lennon to autograph might be the most valuable record in the world. The record, which figured in the court case, not only has Lennon’s autograph but also boasts Chapman’s fingerprints on the cover. In 2003, the record was sold for £525,000 but its value has since rocketed.

(Just Like) Starting Over

Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let’s take a chance and fly away
Somewhere alone

It’s been too long since we took the time
No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over
Starting over

Everyday we used to make it love
Why can’t we be making love nice and easy
It’s time to spread our wings and fly
Don’t let another day go by my love
It’ll be just like starting over
Starting over

Why don’t we take off alone
Take a trip somewhere far, far away
We’ll be together all alone again
Like we used to in the early days
Well, well, well darling

It’s been too long since we took the time
No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over
Starting over

Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love still is special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere

(Over and over and over)

Starting over (over and over and over)

(And over and over and over)

(Over and over and over)

(And over and over and over)

Super Friends

This was a must on Saturday morning. I wouldn’t find out till later but…Ted Knight did some of the dialogue such as “Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice…” I think the first year (16 episodes) was the best. Altogether the show was on and off during its 13-year run and they ended up with 109 episodes.

Super Friends was produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1973. The show brought all the DC superheroes together and it told their stories. The first season was comprised of only 16 episodes, which were re-run through August 1974. The show was then canceled. Presumably from less than anticipated ratings.

The success of the Wonder Woman TV show in 1975, and probably the early development interest in the Superman movie led ABC to reconsider Super Friends. The original 16 episodes were re-run beginning in early 1976, while production began on a new series. To help promote the new series, DC also began publishing a Super Friends comic. While the stories there were independent of the show, they followed much the same style of the original series.

Beginning in mid-1977, E. Nelson Bridwell, writer of the Super Friends comic, learned of some of the cast changes (notably, the replacement of Wendy and Marvin with Zan and Jayna) after working on the book for several months and wrote the change into his stories, so by the time the new season of the show began in September 1977, the comic had already made the transition to the new characters.

The comic only survived until mid-1981, while the show continued into 1982. However, the show was only re-runs for the 1982-83 season and was canceled outright in the fall of ’83. The show was brought back again in 1984 and ran until September 1986.

The below link will give much more history to the show.

http://www.kleefeldoncomics.com/2016/12/on-history-super-friends.html

 

 

 

The Hooters – And We Danced —-Powerpop Friday

I remember hearing this song in the mid eighties and thinking that they were different than the usual bands at the time. Many bands from that era had an inflection in their voice that was down…monotoned…The Hooters were up…actually happy sounding.

The song peaked at #26 in the Billboard 100 in 1985.

Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman are the founding members of The Hooters. They played most of the instruments on Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 debut album She’s So Unusual, and Hyman co-wrote “Time After Time.” The same year, The Hooters released their first album on an independent label and grew their following in the Philadelphia area. When Lauper’s album became a huge hit, it got the attention of Columbia Records, who signed the band.

From Songfacts

Rob Hyman told us: “Eric and I would take road trips to do writing. We would get away and especially since the band was playing so much, we would just kind of hole ourselves up. In this instance, we went into the Poconos outside the Philadelphia region and we rented a couple little cabins, brought some recording gear, set up a 4-track studio and threw around a lot of ideas. As is often the case for me, I think we did 10 or 12 tracks, and the last thing we did, probably on our last day, was write the chorus to ‘And We Danced.’ It had a slightly different feel, but materially it was there. That was the strongest bit we brought back from that writing trip. We had that flash – this is something really great, we’ll finish it another day. Had we just stayed with it that moment more, maybe we would have done it, but it ended up taking a lot more time. We threw around a lot of verses and rhythmic ideas. It was a different feel, and then it got into more of a rock and roll feel.”

The Hooters played this at Live Aid in 1985. They were the first band to perform on the Philadelphia stage, going on after an introduction ceremony that included Joan Baez singing “Amazing Grace.” Eric Bazilian told us how they got there: “That was a stroke of genius on the part of our manager, Steve Mountain. He managed to finagle that with Bill Graham and Larry Magid to get us on that stage. Our first record was just coming out, and it was the perfect time. That was our moment in destiny.”

The distinctive sound that leads off the song and plays throughout is a Melodica, a combination keyboard/harmonica instrument they played. The band called it a “Hooter,” which is where they got their name.

Regarding the images he came up with in the lyrics, Hyman told us: “The Bop Baby on a hard day’s night, the union hall – we just felt it was kind of a basic, workingman’s rock and roll record. In a sense, a bit of territory that maybe Springsteen or somebody would cover, a little of that nostalgia, a little of the no-frills kind of straight ahead lyrics. I think the ornamentation and the embellishments that the band did with the melodica and the mandolins and the sounds that we were dabbling in put a different flavor to it. But at its heart, it’s a simple rock and roll song that evokes some of those same feelings that Chuck Berry or The Beatles had. I think those images were just straight-ahead pictures for us.”

In addition to their work with The Hooters, Hyman and Bazilian have written and produced songs for many artists, including Joan Osborne, Ricky Martin, Dar Williams and Jon Bon Jovi. Bazilian wrote Osborne’s hit “One Of Us.” (Thanks to Rob and Eric for speaking with us. To learn more, check out their websites at http://www.robhyman.com and http://www.ericbazilian.com.)

 

And We Danced

She was a be-bop baby on a hard day’s night.
She was hangin’ on Johnny , he was holdin’ on tight
I could feel her coming from a mile away.
There was no use talking, there was nothing to say
When the band began to play and play.

And we danced like a wave on the ocean, romanced
We were liars in love and we danced
Swept away for a moment by chance
And we danced and danced danced.

I met my be-bop baby at the Union Hall
She cold dance all night and shake the paint off the walls.
But when I saw her smile across a crowded room
Well I knew we’d have to leave the party soon
As the band began to play out of tune.

And we danced like a wave on the ocean, romanced
We were liars in love and we danced
Swept away for a moment by chance
And we danced and danced danced.

The endless beat she’s walking my way
Hear the music fade when she says
Are we getting too close, do we dare to get closer
The room is spinning as she whispers my name

And we danced like wave on the ocean, romanced
We were liars in love and we danced
Swept away for a moment by chance
And we danced, danced, danced.

Devo – Working In A Coal Mine

Sometimes I just have to hear some Devo to break the monotony. This is Devo from back in 1981. This song peaked at #43 in the Billboard 100, #8 in New Zealand and #17 in Canada. The song was not on their album New Traditionalists which was out at this time but it came packaged as a single included with the album.

It was also on the soundtrack of Heavy Metal.

It was written by Allen Toussaint in the early 1960s. Toussaint, as a pianist, writer, and producer, was part of the second wave of New Orleans’ Jazz and Blues culture. He worked with many big names from the era including Fats Domino, Chris Kenner, Benny Spellman, and Diamond Joe.

The song was made famous by Lee Dorsey in 1966.

From Songfacts on Working In A Coal Mine

Although “Working in the Coal Mine” sounds just like a jazz standard that could have been handed down from generation to generation of the American Old South, it was actually

In the ’60s, Toussaint wrote and produced several hits for Lee Dorsey, including “Ride Your Pony,” “Get Out of My Life Woman,” “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky,” and “Holy Cow.”

In 1965, Toussaint wrote a song for Dorsey called “Work, Work, Work,” which was appropriate since Dorsey loved working on cars as much as he loved making music – he worked at a body shop and was often seen covered in grease. When he wrote for a specific artist, Toussaint would craft the song to that artist’s personality, which he did on “Working in the Coal Mine.”

Mining is very unpleasant work, but the incessant background vocals (“Workin’ in a coal mine, oops, about to slip down”) and Dorsey’s enthusiastic delivery turned the song – about a guy who is so tired from work that he can’t even have fun on Saturday – into a campy romp. An artist who didn’t appreciate and enjoy real work couldn’t have pulled it off, but Dorsey was the right man for the job. When he left the music business, he went back to bending fenders full-time.

That backing band on this track is The Meters, who were mainstays of the New Orleans funk sound. The Meters went on to work with Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Robert Palmer. They were also very successful recording on their own – in 1969 they hit #23 US with “Cissy Strut.”

A popular cover of this song was recorded by Devo and included on the soundtrack to the 1981 animated film Heavy Metal. Their version made #43 in the US.

In 1985, the country duo The Judds released the song on their album Rockin’ With The Rhythm.

This was recorded at J&M Studios in New Orleans, which was where just about every hit from that city was put to tape in the ’50s and ’60s. “Coal Mine” was one of the last hits recorded there, as financial problems led to its demise a few years later.

Dorsey’s label, Amy Records, commissioned a promotional film for his song (what would later be called a “music video”). The clip shows Dorsey emerging from the listening booth of a record store covered in dirt and wearing his work clothes. The clip was used to promote the song on British television shows.

You can also hear a snatch of this song in the Blaupunkt car stereo commercial of the ’90s. While we’re on the subject, we’re reminded of the fantastically popular (even record-breaking) indie video game Minecraft which has been storming the Internet gaming forums since its alpha release in 2010. Should the developers decide to create a TV advertisement, we can think of a song to recommend.

Working In A Coal Mine

Workin’ in the coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down

Five o’clock in the mornin’
I’m already up and gone
Lord, I’m so tired
How long can this go on?

Workin’ in the coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down

‘Cause I make a little money
Haulin’ coal by the ton
When Saturday rolls around
I’m too tired for havin’ fun

Workin’ in the coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down

Lord I’m so tired
How long can this go on?

Workin’ in the coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down

Five o’clock in the mornin’
I’m already up and gone
Lord, I’m so tired
How long can this go on?

Workin’ in the coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Goin’ on down, down
Workin’ in a coal mine
Oops, about to slip down

Robert Plant – In The Mood

Songs can mark certain times in your life. When this one plays I remember my first car. It was a 1966 Mustang…not a good idea to give a classic car to a teenager.

I remember hearing this for the first time driving and thinking that this was not the same Robert Plant that a few years before was in Led Zeppelin. He was more subdued and you could tell he was changing his image a bit. The guitar is what stands out to me in this repetitive song. It had an elastic sound to it.

The song peaked at #39 in the Billboard 100 in 1984. I’m In The Mood was on The Principle fo Moments album which peaked at #8 in the Billboard album charts in 1983. I’m In The Mood was written by Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt, and Paul Martinez.

In The Mood

I’m in the mood for a melody
I’m in the mood for a melody I’m in the mood

I’m in the mood for a melody
I’m in the mood for a melody I’m in the mood

I’m in the mood for a melody
I’m in the mood for a melody I’m in the mood

I can make you dance I can make you sing
I can make you dance I can make you sing
If you want me to

Oh I can make you dance I can make you sing
I can make you dance I can make you sing
If you want me to

Oh I can make you dance I can make you sing
I can make you dance I can make you sing if you want me to

And your little song that you want to sing
A little song that you want to sing sung in lieu

Here’s a little song that you want to sing
A little song that you want to sing some of you

A little song that you want to sing
A little song that you want to sing happy or blue

I’m in the mood, I’m in the mood, I’m in the mood

Why’d I end up doing it doin’ it doing it
Do anything that you want me for if you want me to

Do it right gonna do it right
Cause a matter of fact it’ll turn out to be strong
If you want me to if you want me to
Oh if you want me to if you want me to if you want me to