Search the Web

Custom Search

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All You Need Is Now

This weekend got off to a great start - I saw Duran Duran on NBC's Today.  The reporter that interviewed Simon, Nick, and Roger reflected with them on their past and brought them back to present with a hint of their newest album.  And with a hint of the song in the album's name, "All You Need Is Now."

Duran Duran in announcements spoke of this album reaching back to their roots, where they began, with Rio.  The two-second clip I was able to hear of the song, "All You Need Is Now," is sweet and most definitely reminiscent of the band's early beginnings. 

I know nothing about the album or the songs.  I must with all other fans wait for the bonus release of the digital format of the album on iTunes in December and the full release of the album in February.  Yet, if the two-second clip is indicative of the full album. . .I am in love more so with Duran Duran.  They are back in their element.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Simply Duran Duran : A Tribute

Leading band in the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the U.S.

14 singles in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart

21 singles in the Billboard Hot 100

100 million+ records sold

Innovators with video technology for live shows

"Planet Earth" at #12 on the UK's Top Twenty

"Girls On Film" at #5 on the UK's Top Twenty

Duran Duran, 1981, #3 on the UK's Top Twenty

Favorite band for Diana, Princess of Wales

"The Fab Five" (in tribute to The Beatles - "The Fab Four")

Rio, 1983, #6 on the U.S. Top Twenty

"The band was a natural for music television" - Rolling Stone magazine

"Is There Something I Should Know?" 1983, #1 in the UK (a rarity) and #4 in the U.S.

". . .when we came back (to the United States), it was mayhem.  It was Beatlesmania" - Nick Rhodes

5 U.S. Top Twenty hits from 3 different albums in one year

"The Reflex" first #1 in the U.S. and final #1 in the UK

Sing Blue Silver documentary

Arena concert film

"The Wild Boys," 1984, #2 in the UK and U.S.

2 Grammy Awards for Long- and Short-Form music videos

"Save a Prayer," 1985, #16 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100

"A View to a Kill," only Bond theme to reach #1 in U.S. Charts and #2 on UK Charts

"Ordinary World" leaked long before planned release...listener demand...#3 in U.S.  ...  #6 in UK  ...  Ivor Novello Award for song writing

The Wedding Album, 1993, surprise critical and commercial success - #4 in the UK and #7 in the U.S. ("John Taylor had been considering leaving the band but changed his mind")

"Electric Barbarella" first single ever to be sold online

Lifetime Achievement Award (2003 MTV Video Music Awards)

Outstanding Contribution Award (2004 BRIT Awards)

Super Bowl XXXVIII pre-game - "The Wild Boys" broadcast to millions

Duran Duran : Live from London

Astronaut, 2004, #3 in the UK and #17 in the U.S.

"Reach Up for the Sunrise," #1 on the Billboard U.S. Dance Chart and #5 on UK Singles Chart (highest position since "A View to a Kill" in 1985)

Performances at the Nobel Prize Awards and Winter Olympics (Turan, Italy) in 2006

Ethel Barrymore Theater on Broadway for the Red Carpet Massacre 2007 tour

Performances at the Louvre for fundraising in 2008

For Duran Duran's 13th album -
"return to their roots"
"will have the drive and freshness of the first few albums, quintessentially hip, without sacrificing any of the hard-earned personality of the musicians" - John Taylor

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duran_Duran)

Classic Line-Up -
Simon Le Bon...Nick Rhodes...Andy Taylor...John Taylor...Roger Taylor

My inspiration, my positive influence, my hope, my long-time favorite - simply Duran Duran.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rockin' Movies

Question - Have you ever been entirely consumed in a movie just for its soundtrack?  Have you ever left a movie theater or turned off the dvd player knowing you must find that irresistable song or cd?  My answer - Yes.  Welcome to my world.

I admit that I have a passion for music.  My taste in music varies greatly (no kidding).  My taste in music from movies is even more eclectic. . .

The Breakfast Club (1985).

Oh my God.  Simple Minds and "Don't You Forget About Me" is a personal anthem.  If I could return to the 1980s, this song would play every day.  Simple Minds defined an era in teenage years that will never be matched by today's generation.  While there is nothing technically different between the '80s and today - awkward social events, defined layers in the student body, and so forth - the feeling is distinct.  The Breakfast Club set the tone for the high school experience then and now.  Every layer of the student body was in detention that fateful weekend.  Simple Minds simply followed their story - each member of various cliques realizing by the end of the day that there is more to them than their immediate surfaces.  The Breakfast Club has influenced greatly pop culture since the 1980s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Breakfast_Club).  "Don't You Forget About Me" was ranked #1 worldwide, brought Simple Minds into U.S. view, and they have sold 40 million+ albums since 1979 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_Minds). . .Although I would never wish to turn back the years to my days in high school, "Don't You Forget About Me" would be my only inspiration to at least go to a reunion.

Beverly Hills Cop I, II, III (1984, 1987, 1994).

What is it about the 1980s?  Beverly Hills Cop I & II are, in my opinion, the ultimate classic in Eddie Murphy films.  And I guess I'm not alone in this opinion.  Beverly Hills Cop was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen - Danilo Bach and Daniel Petrie, Jr.), BAFTA Award (Best Score - Harold Faltermeyer), and 2 Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy and Best Actor Musical/Comedy - Eddie Murphy).  Beverly Hills Cop II was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Music, Original Song - Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey, Bob Seger) and a Golden Globe (Best Music, Original Song - Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey, Bob Seger).  (Beverly Hills Cop III did not go far positively with critics.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverly_Hills_Cop_(film_series)  The mix of comedy, phenomenal cast and team, and recognition has gone a long way for the trio film - earning $753,534,503 since original release (Id.).  Music was a key factor to the success of Beverly Hills Cop - the "Axel F" theme as prime example.  The second film, however, features my favorite in 1980s movie songs - "Shakedown" on the album, A Tribute to Bob Seger.  This song is fast, fun, and a tongue-twister if you don't keep up.  I spent my very early years in Southern California.  If I were to return in the '80s, I imagine "Shakedown" setting the image and Eddie Murphy providing comic relief.

Ghostbusters II (1989).

OMG, I swear this is the last '80s film.  The cast and ghosts are back again with the addition of little Oscar.  And with any sequel comes climactic theme songs.  Although the movie received mixed reviews, Bobby Brown's "On Our Own" was hugely successful - #1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B Chart, #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Chart, and #4 on the UK Singles Chart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Our_Own_(Bobby_Brown_song).  I adore both the movie and the song.  Indeed, the 1980s were good times.

A Beautiful Mind (2001).

Complete change of pace with this movie that, finally, came out nowhere near the 190s.  The story of John Nash in A Beautiful Mind is engrained in American stone.  Just look at the phenomenally awe-inspiring cast - Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Christopher Plummer, Paul Bettany.  Look at the incredible team - Ron Howard (director), Akiva Goldsman (writer).  Look at the recognition - Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress; Academy Award nominations for Best Leading Actor, Best Editing, Best Makeup, and Best Score (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Beautiful_Mind_(film).  Consider John Forbes Nash, Jr. - Nobel Laureate in Economics, schizophrenic auditory hallucinations (the film's visual hallucinations were false), his refusal to take drugs ("side effects would have made his gentle re-entry into the world of mathematics a near impossibility - Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautifil Mind).  The story is real.  Mental illnesses are real.  I am not schizophrenic, but I can very personally relate.  And the soundtrack is as haunting, sorrowful, yet inspiring and hopeful as the characters and real life figures themselves.  James Horner, the composer, concludes musically the story of John Nash.

Blue Streak (1999).

Let's lighten things up.  In my opinion, Martin Lawrence is at his best in this film.  As is the soundtrack, namely the song "Criminal Mind."  Far cry from the others I would say.  In all honesty, I don't like this hip-hop genre of music.  However, "Criminal Mind" has a groove that doesn't shove rap down one's throat.  It is simply a fun, catchy song that I enjoy.

In retrospect, my taste for movie soundtracks must sound insane as the genres bounce from wall to wall.  Ironically, my taste in movies is quite secure - comedy and drama.  So what can we conclude from these words?  I definitely have a passion for music in all ways - from songs heard on the radio to songs discovered on iTunes to songs heard in random clips on television commercials and in favorite movies.  ...  Hollywood says, "Take One.  Play it!" 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Duran Duran Album Release

Duran Duran Press Release - November 11, 2010

Duran Duran's 13th studio album - All You Need Is Now - will be released in digital format to iTunes on December 21st.  This release will feature 9 tracks.  An expanded 12-track will be released in cd format in February 2011.  The first selection - "All You Need Is Now" - will be available on iTunes on December 14.

Duran Duran's global tour to promote the album is set for Spring 2011.

*Full view of Duran Duran's press release can be found on Duran Duran Message Board at  http://duranduranboard.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=aboutduranduran&action=display&thread=25026&page=1#ixzz150NZfnMY.

Catchy Jingles

Have you ever been glued to the television set in the hopes of seeing a particular commercial that plays a catchy jingle?  Have you become so addicted to that jingle that you hit the Internet and iTunes to find the name and musician?  If you answered yes to both, then you truly are a music enthusiast.

Some years ago, Mitsubishi presented its newest car model (the Eclipse) to the world.  However, what the Japanese company was not counting on with the automobile success it may have gained was the trick advertisers cleverly came up with.  Emphasis on music.  For months, viewers became listeners.  "Days Go By," as performed by Dirty Vegas on the album Dirty Vegas, became an overnight radio smash in 2002.  This jingle - err, song - has a nightclub beat without being on the oppressive house side.  At the time of its original release in 2001, "Days Go By" was an immediate addiction to many.  U.K.-based Dirty Vegas achieved phenomenal success - #14 in the U.S., #16 in the UK, Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, and thanks to Mitsubishi, incredible exposure beyond radiowaves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Days_Go_By). 

Kia Motors recently presented to the world two new car models - Soul  and Sorento.  However, Kia inadvertently presented two songs that have left much wonder to listeners.  Both are cleverly presented and more than catchy.

"Fort Knox," by Goldfish and featured on the album Perceptions of Pacha, is best known through animated hamsters driving the Kia Soul with a groove.  And with a groove rightly so.  In my eyes, "Fort Knox" has a tough, static beat with enormous amounts of dance rock and the sense of a country western saloon at the very beginning.  Alas, however, the South African-based Goldfish pride their songs on electronic, dance, jazz, and African music (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldfish_(band) ).  Our visions are clearly different, but my God this song is awesome!  Every time I hear this song, I am lost in a groove that I don't want to get out of...much like the hamsters.  Goldfish has accomplished much in their career - 8 nominations for Best Duo/Group and Album of the Year and winning Best Producer and Best Dance Album (2009 South African Music Awards); 1 nomination for Best Alternative (2008 MTV African Music Awards) (Id.).

"How You Like Me Now?" by The Heavy and featured on the album The Heavy, is best known through animated stuffed dolls driving the Kia Sorento with overly enthusiastic grooving imaginations.  This song is just too much fun to listen to.  I imagine "How You Like Me Now?" being reminiscent of James Brown, had he created and performed well into the 21st Century - groove, funk, and fun.  I'm not too far off with my image.  The Heavy utilizes neo soul guitar, rock crunchy guitar, and funky horns, amongst many other blended sounds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heavy_(band) ).  "How You Like Me Now?" has gained great public exposure - Kia and the 2010 Super Bowl.

Readers may think that I watch too much television to find these songs (which by the way, I did download from iTunes).  I find myself instead to be passionate, finding great and unique tunes anywhere.

So rev up your engines and play it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Something about guitars

There is just something about guitars...according to those below.  On Kenny Wayne Shepherd's website, three links to anything guitar are listed under the Links Tab.  His music is heavily influenced by the guitar.  So I thought I would show a more artistic interest in guitars as eloquently described by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.  Something about guitars. . .

Nick Rhodes Rock Couture Guitar

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd's music style is labeled in so many different ways - blues, rock, pop.  The music video for "Blue On Black" below can be found under Media on his website http://www.kennywayneshepherd.net/.  This site leans towards blues style.  Check it out!

Kenny Wayne Shepherd "Blue on Black" Live At Guitar Center's King of the...

. . .of Blues

On the other hand, consider the blues.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd's music is classified as rock.  His guitar work, however, claims otherwise.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd's deep vocals, story-like lyrics, and intense electric guitar notes against a background reminiscent of the Deep South is anything but rock as music enthusiasts know it. . .it is the blues.

Rightly so - "Kenny Wayne Shepherd (born in Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. . .In 1997, Guitar World ranked Shepherd #3 after B.B. King and Eric Clapton on their list of popular blues artists."  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Wayne_Shepherd)

I have two favorite songs: "Was" and "Blue On Black."

Off of the album Live On, "Was" starts with a distant echo and simple vocals with instrumentals. . .until the drums make their presence known.  At this point, the song takes off.  The lyrics are unique.  The guitar and drums provide a rock-like beat.  The standout instrument not found in rock music is what I believe is almost an electrified banjo, the essential sound to "Was" being blues-like.  This song provides a stop and start motion, allowing individual spotlight on all elements - vocals, guitar, drums, and suspected banjo.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd is highly creative in this regard.  "Was" may have a rock beat and label, but in fact is blues-inspired with its lyrics, unusual instruments, and Southern tone.

Off of the album Trouble Is... (longest running on the Billboard Blues Charts) (Id.), "Blue On Black" is deep and sexy in its lyrics and instrumental, especially the guitar work.  The song is labeled Pop on iTunes, but I personally don't see this.  The beat is slow and defined.  The tone is dark, deep, and mysterious.  The lyrics catch on to the listener easily.  The mood set by "Blue On Black" is very much blues-like. 

Is Kenny Wayne Shepherd's style within the House of Blues?  Rock?  Dare say Pop?  No matter what, always remember to play it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

House. . .

Now that I have entirely oversaturated the rock genre, how about a complete change of musical pace with house, or dance, music.

The song, "Days Go By," was made a smash hit on the radio waves when released, ironically, in advertising for Mitsubishi a few years ago.  This song, as performed by Dirty Vegas, has a distinct night club beat and sound - normally a style I personally shy away from.  House, or dance, music is loud, intense, and in my opinion without originality - no lyrics, just beat.  However, as of late, I find surprise interest in myself.

During an iTunes search for the song, "Shakedown," as performed in Beverly Hills Cop II (Tribute to Bob Seger album), I came across an incredible number of song and album titles named Shakedown.  Overwhelmed, I reviewed all - I was not sure who or what to look for to begin with.  I played every Shakedown title (including Steve Laury's "Shakedown" - see And All That Jazz post) and eventually found the "Shakedown" song and artist I was thinking of.  Along the way, however, I found the song "Nothing But a Heartache" on the album Shakedown.  Still in search mode, I listened to the 30-second window.

"Nothing But a Heartache," as performed by The Freemasons, is a dance-labeled song.  Shockingly, I liked what I heard so much that I purchased it...Oh my God, I like house music!  So what makes this song special and worth buying?  It is fun and fast.  It has a melodic beat.  It features more than just scratching on a turntable, including a brass section.  It is not oppressively intense.  "Nothing But a Heartache" is a song with attraction, house-style with substance.

My love for Duran Duran recently zeroed in on individual side projects created by various members.  Roger Taylor is a professional d.j. when not performing or recording.  His style is dance, house.  I love the drums and I adore Roger Taylor, so I took a chance and listened to his work online, through his official Facebook page.  The first link under his Facebook Info tab provides a biography and background of Roger's work as a d.j.  The second link provides an audio sample of his work, called "Ready For This."  When I first visited this site, I myself thought, "No!  I'm not ready for this!"  I truly felt like I had just stepped into a loud, busy nightclub.  Yet with repeated visits and more due chances, I found myself in a house groove.  The words are repetitive, but the beat is powerful...Holy something I cannot say, I love house music!  And there are times when I can't get the beat out of my mind!  Roger Taylor has a way of bringing together random sounds into one coherent tone.  The man in unbelievable in his awe-inspiring talent as a drummer and as a career disc jockey.

I dedicate this blog entry to Roger Taylor.  Thank you for opening my eyes to a new world in music.  A once-dreaded notion of house has now become an intriguing fun house.  (Apologies for the pun.)  Play it Rog!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Always There

There are a select few who withstand all categories of time - classic, decade, contemporary.  These few are always there, always a must in my music collection.  The following are some of my always there favorites.

U2.

There truly is nothing to say here.  The Joshua Tree ("heroes to superstars" - Rolling Stone) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U2), Achtung Baby ("reinvention") (Id.), ten other successful albums, 22 Grammy Awards (more than any other band), and 150 million plus records sold (Id.).  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2005.  A rank of 22 on Rolling Stone list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (Id.).  And never discount U2's cause for human rights around the globe.  My reflection on U2 in earlier posts is insignificant  in the overall picture.  U2 is, quite simply, timeless.  U2 is always there.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

I am not sure how to follow U2 in words, but what I can say here is that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers is all-American.  "Refugee" and "Runnin' Down a Dream" (both Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits and the latter just Tom Petty) are just a few with positively influential lyrics and upbeat tone.  This influence landed Tom Petty into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 (http://rockhall.com/inductees/tom-petty-and-the-heartbreakers).  I am not sure if any other all-American band can come close in such influence to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. . .

(Belated Happy Birthday to Tom Petty)

Paul Simon.

. . .On his own, Paul Simon could.  I am too far removed from Simon & Garfunkel, but Paul Simon as an individual musician stands out in all-American music much like Tom Petty.  Case in point: the album, Graceland, and namely the song, "You Can Call Me Al."  An addictive song for its time in 1986 with a goofy music video featuring the comical Chevy Chase and dead pan Paul Simon that left positive memories then and now.  This span of time makes Paul Simon timeless.  Paul Simon is always there.

Robert Palmer.

"Addicted to Love" and "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" just to name a few.  And then there is The Power Station.  Although I am not entirely familiar with The Power Station, I maintain the belief that Robert Palmer was incredible and had more to offer to the music world if not for his tragic death in 2003.  I honored him in earlier blog posts and honor him now.

I honor all of the musicians named here and so many more in this rock genre and its various subgenres.  Rock artists in all styles truly know how to play it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rockin' Classics

There are timeless classics in all genres of music.  In rock, a music giant, classics abound, but only a few throughout the decades remain timeless.  The following are my favorite rock classics.

The Rolling Stones.

I would be sorely remiss if The Rolling Stones did not make this list.  After all, they were considered the "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band" in the same decade they were formed in (www.vh1.com/artists/az/rolling_stones/bio).  They were the most popular band of their generation and continue to influence future generations (Id.).  One of the best rock songs by this ageless band is "Rock and a Hard Place" (Jump Back - The Best of The Rolling Stones '71-'93).  The beat is standard rock style.  The electric & bass guitars and drums provide fun instrumentals.  The lyrics are catchy.  Nothing really stands out (VH1.com admitted that The Rolling Stones did not always have "blockbuster" hits) (Id.).  Yet when this song was originally released in 1989, rock as a music genre was experimenting with a variety of styles, all finding their definitive places in a long line.  Therefore, every aspect of "Rock and a Hard Place" stood out and appealed to many.  These many passed their interest down to the next generation, who will pass down the same interest to the next generation, and so on.  The Rolling Stones, then, is a classic.

Rush.

Rush is an acquired taste upon realized difference from vocal similarity to Supertramp.  Rush's style is incredibly unique.  Such songs as "Tom Sawyer" cannot stay in the same beat and tone.  Next to the band's edge, this inability to stay focused in a traditional sense allows Rush to stand out.  Rush, then, is a classic.

Van Halen.

Oh yes.  A must, even according to veteran guitarist Andy Taylor (formerly of Duran Duran), whose clear interst is so stated in a documentary on the Live from London dvd.  One word to sum up Van Halen in my eyes - "Eruption" (The Best of Van Halen, Vol 1).  Eddie Van Halen's ability to move his fingers that fast and that precisely alone makes Van Halen an instant classic in my blog books.

Aerosmith.

An American ageless band.  After all, if The Rolling Stones claim title to "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band," then it is only befitting that Aerosmith claims title on the other side of the Atlantic with "America's Greatest Rock & Roll Band," being the best-selling American rock band of all time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosmith).  And like The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith has influenced future generations as well (Id.).  My all-time Aerosmith favorite is "Back In the Saddle."  The instrumental anticipation at the beginning of the song leads to classic Steven Tyler vocals that do not let down the listener.  This song likewise provides the definition of rock edge.  My mother's generation knows Aerosmith through "Dream On" and many others.  Two generations of fans do make Aerosmith a classic definitely.

The Eagles.

I chose this band to add to my list because like Aerosmith, The Eagles strike a chord in multiple generations.  My mother and I share an interest in one of the band's most well-known songs, "Life in the Fastlane" (Eagles Greatest Hits, Vol. 2).  I am the ultimate prude and yet I like this song and its most grown-up lyrics.  Indeed, to have this affect, The Eagles must be a classic.

This list is brief and does not touch on the many, many other timeless classics around the globe.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rockin' 80s Hits

I am an '80s girl.  I am an '80s music geek.  There are many to name, so let's hit the play button.

The Police.

An '80s classic.  Honestly, I don't know where to begin.  How about the 1983 release of Synchronicity, reaching #1 in the United Kingdom and United States (selling eight million+ copies in the U.S. alone).  Or totaling over 50 million sales worldwide thus making them one of the highest-earning bands.  Or ranking 70 out of Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Police).  I just don't know...but I will try.  I own three Police albums - The Best of, Every Breath You Take (The Classics), and Zenyatta Mondatta.  I have yet to find a song I don't like.  "Driven to Tears" is at the top.  As is "Walking On the Moon."  "Roxanne" is a must.  "Message in a Bottle" is always popular.  "Don't Stand So Close to Me" is a time honored Police classic...I don't even know where to end!  I, then, love The Police.

Simple Minds.

Without The Breakfast Club, there would be no "Don't You Forget About Me."  Without my giddy love for this song, I would not own The Best of Simple Minds.  Without this cd, I would not equally like "Alive and Kicking" and "Waterfront."  Without the '80s, there would be no Simple Minds.   

Genesis.

Under the wing of two separate and equally talented front men, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, I admit I prefer Phil Collins.  (I do like "Red Rain,"though!)  "Land of Confusion" (Genesis: Platinum Collection) is powerful and inspirational in lyrics.  "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" (Genesis: Platinum Collection) is just intense, in sound, vocals, guitar, and drums.  Genesis under both wings clearly made its mark on the 1980s.

Phil Collins.

As did the drums in "In the Air Tonight" (Face Value).  The lyrics are powerful and anxiously lead up to thee most incredible drum solo that will never be matched.  Even veteran drummer Roger Taylor, of Duran Duran, was impressed when expressing clear interest during a documentary about the making of Rio.  One phenomenal drummer to another is quite an honor.  As loud as I blast my iPod when "In the Air Tonight" comes into play, I always wonder what the drums sound like live.  Then again, if Roger Taylor's drums are blaring alongside the others of Duran Duran, perhaps I don't want to know about this one.

Madonna.

I would be in strong error if I did not include this '80s female icon.  "She pushed the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery. . .Madonna's look and manner of dressing, her performance and her music videos started influencing young girls and women" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_(entertainer) ).  "Vogue" and "Like a Virgin" (top of the charts worldwide and #1 album on Billboard 200 on release in 1984) (Id.), of course, are at the top of a long list that simply cannot be written here.  Madonna defined female independence and unique feminism with emphasis on sex.  She was an instant classic in the '80s and has remained at the top since.  Her "4 Minutes" will never count down.

Journey.

A personal favorite worth mentioning.  Known for such American classics as "Don't Stop Believin" (Escape) with a powerful guitar solo at the start and therefore setting the tone, my preference always is "Lights" (Journey: Greatest Hits) - a sweet reminisce about home.  America is indeed lucky to have this San Francisco, California home-based band with produced hits straight out of the 1980s.  When Journey split in the mid-1980s, fans did "wonder Who's Crying Now."

Wang Chung.

A must on my list of 1980s favorites for the sole reason that they are just too much fun!  "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" (Everybody Wang Chung - Wang Chung's Greatest Hits) defined a decade of glam and fun.  I love Wang Chung.

I love the 1980s.  I love all classics, listed here and far beyond, with strong ties to "my decade."  The year 1983 was a good one.  The entire decade was a phenomenal one.