Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Haircut One Hundred - Pelican West (1982)


Note: this release was originally purchased as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

I normally wouldn't listen to this CD at this time of the year because I consider it a spring/summer CD, but I felt this band's name made it an appropriate pick for the 100th CD listed on this blog. I feel I should warn you that this is one of my all-time favorite albums, so forgive me if I gush a bit. I've listened to this music at least 5-6 times a year for the past 28 years. It's shameless bubblegum pop at it's finest. If you've heard any of this music, you've likely heard the single Love Plus One which was a very minor hit (highest chart position: 37 on the Billboard Hot 100), officially making this group a one-hit wonder of the '80s. The lead singer, Nick Heyward, left the band after this album, but they will regroup for a live performance of this album next month:Makes me wish I had enough frequent flier miles for a trip to London.

I normally pull out this CD during Spring Break every March and it stays in my vehicle until Labor Day. When I lived on the Gulf Coast of Texas, I considered this to be essential beach music. As I listen to it now, I'm thinking of high school trips to Matagorda Beach and waiting on the old swing bridge across the Intracoastal Canal as my and my friends sit in the Markmobile or play frisbee along the highway as we waited on the bridge to swing back.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #31
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #52

Tracks: I know and love them all. I can sing all the horn parts and bass parts to all the songs. The lyrics are stupid unintelligible gibberish so I never learned them, but I rarely listen to lyrics anyway. As was common in the '80s, the record labels would change the track sequence for the US and UK versions of the album. Then, when later released on CD, the labels would normally choose to use the original UK sequencing. As a result, the CD isn't sequenced like I remember. The CD also has 5 bonus tracks which are B sides of singles and they sound like B sides. However, also included is the non-album single Nobody's Fool which is a great soul-infused song and should have been included on this album. A 12" version of the UK single Favourite Shirts finishes off the CD.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: There are so many, but I'll choose to tell the story about how I came across this album. In the summer of 1982, my parents and I went on a family vacation. My sister stayed home to work at a dentist's office to earn some money for college. If memory serves, this vacation took us all over Texas and then over to Mississippi before coming home. It was probably a two week trip. At some point that summer, I heard Men at Work's single, Who Can It Be Now. I loved the song, but didn't know the name of the band (if only we'd had the Shazam iPhone app back then). As a result, I would visit record stores and look at the record jackets for new bands that had saxophone player in the group. Being male, I certainly would not have asked a record store clerk for any help, that would be like asking for driving directions. So, on this particular vacation, I found this Haircut 100 record (I'm thinking it was at a Gibson's in Odessa) and it listed a saxophone player as a band member. I figured this was the band I was looking for, so I bought the album. The only problem was that, being on vacation, I couldn't listen to the album for another ten days or so. When we finally made it home, I put this on my turntable and must have been in an adventurous mood because I wasn't disappointed that Who Can It Be Now wasn't anywhere on the LP. I eventually bought Men at Work's Business as Usual and found the song I was looking for, but in the process, I discovered some of my favorite '80s pop music.

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