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.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hall & Oates - Big Bam Boom (1984)

Note: this release was originally given to me as a cassette tape, later replaced by the 2004 CD reissue with 4 bonus tracks.

I had a dream last night that I was wearing a t-shirt with this album cover on it and throughout the dream, I could hear track 4: Bank On Your Love. A bizarre sign, indeed.

This album was a marked departure for the group as they updated their "blue-eyed soul" sound to match the times. Lots of synths, sequencing, echo, and dance beats in a louder and noisier setting than we were used to with these guys. Now it sounds like every other dance/hip-hop album from the late '80s, so I guess these guys were actually ahead of their time in terms of sonic originality. Still, it all comes down to songwriting, and, in those terms, this album is weaker than what came before. It really was the beginning of the end for the duo. Unfortunate. The 2004 reissue has excellent liner notes including a historical essay about the duo and album from pop singer/music journalist Ken Sharp.

Both continue to perform and record. Most notably, Daryl Hall has an excellent webcast titled Live From Daryl's House that you should check out.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #5 (Jan 5, 1985)
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #25
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #7

Tracks: I usually listened to side one of my tape, so I still prefer the first 5 tracks here. Not a weak track in the bunch. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid. The remaining 4 tracks (side 2 of the album) don't really do much for me.

Bonus Tracks: As an unapologetic child of the '80s, I loves me some 12" remixes. I had never heard any of these mixes before, so their inclusion here is a nice treat plus it adds nearly 30 minutes of music to the disc. The 12" versions of Out Of Touch, Method Of Modern Love, and Dance On your Knees are good. Don't care much for Possession Obsession.

I'm not usually one for backmasking nonsense, but if you like that sort of thing, here's a portion of the 12" version of Dance On Your Knees played backward which contains Hall singing Swept Away (written by Daryl Hall, Swept Away was a top 40 hit for Diana Ross in 1984):

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I really didn't start listening to this album until the fall of 1985. I had heard all the hits on the radio, of course, but someone gave me their used cassette of this album and it, along with Thompson Twins' Here's To Future Days, was put on almost nightly after dinner in my college dorm room as I chewed the fat with buddies Larry and Jim. After that, I usually hit the practice room or visited my new girlfriend. That girlfriend has been my wife for 23 years now, so my time spent with her paid off better than my time spent in a practice room.

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