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, July 28, 2013

Various Artists - Radio Daze: Pop Hits of the '80s, Vol. 2 (1995)

Disc 2 of 5.  These hits (and I'm using that word loosely in some cases) were on the charts in the first half of 1980 when the soft rock kid was a top dog 8th grader at his middle school.  A decent compilation, heavy on the country flavor, it loses steam near the end.

  • With You I'm Born Again - Billy Preston & Syreeta, released November 1979, Pop #4, AC #2, R&B #86. In 1980, I wouldn't have normally liked a song without some sort of backbeat, but there was something about this song I liked.  I wish I could tell you what it was, but I can't put my finger on it.  It still holds up today.
  • Pilot Of The Airwaves - Charlie Dore, released February 1980, Pop #13, AC #4.  I've already told you how I love radio, so it shouldn't surprise you to read that this country-tinged ode to a disc jockey was a favorite of mine, particularly the a capella intro/outro.
  • Him - Rupert Holmes, released January 1980, Pop #6, AC #4.  I hadn't heard this one in years.  There's nothing special about it, just a solid 3½ minutes of soft rock if you ignore the strange vocal solo.  As an 8th grader, my gym classmates and I would mockingly sing this song (with slightly altered lyrics) to our first year teacher/coach, weakly trying to imply that he was gay.  I'll chalk that up to 13 year old ignorance, but its embarrassing now to think I ever acted that way.  Belated apologies to that coach as well as Mr. Holmes.
  • Three Times In Love - Tommy James, released December 1979, Pop #19, AC #1, Country #93.  This doesn't do much for me, but it doesn't bother me enough to skip it.  Sounds like a mid-'70s song to these ears.
  • I Still Have Dreams - Richie Furay, released September 1979, Pop #39.  Don't remember this country rock song.  Furay has a fantastic falsetto voice, it's just wasted on bland material here.
  • Do Right - Paul Davis, released February 1980, Pop #23, AC #4.  Had the 45 and wore it out.  The music is smooth and the vocal bridge is catchy.  What bothers me is the lyrics that can't decide if this wants to be a contemporary Christian song or a love song to a woman.  Plus I disagree with the basic theology here: if we have to 'do right' before God will be our guiding light, then we're all in big trouble.  But I'm not much of a lyrics guy, so that's not going to keep me from liking this one.
  • Biggest Part Of Me - Ambrosia, released March 1980, Pop #3, AC #3, R&B #35.  Had this 45, too.  I liked this song from the get-go. Tight harmonies, Fender Rhodes, lots of hooks - that's the ticket. 
  • Stomp! - The Brothers Johnson, released February 1980, Pop #7, R&B #1, Dance #1.  What a great showcase for the bass player.  This song seems out of place on this disc.  Previously reviewed here. Here's what I wrote then: "I always liked this post-disco single, but it's easy to see why. The song was co-written by Rod Temperton and produced by Qunicy Jones - the team that would later make Thriller. As a result, it sounds like something from that album or Off The Wall."
  • We Were Meant To Be Lovers - Photoglo, released March 1980, Pop #31.  Since I remember the words and melody to the chorus, I'm going to guess I remember this one from radio play.  I'm sure it must have disturbed my mother to her young son singing this around the house.
  • I Pledge My Love - Peaches & Herb, released December 1979, Pop #19, R&B 37.  I don't remember this 6/8 fifties-flavored ballad at all.  It's no Reunited, is it?
  • Lost Her In The Sun - John Stewart, released November 1979, Pop #34.  I don't remember this song, but I recognize that voice from his earlier hit Gold.  Produced by Lindsey Buckingham, this sounds like a bad Fleetwood Mac track.
  • Wondering Where The Lions Are - Bruce Cockburn, released December 1979, Pop #21. This fun nonsense song is a strange mix of folk rock over a bouncy reggae beat.  It actually works, though.  Reminds me of Joe Scruggs (if you had children in the '90s, you probably catch that reference).
Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  During the spring of 1980, I regularly attended forensic meets  with the school speech and drama team (my specialty was prose interpretation).  I remember some of these songs blasting from the boom boxes on the bus trips to the meets.  There also seemed to be a lot of Kenny Rogers played on those trips (The Gambler, She Believes In Me, Coward Of The County, etc.). 

Also on the blog:
Volume 1
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5

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