Note: this release was received as a gift as an LP, later replaced by a CD.
Even though this album had a January 1980 release date, in my mind it's a summer album. It's also a fun, pioneering synthpop album - most of the recording techniques and synth technology were cutting edge when this was recorded in 1979. I didn't hear this album until the summer of 1982, when my friend Jim gave me his copy of the LP. If memory serves, it was a secondhand promotional release he had picked up for 99 cents at Tower Bargain Center. I was intrigued and, ultimately, not disappointed. Great synth work and production, average song writing, and fair-to-middlin' vocals. This isn't a 5 star album, but it was just what I needed when I got it and started a lifelong appreciation for Trevor Horn's production work. Not even 37 minutes long, it seems like the album is just getting started when it finishes, but I'll just play it again. And not take it too seriously.
Critics are all over the map on this one. I've seen it rated anywhere from 2 stars to 4½ stars. There's a lot of crossover between this album and Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club's English Garden (1979). I made the argument in the previous post that the Buggles' version of Video Killed The Radio Star was a cover, but was rightly corrected in the comment section. I own a vinyl copy of the Buggles' follow-up LP, 1981's Adventures In Modern Recording, so it won't be appearing on this blog, but could show up eventually over at My Favorite Decade.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart
Tracks: History has been kind to Video Killed The Radio Star, becoming one of the go-to MTV trivia questions. It is heard much more on the radio these days than it was when it was released (for the record, it spent one week in the Top 40, peaking at #40 on December 15, 1979). But the album is so much greater than the futuristic sum of its parts. I don't skip any tracks, but my favorites included the aforementioned VKTRS, Living In The Plastic Age, Clean Clean, and Elstree. All four were released as singles with accompanying rudimentary videos (also considered cutting edge at the time).
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I always enjoyed this album, but my friend Scott absolutely adored it and would usually put it on whenever he came over. Scott being Scott, he never asked first, he just did it.