So long ago — it’s a certain time, a certain place

Almost a year old but worth posting is this story about the recording of Tango in the Night, Fleetwood Mac’s second best-selling album. Press around the album centered on Lindsey Buckingham’s exit after the band announced its world tour, replaced by competent and hapless hacks Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Stevie Nicks’ stint in Betty… More So long ago — it’s a certain time, a certain place

On the Communards’ “Don’t Leave Me This Way”

A synth pop act covering a Giorgio Moroder-helmed electronic piece was one thing; keeping the spirit of Thelma Houston’s biggest hit with falsetto was another. It’s to Richard Cole and Jimmy Somerville’s credit that they wanted “Don’t Leave Me This Way” to sound as huge and campy as possible. In the era of Parting Glances… More On the Communards’ “Don’t Leave Me This Way”

I really really really really really zig-a-zig-ahh: Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”

Tom Ewing arrives at Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” a single whose impact in America paled beside what the British experienced. Spicemania wasn’t an American phenomenon; we could barely tell the Spices apart. A couple of facts: we got “Wannabe” almost six months after its UK release; and unlike many of the mid-nineties’ biggest hits (No Doubt’s… More I really really really really really zig-a-zig-ahh: Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”

U2’s War: “It…felt like being hit on the head with a rolled-up copy of the Christian Science Monitor for forty-two minutes.”

I don’t care much for War, and Marcello explains why: So U2 felt moved to prove they were Men. The cover star of War – Peter Rowen, who had also been the cover star of Boy some twenty-nine months earlier – was still youthful but now scowled, looked both angry and afraid, hands up behind… More U2’s War: “It…felt like being hit on the head with a rolled-up copy of the Christian Science Monitor for forty-two minutes.”

If a love song could climb over mountains: Bowie’s “Absolute Beginners”

David Bowie essaying a straightforward love song is usually cause to head for the hills (rather like learning that Paul McCartney will record one of those I’m-gonna-play-all-the-instruments-cuz-I’m-a-pop-genius albums he does from time to time). Generally the poseur is most moving when he reminds us that he is one, albeit one blessed with a preternatural gift… More If a love song could climb over mountains: Bowie’s “Absolute Beginners”

Linda Ronstadt forced from singing by Parkinson’s: a couple thoughts

Linda Ronstadt’s seventies output — a series of albums starting with 1974’s Heart Like a Wheel that made her the biggest female rock star in the world — is uneven as hell but over the years I’ve come to love Simple Dreams, bits of Hasten Down The Wind, and a few singles that aren’t studied… More Linda Ronstadt forced from singing by Parkinson’s: a couple thoughts

Something happens and I’m head over heels: Best of 1985

Often dismissed as the hangover after two years of consecutive partying, 1985 does indeed have explaining to do on both the British and American charts. However, I still had no trouble finding plenty of R&B and dance tracks I adore, and quite a few pop songs that didn’t hit number one. A reminder: the songs… More Something happens and I’m head over heels: Best of 1985

Best of 1990

A Facebook exercise forced me to cough up the following twelve best albums of 1990, but I had more fun compiling the singles, whose order of consequence I’m not wedded to. Spot the disparities between the lists, the biggest of which: boomer-rock cluttering the album list, dance on the singles list. ALBUMS 1. LL Cool… More Best of 1990