Sunday, September 24, 2017

U2 (Late '80s)

During the early '80s, U2 was a band with a growing cult following, known for its idealistic and sometimes spiritual songs. During the mid to late '80s, U2 became an enormously popular worldwide phenomenon, playing to stadiums and dominating the music charts. See the previous post on this part of U2's career.

The breakthrough moment for U2's popularity was perhaps their phenomenal performance at the Live Aid concert, which drew attention to the band from many who had not yet been followers.

In 1987, the U2 released The Joshua Tree, a critically acclaimed album that also topped the charts and became a blockbuster seller internationally. The Joshua Tree spawned several hits, including the shimmering "With or Without You."

Here, "Where The Streets Have No Name," also from The Joshua Tree.

In 1988, U2 released a rockumentary film, Rattle and Hum, with an accompanying album that included collaborations with B.B.King, Bob Dylan, and Harlem's New Voices of Freedom gospel choir.  Above, "Angel of Harlem," from Rattle and Hum.

In the years since the end of the '80s, U2 has become an international phenomenon, and perhaps the most acclaimed acclaimed band to emerge out of the '80s decade. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

U2 (Early '80s)

For many young people growing up in the '80s, U2 was a band that represented the idealistic side of the decade: the part of the decade that represented hoping for a better world and striving for something beyond mundane materialism. U2 eventually would become among the greatest rock superstars in history. But before that, they were a striving alternative band with high ideals.  

In "Gloria," from the 1981 album, October, U2 shows the compelling combination of spirituality and hope and good rock n roll that represented their work. The song is essentially a prayer. According to Wikipedia:
The chorus "Gloria in te Domine / Gloria exultate" translates to "Glory in You, Lord / Glory, exalt [Him]" with "exalt" in the imperative mood, a reference to Psalm 30:2 (in te Domine, speravi). The song also contains references to Colossians 2:9-10 ("Only in You I'm complete") and James 5:7-9 ("The door is open / You're standing there").
In "Sunday Bloody Sunday," from their 1982 album, War, U2 brings out their earnest idealism, in a song protesting the violence which was then a fact of life in Northern Ireland.
"Pride (in the Name of Love)", a soaring anthem from the 1984 album The Unforgetable Fire, is a tribute to Martin Luther King. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band: On the Dark Side

Happy Labor Day!!  To help us celebrate, here's a real blue collar band from the '80s: John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band, with 1983's "On the Dark Side." This song is from the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack, but John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band are the real deal. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Juice Newton - Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me

I remember this catchy country-pop song, with the funny video from early on in the '80s decade. Juice Newton's "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me." (Thanks and acknowledegment to JuiceNewtonVEVO.) 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance


An '80s classic: "The Safety Dance" from Canadian band Men Without Hats.

We can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're are no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to a place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can dance.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Heart (and the Sun)

Here's a very '80s follow up to my post in honor of the solar eclipse. This classic 1983 song, Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler, has suddenly gotten popular with the coming of the August 21 solar eclipse.  Its been everywhere, especially among those celebrating the eclipse. (Acknowledgement and thanks to bonnietylerVEVO.) 

To show just how popular its been, and to truly tie it all together, Bonnie Tyler herself sang the song to a cruise ship full of people as the eclipse was underway.  Here's a clip. (Acknowledgement and thanks to CBS Miami.) 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Eclipses 1979 and 2017

In anticipation of the 2017 solar eclipse, which will take place on Monday, August 21, I am recalling another solar eclipse which occurred during my childhood.

In 1979, when I was in fifth grade, another nationwide solar eclipse happened. We were in school when it was occurring. I lived in a part of the United States which did not get to see, or hardly got to see, the full solar eclipse. Nevertheless, the teachers had us sit down on the carpet, and they brought in a TV monitor and put on the coverage of the eclipse. I seem to recall it was the ABC News coverage, of which I have found the above clip. (Thanks and acknowledgement to Steve Newman.) This video of the 1979 eclipse coverage looks so familiar, and brings back memories of our sitting on the carpet and watching coverage of various parts of the country going momentarily dark as the moon covered the sun.

Here's another clip about the phenomenon of eclipses. (Thanks and acknowledgement to Vox.)

Please, if you plan to experience the eclipse, be very careful not to stare at the eclipse, as it could cause severe vision damage. But, otherwise, enjoy this fascinating astronomical event.