80's Music


On this day in music history: October 18, 1988 - “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1”, the debut album by The Traveling Wilburys is released. Produced by Otis Wilbury and Nelson Wilbury, it is recorded at FPSHOT in Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK, Lucky Studios and Dave Stewart Studios in Los Angeles, CA from April - May 1988. In early 1988, George Harrison is enjoying the success of his album “Cloud Nine”. Appearing on the radio show Rockline, he is asked about unreleased material. George says, “What I’d really like to do next is… to do an album with me and some of my mates… a few tunes, you know”. “It’s this new group I got: it’s called the Traveling Wilburys”. Planning to issue “This Is Love” as a single, he decides to record a new song for the B-side. This and a private in-joke results in one of the most successful and acclaimed albums of the year. While working with former ELO leader Jeff Lynne, Harrison coins the name “Wilbury”, joking that “we’ll bury ‘em in the mix”, to cover any mistakes. At the time Lynne is working with rock legend Roy Orbison, and they all meet for dinner one evening. Orbison, who Harrison has known since 1963, is invited to participate in the session George is planning. Needing a studio, George calls Bob Dylan to ask if they can use his. Dylan agrees and is added to the fold. Having lent a guitar to friend Tom Petty, Harrison goes to retrieve it and tells him about planning to record with Dylan, Orbison and Lynne, then also invites Petty. Meeting at Dylan’s studio in early April of 1988, the five musicians joined by drummer Jim Keltner write and record “Handle With Care” (#45 Pop). When George plays it for his label Warner Bros Records, they tell him it’s too good for a B-side, and request a full album to go with it. Enjoying the initial session, they quickly write and record more songs. Adapting the name Traveling Wilburys and referring to themselves as “half-brothers” and the sons of “Charles Truscott Wilbury, Sr.”, they take the names “Nelson” (Harrison), “Otis” (Lynne), “Charlie T., Jr.” (Petty), “Lucky” (Dylan) and “Lefty” (Orbison). The resulting album is a huge success. Sadly, Roy Orbison dies less than two months after its release. His band mates pay tribute to him in the video for the second single “End Of The Line” (#63 Pop), showing a framed picture of him, and his guitar sitting in a rocking chair. “Volume 1” wins a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group in 1989. It spins off a sequel titled “Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3” in 1990, but is less successful than its predecessor. Falling out of print, the albums are remastered and reissued as a limited edition box set (on CD and vinyl) in 2007, six years after George Harrison’s death. The first album pressed on 180 gram vinyl, is issued as a stand alone release in 2016. “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.


On this day in music history: October 18, 1989 - “11”, the third album by The Smithereens is released. Produced by Ed Stasium, it is recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Los Angeles, CA in Early - Mid 1989. Scoring their first chart single “Only A Memory” (#92 Pop) and also landing on the charts with their second album “Green Thoughts”, The Smithereens return to the studio in early 1989 to begin work on their next release. Having previously worked with producer Don Dixon (R.E.M., Guadalcanal Diary) on the first two albums, the New Jersey based rock band  work with engineer and producer Ed Stasium (Living Colour) on the new album. The third release features Belinda Carlisle, The Honeys and Maria Vidal providing background vocals on various tracks. It spins off four singles including their first top 40 hit “A Girl Like You” (#38 Pop, #3 Modern Rock, #2 Mainstream Rock). “A Girl Like You” was originally written for inclusion in the Cameron Crowe film “Say Anything”, but the producers end up passing on the song when they feel the lyrics reveal too much of the films’ storyline. The album cover art (designed by Mick Haggerty) is inspired by artist Saul Bass’ iconic movie poster designed for the film “Oceans Eleven”. “11” peaks at number forty one on the Billboard Top 200.

The Signs As Lyrics By The Cure.
  • Aries: Every night I burn, every night I scream your name. Every night I burn, every night my dream is the same.
  • Taurus: I'm coming to find you if it takes me all night, can't stand here like this anymore. For always and ever is always for you. I want it to be perfect like before.
  • Gemini: And every time I try to pick it up like falling sand, as fast as I pick it up, it runs away through my clutching hands.
  • Cancer: But if I had your faith, then I could make it safe and clean. If only I was sure that my head on the door was a dream.
  • Leo: I'll show you in spring it's a treacherous thing. We missed you, hissed the lovecats.
  • Virgo: Remember how it used to be, when the stars would fill the sky. Remember how we used to dream, those nights would never end.
  • Libra: Strange as angels, dancing in the deepest oceans, twisting in the water, you're just like a dream.
  • Scorpio: Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am free again.
  • Sagittarius: When I see you happy as a girl that lives in a world of make-believe, it makes me pull my hair all out, to think I could've let you leave.
  • Capricorn: The secrets I hide, twist me inside. They make me weaker. So I trick myself, like everybody else.
  • Aquarius: And the way the rain comes down hard, that's how I feel inside.
  • Pisces: If only I'd thought of the right words, I could've held onto your heart. If only I'd thought of the right words, I wouldn't be breaking apart, all my pictures of you.

On this day in music history: October 18, 1983 - “Rock ‘N Soul Part 1”, the fourteenth album by Daryl Hall & John Oates is released. Produced by Daryl Hall, John Oates, Bob Clearmountain, Christopher Bond, Neil Kernon and Arif Mardin, it is recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios, Advantage Sound Studios, The Hit Factory, Electric Lady Studios in New York City, Larrabee Sound Studios in West Hollywood, CA, and Western Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from March 1973 - September 1983. The duos’ first greatest hits album, the twelve track compilation covers material recorded between 1973 and 1983, including two newly recorded songs (“Say It Isn’t So” #2 Pop, #45 R&B, and “Adult Education” #8 Pop), plus a live recording of “Wait For Me”. The original cover art features a caricature of the duo and comes in three different color variations along with a calendar/poster. Two music videos are shot for “Say It Isn’t So”. The first is a “concept” clip featuring the original LP/45 mix is only aired once on MTV at the time of the song’s release. That first video is later posted on YouTube. The video that is widely seen is a performance clip shot on the roof of a building in New York City, and uses an edit of John “Jellybean” Benitez’s 12" dance remix. The second clip is released on the video compilation “Video Collection - 7 Big Ones” in 1984. On a limited basis, some record stores give away a free 7" of their newly recorded version of the holiday classic “Jingle Bell Rock” (pressed on either red or green vinyl and packaged in a picture sleeve) with purchase of the LP. Initial printings of the LP sleeve do not mention the two new songs by name, and instead state “Plus Two New Songs (Recorded In September 1983)” in large block print. Subsequent pressings also add "Say It Isn’t So” and “Adult Education” in large print, with the original blurb reduced in size. When the album is originally issued on CD in the 80’s, the illustrated cover artwork is replaced with a still photograph of Hall & Oates (taken from the “One On One” music video shoot) also used for the US picture sleeve for “Say It Isn’t So”. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2006, restoring the original cover artwork (red, yellow and black cover), reproducing the calendar/poster (as a fold out in the CD booklet), with “Family Man” and 'You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling" added as bonus tracks. It is also reissued as a hybrid SACD and 180 gram vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2015. It is also reissued on vinyl by RCA Sony/Legacy in 2017. It also contains all of the original vinyl packaging, including the hype sticker found on the first release, and comes with an mp3 download card of the full LP. “Rock 'N Soul Part 1” peaks at number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

The signs as popular 80′s songs...

Aries: Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses (1987) - She’s got a smile that it seems to me, reminds me of childhood memories.

Taurus: Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield (1981) - But lately something’s changed, it ain’t hard to define. Jessie’s got himself a girl and I want to make her mine.

Gemini: Billie Jean by Michael Jackson (1982) - She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene. I said don’t mind, but what do you mean I am the one?

Cancer: Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears (1985) - Help me make the most, of freedom and of pleasure. Nothing ever lasts forever.

Leo: She Drives Me Crazy by the Fine Young Cannibals (1989) - She drives me crazy like no one else. She drive me crazy, and I can’t help myself.

Virgo: Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper (1984) - If you’re lost you can look and you will find me, time after time.

Libra: Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds (1985) - Don’t you forget about me, I’ll be alone, dancing you know it baby.

Scorpio: Tainted Love by Soft Cell (1981) - Don’t touch me, please, I cannot stand the way you tease. I love you though you hurt me so.

Sagittarius: You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC (1980) - Working double time, on the seduction line. She was one of a kind, she’s just mine, all mine.

Capricorn: Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics (1983) - I travel the world and the seven seas, everybody’s looking for something.

Aquarius: Jack and Diane by John Mellencamp (1982) - Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.

Pisces: With or Without You by U2 (1987) - Through the storm we reach the shore, you gave it all but I want more.


On this day in music history: October 18, 1988 - “Everything”, the third album by The Bangles is released. Produced by Davitt Sigerson, Walker Ingleheart, John Philip Shenale and Phillip White, it is recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles, CA and Studio 55 in Hollywood, CA from Late 1987 - Mid 1988. Issued as the follow up to their breakthrough release “Different Light”, it is another successful project for the L.A. based female rock quartet, but it ends up being their last album of new material for fifteen years. Internal band friction that began during the recording of the previous album intensifies during the recording of “Everything”. With CBS Records placing more and more emphasis and media focus on Susanna Hoffs rather than on the band as a whole, leads to the demise of The Bangles in 1990. It spins off three singles including “In Your Room” (#5 Pop) and “Eternal Flame” (#1 Pop). The album is remastered and reissued by Wounded Bird Records in 2007, including the extended 12" mix of “In Your Room” as an added bonus track. “Everything” peaks at number fifteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.