“Loser” by Beck

19 09 2013

I’ve always liked this song, mostly because it doesn’t seem to be taking itself too seriously.

Beck’s full name is Beck Hanson, and he is from Los Angeles. He has been linked to the Scientology movement.


“Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” by Pigbag

18 09 2013

Speaking of 1980s new wave dance hits – if you’re of a certain age (which I am), this song will likely cause your mind to snap back to the past:

Pigbag formed in Cheltenham, England, in 1980. This was their first single, and was released in 1981. It was re-released in 1982 and reached number 3 on the British charts. The band struggled with creative differences after this, and disbanded in 1983.

“Loopy Dub” by Gen X

17 09 2013

When I think of 1980s dance nights, this song comes to mind:

This is the B side of the extended dance remix of “Dancing With Myself”, released in 1980.

Gen X (or Generation X) were fronted by Billy Idol (born William Broad), who was one of the early Sex Pistols fans and later went on to a successful solo career with songs such as “Mony Mony”.

“Chance” by Big Country

16 09 2013

Here’s one of my favourite songs from the 1980s:

Big Country are from Scotland, and had several hits in the UK in the 1980s. Their front man, Stuart Adamson, struggled with alcoholism and depression, and committed suicide in 2001. The remaining members reunited in 2010, and the band – now with only two original members remaining – produced a new album earlier this year.

“Away From The Numbers” by The Jam

15 09 2013

Here’s one of my favourite songs from the first wave of punk and new wave in Britain. “This link’s breaking away from the chain.”

The Jam were from Surrey, and featured front man Paul Weller. After they disbanded in 1982, he played in the Style Council and then on his own.

What was interesting about reading about The Jam was that they were originally a four-piece band, before guitarist Steve Brookes left. I wonder how he feels now, given that the band went on to be so successful. Does he have any regrets, or is he happy with his life?

“Know Your Enemy” by Green Day

14 09 2013

By all rights, I shouldn’t like this song. It’s arena rock. Its stops and starts are almost scientifically calculated for maximum effect. The lyrics aren’t particularly interesting. But, damn, it’s catchy. That guitar sound is irresistible.

Green Day have been around forever, so you probably know as much about them as I do. They formed in the late 1980s, and were a mainstay of the San Francisco Bay Area punk scene. Their early history is documented in the book Gimme Something Better, which talks about that scene; for the most part, the people interviewed for the book speak well of Green Day despite their enormous success, saying that the band has stayed about as true to their ethics as is possible in that situation. At the very least, they aren’t playing adult-oriented contemporary rock.

“Oh What A Feeling” by Crowbar

13 09 2013

If we’re talking about old-time Canadian content – and why shouldn’t we – I probably should include this, which has been included in about 138,000 beer commercials since its release in 1971:

They sound like they’re having a lot of fun, don’t they?

Crowbar were from Hamilton. Most of them were Ronnie Hawkins’ backup band before he fired them, which I guess happens sometimes. They disbanded in 1975, but have reformed periodically since then.