Great Rock Albums of 1981: Greg Kihn Band- RocKihnRoll



“Tom Sawyer” by Rush lifted my spirits while I was on mess duty in 1981. In the summer of that year, “The Break Up Song” by the Greg Kihn Band made air alert more bearable. For those who never served in the military, when a marine battalion is placed on air alert, that means the president at any time can order them to go where he needs them to. In 1980, President Carter ordered my battalion to Key West Florida to deal with the influx of Cuban refugees (actually it was Castro emptying his prisons.) In 1981, Regan never ordered us to go anywhere but that didn’t stop the top brass from playing (sorry but I have to use the real term here so I apologise to any who might be offended) fuck fuck games with us. Things like getting us up at two in the morning and putting us on trucks to drive forty miles to the air base just for someone to say, “Good job boys.” We couldn’t go more than fifteen miles from the base and had to let the duty NCO know where we were at all times. Of course, because we were limited to where we could go, we went to the field a lot. So it’s no wonder I needed something to raise the spirits a little and “The Break Up Song” was it.

I think what first caught my eye to the song was the guitar sound along with those famous lyrics “ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah.” Although at the time, I thought each of those “ah’s” started with a “b.” It was another three years before I learned I was actually singing the wrong thing. Saying that, I did mentally compose my own x rated version but I won’t go there. The rest of the “RocKihnRoll” album goes along the same vein. Like the big single, the great majority of the songs on the album have that catchy guitar intro that turns your head to it and makes it worth a listen. While the rock doesn’t go too heavy, it’s there and you definitely notice it. Even the ballad “Sheila” which starts with a keyboard, suddenly goes into a hard rock moment. I found it difficult to pick tracks other than “The Break Up Song” that stand out and that isn’t a bad thing for this album. However, I would vote for “Womankind” and “Trouble in Paradise” as other songs of note. The Greg Kihn band shows that they were a good tight band here.

Track Listing:

1. Valerie

2. The Break Up Song (They Don’t Write’ Em)

3. Womankind

4. Can’t Stop Hurtin’ Myself

5. Trouble in Paradise

6. Sheila

7. Nothing’s Gonna Change

8. The Girl Most Likely

9. When The Music Starts

10. True Confessions

Greg Kihn Band
Greg Kihn Band

Greg Kihn- vocals, guitar

Dave Carpender- guitar, vocals

Larry Lynch- drums, vocals

Steve Wright- bass, vocals

Gary Phillips- keyboards, vocals

In my quest to list guitarists who may not have had the respect they possibly deserve, I must add Dave Carpender. Watching the live performance of the album closer “True Confessions,” I must say that he can bend the six string a little bit. That only adds to what a good album this is. It was just what was needed back in 1981, not only for me, but I think for music in general.

Next post: The Who- Face Dances

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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