Archive for A Flock of Segulls

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Steve Winwood- Talking Back to the Night

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Talking_Back_the_to_Night

 Most of us in our lifetimes have been influenced to watch a film or buy an album because someone or some entity we trust had constantly sung its praises. I know it has happened to me. In early September of 1982, I was given 24 hours bed rest after having two of my wisdom teeth removed. The Navy doctor who performed the task said it was the toughest extraction he ever had to do, those teeth were really in there. Moving on, during that 24 hour period and drifting in and out of bouts of sleep, I had the radio as a companion. The local station outside the base, WXQR in Jacksonville, North Carolina, kept plugging the new Steve Winwood album, “Talking Back to the Night.” The one deejay did this so much that I felt compelled to listen to the album and even give it its place in history on here.

To this day, I don’t think if I would have listened to album if it hadn’t been so heavily plugged on the radio. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent album and Steve Winwood is a very talented musician. Like Todd Rundgren, he plays all the instruments himself except that he does use drum machines unlike Todd who actually plays the drums. Also there is the fact that there are no guitar solos on the album and Todd can also shred. But this isn’t about Todd and I shouldn’t contrast the two really. It’s just that “Talking Back to the Night” wouldn’t have been an album I normally would have listened to, it’s not hard rock enough for me. If anything, I appreciate slightly more now that I am mellowing a bit with old age. I stress a little, I have the Sepultura “Greatest Hits” CD waiting for me in the car.

Following the 1982 tradition, “Talking Back to the Night” opens with the hit single “Valerie.” It is an okay song and I remember it being played on the radio back then. It sets the stage for the rest of the album. The synthesizers dominate the entire album and while I get a little disappointed at the lack of a power chord from a guitar, the synthesizers are expertly done. You can’t take anything away from Steve in that regard. Apart from “Valerie,” the two tracks that stood out for me on the album were “Help Me Angel” and the title track. I have long ago come to the conclusion that while it’s not a rock album in the traditional sense, it’s not a total synth pop album either. I think it’s one of those albums you can play at a party where there is a wide range of musical tastes among the attendees and no one would complain.

Track Listing:

1. Valerie

2. Big Girls Walk Away

3. And I Go

4. While There’s a Candle Burning

5. Still in the Game

6. It Was Happiness

7. Help Me Angel

8. Talking Back to the Night

9. There’s a River

Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood- synthesizers, lead and backing vocals, drum machines, guitar, keyboards

Like A Flock of Seagulls, it could be said that Steve Winwood help set the stage to the descent of music into synth pop. I don’t think this was Steve’s intention here. He may have been going along with the popular music of the time but he is too talented of a musician to have played that cheaply. This album is living proof of that.

Next post: Fleetwood Mac- Mirage

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: A Flock of Seagulls

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-DebutSeagulls

I first heard of A Flock of Seagulls on the radio when it was advertised they would be opening for Cheap Trick at an advertised concert. While, I thought nothing much about it at the time, I wondered after hearing their debut self titled album and comparing it to the albums I’ve heard from Cheap Trick, if this would have made a good combination for a concert. As we already know, Cheap Trick are known for  for their hard rock sound but A Flock of Seagulls had a much more progressive sound and were considered very new wave at the time. It only leaves me wondering how a concert like this would have gone down.

Some have argued that A Flock of Seagulls were the springboard that made it possible for progressive rock to descend into synth pop. Their sound is very keyboard oriented but it sounds nothing like the music which would come out a year or two later. Of course, synth pop was already making a name for itself in the UK but I can’t put that branding on this band.

Their first offering to my ears was their biggest song, “I Ran (So Far Away.) I did and still do like the way the keyboards are used in the song. It has a relaxing, reassuring feel to the song and you can appreciate that the band are capable musicians. The rest of the album also generates this same mood but the songs that stick out most for me are “Modern Love is Automatic,” “Space Age Love Song” and the instrumental “DNA.” In my view, this is a great album to lay back, mellow out and just appreciate.

Track Listing:

1. Modern Love is Automatic

2. Messages

3. I Ran (So Far Away)

4. Space Age Love Song

5. You Can Run

6. Telecommunication

7. Standing in the Doorway

8. Don’t Ask Me

9. DNA

10. Tokyo

11. Man Made

A Flock of Seagulls- Also this haircut would also be a trademark for the band

A Flock of Seagulls- Also this haircut would also be a trademark for the band

Mike Score- lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar

Paul Reynolds- lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Frank Maudsley- bass, backing vocals

Ali Score- drums, percussion

In 1982, A Flock of Seagulls heralded an age of new wave into music. Their melodic, progressive sound was truly original and yet enjoyed by many.

Next post: Men At Work- Business As Usual

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London