Category: 1985

1983, 1985, 1999, 2001, Music

Higglety Pigglety Pop!; Where the Wild Things Are (2001) by the London Sinfonietta conducted by Oliver Knussen, starring Cynthia Buchan, Lisa Saffer et al

This disc features both of Knussen’s “children’s operas,” based on books by Maurice Sendak.

1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, Music

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992) by Aphex Twin

I am familiar with electronic music up until a point – that point is somewhere in the very early 80s. I have no idea what happened between then and the music we have today (save for the odd track that gets played too much or turned into stadium music).

1985

Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) by Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death is a frustrating and maddening book that might be better called Old Man Yells at New Technology and About How Things Were Better Before He Was Born. It’s considered a classic examination of the problems of new technology, which I find odd given how shoddily the argument is made. If this …

1965, 1967, 1985, 1986, 2004, Music

Kagel: Pan; String Quartets I-III (2004) by Arditti String Quartet

This disc collects the first three of Kagel’s quartets and pairs them with a piece he wrote for string quartet and piccolo (Dietmar Wiesner guests on that piece).

1985, Books, Fiction

Less than Zero (1985) by Bret Easton Ellis

On some level, this feels like an ’80s LA Catcher in the Rye, albeit with richer and older kids, and drugs and prostitution. I feel like this may have been Ellis’ intent, I also think that the acclaim that greeted it upon its release likely was due, in part to that comparison, however misguided. Holden …

1985, Music

3-Way Tie (for Last) (1986) by Minutemen

I have come to the Minutemen completely backwards. I have been a fIREHOSE fan for quite some time but am only now getting to the point of listening to these guys and of course I listen to their last album… Anyway, this is a set of rock songs (and song fragments) that varies from righteous …

1985, Music

To Mega Therion (1985) by Celtic Frost

I don’t particularly listen to Black Metal or Death Metal. I don’t listen to them because the idea of a band focusing on just one style for album after album bores me. So I can’t really say too much about this and its purported historical importance on both of those sub-genres. Apparently it helped establish …

1985, TV

The Dark Glow of the Mountains (1985, Werner Herzog)

This documentary Herzog made for TV focuses almost entirely on the preparation for a never before attempted double ascent of two of the highest mountains in world. In typical fashion, Herzog is more interested in the climbers than he is in the climb itself. One of the climbers in particular is articulate and philosophical about …

1985, Music

Rum Sodomy and the Lash (1985) by The Pogues

I have long loved If I Should Fall From Grace With God and considered it pretty near essential, especially as punk treatments of roots music go. It’s got what is probably their most famous song – “Fairy Tale in New York,” the Pogues song that you probably have heard even if you have never heard …

1100s, 1985, Music

A Feather on the Breath of God (1985) by Gothic Voices

This is, by all accounts, the album that started our time’s fascination with early Medieval music. So from that point alone, this is an important release. But as with other Hildegard releases, I don’t know enough about her music to know whether or not these pieces were meant to be sung together. I suspect there’s …

1985, Music

The Firstborn is Dead (1985) by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

The Bad Seeds’ blues album, which was a big surprise to me. They take both old blues tunes and a not so old country tune (I think it’s country) and turn it into a demented re-imagining of the Blues that sounds much more like the early Bad Seeds (and even, at times, the Birthday Party) …

1985, Music

Brothers in Arms (1985) by Dire Straits

Ten years ago I wrote the following: This might not be so bad if they had actually hired a producer.  It’s like Knopfler put a big stamp on this record saying “This album was recorded in the ’80s!”  Knopfler’s production is the aural equivalent of those ’50s sci-fi films that imagined the “futuristic” ’70s and …

1985, Movies

King Solomon’s Mines (1985, J. Lee Thompson)

This is one of those wannabe Raiders of the Lost Ark films, even though it is based on a novel from about 100 years earlier. But unlike some of the other ’80s adventure revivals, this is practically a copy of the Indiana Jones series, albeit with more (attempts at) humour. One could interpret it as a parody, but parodies …

1985, 1990, 1993, 1995, Music

Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka; Concerto for Harpsichord; Good Night (1995) by Henryk Gorecki, performed by the London Sinfonietta et. al

This is a rather arbitrary collection of Gorecki’s later “avant garde” works, featuring a concerto from 1980 and two chamber pieces from the 1990s. But putting the arbitrariness to the side, what we are left with is some very stirring music.

1966, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 2008, Music

Complete String Quartets (2008) by Philip Glass, performed by the Smith Quartet

First off, this is no longer ‘complete’ if it ever really was – Glass has apparently written a 6th quartet. (Also, there are other pieces he has written for string quartet that do not appear here, but they are not numbered among his string quartets, apparently.) Glass’ first quartet is a really great piece of …

1985, Movies

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985, Rudy de Luca)

Here we have a film inspired by the old popular song “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (supposedly the oldest continuously operating phone number in NYC, according to Wikipedia), a top 5 hit for Glenn Miller in 1940. The song inspired a 1963 Bugs Bunny cartoon and somehow that Warner Brothers cartoon became this movie. The title is a …

1985, Music

Telephone Free Landslide Victory by Camper Van Beethoven (IRS 1985)

Imagine Kaleidoscope, if they were ’80s college kids (and so liked the Velvets), had far more interest in ska, far less interest in learning to play foreign instruments, and with a sense of humour, and you maybe sort of get the idea of these guys. The instrumentals tackle a variety of styles but many of …

1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, Movies

80s Movie Lists

I’ve discovered that I am not always a good judge of 80s movies, as many of them I saw as a kid and they hold some kind of importance for me, whether they are any good or not. When I have rewatched them, the rating has no doubt dropped. But in many cases I haven’t …