Tag: Pop Rock

1986, Music

The Way It Is (1986) by Bruce Hornsby and the Range

I know basically nothing about Bruce Hornsby. I remember seeing his name on a Mix 99.9 ad on the subway in high school. And I know he toured with the Dead. That’s all I got.

1986, Music

Blood and Chocolate (1986) by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

At some point a career goes on long enough where it starts to divide the true fans from the people who just got into the artist because they were in the ether, but sometimes the critics will continue to care and sometimes they won’t. I don’t know where exactly that point is with Costello but …

1981, Music

Wanna Be a Star (1981) by Chilliwack

I came of age musically listening to Classic Rock Radio, specifically Q-107 in Toronto. And I came to loathe virtually all CanCon played. (Obvious exceptions: Neil Young and Joni Mitchell when they counted, Rush. No The Band doesn’t usually count.) And so I figured I loathed Chilliwack, though I couldn’t name a song. Another albums …

1981, Music

Private Eyes (1981) by Daryl Hall and John Oates

For years and years, I avoided Hall & Oates because I assumed they were yacht rock. I was only vaguely aware of their songs and sound – actually the only song of theirs I really knew was their cover of “Jingle Bell Rock.” I became vaguely interested in Daryl Hall once I knew about his …

1991, Music

Pocket Full of Kryptonite (1991) by Spin Doctors

What a bizarre story. A bit like Ten but with way fewer sales and hits. “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” hit #17 in December of 1992. “Two Princes” hit #7 in April of 1993. (The album came out in August 1991.) When this came out, the world was apparently not yet ready for it. I’m …

1986, Music

Slipper When Wet (1986) by Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi broke when I was too young to really be aware of them – I was not yet five when this album came out. And they had peaked before I was really conscious of the music on mainstream radio – my family listened to oldies stations – and before I was conscious of my …

1976, Music

Amigo (1976) by Arlo Guthrie

I haven’t heard “Alice’s Restaurant” in years and, honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the entire song, given it’s length. But anyway, I listened to this because it’s considered by some critics to be one of Guthrie’s best albums. That appears to have been a mistake.

1991, Music

Into the Great Wide Open (1991) by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The Jeff Lynne infestation of Petty’s Full Moon Fever has been allowed to fester and now infects the entire band. I understand this was a big hit, and I grew up with the two biggest songs here too, but this is a particularly polished version of the Heartbreakers, that is relatively unrecognizable to the band …

1991, Music

Woodface (1991) by Crowded House

I can’t figure it out, but I know “Chocolate Cake,” “Fall At Your Feet” and “Weather With You.” I’m confused because I was 9 when this album came out and only “Chocolate Cake” reached the Canadian Top 10. Somebody must have had this album, or a greatest hits record or something, right? Anyway, it’s created …

2001, Music

Room for Squares (2001) by John Mayer

When I first heard “No Such Thing” it made no impression on me. I forgot about it. In fact, I didn’t realize it was John Mayer until this month. When I first heard “Your Body is a Wonderland,” my 20-year-old male self dismissed it as female fan pandering, but I was at least aware of …

1986, Music

Back in the High Life (1986) by Steve Winwood

Traffic are one of those bands I want to love more than I actually do. They’re one of those bands who might have been All Time great had they just had a great songwriter. There are so many moments in their music that I get really excited about, but then the quality of the songs …

1976, Music

A Night on the Town (1976) by Rod Stewart

Atlantic Crossing felt like the beginning of Stewart’s long decline from exciting rock and roll singer to raspy poor man’s Tony Bennett. But A Night on the Town finds him in a bit of a holding pattern. The problems of Atlantic Crossing are still here, as are some of the redeeming qualities of that album’s …

1996, Music

Bringing Down the Horse (1996) by The Wallflowers

I think my brother had this album but I don’t think I ever made it far enough into his CD collection before I got to it. I had, um, zero interest. Once I was interested in the contemporary stuff he owned I certainly wasn’t interested in Dylan’s son. That single was everywhere. I must have …

1986, Music

Top Gun Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1986) by Various Artists

Like everyone else my age, I have seen Top Gun more than a few times. Unlike virtually every other boy my age, I didn’t like it. I think it’s because I recognized it was dumb but more because everything else I knew seemed to love it. And I was already watching old war movies and …

1981, Music

East Side Story (1981) by Squeeze

Can I admit something to you? I thought “Tempted” was from the ’60s. Of course, if I’d really listened to it, I might have noticed it wasn’t. But I became familiar with it when I was young and before I had an ear that could spot time and genre differences. And I guess I just …

1976, Music

Turnstiles (1976) by Billy Joel

I have trouble putting into words how much I hate Billy Joel, especially late ’70s Billy Joel. Basically I don’t like anything about his music, though occasionally there will be something redeeming. And I’m getting to that point where I should be inured to him, where the animus should be wearing off. But it’s not.

1996, Music

To the Faithful Departed (1996) by The Cranberries

I know this is not “the big one” but I was actually surprised how many of the singles from this record which I remembered, dare I say almost fondly. (I guess this means I’m getting old enough to just be happy to hear the music of my teens, even when I didn’t like it at …

1991, Music

Mama Said (1991) by Lenny Kravitz

I get why people like Lenny Kravitz. I think there was probably a time in my life when I could have quite liked Lenny Kravitz. (And maybe, for a while, I sort of did.) And maybe, had I not become the music history obsessive that I am, I would like him to this day. But …

1981, Music

Don’t say No (1981) by Billy Squier

I’m pretty sure the first time I heard “The Stroke” was in an arena. I had no idea what it was and I couldn’t figure out why half the audience (at least) seemed to know the song. Too recent to be “classic rock” when I was growing up and too “rock” (I guess) for those …

2001, Music

Drops of Jupiter (2001) by Train

I know very little about the mainstream rock music of the aughts. For the first four years, I was sequestered in rural Quebec, with very little exposure to radio and access to music video channels only sporadically (and English-language for only one year). After returning to the world for two years, I then spent the …

1986, Music

Parade: Music From the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon (1986) by Prince

I have never seen Under the Cherry Moon, just like I haven’t seen his other movies. But everything I read says that this is a lot better than the movie, so I should be okay.

1976, Music

Takin’ It to the Streets (1976) by The Doobie Brothers

A little while ago I wrote about a 1976 Boz Scaggs album where I wondered publicly if it was the birth of Yacht Rock. And then I thought, “no obviously that would have to be the Doobie Brothers, they were likely first.” Though I have not heard Stampede the first Michael McDonald Doobies album does …

1966, Music

If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966) by The Mama’s and the Papa’s

Oof. Every so often you come across a hit album, be it a critical success or a popular success or both, which has aged really poorly. And the Mama’s and the Papa’s debut album has aged as poorly as their terrible use of the apostrophe in their band name.