Monday, March 31, 2014

The A-Z Blogger's Challenge 2014

Well, now that New Wave Month is over here on John's World, there is no time to rest.  Tomorrow is April 1st and it's time once again for the A-Z Blogger's Challenge, a month where bloggers devote time to posting pieces on topics from A to Z.  This will be my 4th year doing the challenge and hopefully it'll be my best one ever.

So far, I've been thinking on making this year's challenge a themed event, where I post A-Z topics centered on one general topic, and although I haven't chosen one yet, I've narrowed it down a bit.  You're just going to have to wait and see what I decide, so stay tuned...


New Wave Month Song of the Day - It's My Life - Talk Talk

Well, today is March 31st and it is the final day of New Wave Month here on John's World.  I hope you've enjoyed this month's array of Blondie and the B52s, Erasure and Yaz, and all of the other great stuff in between. I know I have, but I am ready to get to today's stuff in about 24 hours.  In the meantime, here's a favorite of many from the new wave era, It's My Life...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day #2 - Chains of Love - Erasure

Whereas A Little Respect was probably one of Erasure's biggest hits, this one wasn't far behind...

Do you remember
There was a time....

New Wave Song of the Day - A Little Respect - Erasure

I tried to discover
A little something to make me sweeter
Oh baby refrain, from breaking my heart
I'm so in love with you
I'll be forever blue
That you give me no reason
Why you're making me work so hard...

Today, the last Sunday of New Wave Month, we feature one of the most enduring new wave bands. Erasure, made up of singer/songwriter Andy Bell and keyboardist/songwriter Vince Clarke (also a member of Yaz, featured all day yesterday), was always more popular in their native U.K. than they were here, but they've always been a popular act within the gay community (Bell is openly gay).  The duo have recorded many albums over the years (they still work together), and have had hits here and there, but none as popular as their tunes from the new wave era.

This is one of their most well-known and my personal favorite.  They play this one a lot over the summer at Cherry's on Fire Island and nearly every time they do, everyone sings along.  Check out A Little Respect...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Wave Song of the Day #4 - Don't Go - Yaz

Came in from the city
Walked into the door
I turned around
When I heard the sound
Of footsteps on the floor

Yaz was so good, I couldn't help but put up another classic.  This one was another club smash, fueled by that synthesizer and those quick, snappy lyrics.  Awesome!

New Wave Month Song of the Day #3 - Only You - Yaz

Our third cut from Upstairs at Eric's is a sweet ballad that's waaaayyyy underrated.  Great, great tune!

New Wave Month Song of the Day #2 - Midnight - Yaz

Here is my absolute favorite song off Yaz' Upstairs at Eric's.  The song takes place just after Alison's lover finds out that she cheated on him and he's run off.  It's now midnight and she's out there searching for him in a rainstorm.  The lyrics, the mood, the voice....absolutely awesome!



Midnight, it's raining outside, he must be soaking wet
Everyone is sleeping tight, God knows I tried my best
Darling, you know it looks bad
Just lost the best thing that I ever had, well
Still I don't know why I did him wrong, no
It's too late, now, he's gone to say

Baby, oh, no, can't leave me now
Said, think about it, please
'Cause I love you, and I need you
And I should have thought of that before I did you wrong, yeah
Before I did you wrong
I should have thought of that
Oo, before I did you wrong

Heartache, heartache, yeah
When I saw his face I could see how bad I'd let him down
Cheating when he was working hard, I just had to mess around
I knew from the start he ain't got much money
I should have stayed content with all that good, sweet honey
He's a good, strong man, and I love him so
So how on Earth can I let him go? said, whoah


And now, it's midnight, it's raining outside, yeah
And I'm soaking wet, still looking for that man of mine
And I ain't found him yet, well
All of this rain can wash away my tears
But nothing can replace all of those wasted years
In all of this I tell you I have learnt
Playing with fire gets you burnt
And I'm still burning


You say you'll lose your pride
Well, don't you know, dear? don't you know
I'll lose so much more if you go now?
No, no, no
No, no, no
No, no, no, no

Said, whoah
Do do

Do do do-do do do-do do-do do
Do do do-do do-do-do-do-do-do
Do do do do do
Na-na-na-na-na na-na-na-na-na-na
Da-da da da-da da, ba ba-da
Da do da no
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

New Wave Month Song of the Day #1 - Situation - Yaz

We begin our last weekend of New Wave Month with one of my favorite new wave bands.  Yaz (or Yazoo as they were originally called in their native U.K.) was made up of former Depeche Mode songwriter and half of the fabulous duo known as Erasure, Vince Clarke on keyboards and powerhouse singer Alison Moyet on vocals.  The band recorded only two albums, the classic Upstairs at Eric's and You and Me Both, before breaking up in 1983.

Their debut album produced two monster hits here in the U.S., and several other great songs that made Upstairs at Eric's a classic.  The uniquely identifiable synth track and awesome vocals of Moyet on Situation made it a #1 dance smash and still endures on dance floors to this day and is only the first of several Yaz tunes to be featured today.  Check it out...

Do I dress for every situation
Moving through the doorway of a nation
Pick me up and check the doubt
Baby I can't do without
Don't mess around
Ya bring me down
How you get about
Don't make a sound just move out

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day #2 - Love and Pride - King

That's what my heart 
Yearns for now 
Love and pride

Here's a second Song of the Day for your new wave listening pleasure.  This one wasn't a monster hit, by any means, but it was a great song to dance to in the club!

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Tenderness - General Public

Here's a new wave tune that's simply pleasing to the ears, with tinges of island flavor and a sweet, sweet hook. Happy Friday!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant

Here's a new wave tune I'm sure a lot of people will remember.  Adam Ant was kind of a sex symbol there for awhile (an ex of mine was in love with him!), and when he recorded this song in 1982 he was at the top of his game as a solo artist, having just split with his band Adam & the Ants only a few months earlier.

That band had had a few minor hits that played in heavy rotation in the early days of MTV.  Songs like Antmusic, Prince Charming, and Stand and Deliver carried a unique sound with themes of revolutionary times of more than two-hundred years ago, with war drums and soldier's chants and they had a look to match.  Adam continued in that style alone, too.

After going solo, Adam had a few hits like Desperate, But Not Serious and Strip, and he even had a few minor hits as late as 1995, but none matched the catchy sound of this one.  Check out Goody Two Shoes and have a great day!


Goody two, goody two, goody, goody two shoes
Goody two, goody two, goody, goody two shoes
Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Diana Ross

Sometime during the day I saw a post on Facebook wishing Diana Ross a happy birthday.  For anyone who knows me or has followed my writing over the years, you know how I love Miss Ross.  She was my very first diva and the one person who helped me to learn that dancing is not only good exercise, but the ultimate freedom of expression for me.  Years ago I would have known that today was her birthday, but she really keeps out of the spotlight these days and you know me and music...there's just so much to love I don't always get around to the older stuff.

Every once in awhile, though, I get into a mood to listen to her.  Diana Ross' catalog is just so expansive, from her days with the Supremes to her early solo years to the disco days and her 80's RCA days and even a little beyond.  Like all music, her songs bring me back to places in my life and I am grateful to have had the experience of knowing her music.

So here's one of my first Diana Ross songs, from the first ever album of hers I ever bought, diana.  At the time, the song was a major radio hit and I was giving a new kind of music a try, because beforehand I was a disco sucks t-shirt wearing, KISS loving rock fan.  Within the first few listens I was in love, and it changed my musical tastes that remain to this day.  So Happy Birthday Diana, and thanks for the music!

Upside down
Boy you turn me
Inside out 
And round and round

Check out some pieces I've written on Diana, too...

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New Wave Month Song of the Day - Ball of Confusion - Love & Rockets

I've mentioned recently that this song reminds me of Spankys, that new wave club I used to go to in Stony Brook, Long Island.  Well, after making that post, I downloaded the tune and have been listening to it intermittently ever since.  The tune was originally performed in 1970 by the Temptations, and remade many times over, including this version by Love & Rockets.  Take a listen and see how the words to this psychedelic song still ring true today...

Ball of Confusion

People moving out, people moving in. Why, because of the color of their skin.
Run, run, run but you sure can't hide. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Vote for me and I'll set you free. Rap on, brother, rap on.
Dennis: Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the...(preacher.)
And it seems nobody's interested in learning but the...(teacher.)
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation.
Ball of confusion. Oh yeah, that's what the world is today. Woo, hey, hey.
The sale of pills are at an all time high.
Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky.
The cities ablaze in the summer time.
And oh, the beat goes on.
Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul.
Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon.
Politicians say more taxes will solve everything.
And the band played on.
So, round and around and around we go.
Where the world's headed, nobody knows.
Oh, great googalooga, can't you hear me talking to you.
Just a ball of confusion.
Oh yeah, that's what the world is today.
Woo, hey, hey.
Fear in the air, tension everywhere.
Unemployment rising fast, the Beatles new record's a gas.
And the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation.
And the band played on.
Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors,
Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills,
Hippies moving to the hills. People all over the world are shouting, 'End the war.'
And the band played on.
Great googalooga, can't you hear me talking to you.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.
That's what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.
That's what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Words - Missing Persons

The band Missing Persons had one fleeting moment (well, maybe a couple, but it was short!) in new wave history, mostly through their 1982, gold-certified album Spring Session M, which produced four Hot 100 tunes, the highest of which, Destination Unknown and this one, both hit #42.  The band was decidedly new wave, featuring outrageously costumes, androgyny, heavy synth beats and a decidedly buxom lead singer who could really hit the high notes.  Check out Dale Bozio and the gang on my favorite of their songs, Words...

Do you hear me
Do you care

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Love Plus One - Haircut 100

We begin the last week of New Wave Month on John's World with a 1982 one hit wonder from British band Haircut 100.  The song's got tinges of calypso and is kind of an easy breezy type of song.  Check out Love Plus One...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day #2 - Love Is a Stranger - Eurythmics

Here's another of my favorite early tunes by Eurythmics.  This was where Annie Lennox suddenly became beautiful for me.  Great tune!

Love is a stranger
In an open car
To tempt you in
And drive you far away

Gaga's 'G.U.Y.' Video: Why So Long?

Lady Gaga's latest video, for the song G.U.Y., came out this week amid torrents of buzz on the Internet and the 11-minute clip' is being billed as an "ARTPOP film.  The video is good enough, but I don't get why it's as long as it is, especially when the central part of it is complete enough to suffice.

The entirety of the video can be organized into three distinct parts: the intro, the song and the credits.  The intro consists of three-plus minutes of I don't know what.  The title cut to ARTPOP and Venus are both featured amongst shots of our heroin as a winged creature who's just been shot through the heart by an arrow.  She painstakingly makes her way to some sort of Greek temple where she's placed into a pool as a band of five women with extras belt out the chorus to the latter song.  The clip then segues to the actual video for the tune we're actually supposedly watching.

The central four-minutes of the 'film' has got all of the ingredients for a pop/dance song: dance sequences, sexiness and glitz, all amidst a cool Greco-Roman backdrop.  This part of the clip is followed by four minutes or so of credits as Manicure plays in the background.  

I'm sorry to all of the hardcore Gaga fans out there, but I think Gaga's lost her steam a little.  The ARTPOP album hasn't nearly generated a buzz equivalent to that of Born This Way and I get wanting to be all avant-garde with the themes of the album, but I think she kind of wasted the use of three of its songs in this mini-'film.'  The visuals are cool and all, but I don't really understand whatever story she's trying to tell with it and frankly, in this day and age of short attention spans, why not just do the clip of the song and be done with it. It's good enough to stand on its own, as is the song.

Check out the video for G.U.Y. on VEVO.

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Eurythmics

Eurythmics was another big, big successful act that begun with new waveish music before going mainstream later on in the decade with several pop smashes.  Both members, singer Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart continued to make music long after Eurythmics was history and each is well respected for their work both together and apart.

I remember when I first saw this video.  I think many can.  Annie's shockingly carrot-topped, androgynous look was at first alarming in a way, but as the song grew in popularity and the band became more well-known, the shock value that came with the imagery in this video, their first hit single, faded.  Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) is one of the duo's most well-known tunes and has been covered many, many times. The uniquely identifiable synth chords are often used in dance/club mixes and every single time it's played it brings dancers to crowd the dance floor, both young and old.  Check it out...


Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) - Pet Shop Boys

Here's another classic from the Pet Shop Boys.  Now ask yourself this question:

Do you want to be rich?

Madonna's Like a Prayer Album: 25 Years

Yesterday, March 21st, 2014 was a very special anniversary.  It was on this day in 1989 that Madonna's Like a Prayer album was released.  It's hard to believe it's been 25 years since that monumental album entered into our collective listening ears, but ah well, the time sure does fly, doesn't it?  Anyway, that album is surely one for the produced two of my favorite Madge songs, the title cut and Express Yourself. And the rest of the record was pretty darned monumental, too!

The song, Like a Prayer, is still my all-time favorite Madonna song, and I think one of hers, too.  She's performed it many times, including it in four of her concert tours, including the MDNA show, and it was included in her awesome performance at the 2012 Super Bowl.  The song swirled around in controversy, mostly for its video, but it was so good that its quality rose above all to become so enduring...

Life is a mystery...

Of course, then there's Express Yourself, a song that inspired Lady Gaga, no doubt, twenty years afterwards, the sweet Cherish and the fantastical Dear Jessie and so much more.  Stay tuned for a Classic Album Review coming soon on Yahoo.In the meantime, enjoy Dear Jessie...

New Wave Month Song of the Day - What Have I Done to Deserve This - Pet Shop Boys

In case you missed my late night Song of the Day post last night, today we pay tribute to the Pet Shop Boys. The Pet Shop Boys are one of the top new wave bands who have endured throughout the years and are still making music today.  Here is a classic Pet Shop Boys song, performed with the great Dusty Springfield. Enjoy What Have I Done to Deserve This...

New Wave Month Early (or Late?) Song of the Day - West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys

One of my favorite new wave bands still is this fabulous duo from the U.K.   The Pet Shop Boys, consisting of singer Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe, had a nice string of hits throughout the 80's and beyond, beginning with this one.  Though they were never a huge success here in the States (this was one of four top ten hits for the band), the duo has had many tunes to hit it big elsewhere and plenty of their songs fill a nice spot within my iTunes library.  Here's West End Girls...

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day - We Close Our Eyes - Go West

Ooh, this was a good one!  I remember dancing to this one many times in Spankys and other clubs all the time.  This was the duo's first big hit, and they had another six years after, in 1990, with King of Wishful Thinking.  The singing parts of this one are good here, but it's the synthesizer/horns in between that make the song so great. Nice tune to start the weekend!  Check it out and remember...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Another New Wave Song of the Day - Church of the Poison Mind - Culture Club

Here'a another Culture Club tune for your Thursday evening.  It was the debut single from their sophomore album, Colour By Numbers and though I always loved it, I'm still not sure what it's about...Oh, and the voice of that Helen Terry!

Desolate lovin in your eyes...

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go - Soft Cell

Here's an early, early new wave smash from 1981.  I remember first being attracted to it because of the Supremes' remake on the latter side of the song, but the synths in this one marked a sound that'd be around for a few years to come.  Oldie but goodie!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Wave Month Double Shot Song of the Day - Der Kommissar

Way back in the early 1980's there was an Austrian singer named Falco who recorded a song that would soon take on a life of its own.  Der Kommissar, first recorded in 1981, became an international hit for the singer, though it barely cracked the pop charts here in the U.S., perhaps because the song was sung in German.  Check it out...

Just a year later, though, British new wave band After the Fire recorded the song in English and it ultimately caught on, reaching #5 on the Billboard pop charts in 1983.  80's pop star Laura Branigan also recorded a version of the tune under the pseudonym Deep in the Dark, but that one floundered as both the original German version and the English version by After the Fire caught on once again.

The song is still one of my favorites from that era...still love the bass-y music track, and the rhythmic chords played in the chanting bridge towards the end.  Great song and very new wave!  Check out the English version:

On a side note, Falco did hit the big time here in the U.S. with the #1 smash Rock Me Amadeus in 1985 and Vienna Calling, its #18 follow-up.  Sadly, the singer passed away in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic in February 1998, just days before his 41st birthday.

And just for fun, check out a snippet of Laura Branigan's version, which I never heard until just now.  Not bad!

New Wave Month Song of the Day - The Look of Love - ABC

ABC was a British new wave band that had a few hits in the early 80's, including Poison Arrow, When Smokey Sings, and this one, my personal favorite.  Check out Look of Love...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day - She Blinded Me with Science - Thomas Dolby

Aw, if you had a pulse back in 1982, then you know this quirky lil new wave tune by Brit musician Thomas Dolby...

Good heavens Miss Akomoto, you're beautiful!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Check Out the New Thunderbolt at Coney Island's Luna Park

Just a few weeks ago, I reported on Examiner that there'd be a new roller coaster at Coney Island's Luna Park and that it would be the very first time that there'd be something to get excited about, for coaster enthusiasts anyway.  Well, take a look at a new animated video of the thrill ride and if you live anywhere near Coney, start getting excited...

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Save a Prayer - Duran Duran

We're extending the Three D's weekend for one more day, well at least morning.  I never got to post a third Duran Duran song and this one would have been good for a Sunday, too!  This song is by far one of my favorites, serious and melancholic, and the video, well, equally so!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Remembering a New Wave Dance Club, Spankys

This morning's song got me thinking about this club I used to go to back in the mid to late 80's. The place was located in a shopping center in Stony Brook, and on Fridays and Saturdays it was a disco named Shadows, but on Wednesday and Sunday nights, the place was transformed into an alternative club called Spankys.

I hardly ever went to the place when it was Shadows, but I loved me some Spankys!  The two places were entirely different, even though they operated in the same space.  The former attracted the more reserved, mainstream crowd, who dressed in nice clothes and came to dance and drink and meet up with the opposite sex, while Spankys attracted the alternatives, bedecked in typical new wave 80's garb, with hats, rubber bracelets, t-shirts and jeans or parachute pants, and a bleached tail here and there.  Spankys used the rear door as its entrance.

That's me on the left, and this was a 
Halloween party back in the days of Spankys, 
and this was the type of outfit I and many others 
would wear during a visit to the club.

The crowd at Spankys was also decidedly mixed, probably one of the first types of places where gay and straight people frequented simultaneously, something that's become common in these days and definitely one of the reasons I liked it so much.

The inside of the club was cool, too.  Spankys was one of the original "video bars," with a giant screen playing over the dance floor that gave clubbers a whole new experience.  Dancers, both male and female, shook their things on four speakers at the corners of the dance floor, adding to the excitement of the place.
Ah, memories!  Does anyone out there from Long Island remember Spankys?  I'd love to hear from you if you do!

Now I don't remember whether this was the very first song/video I ever heard at Spankys, but I do remember loving every minute of it (and never finding out the name of the song...till now!).  Check out Ball of Confusion, by Love & Rockets...

New Wave Month Song of the Day #2 - Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode

Here's one of my favorite Depeche Mode tunes.  It's an early one, from their 1981 debut album Speak and Spell.  Fun, fun, fun...

Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough (Music Video) from Depeche Mode on Vimeo.

New Wave Month Song of the Day #1 - In Too Deep - Dead or Alive

This morning's song reminds me of an alternative club I used to frequent called Spankys.  The club was one of the first video clubs in the country, with a giant screen hanging above the dance floor that gave the experience of dancing in a club a whole new feel.  I had already been a fan of Dead or Alive and a fan of this song, but for really fell in love with the song after seeing this video for the first time there.  I dunno, there was just something so cool about it!  Check out In Too Deep...


Saturday, March 15, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day #3 - Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode

Reach out and touch me!

This hard driving song is simply sexy!

New Wave Month Song of the Day #2 - Brand New Lover - Dead or Alive

We continue the weekend of the three "D's" with Dead or Alive's Brand New Lover.  The anthem-like dance tune was the first single off of the band's follow-up to the Youthquake, Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know, and at plenty of people stuck in unhappy relationships could identify with it.

What I really need to do
Is find myself a brand new lover
Somebody who lies with me
Who doesn't notice all the others

New Wave Month Song of the Day - Girls On Film - Duran Duran

Girls on Film is an early hit for Duran Duran, coming in as their third single in 1981.  The tune made its mark in England at the time, but didn't become known here in the States until two years later, when the video for the song received heavy airplay on MTV.  The vid itself was somewhat racy for the times, with scantily clad women in various steamy scenes, and it caused quite a stir, being banned at first in the UK and then heavily edited for MTV.  Of course, the controversy kept both the song, and the group, in the limelight for a long time to come, and Duran Duran would soon explode onto the mainstream as a result.  Check out Girls On Film...


Friday, March 14, 2014

New Wave Month Song of the Day #3 - Lover Come Back to Me - Dead or Alive

Our third song of the day comes from Pet Burns and the members of Dead or Alive.  It was the second big tune off their smash Youthquake album and I've spent more than a little time in my life "kickin' it right now!" Check out Lover Come Back to Me...

I've been lying here so lonely
Been wishing you would telephone me

New Wave Month Song of the Day #2 - Is There Something I Should Know - Duran Duran

Please please tell me now!

Our second Song of the Day today is from another "D" band, and it happens to be one of my favorite Duran Duran songs.  I remember it being everywhere in 83'.  C'mon and groove with me...

New Wave Month Song of the Day #1 - People Are People - Depeche Mode

We start our weekend of "D's" with Depeche Mode.  People Are People was the band's first big hit in the U.S. in 1984 and is symbolic of their earlier sound...and the lyrics?  Hell yeah!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Weekend of "D's": Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and Dead or Alive

I've been noticing in looking through my new wave stuff in my iTunes library that there are several artists I'd love to do multiple song days on, but it's hard for me to do that on a weekday, while I'm working.  I've already posted multiple tunes by The B-52s, Blondie, Talking Heads, Bananrama, and there are still several who've had more than just one great ditty in the new wave era.

Three major bands to come out of new wave all happen to start with the letter "D," and I thought to myself, "why not celebrate the three "D's" with multiple songs over the weekend?  So that's just what I'm gonna do!

Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and Dead or Alive were three bands who all held their own piece of the new wave pie, each with a different sound, and each with different appeal.  The former were practically a pre-boy band era boy band, only with instruments and no slick choreography.  Duran Duran started out with a really new wavish sound on their first big record, Planet Earth, but they eventually went mainstream pop and became as much heartthrobs as singers.  They did have a slew of nice songs, though, and the band has endured for more than 30 years, still making music and performing.

Depeche Mode was one of the most alternative of new wave bands.  Their appeal has endured with fans of alternative music throughout the years, and even the mainstream has a little bit of the band's music in their collective heads.  They, too, have been making beautiful music together for more than 30 years and are still at it.  The height of their mainstream success came later in their history, in the early nineties, with their hot album Violator.

Finally, Dead or Alive was a band whose music leaned more towards the dance scene.  Its lead singer, Pete Burns, I've often thought of as a mean-looking version of Boy George.  The androgynous singer was the face of this band, who crafted such huge dance floor hits as You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and Brand New Lover.  If you don't know Dead or Alive, check out this song by Pete Burns with a group called Glam  It's got the same kind of sound: new wavey, dancey and great!  Listen to Sex Drive... 

So stay tuned for plenty of songs coming up this weekend by the three "D's," Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Dead or Alive....

The Beast Celebrates 35 Years of Thrills

The first time I ever saw The Beast, it was on an old roller coaster video I had bought years ago, and I remember wanting to ride that thing so bad.  It looked so cool, especially when it reached the second lift hill and then dove down with ever-increasing speed, spiraling downward in a helix, and heading towards a tunnel at the bottom.  Woof! What a ride!  I finally got my chance to ride The Beast almost four years ago in the summer of 2010 and it was all I expected and more.

It was 35 years ago this April 14th that The Beast, located at King's Island near Cincinnati, Ohio, first opened to the public.  At the time it broke records as the tallest, fastest and longest wooden roller coaster in the world, the latter record which it still holds.  The ride is still one of the main attractions at the park, and has given over 45 million riders the best of thrills since 1979.

To ride The Beast is both thrilling and breathtaking, as it glides along more than 7,000 feet of track through wooded splendor, with great hills, nice speeds, twists and turns, tunnels, and my favorite part, that second lift hill.  It's like two rides in one!  In celebration of the 35th Anniversary of The Beast, I invite you to take a ride, a virtual one, at least, and enjoy!