It Was 30 Years Ago This Year! 1982! Part One!
My extensive research into matters regarding the 1980s has proven that the kids can't get enough of that shoulder-padded decade. At the time, it seemed like a bit of a letdown from the achievements of the 1960s and 1970s, but in retrospect you don't even need rose-tinted glasses to get the idea that it's a much better decades by comparison to, say, the last twelve years or so. For music, not for computers, just to be clear. Just look at the stylistic diversity here! Better yet, there are no emo bands, only Phil Collins. While I would never wish to relive the 1980s commercial radio experience, I wouldn't be averse to growing younger.
Keep in mind, this is only Part One of a, uh, 17-part retrospective.
25) Iron Maiden -- The Number of the Beast: I said, Hello Satan, I believe it's time to rock the house! Bruce Dickinson joins the band to do some lead sings and the band take their horses-galloping-into-the-hills sound to its logical extreme. Generally, if you're going to "do" heavy metal, it's a good idea to catch up on these gents, who subtly influence you to drive faster. I wouldn't be surprised to learn FedEx use this as motivational music. 22 Acacia Avenue gets its packages ahead of schedule, for sure.
24) Prince -- 1999: Everyone, meaning The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Peter Frampton, Pink Floyd, The Clash and Smashing Pumpkins, knows the importance of releasing double albums. It immediately tells the world you are a major, serious artist and that you are so overflowing with creativity that 45 minutes cannot possibly express your vision for the future. Of course, CDs turned every mediocre schmuck into a 70-minute midnight babbler, but 1999 is before that and it cemented the Prince reputation that had been growing for years. Short rock is in! Only the cold winters prevented Minneapolis from being the place to move to in 1982.
23) The Gun Club -- Miami: The joy of being in an "underground" band in 1982 was that you knew no one was going to really sign you to a big money contract, so you racked up critical praises and a cult following that allowed you to do exactly what you felt like doing. The production by Blondie's Chris Stein was spare but to the point and his wife, the Deborah Harry, added backing vocals to further the cause of one Jeffrey Lee Pierce. The darkness here is one part Iggy Pop, one part Jim Morrison and one part chronic underemployment. Ain't it fun when you know you're going to die broke!
22) Joe Jackson -- Night and Day: Thanks to the clear accessibility of its two hit singles, "Steppin' Out" and "Breaking Us In Two," Night and Day became Jackson's biggest mainstream success. His decision to abandon the pure pop of his first two albums and to pursue a variety of less accessible styles ensured that he alienated much of his audience. Which didn't seem to trouble Jackson all that much and doesn't bother me at all. I got the GameShow Network now!