I love this album enough to have posted a track from it all the way back in 2008 for Song of the Day #2. I posted another nine months later. And then nothing, save for a Random Weekend appearance in 2018.
More than ten years ago, when I first wrote about Kiko on the blog, commenter Phil made this suggestion: “Do yourself a favor and pickup Will the Wolf Survive and By the Light of the Moon.”
Well, it took me a decade, but I finally took his advice on one of those titles.
Usually when I do a Decades series, I discover one album that was completely off my radar but immediately feels essential. I’m not even halfway through 1984 yet, but I think I might have found it in The Bangles’ All Over the Place.
When I saw this album listed on best-of lists for the year, I assumed it would feature the hits ‘Manic Monday,’ ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ and ‘Hazy Shade of Winter,’ or at least some combination of those staples. But All Over the Place, The Bangles’ debut, didn’t have a single hit. It’s also, by all accounts, the best record they ever released.
Here’s an album that would have been a better fit last week, in that I’m very familiar with the hit singles but less so with the rest of the album. I couldn’t find room for it there, but I certainly wasn’t going to exclude an album that is named after the year I’m covering.
Van Halen’s 1984 was the hard rockers’ sixth album, and remains tied with their self-titled debut as their top seller. Powered by hit singles ‘Jump,’ ‘Panama,’ and ‘Hot For Teacher,’ the record sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. and spent five weeks at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, kept from the top spot by Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
The band had released three albums of loud, reckless punk before lead singer/songwriter Paul Westerberg decided to try his hand at some songs with actual structure and melody. The result was this 11-track collection that features some softer, more contemplative songs among all the thrash.