1986

Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round Seven-Pick Ten-Somebody’s Baby-Pat Benatar (1993)

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Somebodys Baby Discogs Image One
Image Credit: Discogs

Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Seven pick.

Pat Benatar exploded on the music scene in the Summer/Fall of 1979 with her debut album In The Heat of the Night. I was in 8th grade and the first song I remember hearing on the radio from the album was Heartbreaker. I went to my hometown’s only mall and headed into a store called Stereo Village. I wanted this song and, when I asked for it, the guy trying to help me automatically thought I was talking about Led Zepplin. When I mentioned Pat Benatar’s song, he didn’t know what I was talking about. He told me to sing some of the music for him…so, my 13 year old self obliged, right there in the middle of the store, “in front of God and everybody” (Southern colloquialism). He still didn’t know the song but, said “Nice voice!” I never did get that 45 and a few months later, rolling into the new decade, We Live For Love was released in February and, I liked it even better than Heartbreaker. Crimes of Passion, her sophomore album, came out the following August and the hits kept coming. You Better Run (The Young Rascals cover) became the second video broadcast on the debut of MTV, behind Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles (a 45 I managed to get my hands on). I was a devoted fan at that point without owning a single song or album. By the time of my 16th birthday, a young man I was dating presented me with the Crimes of Passion album. I was overjoyed.

Gravity's Rainbow Discogs Image Two
Image Credit: Discogs

I nearly got to see her perform during the 1986 Seven the Hard Way tour. It started in January 1986 and stopped, abruptly, in April. She was a mom by then and family pressures caused cancellations. Greensboro Coliseum lost out. I did get to see her for the Can’t Stop Rockin’ tour in 1995 in Raleigh. Prior to those two, my mother considered me too young to see the earlier concerts. 😭

Gravity’s Rainbow was her ninth, and the last studio album to be in the Billboard 200 chart in the top 100s, peaking at #85 on June 19, 1993 and making it to #44 in Canada for one week on July 31, 1993. Named after the Thomas Pynchon novel, it was also the last album released on Chrysalis Records. It was not one of her better albums, statistically speaking but, it yielded three singles, two of which, I love. My favorite album of hers is, of course, the tour that got cancelled in 1986. That being said, after all these years of her music catalog, Somebody’s Baby is my favorite single, released July 5, 1993 (my second favorite single is Le Bel Age). She and Spyder James had already geared down quite a bit, releasing the blues-themed True Love in 1991, to much less fanfare than Wide Awake in Dreamland from 1988. True Love was her first album that did not rate with RIAA.

Somebody’s Baby did not chart on Billboard but, it did chart in the UK on the Singles Chart (#48), in Canada (#41) and in New Zealand (#36).

I am a fan of Benatar like Hans & Max are of the Beatles. I love this one because of the lyrics, the mood, the blend of the music and her stunning voice, though, in this piece, it is not quite as “up there” as when she sings Invincible (she has a four octave range). I am normally indifferent to most lyrics, choosing to immerse myself in musical arrangements and wonderful voices but, the writing speaks to my heart and I confess that, the first time I heard this, it brought me to tears. ~Vic

Additional:
BenatarGiraldo (Official Website)
Gravity’s Rainbow (RockWired/Brian Lush/06-12-2018)
Pat Benatar (Hip Online/01-05-2008)
Pat Benatar: Gravity’s Rainbow (Rolling Stone/Andrea Odintz/2003/Web Archive)
Richmond: Benatar’s Rise to Fame (Richmond Times-Dispatch/Nicole Kappatos/04-11-2017/Web Archive)

Lyrics

Unofficial Video?

Live On Leno

Regis & Kathie Lee Show (Stripped Down Short Version)

Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round Six-Pick 11-Fall On Me-R.E.M. (1986)

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Fall On Me REM Discogs Image One
Image Credit: Discogs

Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Six pick.

Moving into 1986… My first introduction to R.E.M. wasn’t the radio or MTV. It was an odd video channel on Cablevision in the early 80s in my NC hometown (my mom only had basic cable…no MTV). I’ve talked at great length with Max (Powerpop Blogger) about this obscure video channel. I remember two VJs, one named “Dr. John” (not the musician) that wore blue scrubs and one named “Carrot Top” (not the comedian), that, of course, was a red-headed dude. I have no idea where this channel broadcast from but, it was a seriously stripped down operation. It was just rotating VJs, sitting at a desk, talking into a camera…and playing music videos. The first video I recall seeing was Radio Free Europe, the Murmur version, not the Hib-Tone single (I later found out). I was immediately hooked but, totally missed who the band was. (Interestingly, the Hib-Tone version was recorded at Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, NC and the Murmur version was recorded at Reflection Studios in Charlotte, NC.) Fast forward to the end of my senior year of high school and I see some of So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry) on MTV. I had no idea that this was the same band. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college, when Driver 8 came out (another one I like), that a buddy of mine told me who R.E.M. was…a college band out of the University of Georgia (Bulldogs). Every piece of music of theirs that I was lucky enough to catch, I loved. Finally, in 1987, The One I Love broke thru to #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and they seemed to be everywhere. Their highest charting hit was Losing My Religion, getting to #4 in 1991. Out of their entire catalog, which is gi-hugic, Fall On Me wound up being my favorite, with my introductory piece, Radio Free Europe, coming in second. I wish I had seen them live.

Bit of odd trivia…five strange degrees of separation. R.E.M. had a manager by the name of Jefferson Holt. He was with them until 1996 when they got rid of him for sexual harassment. Jefferson Holt is from Chapel Hill and his mother is named Bertha “B” Holt. She was an NC State Rep. from 1975 to 1994, representing my home county (and another one). She was quite the pioneer, advocating for the ERA and married rape victims (which is ironic as hell considering her son’s behavior). My paternal grandmother was in Democratic politics in the 60s, 70s & 80s, running for local office, herself (and on first-names basis with several governors). She campaigned heavily for her favorites and “Bee” Holt was one of them. I met Bee Holt several times as a kid and remember all of her “Bee” 🐝 paraphernalia all over my grandmother’s house.

I guess this makes me closer to R.E.M. than Kevin Bacon! 😉 😊 ~Vic

RIAA Gold Album Image Two
Their first Gold album.
Image Credit: RIAA

Released 0n August 11, 1986, it was the third track from the album Lifes Rich Pageant. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #96 the weekend of October 4, peaking at #94 on October 11 before finally disappearing from the chart on October 25. It did better on the Album Rock Tracks, making it to #5 for one week on September 6.

“Of the genuinely new songs, Peter Buck’s basic music track for Fall On Me dated back to July of 1985, when Stipe had written a lyric about acid rain [but], the song had been virtually re-written, melody and lyrics, by the time it came to be recorded. Stipe, who declared in 1991 that “…this may be my favourite song in the R.E.M. catalogue…”, has described the final version as “…pretty much a song about oppression.” Trainspotters might like to know that the counter-melody used in the second verse is actually the song’s original tune.

Johnny Black (2004)
Reveal: The Story of R.E.M.
Page 123

Additional:
R.E.M. Fiction: An Alternative Biography (David Buckley/2012/Google Books)
R.E.M. HQ (Official Site)
The Complete R.E.M. (R.E.M. Timeline)

Lyrics

His Favorite Song

Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round Five-Pick 12-Minutes To Memories-John Mellencamp (1985)

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Scarecrow Mellencamp Image One
Image Credit: Discogs

Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Five pick.

Pulling myself out of 1978, I am moving into the 1980s. ~Vic

John Mellencamp‘s Scarecrow album was released on August 5, 1985, 25 days prior to my 19th birthday and six weeks before I started my sophomore year of college. God, what an album. This was Mellencamp’s version of Born In The USA (I own both albums). Roots rock/Heartland rock was the music in the background of my graduation from high school and subsequent foray into college. Minutes To Memories was not an official release from the album but, it managed to make it to #14 on the Top Rock Tracks for one week as a non-single album track. It spoke volumes to me…

“You are young and you are the future
So, suck it up, tough it out
Be the best you can.”

Written by Mellencamp and his childhoon friend George M. Green, it is the #4 track on the album and Mimi Mapes sang backing vocals. Scarecrow made it to #2 on the Billboard 200 chart the week of November 16, 1985 (coming underneath Born In The USA, twice) and stayed for a couple of weeks, stuck behind the Miami Vice Soundtrack.

“I wrote a song called [You’ve Got To] Stand For Something,” [Mellencamp] explains, “but, I never did say what you should stand for…except your own truth. That song was supposed to be funny, too and, I hope people got that. But, I think that’s the key to the whole LP…suggesting that each person come to grips with their own individual truth […] and try to like themselves a little bit more. Find out what you as a person are […] and don’t let the world drag you down. People should have respect for and believe in themselves.”

John Cougar Mellencamp: Working Class Hero In The Rumbleseat
Bill Holdship
Creem
February 1986
Mellencamp Forum

John Mellencamp Image Two
Image Credit: mellencamp.com

A deeply felt sense of responsibility and an equally motivating need to atone for past missteps seem to define Scarecrow. On the midtempo Minutes to Memories, Mellencamp tells the story of a young boy riding home to Indiana after a trip to the South. In the next seat on the bus is a seventy-seven-year-old retired steelworker lecturing the child on how to live, backing his advice with experience. “My family and friends are the best things I’ve known,” he instructs, and the child, a budding rebel, chuckles to himself at how out of touch the old dog is.

Easing into the final verse, Mellencamp hushes his band. In a voice just above a whisper, he suddenly shifts the tale from third to first person. He’s the kid on the Greyhound and, his inability to comprehend, let alone act on, the wisdom he was given then, still haunts him… “Now that I’m older I can see he was right.” [T]hen Mellencamp reveals that he’s telling this story to his own son. He knows he’s being silently scoffed at as surely as his travel companion was two decades earlier. Still, he accepts it and the band rocks out.

Album Reviews: Scarecrow
Jimmy Guter
Rolling Stone
September 26, 1985

Official Website

There is no official video of this song but, the below is one guy’s idea.

Lyrics

Snapshots Sunday: Pooh Bear

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Pooh In The Backyard Image One
My Pooh Bear
Stumpy-tailed Manx
05-14-2008

Pooh was not originally my cat. When the Marine and I moved to Texas, Pooh (the owners called him Oliver) lived three doors away. He was very friendly and walked the sidewalks like a person. The story we got from the owner was, he was purchased as a kitten for her son. Her son developed allergies to the cat so, she put him outside. He could get in and out of the garage and, had a sleeping pad on a bench on the front porch.

Pooh With Rabbit Image Two
He decided that my Ty Beanie Baby Rabbit…was HIS.
01-01-2008

He didn’t visit our house too much because we had Buddy. When we lost Buddy, he got closer and closer to the front door, unsure because he wasn’t allowed in his own home. One day, we opened the door and he walked in. We fed him some tuna and…he stayed. We taught him how to use the cat doors we already had and he returned to us every day. His previous owner, at this point, had re-married, had two more kids (plus the husband’s kid) and three dogs. I’m not sure they ever noticed.

Passed Out Pooh In My Chair Image Three
Passed out in my office chair.
01-24-2011

He didn’t look like an Oliver to us. My Marine made the remark that he looked like a little bear walking up the sidewalk. I immediately went to my childhood days and thought “Pooh!” He got a new name with his new home.

Pooh On The Couch Image Four
Couch Kitty
Pooh liked to watch TV.
02-25-2009

Poor Pooh had spine problems related to his stumpy tail. The entire time he was with us, he had spells…twice a day. Something in his spine would move or catch and he would howl in pain. Then, he would chase the pain…until he was dizzy. It was something bizarre to watch and you couldn’t miss the sound. Think Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil. When he regained his faculties, he would begin to groom as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately for me, some of those spells occurred in my lap. I still have scars…bless his heart.

Pooh On The Couch Image Five
So. You gonna change the channel or what?

He was our baby for three and a half years. He developed pancreatic cancer and had to be put down February 17, 2011. He was a character. When he wanted your attention and you weren’t fast enough, he made this sound of frustration that always reminded me of Number 5/Johnny Five from Short Circuit.

Passed Out Pooh Image Six
Passed out in the hallway.
06-20-2009

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 27

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that breaks your heart…

“Living in the memory of a love that never was…”


 

“I wish you never even loved me…
It makes it so hard to live without love, now…

I had a handle on my sorrow…
My composure was in order…
If not sufficiently intact…
But, every reminiscent echo brings a blow…
To chill my senses and my heart quakes…
And tenses ’till those moments pass…

Every trace, every vision…
Brings my emotions to collision…
Past love’s lost tokens…
Every cherished thought once spoken…
False hope of reconciliation…”


 

Darius Rucker could sing the phone book to me.


 

“Don’t fall away…
And leave me to myself…
Don’t fall away…
And leave love bleeding in my hands…


 

“Since, I was young, I knew I’d find you…
But our love, was a song, sung by a dying swan…
And in the night, you hear me calling…
You hear me calling…

And when the nights are long…
All those stars recall, your goodbye, your goodbye…

Breathe in the light and say goodbye…”


 

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 26

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that makes you want to fall in love…

So many love songs. So little time.
“You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs…
I look around me and I see it isn’t so…
Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs…
And what’s wrong with that…
It isn’t silly, love isn’t silly, love isn’t silly at all…”

Gives me chills…every time. For a song that was created to be the theme to a prison film, it has to be one of the greatest love songs ever written.


 

Originally released in 1967, this was re-released in 1972 and it made it to #2 on the Billboard 100. I am posting the full orchestral version with the ‘late lament’ in tact (including gong) considering we are officially in winter. This is a masterpiece. More chills…


 

I was very fortunate to get to see these two, live, with my mom at Carowinds in 1976. I was ten when the song came out and I remember it playing on the radio, vividly. Even at that young of an age, the words of love and longing struck a chord with me (pun intended) that remains to this day.


 

Oh, Pat Benatar…her music is a large part of my teen years. Her first album was released three days before my 13th birthday. What a way to grow up. She and her hubby, Neil, have rocked us all.


 


 


 

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 24

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song by a band you still wish were together…

Oh, the music we have lost.

Lone Justice (1982-1986)
What a powerhouse voice this little thing had. I wore out the Shelter cassette.


 


 

Cry of Love (1989-1997)
A band out of Raleigh, they only made one studio album in 1993 with their original lead singer, Kelly Holland, who quit after one tour. He died young in 2014 at the age of 52. They got a lot of airplay, locally. The remaining members tried to continue with former Warrant lead singer, Robert Mason and made a second album that produced one single in 1997. Band members moved on/scattered to The Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Sheryl Crow‘s touring band. To me, once Kelly left, the magical sound was gone (no offense to Robert Mason).


 


 

Seven Mary Three (1992-2012)
A band out of Williamsburg, Virginia, they started when two Jasons met at William & Mary. The band name came from the TV Show CHiPs as 7 Mary 3 was Officer Jon Baker‘s call sign. Their best-selling album, American Standard, was produced in 1995 by the, now, defunct Mammoth Records out of Carrboro, NC, after their first attempt in 1994 failed to chart.


 


 

Far Too Jones (1995-2000)
This was another band out of Raleigh, nicknamed the Tobacco Road Quintet. They also had one album produced by Mammoth Records and got a lot of local airplay. The only reason this band broke up, as best as I can tell, is because they had no label support. They just couldn’t break out of the region, much like what happened to Echo 7 in Myrtle Beach (whom, I know, personally…I may have to put up some of their music one day).


 


 

And, just for Christmas Eve, this one. I remember this playing on G105 in the late 90s. This band was so loved here. Quote from them, regarding this song, posted on Facebook, yesterday:

“A little history on that one… we wrote it for the Acoustic Christmas Party we did for G105 many moons ago. We actually did not know we were going to write a song until one of the on-air personalities mentioned on the air that we were…LOL!”