Clockwise: The Motels, UB40, Cyndi Lauper, and Huey Lewis & the News.
In search of inspiration, trying to come up with a post for this evening, I took to the web. As I ambled through a few halfhearted topics, I decided to look at the music that was being released 30 years ago. When I looked at the music of the day, I was impressed by the diversity that was being released over the period of about 30 days. From Johnny Cash to Alice Cooper, all kinds of music was being made and released. But I will pick some of my own favorites from that period, music I was likely to purchase and listen to. I will start with a British band who combined Pop and Reggae in a new way. UB40 had great success in the UK, but it was with their September 12, 1983 US release of 'Labour of Love' that they saw gold in the States. The album went double-Platinum in the US, and the lead single, "Red Red Wine", went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Neil Diamond, who also put out the first recording. But it was UB40 who had the greatest success with their Reggae take on the song. Please enjoy as UB40 sing "Red Red Wine".
Back in the early 1980s, i t seemed like Huey Lewis & the News could do no wrong. In 1982, they started appearing on the charts with songs like "Do You Believe In Love", and and soon were everywhere. With the September 15, 1983, release of 'Sports', the band took it to a new level. The album, which went to #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, contained five Top 20s singles, four of which made it to the Top 10. The second of those was "I Want A New Drug", a song written by Lewis and lead guitarist Chris Hayes. The song went to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the video was on regular rotation on MTV, back in the days the station was in the music forefront. This is the official music video for "I Want A New Drug", the great song from Huey Lewis & the News.
In 1982, The Motels had a huge success with the song "Only The Lonely", off the album 'All Four One'. The song combined the rocky edge, but still had an amazing vocal from singer Martha Davis. On September 16, 1983, they released the album 'Little Robbers', and the lead single was their second hit, "Suddenly Last Summer". Both hits were written by Davis, proving her to be a great talent. In fact, both songs made it to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to fans eager to hear more of the music. This is the official music video for The Motels song "Suddenly Last Summer".
In October of 1983, there was an unexpected surprise for many who loved music. Portrait Records, a sister company of EMI, released an album from a 'kooky' young girl who certainly captured the attention of the public. Cyndi Lauper was her name, and on October 14th, 'She's So Unusual' was released. Lauper, with her multi-hued hair, her Brooklyn accent, and her bold vocals kept everyone guessing what she would do next, and seldom were they right. Her first hit was "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", a song written by New Wave Rocker Robert Hazard. The song was an international hit, on or near the top of music charts everywhere. The song went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and introduced everyone to the immeasurable talent of Lauper, who this year won a Tony Award for her writing of the music for "Kinky Boots" on Broadway. But 30 years ago, the world was just getting to know Cyndi Lauper through the music video for "Girls Just Want To Have Fun".
I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane, looking at the music just being released thirty years ago! If you loved the music, you can still find it all on iTunes and Amazon, as well as on YouTube!