#A-Z #Music Challenge Week 8 – H & I sitting in a tree…

October 9, 2016
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Welcome to this week’s Music installment. In the 80’s, I had very little options to hear new music; we didn’t have Musicland nearby, we had MTV later on when we got a satellite dish. It was played on the Top 40 shows, and a DJ-less radio station. So most of H was learned when I became an adult. Here are the ones I knew then.

Hall & Oates. Who doesn’t know them? The song of theirs that sticks in my mind is Dreams Come True, and not because I like the song (I do, by the way). It was the music video, and John’s lips when he sang, that I remember. The two albums I have from the 80’s are Big Bam Boom (1984) and Ooh Yeah! (1988). I enjoy listening them from time to time. I think my favorite song is Method of Modern Love, but they have so many greats, it’s hard to settle on one.

A group that I discovered in 1988 was Human Drama with their e.p. Hopes, Prayers, Dreams, Heart, Soul. I found them in a music club magazine, and had no idea what to expect when I ordered the cassette. The first time I slipped it into my player, I was taken back. Wow! Amazing! They are goth-esque, folky, with a hint of rock. I’ve since collected all of their albums, and listen to them often.

Honey Thief was the only track from Hipsway I ever heard on the radio, and it was on a Top 40 show. It’s a strange song, and I like. Can I tell you any other song from them? No, not without looking, and I don’t feel like it. They are a band that made their way to the scene in 1986, then disappeared, to comeback in 1989 with a second album before fading away. Their sound was what I call Sophistipop (a mix of jazz, new wave pop), and had good beats (I’m speaking only of Honey Thief).

Haysi Fantayzee are probably one of the most fun groups from the 80’s, though I do warn they hit a level of bizarre most find annoying. John Wayne Is Big Leggy and Shiny, Shiny are probably the most popular of their songs; anytime I hear them, I can’t help but smile, and jump up and do the crazy dance.

There are two artists that fight for the top of H for me. Howard Jones and Human League. Both make it to my weekly playlists frequently, and appear on my mind’s soundtrack just as often. Human League formed in 1979, but really didn’t start hitting the airwaves in Wyoming until 1981 when Don’t You Want Me was released, after I heard it, I was hooked, and continue to be. Howard Jones will always remain dear to me. From the tinkering melody at the beginning of No One is to Blame, to the fierce lyrics of The Prisoner I have listened over and over again to his music.

Since I is as small for me as H, I will add them this week as well and start out with Icehouse. While they had several albums in the 80’s, the only one I knew (maybe, because they are Australian) was Man of Colours with the wonderful songs Crazy and Electric Blue. Their sound fits perfectly with the music I choose to surround myself with, and Iva Davies’ vocals are sexy and smooth.

INXS’s song What You Need was the first I heard from the Listen Like Thieves album in 1985. I don’t think I’ve heard anything from previous albums, nor do I have them in my collection; I have Listen Like Thieves, Kick (1987), Max Q (1989)—technically Max Q isn’t INXS, it’s Michael Hutchence, so, I stick it with INXS—I think everyone most knows Need You Tonight, which seemed to be the breakout song for INXS in America.

Information Society are, in my opinion, among the highest royalty of synthpop music. There isn’t anything I don’t like that they’ve done. They only had the one album in the 80’s, which was self-titled. I still think they are amazing and am very happy after a very long hiatus to have returned to the scene. What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy) was the first single they dropped, they also did a strange cover of ABBA’s Lay All Your Love on Me. Throughout the years, if you’ve ridden with me in the car, you know they have the tendency to be blasted from the speakers; even know with their cover album Orders of Magnitude (2016).