#Music A-Z Challenge Week 15 – The Final 5 – V W X Y Z

November 27, 2016
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yazoo-upstairs-at-erics

Welcome to the final installment. Since there aren’t many artists I value with V W X Y and Z, I decided to finish with them all at once. Let’s get started. Visage is kind of a creepy band from the New Wave genre that I has stuck with me since the first time I heard Fade to Grey. I don’t think I ever saw any of their videos back in the day, but I’ve seen most of them to date. They have an interesting sound filled with melancholy lyrics and strange synths. They had three very good albums, Visage (1980), The Anvil (1982), and Beat Boy (1984) before Steve Strange and crew went separate ways, but reunited recently with some pretty decent tracks. But, before that, he and Wendy Cruise put together a delightful album called Strange Cruise, which is hard to find.

Vitamin Z’s song Burning Flame (1985) sent the love chills up my spine the first time I heard it, though I had no idea who it was, and it took me some time to figure it out; I bought quite a few different cassettes until I got lucky. There are two albums in their catalog, Rites of Passage (1985) and Sharp Stone Rain (1989) being the album I bought, and both have Burning Flame.

 

Another of the strange groups of the 80’s is Wall of Voodoo with their song Mexican Radio (1983) from the Call of the West album. All of their songs have the quirky sound of 80’s Synthpop/New Wave, but taken a little further than others.

Wang Chung is another example of some of the wonderful musical talent produced in the 80’s. I can’t tell you a song of theirs I don’t like, and hum from time to time. Dance Hall Days (1984) is a strange ditty about…to this day I’m still not sure, the lyrics don’t give much help either. Mosaic (1986) brought us the hits Everybody Have Fun Tonight and Let’s Go. While they had another album in 1989, The Warmer Side of Cool, it didn’t have the fun as the previous releases, maybe that’s why it didn’t do as well.

I love Wham! Is there anything else to say about them? Oh, yeah, I love Wham! I didn’t know about their first album, Fantastic (1983) until I was in college, but Make It Big (1984) and Music From The Edge of Heaven (1986) filled the gap until I was introduced to the beginning. I remember the first time I heard Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (1984) on America’s Top 40; to say I was happy I was recording the show is an understatement. Then there came I’m Your Man (1985) , and I couldn’t get enough. I had the 12” and listened to it non-stop.

When in Rome is my last W, who came onto the scene in 1988 with the song The Promise from their self-titled, and only, album. I can’t count how many times I’ve listened to this album, and the remix album that came out in 2006.

The only X artist of interest to me is XTC, with only one song I remember, Dear God (1987). I like them, but only enough to have a greatest hits album.

Yaz or Yazoo, depending upon your region, are the only Y for me. The first song of theirs I heard was Don’t Go, and that was on WTBS video night. After that, I confess, I forgot about them until I was in college, and I was reintroduced to them. Some of you will know the song Situation, from their album Upstairs at Eric’s (1982). They only had two albums, the one I just mentioned and You and Me Both (1983), then Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet went their separate ways to create beautiful music via Erasure and solo (respectively).

Show of hands, how many of you know Zaine Griff? That’s what I thought, I’m the only one. And, I admit, I don’t know much about him except for one album; Figvres (1982) with the song Fahreinheit 451, and Figvres. I know I like his music, and you should check him out.

Thank you for hanging out with me over the last 15 weeks, learning about the music that has influenced me along the way. What I’ve written over the weeks is just the tip of the iceberg of the music history of my life. Check out last.fm, discogs.com or any other place you find music, and just listen. Always enjoy, and if you don’t, find something else. The world is full of music, things I’ve never heard, some I don’t have the desire. So if there’s something you think I will enjoy, feel free to contact me. I’m not opposed to trying new things, in fact, lately, I’ve been drawn to this thing called Dark Country.