Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

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Moonbeam
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Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by Moonbeam » Wed May 01, 2019 3:15 am

Use this thread to post recommendations for the 2nd greatest year of them all, 1983! Album and song recommendations are welcome. :happy-partydance:

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Last edited by Moonbeam on Wed May 01, 2019 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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andyd1010
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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by andyd1010 » Wed May 01, 2019 11:46 am

Moonbeam wrote:Use this thread to post recommendations for the greatest year of them all, 1982! Album and song recommendations are welcome. :happy-partydance:
Moonbeam wrote:Use this thread to post recommendations for the greatest year of them all, 1983! Album and song recommendations are welcome. :happy-partydance:
Hmm...

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Moonbeam
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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by Moonbeam » Wed May 01, 2019 12:05 pm

andyd1010 wrote:
Moonbeam wrote:Use this thread to post recommendations for the greatest year of them all, 1982! Album and song recommendations are welcome. :happy-partydance:
Moonbeam wrote:Use this thread to post recommendations for the greatest year of them all, 1983! Album and song recommendations are welcome. :happy-partydance:
Hmm...
I was a bit too hasty with my copy and paste! 2nd greatest year works just fine, though!

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bonnielaurel
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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by bonnielaurel » Sat May 04, 2019 6:51 am

Best unacclaimed albums/EPs of 1983:

*Billy Joel - An Innocent Man: Tribute to popular genres of the 1950s and '60s like doo-wop and rock 'n' roll, with the close harmony of The Longest Time and Uptown Girl.

*Mike Oldfield - Crises: Best album of this decade by the multi-instrumentalist, with Maggie Reilly on Moonlight Shadow, Oldfield's guitar work on Taurus 3 and the long title track.

*Allan Holdsworth - Road Games: EP with a fusion of jazz and rock. The instrumental tracks have great guitar solos; the vocal tracks with Paul Williams are comparable to Steely Dan.

*Tracey Ullman - You Broke My Heart in 17 Places: Teenbop album with only covers, including Kirsty MacColl's They Don't Know and Irma Thomas's Breakaway.

Best unacclaimed songs of 1983:

Talking Heads - Slippery People
Tracey Ullman - They Don't Know
Allan Holdsworth - Three Sheets to the Wind
Agnetha Fältskog - Wrap Your Arms Around Me
Paul Young - Come Back and Stay

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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by rumpdoll » Mon May 06, 2019 8:09 am

This year already turns out to be much more interesting than 1982 (sorry Moonbeam)

There was not much interesting going on on the german front (afaik). The best bands of the new german wave were already disbanded/on hiatus when it started to create its largest chart impact. Even Nena was kind of boring apart from the singles.

Both german fun punk mainstays Die Ärzte (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWB9UiCDgB0) and Die Toten Hosen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t03Nh0hyBY4) started releasing music this year.

Much more interesting stuff was happening in Japan with several releases somewhere between neo classic, jazz and experimental electronical music. Midori Takada - Through the looking glass (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGjHJOnmDZA) has similarities to Steven Reich and Philipp Glass. Ryuichi Sakamotos soundtrack for Merry Chrismas Mr. Lawrence (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGs_vGt0MY8) is very interesting too. My favorite finding of the bunch is Mariah - Utakata no hibi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UIBLA-PuUw). This sounds so fresh that it took a while to overcome my disbelief that this is over 35 years old.

Elsewhere i'm surprised that there is no vote for Daniel Johnston - Yip Jump Music yet (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5hVsTXJ-yo). It sounds like that bands like the Moldy Peaches took very much from this.

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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by Safetycat » Tue May 07, 2019 10:12 am

Please, please, tell me now, is there an old song I should know?

One of my favourite Duran Duran songs comes from 1983: Is There Something I Should Know!
This may be more of a reminder than a recommendation but it's not on AM so I say it counts.

Also, Split Enz released Message to My Girl this year, and Dragon released Rain, both enduring classics in New Zealand (especially Rain since it often gets played when the cricket gets rained off).
Don't you know there ain't no devil? That's just God when he's drunk.

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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by Moonbeam » Mon May 20, 2019 10:49 am

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Time for some funk recommendations!

Of course, I'll start with Prince. Yes, he didn't officially release anything in 1983, but he still has a lot of great material in the vault, including many gems that made it onto the bonus disc of Purple Rain Deluxe like "Father's Song", "Electric Intercourse", and "We Can Fuck". Probably my favorite Prince outtake of all time now that "Moonbeam Levels" has been officially released is Chocolate, which sees Prince adopting his Jamie Starr voice in a humorous way, as the song was given to The Time for a much later release. This version is raw, and maybe his very funkiest song. That bassline just KILLS. Prince associate Andre Cymone was also busy in 1983, with funk numbers like Lovedog and Body Thang full of delights, and sizzling synth funk ballad Stay a real treat.

A lot of funk songs of the era featured blistering guitar solos. George Clinton released a great album in 1983, and the supersonic lustful Quickie absolutely SMOKES. George Clinton proteges Zapp released their third album in 1983, and the key track here is the seismic groove of I Can Make You Dance, featuring signature slinking synth bass lines and vocoder galore and a rapturous guitar solo about 2/3 of the way through. Mtume, of "Juicy Fruit" fame, filled the entire Juicy Fruit album with amazing songs. My favorite other than the lead track is Hips, with multiple synths filling a technicolor sky that is likewise electrified by another sizzling guitar solo. The midtempo Ready for Your Love is also well worth your time.

Some hidden gems that lurk in the shadows of more renowned hits on their respective albums are Donna Summer's ultra funky Woman and Cybotron's frenetic technofunk Cosmic Cars. Other artists whose biggest hits came the year or two prior still had some great jams in 1983, including Grace Jones' freight train LIving My Life (my all-time favorite song of hers), Indeep's toe-curling groove The Record Keeps Spinning, High Fashion's wonky synth party Break Up, Evelyn Champagne King's effervescent Givin' You My Love (What Cha Gonna Do With It), Gap Band's swaggering Party Train, and the immense 1-2 punch of synth boogie behemoths He's a Pretender and Groove Patrol. All of these songs more than hold their own against their more celebrated cousins, IMO.

The most hidden of all gems are those by artists who never released a full-length album. Class Action's Weekend is rightly regarded as a party classic (and my personal choice to be the nominal theme of the upcoming AM get-together in Montpellier). Bobby's electro/synth funk mix Make You Mine (Tight Jeans) features an octave-stepping bass line and synths galore for 9 glorious minutes of decadent fun. Junior Byron's Dance to the Music has a bit more of an electro-disco flavor and it makes generous use of synths and effects that would be perfect for a breakdance routine. Greatest of all, though, and THE SINGLE 1983 SONG I wish would get more renown is Westwood/Cash's Pyscho for Your Love, with a groove to top them all and vocal delivery that grow increasingly unfettered to portray an overpowering, all-consuming obsessive love/lust until erupting in a Moog explosion. One of the most "Moonbeam" songs of all time. YOU MUST HEAR THIS!

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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by Moonbeam » Mon May 20, 2019 11:03 am

1983 was another great year for italo disco.

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Genre titan Kano had their greatest commercial success with Another Life, but instrumental Ikeya Seki is even better and seems to have influenced a lot of 00s and 10s artists like Chromeo and Timecop1983. Charlie's Spacer Woman is regarded as maybe the very best italo disco song ever on RYM, and its curious inventiveness makes it a worthy pick. Other italo classics are the dramatic, piano-laden I Like Chopin by Gazebo and the frantic Take a Chance by Mr. Flagio and the euphoric mania of Fun FUn's Happy Station.

Some lesser known gems in my mind are Casco's tender quasi-ballad Cybernetic Love, Zed's low budget fluroescent tube Plastic Love, Lime's Hi-NRG explosion On the Grid, and Lisa's shimmering, twinkling reverie Rocket to Your Heart, which may pack more synths per second than any other song in history (up there with Sylvia Love's "Instant Love"). Perhaps the most intersting of all is Gaznevada's hypnotizing electro-groove I.C. Love Affair.

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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by Moonbeam » Mon May 20, 2019 11:21 am

Lots of great synthpop/new wave in 1983 as well. Most of it is more well known, so I won't highlight a whole lot here. The previously mentioned André Cymone packed a sugar-coated aerobic workout into the jubilant sounds of What Are We Doing Here. "Everything Counts" may rightly have earned Depeche Mode acclaim for its sound and message, but I actually prefer Love, in Itself. Likewise, "Flashdance... What a Feeling" is Irene Cara's smash hit, but these days I find myself more drawn to the Giorgio Moroder-produced Romance '83, an amusing look at the contemporary conflict between love and technology. Likewise, the big Cure singles between Pornography and The Top rightly get a lot of praise, but for the past few years, I've been mostly drawn to the beautiful Lament, which strikes a balance between existential sorrow and whimsy like only The Cure can. That little guitar line coupled with the woodwinds at 2:24 gives me shivers every time. Kim Wilde released the last of a trilogy of awesome new wave classics in Catch as Catch Can, including the beguiling mysticism of House of Salome and the high-paced twin to Madonna's "Burning Up" in Sparks. Naked Eyes had a few hits around the time, but I haven't seen anyone previously mention the beautifully lush and seductive When the Lights Go Out. I haven't explored them much, but I'm convinced my favorite Australian band of the 80s might be Models, if the twisty/knotty new wave of I Hear Motion has anything to say in the matter!

Finally, a song that never fails to bring a smile to my face is Donna Summer's Stop, Look, and Listen. In one of my very earliest memories of music, I recall hearing this on the She Works Hard for the Money cassette when I was 4 or 5 and loving the high-paced synth runs and especially the lower-pitched bridge, which I was absolutely CONVINCED was performed by a robot. :lol:

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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by Moonbeam » Mon May 20, 2019 11:35 am

"But there's just one thing!"

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Finally, I can't help but highlight my second favorite artist year ever, and that is Eurythmics 1983. With 2 phenomenal albums, they truly ruled the year like nobody else ever has aside from Prince in 1982, IMO. I'll repost some relevant bits from my big Eurythmics post (which contains links to hear these and other Eurythmics songs that placed in the top 101 of a poll I helped run) to capture the greatness that is their year. I'll comment in reverse order of the way the songs placed in the Eurythmics poll.

#100 “Baby’s Gone Blue”:

So happy this made the top 101! The ominous piano chords, Dave’s cold narration, Annie’s “ha ha ha ha ha sweetHEART”s, and the mania of it all captures the experimental side to Eurythmics I absolutely adore, which appeared all over their B-sides from 1981-1983.

Who are you going to send flowers to?

#69 “Satellite of Love”

Easily their best cover in my mind. It’s hard to cover a great song (and Lou Reed’s version is an all-time great song IMO) and make it worthwhile, but they did it. I love how it starts all dreamy and starry eyed with Annie’s gorgeous harmonies, and grows more impassioned and frantic as it goes on. Delicate like “Jennifer”, menacing like “Somebody Told Me”, and frantic like the end of “I Could Give You (A Mirror)”, a sort of snapshot of the wonderful Sweet Dreams album.

#66 “Wrap It Up”

Like everything on Sweet Dreams, I adore “Wrap It Up”. The energy, the zany UFO-sounding synth effects, the manic way it climbs at the end, that wonderful prominent synth bass… I have loved the song for 20 years now and only recently discovered it actually is a duet between Annie Lennox and Green Gartside - that is how seamlessly their voices work together here.

#51 “Cool Blue”

A wonderfully warped romp that is thrilling from start to finish! By this point, it was clear that Dave and Annie were keen to play with the signature Eurythmics sound. The synth bass is still the driving force here (that downright DIRTY extended fourth note of the main sequence is EVERYTHING), but there are so many added textures: the funk guitar licks, the effect-heavy drum programming (like the delectable raindrop mimicry that opens the song), the extra heft of the bass, and those sassy brassy horns complement the song so well. I love how Annie's vocals grow from cold and cutting to desperate paranoia, conveyed so wonderfully with that second "Up!" in the chorus, and ultimately to increasingly processed mania! It's also one of their most evergreen dance songs they ever did. Along with "The First Cut", it is no wonder that the record company felt compelled to issue Touch Dance - it is impossible to stay still with such deliriously fun (eu)rhythm.

#43 “I’ve Got an Angel”

What a masterpiece this is! The opening flute seems to conjure the titular angel, but that ominous synth bass comes barrelling in to make me question whether it's an angel of darkness. The way she delivers the repeated refrain of "the power of imagination goes right to my head" in such a low, almost sub-human manner and the way she alternates (to my ears anyway) that it is simultaneously the time to "heal" and the time to "kill" seems to confirm the chilling truth. A bold, evocative venture into the wild on an absolutely perfect album.

#40 “The First Cut”

The most energetic dance song Eurythmics ever did, “The First Cut” is all fangs set to a thrilling kaleidoscope of frantic synths, guitars, drum machines and quirky effects. Masterful, everfresh fun that bursts through the speakers, I can’t help myself from moving when it’s on, which is quite frequently as it’s my 5-year-old son’s favorite Eurythmics song. If you need some E pep in your step, look no further. No one seethes on a dancefloor quite like Annie Lennox!

#39 “Aqua”

I adore “Aqua” with its absolutely hypnotic rhythm, Annie’s wordless backing vocals, her strident disappointment seething from every pore with the “don’t touch me/don’t talk to me ever again” insistence, and Dave’s wonderful guitar weirdness. One of their more unique offerings, sounding like nothing else in their catalogue or anyone else's. Vivid texture galore.

#36 “Regrets”

Oh, "Regrets"! It blends fun and danger so wonderfully. That snaking synth bass is on the darker side of the Goldilocks zone balancing sinister edge and mass appeal, and the song is all the better for it. Annie absolutely perfectly inhabits the character within the song, delivering warning after warning of her bubbling infernal rage: with fists, razor blade smiles and delicate minds giving way to dangerous natures, the imagery is so vivid. I think my favorite part is when she repeatedly whispers "I'm an electric wire!" while ominously humming in the background... it's a powerful bone-chilling moment that likewise works in the masterful "Paint a Rumour".

#31 “Somebody Told Me”

Oooooooh! Wonderfully sinister, this song feels like a prelude to "Paint a Rumour", as we see Annie's fury simmer and bubble over with appropriately nightmarish synth menace. The atmosphere they concocted on this and so many other wonderful songs on Sweet Dreams is second to none.

#28 “Paint a Rumour”

Absolute perfection, this. There are three main synth patterns that match the three main characters Annie inhabits with different vocal tones. The relentlessly propulsive, hypnotic avalanche of those booming, octave-stepping synths make for the most powerful musical moment in their entire career this side of the opening note that explodes to ignite "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)", and they align perfectly with Annie's low-pitched, frightening menace that teases and tantalizes with the promise of illicit information. The higher pitched synth line that sits atop the mix throughout the song plays like a tireless stenographer tapping away to relay the latest juicy tidbits of the ever-present rumour mill, matching the insatiable thirst for gossip of the higher-pitched backing vocals: "what did it SAAAAY?!". Perhaps most impressive of all, however, is the when the synths begin to swirl in fiery whirlpools in time with Annie's growing rage, as she bubbles over with volcanic fury, repeatedly hissing the whispered all-caps exorcism "I COULD TELL YOU SOMETHING" through gnashed teeth.

Any one of these pairings of synth lines and character exploits would be more than enough to carry a song, but to have all three in one song is just an ocean of riches. But that's not all! We also get those wonderfully textured trumpets ramping up the mania, the wonderful slap bass to engage the hips, the thrilling sequence of blips and bleeps near the end of the song that race through the speakers like a primitive dial-up modem, and the chilling martial "hey, hey, Hey, HEY!" chants that beautifully set the table for 1984: For the Love of Big Brother.

"Paint a Rumour" is a symphony of synths, rising and falling in waves and whirlpools of blood red. No other song of theirs so perfectly captures my own taste like this one, and with a nearly 8-minute runtime, it is by far the most indulgent rush of dopamine they ever produced.

#25 “This City Never Sleeps”

Ahh, "This City Never Sleeps". There are days when I think it's the best thing Eurythmics have ever done, and with good reason: I think it is THE most atmospheric offering they ever produced and a crowning achievement of understatement - everything feels so delicate, so sedate, so hallowed! First and foremost is the ingenious melody that runs throughout the song - somehow, DnA managed to come up with a musical phrase that captures the dull monotony of crowded urban survival (living is too generous of a word for it) while simultaneously being immensely captivating - there's a sort of searching tone to it that draws the listener in and never lets go. It's easy to sink into its trance, with the soft drum pattern pacing time like a relentless metronome ticking and tocking away to document the fleeting days, weeks, and years of overwhelming loneliness. It's a sea of exhausted faces sharing the same existence that gets lost in faceless anonymity.

Add to that the brilliant guitar tones that Dave merges through feedback with the recorded train sounds, hanging in the air like the rawness of frostbite because there isn't money left to pay the heating bill. And Annie! Her words capture the sentiment with such dexterity: "walls so thin I can almost hear them breathing, but when I listen in I hear my own heart beating". She weaves both soulful vulnerability, steely defiance, and resigned hopelessness into a rich tapestry against a rainy midnight sky. I particularly love how during her most impassioned "in the city!" cries, the volume echoes DOWN and outward like an urgent plea diluting into hollow nothingness in the cosmos.

What I also love about "This City Never Sleeps" is that it so perfectly chronicles their story: from the ashes of The Tourists, Dave and Annie had issued an album and five singles that had all failed to ignite the public's imagination, and they seemed destined to plod away, filled with a million ideas but unable to even afford a claptrap. And yet, these very circumstances led to the inventiveness that augmented the creative process: banging picture frames against the wall, filling milk jugs to varying levels for lo-fi percussion, dangling a swaying microphone down a full storey to record Annie's piano playing and singing, and merging disparate sonic elements onto singular tracks to fit on the 8-track equipment. This sort of gritty determination soaks through every pore of "This City Never Sleeps", and I love it immensely for that reason. An absolute artistic triumph for Dave and Annie, and a massive highlight on the best album of their career.

#21 “Jennifer”

A masterful song from a masterful album. Whenever I hear someone say that synthesizers "aren't real music" or are "cold and sterile", I think of this and Kraftwerk's "Computer Love'' as foolproof counterexamples. The electronic heartbeat of this song glows with such warmth in perfect harmony with Annie's lullaby-like homage to the heroine of the song which is delivered with such tenderness. I love that Annie chooses all secondary colors in her description of Jennifer, serving as a plausible explanation for her untimely fate: she felt secondary. Such gorgeous presentation and rich imagery is complemented by other sonic delights, like the pulsing "hoo hoo hoo"s that chime in unison with the neon electronic heartbeat of the song while those piercing synths roar through the speakers like the Doppler effect from a speeding train, as well as Dave's most visceral guitar fireworks that send the song streaking into the heavens in glorious splendor. A towering triumph.

#18 “I Could Give You (A Mirror)”

For me, synth bass is the most defining element to the classic Eurythmics sound, and no other song in their catalogue features it so prominently as this delectable slice of booming synthpop glory. Displaying its fangs in octave-stepping menace throughout, "I Could Give You (A Mirror)" delivers a relentless flurry of devastating blows to accompany Annie's most cold and cutting lyric on record as she obliterates her former paramour with the title of the song. Despite this heaviness, the song is delightfully danceable thanks to the 4-on-the-floor drum pattern. The fun ramps up throughout the song, first with those high-pitched eighth notes that chime in before the second verse, then the streaking synths sparkling during the bridge, followed by the most glorious key change of their entire career, which elevates her incredulity to venomous fury: "Whoa-oh-OH HOW COULD YOU BE soooo cold?" The entire thing coalesces into a maniacal chorus of Annies simultaneously expressing their disappointment, frustration and rage as the skittering synth line steps up an octave into quite the thrilling finish. Nobody added such danger to evergreen dance pop quite like Eurythmics, and it all started here.

I should add that my gateway to Eurythmics was the colossal single and video for "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)". I long loved that song and bought the cassette of the Greatest Hits when I was around 13. I really liked a lot of the songs, so I gave the Sweet Dreams album a try when I was around 18. I was blown away by the quality of it, but it was THIS song that made me obsessive. To have another song with those towering explosions of synth bass was unreal.

#9 "No Fear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts)"

I LOVE how well this did! "No Fear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts)" is masterful. It has so many unusual elements but they all coalesce into a stunning whole. The juxtaposition of the sharp, booming synths and the string sections gives it such a bold soundscape, which frightens at one turn and takes your breath away the next. The contrast between the seething, animatronic verses and the soulful wordless pleas toward the end is EVERYTHING. And how about Annie's opening, mournful, lillting, wordless vocal?! It tops "There Must Be an Angel" to me for goosebump-inducing brilliance! The whole thing is spine-tingling vocal theatre, really, from the way she alternates between the vulnerable, high pitched "no"s and the more barbed words in the title to her ad-libbed "heyyyy-heyyy-heyyy-eeee-yeah-ee-yeahhh-OWWW" toward the finish. The way her wordless vocals climb during the bridge before morphing into and being swept away by the strings and synths is otherworldly. Probably their most avant garde song to appear on an album, and its emotional breadth, rich sonic tapestry and vocal delights make it a worthy entry into the top 10. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

#5 "Who's That Girl?"

Oooooh. Eurythmics have plenty of icy songs, but this one is positively GLACIAL. Those opening high-pitched, textured synths shiver as if played by icicles falling in time from a cave ceiling. I love the way the main synth line relentlessly pulses as if to punctuate Annie's simmering paranoia and smoldering rage, which she delivers with appropriately seething frigidness. It's is a perfect mix of allure and danger, the verses ushering forth with sophisticated seduction, amplifying into high-stakes drama with the "but there's just one thing!" bits underscored by their trademark synth bass. The atmosphere is so affecting, and Annie’s character exploits here are top-notch as she once again embodies the perils of love as on previous singles “The Walk” and “Love Is a Stranger” and threads the needle between both, teetering along the line between alluring mystery and threatening danger. No other song in their rich repertoire casts tension quite like this, a beguiling mix of sexy and terrifying.

My favorite part of all comes when after percolating for 3.5 minutes, the song finally explodes into that wonderfully technicolor, volcanic fury of synths exorcising the heat of 1000 suns. Truly spellbinding stuff. I could get lost in its scalding magma over and over. I wish the single edit and video included this part. The 12” extended mix (their best, IMO), gives it even greater prominence, much to my delight.

#3 "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"

If I had to pick one song that represents my musical taste, it very well could be “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. For as long as I can remember, analog synths have been what draws me to music the most. They are the perfect tool to paint the sort of bold musical worlds with colors set to maximum saturation into which I can most obsessively immerse myself. And there is no painting as vibrant as “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”.

It only dawned on me recently why I respond to music this way. When I was in kindergarten, I was the only student to fail an activity set by the teacher, in which we had to draw shapes and write characters of specific colors in specific locations. The teacher called my mother and explained to her that while I had correct placement of the various shapes and characters, the colors weren’t as instructed. My mother then explained to her, “For Ian, colors, shapes, letters, and numbers aren’t just what they are. They are his friends. And he has them in favorite order: yellow, orange red; triangle, circle, square; V, U, T; 8, 4, 2. So when he draws his favorite shape, a triangle, it has to be his favorite color, yellow. When he writes his second favorite letter, U, it has to be his second favorite color, orange.” I hadn’t been misunderstanding the instructions – the instructions had gone against my own deeply-felt rules of right and wrong! I used to ask for magnetic letters and numbers for Christmas every year, and one year when the v’s came as white, I painted them yellow. To this day, I have a yellow magnetic V and 8 on my refrigerator – my love of the abstract “yellowness” or “orangeness” of something has not faded with time.

So why synths, then? Many of my favorite songs create worlds in my mind that are rich in color, and there is nothing that can so readily create these associations for me like analog synths. I now believe that my gateway to becoming a music lover came through old Nintendo games – the vibrant, pixelated colors that lit up the screen while I was playing Zelda or Bubble Bubble or Mega Man 2 were accompanied by equally fluorescent soundtracks in all their 8-bit glory. In these worlds, colors and sounds combined to create their own universes that strongly imprinted on me.

So when I heard that opening note of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” explode into millions of neon orange pixels, it felt like it went right through me, like that sonic boom had been plucked straight out of my DNA. That note may very well be the most iconic note of the entire 80s, and it detonates the start of each measure into a booming, irresistible MOTION, rising and falling in flares as it shifts between octaves, a perfectly programmed symphony of orange 0s and 1s. The tension mounts further during the “hold your head up” section, the music dropping out completely after the final “keep your head up!” to set the stage for that brilliant, thrilling instrumental bridge. The flurry of those opening 7 notes adds such tantalizing MYSTERY before being swallowed whole as the synths crawl deeper into low-pitched menace. The palette during “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is so vibrant that I can almost SEE the song’s movements – brilliant streaks of orange light striating a pitch black night sky with each booming synth, flashes of white igniting with each clang of the picture frames against the warehouse walls, stars twinkling with each tap of the varyingly-filled milk bottles.

I first experienced it while watching the incredible music video which left me in absolute awe. Few artists have so expertly used visual means to enhance songs like Eurythmics, and that video for “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is foremost among them. The clashes of corporate vs pastoral and spiritual vs technological worlds are set out so powerfully with Annie’s commanding presence, pounding the pointer in her boardroom presentation and spinning that glowing globe as Dave taps away at a computer. There is a lot to dissect, but it was that orange, orange, ORANGE hair that left the deepest impression me, as Annie cast an image that was so bold and so undiluted that it instilled courage in me to never compromise who I was. And orange is perfect for this song – its messages shrieking “CAUTION!” at every turn of the difficult and sometimes cruel nature of the world.

So it is that “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” feels like more than a song to me. It’s providential. It’s primal. It’s a world unto itself in which I can reconnect with who I am at my core. I must have heard it well over 1,000 times, and that opening bomb always excites me, always ignites in me a feeling of wonder. Wonder at sound. Wonder at vision. Wonder at the compelling beauty of orange in the abstract. It is a world full of dreams, and it is indeed quite sweet.

#1 "Here Comes the Rain Again"

It’s funny: I feel a sense of joy and a sense of sadness as this poll finishes. Joy for the many months of fun we have had passionately discussing and learning about these songs, and sadness that this journey is now complete. And this song sums up those feelings quite well.

Despite it being widely known in fan circles, I don’t think enough is made in general about how unique it is that Annie and Dave ended their romantic relationship and started on this wonderful musical journey as Eurythmics. That history brought out some incredibly rich and textured songs, and none so perfectly capture the unique circumstances of Eurythmics like “Here Comes the Rain Again”. Once again, Dave and Annie turned a heated argument into wonderful musical catharsis.

Musically, the combination of synths and orchestral arrangements never sounded so beautifully matched for each other: the strings carving breathtaking beauty and the synths glowing with the magical sparkle only they can produce, combining to craft a beauty that is so immense that it feels almost exalted. For me, the opening triplicate synth pattern that runs throughout feels like the titular raindrops: there is a percussiveness to the synths that make them sound like rain splatting against a window pane: thick from the cold grey clouds from which they came, driving an insistent rhythm. It is gorgeous and affecting and grand.

And the lyrics are so tender and vulnerable, an earnest plea for connection as a way to overcome the overbearing depression that envelops a broken heart. And it’s not just any connection she seeks - she wants the whole ocean - a deep, almost primordial, you-and-I-are-one-for-all-eternity connection, and the way she sings is such an evocative reminder that such connections are possible. In a song in which she is resigned and fatalistic about the world (the title revealing a weary expectation of sadness), she seeks the highest of highs.

It may not be my favorite Eurythmics song, but I can’t honestly disagree with anyone who maintains that “Here Comes the Rain Again” is their best song. It is hallowed. It is sacred. It is a hymn.

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Akhenaten
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Re: Recommendation Thread: 1983 Poll

Post by Akhenaten » Mon May 20, 2019 12:12 pm

My top Unacclaimed songs of 1983 are:

The sublime,
Fiction Factory - (Feels Like) Heaven

Specials-related,
Fun Boy Three - The Tunnel Of Love
Special AKA - Racist Friend
Bananarama - Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)


Fellow 2-Toners who were getting better and better at this point imo,
Madness - Wings Of A Dove
Madness - The Sun And The Rain


Post-Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke related (The Assembly being his short-lived do with The Undertones' Fergal Sharkey),
The Assembly - Never Never
The Flying Pickets - Only You
Yazoo - Ode To Boy


Just surprised these aren't in AM:
KC & The Sunshine Band - Give It Up
Talking Heads - Slippery People
Billy Joel - An Innocent Man


Others:
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Genetic Engineering
Kim Wilde - Love Blonde
Thompson Twins - Love On Your Side
Altered Images - Don't Talk To Me About Love
The Psychedelic Furs - President Gas
Dire Straits - Twisting By The Pool

(Brilliant silly song by the normally ultra-serious group)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Shatterproof
(Didn't realise how rare this is, there's a version on YouTube, but it's not quite the version I know if CD I'm sure. But it's fab).
Who put the bomp in the bomp ba bomp ba bomp?

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