Van Halen “5150” & David Lee Roth “Eat ‘Em and Smile” (1986)

     My original plan for today was to just feature the first Van Halen record that was released after they replaced David Lee Roth with Sammy Hagar.  Frankly, the rest of their albums after “5150” are not making the cut.  However, as I was doing some comparisons in my mind, I realized the better approachContinue reading “Van Halen “5150” & David Lee Roth “Eat ‘Em and Smile” (1986)”

Dwight Yoakam “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.” (1986)

     The dial of variety continues to spin, as we pivot back to the world of country music today for the debut album from Dwight Yoakam, “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.”.  Yoakam was a hybrid, and what I see and hear here is a new artist with an older, classic sound.  Not surprisingly, I loved thisContinue reading “Dwight Yoakam “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.” (1986)”

Metallica “Master of Puppets” (1986)

    1986 would prove to be a huge year for metal music, and I think the epicenter of that metal mania was the 2nd Floor North of McCowen Hall at the University of Northern Colorado.  My freshman year in college will always be remembered as the year we blended old friends with new.  At ourContinue reading “Metallica “Master of Puppets” (1986)”

Janet Jackson “Control” (1986)

     An interesting contrast, we go from one massive ‘80s R&B hit machine to another, as we transition from Whitney Houston to Janet Jackson.  As I quickly realized when an impromptu dance party broke out in the car on the way to the airport yesterday, I enjoyed this album much more than Whitney’s debut album. Continue reading “Janet Jackson “Control” (1986)”

Whitney Houston “Whitney Houston” (1986)

     Another massive hit machine made her debut late in 1985, and although it took awhile to build some real momentum, by the end of 1986, the self-titled debut album “Whitney Houston” was not only the #1 selling album of 1986, it achieved such lofty status it is voted as #249 on Rolling Stone’s TopContinue reading “Whitney Houston “Whitney Houston” (1986)”

Oingo Boingo “Dead Man’s Party” (1985)

     An intentional and accidental selection today, we have the album “Dead Man’s Party” from Oingo Boingo, who was led by vocalist and songwriter Danny Elfman.  Oingo Boingo was one of many bands riding the wave of new wave success, and although they do have a British sound that I would equate to The FixxContinue reading “Oingo Boingo “Dead Man’s Party” (1985)”

Kate Bush “Hounds of Love” (1985)

     One of the more acclaimed albums in 1985 flew under the radar of the mainstream, as British vocalist Kate Bush released her fifth album, “Hounds of Love”.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this record, but I did like it more than I expected to, and it is rated as the #68Continue reading “Kate Bush “Hounds of Love” (1985)”

Band Aid / USA for Africa “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, “We Are the World”, and Live Aid

     A movement ignited in late 1984 that culminated with two mega-hits that live on today, and perhaps the single greatest one-day collection of talent in a concert ever performed.  For me, at the time, Live Aid was primarily about the reunion of Led Zeppelin, whose three remaining members reunited for the first time onContinue reading “Band Aid / USA for Africa “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, “We Are the World”, and Live Aid”

R.E.M. “Fables of the Reconstruction” (1985)

     R.E.M. continued their slow progression towards mainstream success, although they remained true to their college-radio roots more allegiantly than U2 when they released “Fables of the Reconstruction”.  As I listen to each of these early R.E.M. albums, I keep hoping for that really strong collection of songs I know and don’t know that indicateContinue reading “R.E.M. “Fables of the Reconstruction” (1985)”

Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms” (1985)

     Another landmark collection of MTV hits in the 1980s was the next release from Dire Straits, “Brothers in Arms”.  It is an interesting contrast of music, where the first three songs were all massive hits, and the next six are an eclectic mix of songs I really don’t think I have ever heard before,Continue reading “Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms” (1985)”