Midge Ure has been celebrated on Stuck in the '80s for his work with Ultravox, Visage and for helping write DoThey Know It's Christmas for Band Aid. As a solo artist, Midge Ure only hit the singles chart once in America - but do you remember which song that was?
By the time 1988 rolled around, Scotland's Midge Ure had scored five solo Top 40 hits in the U.K., however his first and only trip to the Top 100 in the U.S. was the last year of the decade with Dear God that petered out at No. 95. Dear God is a song of hope and a plea for the end of war, starvation and loneliness.
Always up for something different, Ure is currently touring Europe this year in an interesting project called the Rock Meets Classic Tour. The concept is an symphony orchestra combines with five-piece rock band and then adds lead singers like Ure to sing classic rock songs from the catalogs of artists like AC/DC and Twisted Sister performing songs like Thunderstuck and I Wanna Rock. Some of the other vocalists joining Ure on the Rock Meets Classic Tour are Joey Tempest of Europe and Steve Walsh of Kansas.
NBC just ordered a Code Red. A Few Good Men was a Broadway play way back in 1989 before it was a blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise. And now we’ll be able to see it as writer Aaron Sorkin meant it to be seen: live on stage. And, well, on TV.
You want the truth?!? NBC announced Wednesday that a live presentation of A Few Good Men will air on the network in early 2017.
A Few Good Men will be the first live drama the network has offered. Previous live productions were musicals, beginning with The Sound of Music Live in 2013. Other productions have included Peter Pan Live and The Wiz Live.
Sorkin has been largely absent from broadcast TV over the last decade. He followed up the award-winning West Wing series with lesser-appreciated offerings such as Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - two series adored by critics but ignored by viewers. But he found another hot streak lately with HBO’s The Newsroom and the feature film Steve Jobs, which scored Sorkin a Golden Globe for best screenplay. …
We don’t give Hollywood much credit for creativity these days, but we might have to make an exception for Andrew Form, the producer of a planned reboot of 1980’s Friday the 13th. According to Movieweb.com, Form told the crowd at WonderCon over the weekend that his movie will be a period piece. Come on, Andy! Just admit that it’s set in the ‘80s and we’re all on board.
Oh, I can picture the kids at Camp Crystal Lake running around in cutoff jean shorts and knee-high tube socks now. It’s beautiful.
"There is truth that this is period, and not found footage,” Form told the crowd, who was gathered to hear about his upcoming movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. (Seriously? Someone stick an arrow through the neck of that lame duck.)
“We're so lucky to have Aaron Guzikowski writing, who is a fan of the franchise,” Form said. “He's come up with an amazing story and we can't wait to make this one.”
That’s about it when it comes to details. Even Jason Voorhees is in the dark.
As much as I dislike the term One Hit Wonder, sometimes the name fits. No crying about it, Sniff 'N' TheTears only had one hit, but they tried in the '80s with One Love.
In 1979, one of the coolest rock songs released was Driver's Seat by the English band Sniff 'N' The Tears. America embraced Driver's Seat and it made No. 15 on the charts and the song has enjoyed multiple rebirths being featured Boogie Nights, car commercials and a European Pioneer Stereo commercial that made Drivers Seat a No. 1 hit in the Netherlands in 1991. Like most One Hit Artists, Sniff 'N' The Tears released other deserving singles that never got heard like One Love.
In 1980, Sniff 'N' The Tears released a new album and the single and video for One Love, but it got lost in the shuffle. Once again using a cool synth riff, One Love deserves a listen although the video is a bit vanilla with performance mixed in with leader Paul Roberts poking around in a spider-web covered room searching perhaps for another hit. Despite releasing seven albums from 1979 to 2011, Sniff N' The Tears never were a chart presence again.
We all joke about overeating, but sometimes eating can be serious business especially when 10,000Maniacs' Natalie Merchant is involved in the sympathetic Eat For Two.
While Madonna was thinking about keeping her baby because "we are in love," the heroine in 10,000 Maniacs Eat For Two is still coming to terms with her teenage pregnancy. Merchant's lyrics of "but she couldn't stand for the way he begged and gave in" imply a struggling teen who is now coming to grips on how to take care of the baby inside her during her fifth month of pregnancy when she begins to starting showing. While the music is upbeat, the video for Eat For Two is stark as creepy dolls get more screen time than adorable babies.
“I want my MTV back!” is the go-to mantra these days among the ‘80s generation. And maybe they’ll get their wish. MTV’s owners say the network will get an overhaul in coming weeks, according to a report this week on Variety.com.
Viewers can expect “a more significant re-imagining of the brand,” said Philippe Dauman, chairman and CEO of Viacom, which owns MTV. Why? It appears MTV's audience has been eroding in recent years. Primetime ratings in MTV's key demographic fell about 8% for the week ending March 20, according to Variety's figures, and ad revenue has been "choppy."
What can we expect with the rebranding? According to Variety, it appears the shameful shows such as Teen Mom - still popular among the brain-dead millennial crowd - aren’t going anyway, but live music and pop culture news reporting might return. In February, the rebranding quietly began when Viacom bought the live music cable channelPalladia and renamed it MTV Live. The next step, according to sources, is the return of MTV News.
Still, those of expecting the return of Martha, Alan, Mark and Nina and marathons of videos by John Mellencamp, REO Speedwagon, Duran Duran and the Buggles are probably kidding themselves.
"Here's the thing about MTV today vs. MTV then," Martha Quinn told Stuck in the ‘80s back in 2011 on the network’s 30th anniversary. "Let's say MTV [still] played videos 24/7, never stopping, all music . . . it still wouldn't be our MTV. It'd be Pitbull and Rihanna ... It's not like they'd be playing The Fixx."
Newly inducted Rock Hall of Fame members Cheap Trick, along with The Go-Go's Belinda Carlisle, Survivor and Morris Day & The Time are all scheduled to perform on the 2017 edition of The '80s Cruise.
In case you missed the 2016 cruise, which sailed Feb. 28 through March 6, The '80s Cruise is a seven-day total immersion into the decade we all still love so dearly. The cruise includes appearances by original MTV veejays Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood and a slate of amazing bands representing all the different genres of music from the '80s. And that's just the start.
Eighties movies are screened by the pool. Dance parties featuring all '80s music go until dawn. Guests on the cruise mingle with the artists while on board. They're also invited to book exclusive excursions with many of the celebrities. There's also trivia contests hosted by Stuck in the '80s and theme nights that invite all passengers to dress up as movie characters, prom attendees and more. It's not a vacation — it's a 7-day time machine trip back to the '80s.
Here’s a reboot we can all be happy with: A limited run of the Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am featured in the movie Smokey and the Bandit. And yes, each car is signed by Burt Reynolds.
Introduced at the New York International Auto Show on Friday, each “Trans Am SE Bandit Edition” comes with 840 horsepower (about 650 more than the original, reports Esquire), a “Shaker” hood and the obligatory T-top.
Pontiac stopped making this model back in 2009, so these rare gems were instead produced by a company called Trans Am Depot. The price? Depending on your package, the Trans Am SE Bandit will set you back between $70,000 and $115,000. ("Snowman and Coors Beer" package not currently available.)
Maybe Big Enos and Little Enos can co-sign for you.
On the last Stuck in the '80s podcast, a very giddy Steve Spears announced the 2017 band lineup for The '80s Cruise and declared his excitement for the inclusion of Morris Day and the Time. While you scream and Steve screams, can we all scream for The Time and Ice Cream Castles?
Purple Rain opened in theaters the last week of July 1984 and made stars out of The Time for the flamboyant and well-received performances of Morris Day and sidekick Jerome Benton. Both songs that were featured in Purple Rain - Jungle Love and The Bird - were on The Time's Ice Cream Castle album that was released the first week of July 1984. Before anyone saw Purple Rain, Ice Cream Castles was released as the first single and only made it to No. 106 on the singles chart. Even though the PurpleRain soundtrack was tearing up the charts it took until the fall of 1984 before The Time started charting with Jungle Love and The Bird.
There is a consensus that perhaps the best, most inspiring version of the Star Spangled Banner is Whitney Houston's 1991 version performed at the 1991 Super Bowl XXV in Tampa Bay during the days of Persian Gulf War. So what is the best version of our national anthem in the '80s? It's easy - Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All-Star game.
In February of 1983, Marvin Gaye was back on top of the world. Sexual Healing was a No. 3 smash and would win Gaye a Grammy that spring. It had been over five years since the man who hit number one with I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Let's Get It On had a hit single. 1983 was also the peak of "Showtime" in Los Angeles as the Lakers were winning championships, so it was a star-studded event when Gaye sauntered to the microphone to perform the national anthem for the NBA All-Star game. …
Comedian Garry Shandling died Thursday at a Los Angeles area hospital, according to a media report. He was 66 years old.
TMZ reports that a 911 call came from Shandling’s house on Thursday. NBC News reports that he experienced a heart attack and died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica at 10:40 a.m.
Shandling began his career writing for TV sitcoms such as Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter. He grew to prominence to ‘80s fans as the star of It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, which ran from 1986 to 1990. His fan base grew when The Larry Sanders Show became a hit on HBO in the early ‘90s.
According to NBC, Shandling never married, though he did live with Linda Doucett, a former Playboy model, from 1987 until 1994.
Guns N’ Roses meets AC/DC? That’s only realistic maybe as a skit on Robot Chicken. But according to an Atlanta radio DJ, GNR frontman Axl Rosehas almost a done deal to replace ailing singer Brian Johnson for the remainder of AC/DC’s North American tour.
Alternative Nation says DJ Jason Bailey has a “very very good source” on the most unusual news. Johnson, as previously reported, has been advised by doctors to take a break from touring or risk total hearing loss.
“This is what I’m being told, Axl was meeting with the AC/DC group, because it’s all but a done deal that Axl will front AC/DC for the 10 remaining shows,” Bailey said.
Other sources also have confirmed that Rose was in Atlanta to “for rehearsals” — but not necessarily Guns N’ Roses rehearsals. And Ross Malcolm Young, the son of AC/DC’s founding guitarist Malcolm Young, also reportedly confirmed “it’s true” when asked about Axl joining the group.
THAT ALL BEING SAID, when was the last time a rumor about Guns N’ Roses and/or Axl Rose turned out to be 100 percent true? (Survey says … NEVER!) AC/DC has always been a practical band, willing to swap out a member without hesitation when circumstances stood in the way of business, but Axl Rose? I’d rather risk total hearing loss myself than listen to him butcher the classic anthems I grew up on.
One of my favorite R&B songs of the early '80s is Ai No Corrida by Quincy Jones. You got to love cover songs as Ai No Corrida was originally a song written and performed from a member of England's post-punk music scene. How can this be? Once again, the answer lies with Chaz Jenkel.
For an artist who had zero hits ever on the U.S. charts, this is the third appearance for Chaz Jenkel on Lost and Found with previous features for his songs Questionnaire and Number One (featured on the True Genius soundtrack) . In the late '70s, Jankel was the musical force behind Ian Dury and the Blockheads, a popular and influential post-punk rock band in England. When Jenkel left the Blockheads in 1980, his first solo album was anchored by the single Ai No Corrida.
We all love Rick Springfield and he has penned some amazing rock songs over his year, but not every one of his hits was his original. Many know that one of his first hits I've Done Everything For You was a Sammy Hagar song but did you know that State Of The Heart was hit for another Australian band in 1981?
It's only been a month since we first profiled Mondo Rock on Lost and Found with their biggest hit ComeSaid The Boy, so today we tackle their second-biggest hit with their original of State Of Heart. Before Rick Springfield had a Top 40 hit in 1985, Mondo Rock had a Top 40 hit in Australia with State Of TheHeart. The video for State Of The Heart is taken off their appearance on Countdown. Both versions are fairly close however Springfield's is a little more upbeat while Mondo Rock's is more reflective and soulful.
Mondo Rock broke up at the end of the '80s, but not before racking up nine Top 40 hits in their native Australia.
Relive the '80s music, movies and culture with Tampa Bay Times correspondent Steve Spears. A teen during the greatest decade ever, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to big hair.