Monday, June 21, 1982

ABC’s Lexicon of Love released

First posted 2/11/2010; updated 9/13/2020.

Lexicon of Love

ABC


Released: June 21, 1982


Peak: 24 US, 14 UK, 3 CN, 9 AU


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.3 UK, 0.8 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: new wave


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Show Me
  2. Poison Arrow (2/20/82, 25 US, 6 UK, 36 CN, 4 AU)
  3. Many Happy Returns
  4. Tears Are Not Enough (10/16/81, 19 UK)
  5. Valentine’s Day
  6. The Look of Love, Pt. 1 (5/15/82, 18 US, 32 AR, 4 UK, 1 CN, 7 AU)
  7. Date Stamp
  8. All of My Heart (9/4/82, 5 UK, 13 CN, 21 AU)
  9. 4 Ever 2 Gether
  10. The Look of Love, Pt. 4


Total Running Time: 37:25


The Players:

  • Martin Fry (vocals)
  • Mark White (guitar, keyboards)
  • Mark Lickley (bass)
  • Stephen Singleton (saxophone)
  • David Palmer, David Robinson (drums, percussion)

Rating:

4.300 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)


Quotable: “A landmark album in British pop” – Rob Webb, BBC


Awards:

About the Album:

“ABC’s debut album combined the talents of the Sheffield, U.K.-based band, particularly lead singer Martin Fry, a fashion plate of a frontman with a Bryan Ferry fixation, and the inventive production style of former Buggles member Trevor Horn and his team of musicians, several of whom would go on to form the Art of Noise. Horn created dense tracks that merged synthesizer sounds, prominent beats, and swaths of strings and horns, their orchestrations courtesy of Anne Dudley, who would follow her work with the Art of Noise by becoming a prominent film composer, and who here underscored Fry’s stylized romantic lyrics and dramatic, if affected, singing.” AMG

The album produced three top-ten hits in the UK with Poison Arrow, The Look of Love, and All of My Heart. While “Poison Arrow” preceded “The Look of Love” on the charts in the UK, it was the other way around in the U.S. where “The Look of Love” hit the top 20 and was followed by top-40 hit “Poison Arrow.”

“The production style was dense and noisy, but frequently beautiful, and the group’s emotional songs gave it a depth and coherence later Horn works, such as those of Yes (‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’) and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, would lack. (You can hear Horn trying out the latter band's style in Date Stamp).” AMG

“Fry and company used the sound to create moving dancefloor epics like Many Happy Returns, which, like most of the album’s tracks, deserved to be a hit single…ABC, which began fragmenting almost immediately, never equaled its gold-selling first LP commercially or artistically, despite some worthy later songs.” AMG

The BBC’s Rob Webb hailed the album as “a landmark album in British pop” WK saying that “it underpins just what a sharp band ABC were: witty, lyrical, and very, very funky.” WK

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Saturday, June 19, 1982

Air Supply’s Now and Forever charted in the U.S.

First posted 1/18/2009; updated 9/10/2020.

Now and Forever

Air Supply


Charted: June 19, 1982


Peak: 25 US, -- UK, -- CN, 27 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: adult contemporary


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Now and Forever
  2. Even the Nights Are Better (6/12/82, 5 US, 44 UK, 1 AC, 35 AU, airplay: 1 million)
  3. Young Love (9/18/82, 38 US, 13 AC)
  4. Two Less Lonely People in the World (11/13/82, 38 US, 4 AC, 46 AU)
  5. Taking the Chance
  6. Come What May
  7. One Step Closer
  8. Don’t Be Afraid
  9. She Never Heard Me Call
  10. What Kind of Girl


The Players:

  • Russell Hitchcock (vocals)
  • Graham Russell (vocals, rhythm guitar)
  • Rex Goh, David Moyse (guitars)
  • Dave Green (bass)
  • Frank Esler-Smith (keyboards)
  • Ralph Cooper (drums)

Rating:

2.626 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)

About the Album:

Now and Forever sort of marked the end of an era for Air Supply. After their fifth album, Lost in Love, finally broke them in America in 1980, the soft-rock group went on a streak of seven top-five hits, three each from Lost in Love and follow-up album The One That You Love and then one more (Even the Nights Are Better) from Now and Forever.

The group followed up that single with two more top 40 hits – Two Less Lonely People in the World and Young Love – from Now and Forever. However, it was their last studio album to go platinum. The next year, the band would find success with their Greatest Hits collection, a multi-platinum, top 10 album which featured all seven of the aforementioned top-ten hits plus their eighth and final top-ten, “Making Love Out of Nothing at All.” After that, the band didn’t go platinum again, didn’t hit the top ten again, and only made one more trip into the top 40 (“Just As I Am,” #19 in 1985).

A five-year run isn’t bad in the pop world, but Air Supply might have fared better with, well, better fare. “Like all…[Air Supply] albums, [Now and Forever] has an uneven selection of material; the best songs were the singles…Even when the group performs weak material, they sound fine, but the lack of first-rate songs became disheartening after a while.” AMG.

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Friday, June 18, 1982

Fleetwood Mac released Mirage

First posted 9/17/2020.

Mirage

Fleetwood Mac


Released: June 18, 1982


Peak: 15 US, 5 UK, 2 CN, 4 AU


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.3 UK, 6.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Love in Store (C. McVie/Jim Recor) [3:14] (10/82, 22 US, 11 AC, 96 AU)
  2. Can’t Go Back (Buckingham) [2:42] (4/83, 22 US, 83 UK)
  3. That’s Alright (Nicks) [3:09]
  4. Book of Love (Buckingham/Richard Dashut) [3:21]
  5. Gypsy (Nicks) [4:24] (7/24/82, 12 US, 4 AR, 9 AC, 46 UK, 16 CN, 17 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  6. Only Over You (C. McVie) [4:08]
  7. Empre State (Buckingham/Dashut) [2:51]
  8. Straight Back (Nicks) [4:17]
  9. Hold Me (C. McVie/Robbie Patton) [3:44] (6/19/82, 4 US, 3 AR, 7 AC, 94 UK, 9 CN, 12 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  10. Oh Diane (Buckingham/Dashut) [2:36] (12/12/82, 35 AC, 9 UK)
  11. Eyes of the World (Buckingham) [3:44]
  12. Wish You Were Here (C. McVie/Colin Allen) [4:45]


Total Running Time: 42:52


The Players:

  • Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar, et al)
  • Stevie Nicks (vocals, tambourine)
  • Christine McVie (vocals, keyboards)
  • John McVie (bass)
  • Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion)

Rating:

3.471 out of 5.00 (average of 14 ratings)

About the Album:

Fleetwood Mac formed in 1967 as a British blues band, but their fortunes changed when Americans Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the group for their 1975 self-titled release. The album went to #1 in the U.S. on the strength of three top-20 hits and was followed up by the monstrously successful Rumours in 1977. That album set a bar no band could match with 40 million in sales worldwide, 31 weeks atop the Billboard album chart, and four top-10 singles.

For their next outing, the Mac responded in the only way they could – a sprawling, double album with a weirder vibe that seemed to intentionally challenge the group’s large pop following. Even so, the album was still a multi-platinum, top-5 release which sent two songs into the top 10 in the U.S.

Not sure what to do next, fans could be understandably forgiven for thinking the band might be done when Nicks and Buckingham both released solo efforts. Nicks especially looked ready to fully embrace a solo career with her chart-topping Bella Donna album which ws fueled by two top-10 hits.

Nonetheless, the quartet reunited in 1982 for this chart-topping album. However, it sports neither the pop savviness of Fleetwood Mac or Rumours nor “the insular strangeness of Tusk.” AMGRumours had raw emotion to give it a core, and Tusk had Lindsey Buckingham’s runaway ambition…Mirage sounds as if its sole goal is to sustain Fleetwood Mac’s popularity.” AMG

To be fair, it does accomplish commercial success, most notably with the catchy-as-hell Chrstine McVie/Lindsey Buckingham gem in the top-5 hit Hold Me. Then there’s Stevie Nicks’ Gypsy, which offered up an inevitable title for the singer who’d crafted an image of herself as a fairly-like figured who floated along in her flowing robes. Both songs were top-5 hits on the album rock chart.

This is “straightforward pop songcraft” AMG with “a glossy, friendly production.” AMG While “ that makes even the lesser numbers pleasant and ingratiating, Mirage nonetheless suffers from a lack of substance.” AMG “There are “a handful of terrific songs – notably the hit singles…it simply isn’t as compelling as the group's previous three albums.” AMG


Notes: In 2016, a deluxe edition was released with alternate versions of the songs on a second disc, and a third disc of 1982 live performances.

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