Friday, February 29, 1980

Journey’s Departure released

First posted 10/12/2008; updated 9/11/2020.

Departure

Journey


Released: February 29, 1980


Peak: 8 US, -- UK, 48 CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, -- UK, 4.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks:

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

  1. Any Way You Want It (3/1/80, 23 US, 50 CN)
  2. Walks Like a Lady (5/24/80, 32 US, 31 CN)
  3. Someday Soon
  4. People and Places
  5. Precious Time
  6. Where Were You
  7. I’m Cryin’
  8. Line of Fire
  9. Departure
  10. Good Morning Girl (8/23/80, 55 US)
  11. Stay Awhile (8/23/80, 55 US)
  12. Homemade Love


Total Running Time: 37:49


The Players:

  • Steve Perry (vocals)
  • Neal Schon (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Gregg Rolie (keyboards, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on “Someday Soon”)
  • Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals)
  • Steve Smith (drums)

Rating:

3.518 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)

About the Album:

“The third and final album of what could be called Journey’s cocoon phase (Escape would give birth to a fully formed butterfly and put the band through the stratosphere), 1980’s Departure would also be the quintet’s last with keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie.” FR “He tired of life on the road and decided to resign his position in the band.” JM

“Produced by Geoff Workman and Kevin Elson (essentially both engineers turned producers), the album continued to build on the band’s previous two recordings, but offered an added edge, arrangement-wise. This was likely due to the fact that the band had walked into Automatt Studios with 19 new tunes and proceeded to record most of them live, eventually trimming down to 11 songs.” FR

Departure would be the band’s highest charting album to date, giving Journey their first appearance in the top 10 of the Billboard album charts.” JM It “got off to an explosive start with the driving riffs and chorused vocals of” FR “the jubilant Anyway You Want It,” CRM “another radio smash.” FR “Never sounding tighter, the quintet then launched into Walks Like a Lady (another future FM staple…) and a string of outstanding rockers, including future concert opener Where Were You and the stop-go-stop-go energy of Line of Fire.” FR

“On the other hand, elegant power ballads like Good Morning and Stay Awhile would foreshadow the band’s future commercial triumphs on Escape. And even though it packs the occasional filler like Someday Soon and Homemade Love (a weak attempt to boogie that falls absolutely flat and, tellingly, was the only Gregg Rolie-sung tune here), Departure is a solid record all around. Soon, Rolie would be replaced by the greater pop-savvy songwriting muscle of former Babys keyboard man , met Jonathan Cain” FR who Rollie even assisted in finding, JM “and Journey would go from huge cult act to monster superstars,” FR “setting the template for 80s arena rock.” CRM

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Saturday, February 23, 1980

Queen hit #1 with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Queen

Writer(s): Freddie Mercury (see lyrics here)


Released: October 12, 1979


First Charted: October 20, 1979


Peak: 14 US, 13 CB, 12 HR, 13 RR, 17 AC, 1 CL, 2 UK, 12 CN, 17 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.5 UK, 1.71 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 7.0 radio, 205.0 video, 343.34 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury came up with this song while taking a bath in in a hotel room in Munich, Germany. He jumped from the tub and worked out the chords on guitar. SF As he said, “it took me five or ten minutes. I did that on guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords.” WK

After playing it for his bandmates in the studio, they reported recorded it in less than half an hour WK after just a few run-throughs. Mercury wrote this as a rockabilly tribute to Elvis Presley. WK It sounded enough like his work, that some people assumed it was a cover. AMG

Mercury played rhythm guitar on the track, marking the first time he played guitar on a Queen album. BR Guitarist Brian May still played lead on the track, though. Producer Reinhold Mack pushed him to use a Fender Telecaster instead of his usual Red Special. May reluctantly agreed, saying “It basically doesn’t suit my style. But ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ was such a period piece. It seemed to need that period sound.” UCR

The song was released first in Britain, where it reached #2. Elektra, Queen’s U.S. label, didn’t see its potential, but released it after American radio stations started playing the imported single. BR According to Roger Taylor and Brian May, this song inspired John Lennon to go back into the studio. SF


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First posted 8/5/2021.

Tuesday, February 19, 1980

AC/DC's Bon Scott died: February 19, 1980

Originally posted February 19, 2012.

image from licklibrary.com



Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott was born on July 9, 1946 in Scotland, but moved to Australia when he was 6. It was there he became known as the lead singer and songwriter for one of that country’s best known musical exports – rock group AC/DC.

From 1964 to 1974, Scott worked with various bands including The Spektors, The Valentines, Fraternity, Fang, and The Mount Lofty Rangers. In 1974, he replaced Dave Evans as the lead singer of AC/DC. A few Australian-only releases followed (1974’s High Voltage and 1975’s T.N.T.) before a 1976 compilation, also called High Voltage, was released internationally. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Let There Be Rock, and Powerage followed over the next few years. The group’s real breakthrough came with 1979’s Highway to Hell, a top 20 album in the U.S. The group appeared primed for monster success.




However, On February 19, 1980, Scott passed out after a night of heavy drinking. The next day he was found lifeless and, after being rushed to the hospital, was pronounced dead, officially from acute alcohol poisoning. Initially the group considered disbanding, but instead opted to soldier on with new lead singer Brian Johnson. Before year’s end, they recorded and released Back in Black, a tribute to their fallen comrade and one of the best-selling albums in history.

filmed just 10 days before Bon Scott’s death




Awards:

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Saturday, February 9, 1980

Air Supply's “Lost in Love” charted in the U.S.

Lost in Love

Air Supply

Writer(s): -- (see lyrics here)


First Charted: February 9, 1980


Peak: 3 US, 2 CB, 3 HR, 2 RR, 16 AC, 4 CN, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): --


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 44.28 video, -- streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

In the early ‘80s, the band Air Supply personified the term “soft rock.” They landed ten top-five hits from 1980 to 1983, all of which achieved the same lofty status on the adult contemporary chart. The band formed in 1975 after Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell met while performing in an Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar. They released four albums in Australia, the last being an album called Life Support in 1979. The album featured the song “Lost in Love,” which reached #13 in Australia.

That album didn’t gain them an audience outside Australia, but “Lost in Love” became an international hit when Air Supply re-recorded it for their 1980 album of the same name. Legendary record executive Clive Davis bought the rights to the song for Arista Records. Air Supply’s Graham Russell said he was broke at the time and couldn’t believe it when he read a review in Cash Box saying the song was “destined to go all the way to top 5.” SF It got to #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and was followed by “All Out of Love” (#2) and “Every Woman in the World” (#5).

Cash Box described the song as “soft rock with elegant acoustic guitar work, glistening harmonies, light rhythm and electric piano touches.” WK Russell wrote it in about fifteen minutes. He said, “when that inspiration comes, it comes very quickly…When a song is coming I get a weird feeling, and then I kind of drift somewhere on my own to think about it. But when I actually play the piano or pick the guitar up, it’ll come really quickly.” SF

He also explained, “My songs, too, are very simple….My songs are really straight ahead, real simple chords, the simpler the better. So a song like ‘Lost in Love’ with four chords, there’s only two parts to it. There’s really no chorus. There’s just a verse and a bridge. So something like that shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes to write, you know.” SF

On a personal note, the song appeared on my first personal chart (September 18, 1982), which was initially intended to be a list of my favorite all-time songs, but blossomed into a weekly a chart which I maintained for roughly ten years.


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First posted 6/30/2022.

Friday, February 8, 1980

Squeeze released Argybargy

Argybargy

Squeeze


Released: February 8, 1980


Peak: 71 US, 32 UK, 26 CN


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: new wave


Tracks:

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

  1. Pulling Mussels from the Shell [3:57] (5/9/80, 44 UK, 9 CL, 2 CO)
  2. Another Nail in My Heart [2:56] (1/80, 17 UK, 56 CN, 21 CL, 10 CO)
  3. Separate Beds [3:20]
  4. Misadventure [2:54]
  5. I Think I’m Go Go [4:16]
  6. Farfisa Beat [2:56] (9/80, --)
  7. Here Comes That Feeling [2:11]
  8. Vicky Verky [3:11]
  9. If I Didn’t Love You [4:11] (3/12/80, 21 CL, 30 CO)
  10. Wrong Side of the Moon (Difford/Holland) [2:23]
  11. There at the Top [3:45]

Songs written by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 36:38


The Players:

  • Chris Difford (vocals, rhythm guitar)
  • Glenn Tilbrook (vocals, lead guitar)
  • Jools Holland (keyboards)
  • John Bentley (bass)
  • Gilson Lavis (drums)

Rating:

3.944 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)


Quotable: ”Packed with perfect, timeless pop that stands not only as the band's crowning achievement, but also as a landmark recording of the era” – Chris Woodstra, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Where Cool for Cats marked a great leap over the debut, Argybargy improved at least that far over its own predecessor.” AMG ”Everything on this record is in place” HE as Squeeze “figured out a sound that wasn't just commercial, but tasteful and sophisticated.” JA “Still a distinctly British band, Squeeze compensated with an incredibly catchy batch of songs that, despite the subject matter, spoke the universal language of bright, bouncy, instantly endearing pop.” AMG

The clever and catchy songs of Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford had found their full flower and the band's embellishments and propulsion had grown by confident leaps and bounds.In short, the band finds a clear and distinct voice on Argybargy.” HE They ”don't settle for have-fun fall-in-love fear-girls. They pen short stories worthy of early Rupert Holmes, and with a beat…'Tis said McCartneyesque tunefulness is the ticket here, but…Tilbrook sounds more like Ray Davies…at peace with himself and out for big bucks.” RC

”The acute observations of the British working class were even more vivid — none so poignant as the classic Pulling Mussels (From the Shell),” AMG “a memorable soul ballad,” JA “which offers a series of detailed snapshots of the different walks of life on a seaside holiday.” AMG

“Opening with the one-two punch of …[that song] and Another Nail In My Heart, this album keeps up an exuberant pace, but never runs out of breath.” HE The latter is "a comparatively up-tempo number with an interesting marimba part and a smooth 50's-style dance beat.” JA

If I Didn’t Love You is easily as strong as the two singles; great vocal, great slide guitar solo, and the chorus' jerky rhythm is like a Cars riff gone right.” JA

“The rest is just as solid.” JA There’s “the often-overlooked courting-to-breakup story-song Vicky Verky, which nearly matched [the] brilliance” AMG of “Up the Junction” from the Cool for Cats album.

"Separate Beds…has the dynamic, layered production you'd expect from a mid-70's Elton John or Paul McCartney record.” JA ”New bassist John Bentley [brings a] subtle, swooping melodicism…he’s brilliant on the MG's-inspired There at the Top); Holland's contribution is a peppy, nicely done 50's dance number (Wrong Side of the Moon); nerdy synth noises are kept to a minimum; and there are inspired hooks and unexpected transitions everywhere.” JA

“This album is an essential pop statement, full of verve, invention, humor and surprise.” HEArgybargy is simply packed with perfect, timeless pop that stands not only as the band's crowning achievement, but also as a landmark recording of the era.” AMG


Notes: The U.S. release reordered songs 6-11 as “If I Didn’t Love You,” “Farfisa Beat,” “Here Comes That Feeling,” “Vicky Verky,” “Wrong Side of the Moon,” and “There at the Top.” The 1997 UK re-release added bonus tracks “Funny How It Goes” and “Go.”

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First posted 3/16/2006; last updated 2/7/2022.

Sunday, February 3, 1980

Eagles charted with “I Can’t Tell You Why”

I Can’t Tell You Why

Eagles

Writer(s): Timothy B. Schmit, Glenn Frey, Don Henley (see lyrics here)


First Charted: February 3, 1980


Peak: 8 US, 9 CB, 7 HR, 4 RR, 3 AC, 2 CL, 5 CN (Click for codes to singles charts.)


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


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, 20.4 video, -- streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Timothy B. Schmit joined the Eagles as a singer and bassist in 1977 after the departure of Randy Meisner. He only appeared on the group’s final album, The Long Run, before their breakup. However, he did well for himself with just the one album appearance. He sang lead on “I Can’t Tell You Why,” the album’s third single and the group’s last top-10 hit. His “finest moment is a soulful, moody slow jam whose tension is cut by his pure high tenor.” BB

Schmit had the basics of the song and the title when he brought it to Don Henley and Glenn Frey. They helped him finish it in March 1978. It was the first song completed for The Long Run. SF Henley described the song as “straight Al Green” WK and credited Frey with giving the song its R&B feel. Frey said this was one of the songs from the Eagles which he would put in a time capsule. SF

Frey usually played rhythm guitar, but has the featured solo here. Billboard magazine called it “the most transportive guitar solo in Eagles’ repertoire.” BB Meanwhile, Joe Walsh played the keyboards in the studio, although the song’s original video showed Frey on electric piano.

The R&B girl group Brownstone took the song to #54 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #27 on the R&B chart in 1995. In 2013, the Swon Brothers got to #99 with the song after appearing on NBC’s The Voice. Howard Hewett took his cover of the song to #24 on the R&B chart in 1990. Vince Gill recorded the song for the 1993 Eagles’ tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles and it reached #51 on the country charts.


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First posted 7/2/2022.