Monday, June 28, 1982

Robert Plant Pictures at Eleven

6/28/1982:

Pictures at Eleven

Robert Plant


Released: June 28, 1982


Peak: 5 US, 2 UK, 13 CN, 6 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.06 UK


Genre: rock


Tracks:

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

  1. Burning Down One Side (7/10/82, 64 US, 3 AR, 73 UK, 11 CN, 86 AU)
  2. Moonlight in Samosa
  3. Pledge Pin (7/17/82, 74 US, 11 AR)
  4. Slow Dancer (7/17/82, 19 AR)
  5. Worse Than Detroit (7/10/82, 10 AR)
  6. Fat Lip
  7. Like I’ve Never Been Gone
  8. Mystery Title


Total Running Time: 42:12

Rating:

3.164 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)

About the Album:

Robert Plant’s first solo album would never match the expectations of Led Zeppelin fans, but it was a platinum seller that hit the top 5 in the U.S. and UK. Overall, though, “Plant is able to escape most of his past and still sound motivated…He courses a new direction without changing or disguising his distinct vocal style.” AMG

Plant recorded the album with “old Midlands pal/guitarist Robbie Blunt and ‘name’ drummers Phil Collins and Cozy Powell.” Q Blunt “comes to life on Worse Than Detroit…and…Collins…and…Powell give Plant enough of a solid background to lean his sultry yet surging rock voice against.” AMG “Plant channels his energy quite effectively through songs like Pledge Pin and Moonlight in Samosa.” AMG

The album would find “its mark with the twisty funk-rock of Burning Down One Side and Slow Dancer.” Q On the latter, “Powell was said to have implored ‘Planty’ to just let rip like he used to in the old days.” Q

Critics were generally lukewarm, saying things like it “was a cautious sounding record.” Q Rolling Stone’s Kurt Loder said, “there’s nothing new going on in these grooves.” WK The Village Voice’s Robert Christgau “was impressed by Plant’s ability to recreate Led Zeppelin’s aural sensibilities with duller musicians and catchier undertones, but ultimately found the music somewhat insignificant.” WK

It was the only Robert Plant solo album released on Swan Song, the label formed by Led Zeppelin, before they ceased to be. WK The title is a reference to a phrase following stories of interest which be shown later during the station’s news program at 11pm. WK


Notes: A 2007 reissue added “Far Post” and a live version of “Like I’ve Never Been Gone” as bonus tracks.

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First posted 9/27/2010; last updated 8/20/2021.

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

Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky charted in the U.S.

Eye in the Sky

Alan Parsons Project


Charted: June 19, 1982


Peak: 7 US, 28 UK, 3 CN, 4 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.06 UK, 2.38 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: progressive rock lite


Tracks:

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

  1. Sirius (instrumental) [1:48]
  2. Eye in the Sky [4:33] v: Eric Woolfson (7/3/82, 3 US, 2 RR, 3 AC, 11 AR, 1 CN, 22 AU)
  3. Children of the Moon [4:49] v: David Paton
  4. Gemini [2:09] v: Chris Rainbow
  5. Silence and I [7:17] v: Eric Woolfson
  6. You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned [4:19] v: Lenny Zakatek (6/26/82, 22 AR)
  7. Psychobabble [4:50] v: Elmer Gantry (7/10/82, 57 US, 54 AR)
  8. Mammagamma (instrumental) [3:34]
  9. Step by Step [3:52] v: Lenny Zakatek
  10. Old and Wise [4:52] v: Collin Blunstone (1/15/83, 21 AC, 74 UK)

All tracks written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. The ‘v’ after the song listing indicates who does lead vocals.


Total Running Time: 42:03


The Players:

  • Alan Parsons (production, engineering, assorted instruments)
  • Eric Woolfson (vocals, keyboards, piano)
  • Ian Bairson (guitar)
  • David Paton (bass)
  • Stuart Elliott (drums, percussion)
  • Colin Blunstone, Chris Rainbow, Elmer Gantry, Lenny Zakatek (vocals)
  • Mel Collins (saxophone)
  • The Philharmonia Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Andrew Powell

Rating:

3.973 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)


Quotable: “On no other album by this group is there such a tight amalgamation of music, lyrics, and ideas, all combining to create songs that are accessible to a vast audience” – Mike DeGagne, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

”The fusion of Parsons' thematic intentions and exquisitely textured music comes to fruition on 1982's Eye in the Sky,” AMG an album which ”returned in some ways to [Parsons’] more progressive, art-rock past,” AZ but also serves as “the transition between the seventies’ Project art rock sound and the more clinical, Fairlight-laden eighties sound.” DV “Parsons’ approach was a synthesis of studio wizardry with a symphonic, spacey interplay between keyboards, synthesizers and basic rock instrumentation.” AZ ”With a powdery feel and pristine sound, Eye in the Sky is worthy of both amiable songs and conceptual substance, something not found on all of the Alan Parsons Project’s albums.” AMG “On no other album by this group is there such a tight amalgamation of music, lyrics, and ideas, all combining to create songs that are accessible to a vast audience.” AMG

”The album deals with the futuristic outlook of how our lives will be constantly monitored by ‘Big Brother’ and the manner in which man's right for freedom and choice may someday be thwarted by the government, or the powers that be. Aside from Parsons' intriguing concept, the individual songs serve a dual purpose by carrying out the album's message while at the same being perfect examples of well-crafted rock.” AMG

”The up-and-down flow of the instrumental Sirius is astonishing, and is used wisely as the opening track.” AMG The song is “perhaps best known as the Chicago Bulls theme and featured at countless NBA games. P.Diddy (Puff Daddy) also chose [it] as the backbone for the title track of his most platinum-selling CD, The Saga Continues. In 2000, ‘Sirius’ was featured in an IMAX documentary movie about Michael Jordan.” AP

Of course, that opening instrumental then leads into the Project’s biggest hit of their career, Eye in the Sky. While the Project has a fair amount of album rock favorites, this was their only top ten hit on the pop charts. It ”is a prime example of a fabulous rock song, highlighted by the harmonic beauty of Eric Woolfson.” AMG

Along with the instrumental “Sirius,” the next two songs, Children of the Moon and Gemini “all have Parsons's love of the esoteric.” AZ The latter “is an astonishing piece of vocal harmony.” DV

Next up is Silence and I, “a rich, multi-layered vocal and orchestral piece” DV followed by You’re Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned, which “ is a surprisingly straight-ahead rock number.” DV

Psychobabble is a cerebral rock song that best represents the album's concept” AMG and, “though never a hit…remains a favorite of fans.” AZ

Mammagamma is another instrumental that brandishes the group's trademarked mysteriousness, wrapped in an ominous science fiction-type glow.” AMG It “allowed Parsons to fully indulge his fondness for orchestration with its instrumental structure.” AZ

”The softness of Old and Wise sums up the threatening result that may someday evolve, with a hint of promise for a favorable outcome.” AMG The song begs to be played at funerals with its simultaneously heart-wrenching and uplifting statement “to those I leave behind/ I want you all to know/ you’ve always shared my darkest hours/ I’ll miss you when I go.”

”What you have here is a seriously tasty piece of symphonic pop/rock, music for grownups.” DVEye in the Sky is, quite simply, the Project’s finest hour.” DV


Notes: The 2007 reissue added alternate versions of “Sirius,” “Old and Wise,” and “Silence and I.” There was also an additional song (“Any Other Day”), the instrumental medley “The Naked Eye” and “Eye Pieces.”

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Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 9/23/2021.

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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