Monday, August 24, 1987

John Cougar Mellencamp released The Lonesome Jubilee

The Lonesome Jubilee

John Cougar Mellencamp


Released: August 24, 1987


Peak: 6 US, 31 UK, 18 CN, 2 AU


Sales (in millions): 3.5 US, -- UK, 3.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic heartland rock


Tracks:

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

  1. Paper in Fire [3:53] (8/15/87, 9 US, 1 AR, 86 UK, 3 CN, 13 AU)
  2. Down and Out in Paradise [3:39]
  3. Check It Out [4:20] (2/6/88, 14 US, 3 AR, 96 UK, 10 CN, 22 AU)
  4. The Real Life [3:56] (9/12/87, 3 AR)
  5. Cherry Bomb [4:49] (9/5/87, 8 US, 1 AR, 12 AC, 5 CN, 20 AU)
  6. We Are the People [4:16]
  7. Empty Hands (Green/ Mellencamp) [3:44]
  8. Hard Times for an Honest Man [3:28] (9/5/87, 10 AR)
  9. Hotdogs and Hamburgers [4:04]
  10. Rooty Toot Toot [3:29] (5/7/88, 61 US, 7 AR, 19 CN, 54 AU)


Total Running Time: 39:38

Rating:

4.486 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)


Quotable: “Song for song, The Lonesome Jubilee is Mellencamp's strongest album.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“John Mellencamp's fascination with the American heartland came into full flower on Scarecrow, but with its follow-up, The Lonesome Jubilee, he began exploring American folk musics, adding fiddle, accordions, and acoustic guitars to his band, which allowed him to explore folk and country.” STE

“The expansion of his band coincided with his continuing growth as a songwriter. Song for song, The Lonesome Jubilee is Mellencamp’s strongest album, the record where he captured his romantic, if decidedly melancholy, vision of working-class America.” STE “The lyrics are a mix of social comment and reflection, and nostalgic descriptions of younger life and the process of maturing.” WK This is ground he has tread before, but on Jubilee he does it “better than ever, and his music is richer, which gives the album resonance.” STE

Paper in Fire is a cautionary tale concerned with the cost of chasing our dreams. Down and Out in Paradise chronicles a series of stories of economic and social hardship as if told to the President, who at the time was Ronald Reagan. Check It Out is a commentary on day to day existence that fosters the hope that future generations will understand better how to live. The Real Life continues the these of concern about the way lives are lived, and includes two vignettes of the lives of ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Jackson Jackson.’” WK

Cherry Bomb is a nostalgic but fundamentally happy review of the narrators life – ‘we were young and we were improving.’ We Are the People lists categories of people – the homeless, the oppressed, people in pain – against the refrain ‘May my thoughts be with you.’” WK

“Unemployment and its effect on the narrator and his wife Maryanne, is the subject of Empty Hands. Hard Times for an Honest Man continues the existential theme, noting, against a backdrop of two more cautionary tales, that ‘the rent we pay to stay here gets high.’ Hotdogs and Hamburgers addresses the question of right and wrong, and the need for personal choice, within a narrative describing the a lift given to an Indian girl on Route 66.” WK

Rooty Toot Toot, like ‘Cherry Bomb,’ is a happy nostalgic tale of the narrator’s youth. Mellencamp originally wrote the song as a nursery rhyme for his daughter, Teddi Jo, who had asked her father to use her name in one of his songs. After it was written, Mellencamp and his band turned ‘Rooty Toot Toot’ into a rock song.” WK


Notes: “Blues from the Front Porch” was added to a 2005 reissue as a bonus track.

Resources and Related Links:


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 8/20/2021.

Tuesday, August 18, 1987

Aerosmith roars back with Permanent Vacation

First posted 4/1/2008; updated 9/8/2020.

Permanent Vacation

Aerosmith


Buy Here:


Released: August 18, 1987


Peak: 11 US, 37 UK, 7 CN, 42 AU


Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, -- UK, 9.0 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. Heart’s Done Time (Joe Perry, Desmond Child) [4:42]
  2. Magic Touch (Steven, Tyler, Perry, Jim Vallance) [4:37] (5/21/88, 42 AR)
  3. Rag Doll (Tyler, Perry, Vallance, Holly Knight) [4:25] (9/12/87, 17 US, 12 AR, 42 UK, 23 CN)
  4. Simoriah (Tyler, Perry, Vallance) [4:25]
  5. Dude Looks Like a Lady (Tyler, Perry, Child) [4:25] (8/29/87, 14 US, 4 AR, 20 UK, 22 CN, 95 AU)
  6. St. John (Tyler) [4:10]
  7. Hangman Jury (Tyler, Perry, Vallance) [5:33] (11/14/87, 14 AR)
  8. Girl Keeps Coming Apart (Tyler, Perry) [4:13]
  9. Angel (Tyler, Child) [5:08] (1/30/88, 3 US, 2 AR, 69 UK, 14 CN)
  10. Permanent Vacation (Tyler, Brad Whitford) [4:49]
  11. I’m Down (John Lennon, Paul, McCartney) [2:20]
  12. The Movie (instrumental) (Tyler, Perry, Whitford, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer) [4:00]


Total Running Time: 51:38


The Players:

  • Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards, harmonica, percussion)
  • Joe Perry (guitar)
  • Brad Whitford (rhythm guitar)
  • Tom Hamilton (bass)
  • Joey Kramer (drums, percussion)

Rating:

3.792 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

Aerosmith looked like they might be finished as a band after 1979’s Night in the Ruts. Guitarist Joe Perry left the band during the making of the album, the band members were fighting, and substance abuse was taking its toll. Three years later, the band released Rock in a Hard Place but without Perry and Brad Whitford, who left during recording, the band wasn’t the same.

The original lineup returned for 1985’s Done with Mirrors, but the album was met with a tepid reception. Then rap group Run-D.M.C. came to the rescue. Their #4 remake of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” featured Tyler and Perry and brought the band back into the limelight. Suddenly, during the height of ‘80s hair bands, Permanent Vacation proved “the crucial catalyst in reintroducing Aerosmith to the masses.” AMG It was the group’s most successful album in a decade and found themselves at the top of the heap, reinvented “as ‘80s and ‘90s superstars.” AMG

Credit goes to John Kalodner, the A&R executive who pushed the band to work with “knob-twiddler extraordinaire Bruce Fairbairn and career-revitalizing song doctors Desmond Child and Jim Vallance.” AMG Fairbairn had previously produced three Loverboy albums and, most notably, Bon Jovi’ monstrous 1986 smash, Slippery When Wet. After Permanent Vacation, he also produced Aerosmith’s next two albums – which were even bigger successes.

Desmond Child had also worked on Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, co-writing the #1 hits “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.” While “Child’s pedantic writing often compromises the timeliness of even the best material,” AMG Dude Looks Like a Lady, co-written with Tyler and Perry, proved a perfect song for the ‘80s. It offered a tongue-in-cheek nod to the contradictory nature of hair bands (a movement which Aerosmith was now part of) looking affeminate while promoting themselves as hyper-masculine. The band also managed to give the song enough pop sensibility to make it a hit without abandoning their rock cred.

Jim Vallance co-wrote all the songs on Bryan Adams’ 1984 smash album Reckless, which included the #1 “Heaven” and top-five hit “Summer of ’69.” He co-wrote Rag Doll with Holly Knight as well as Tyler and Perry. The song gave Aerosmith its second top-20 hit from the Permanent Vacation album.

After those two straightforward rock songs, the album’s third single “showcases the band at the peak of its power ballad cheese.” AMG “The crowd-pleasing schmaltz of AngelAMG ended up the band’s biggest hit to date, soaring all the way to #3 on the pop charts.

The album’s “pre-fab radio gems…remain largely unassailable from a ‘delivering the goods’ perspective” AMG and “the mostly stellar songwriting…makes it a strong effort overall.” AMG There are also “a guaranteed number of incredible tracks for any time and place. These include the earthy voodoo blues of St. John and the excellent hobo-harmonica fable of Hangman Jury.” AMG

Still, “some of the album’s nooks and crannies haven’t aged all that well because of Fairbairn's overwrought production, featuring an exaggerated sleekness typical of most mid-‘80s pop-metal albums.” AMG There are cuts that “lean to the filler side,” AMG but “the awkwardly Caribbean title track and the cover of the Beatles’ I’m Down are well executed.” AMG

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Saturday, August 8, 1987

Hooters One Way Home charted

One Way Home

Hooters


Charted: August 8, 1987


Peak: 27 US, -- UK, -- CN, 81 AU


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US


Genre: mainstream rock


Tracks:

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

  1. Satellite (8/22/87, 61 US, 13 AR, 26 CO, 22 UK)
  2. Karla with a K (12/26/87, 47 AR, 33 CO, 81 UK)
  3. Johnny B (7/11/87, 61 US, 3 AR, 24 CO, 74 AU)
  4. Graveyard Waltz
  5. Fightin’ on the Same Side
  6. One Way Home
  7. Washington’s Day
  8. Hard Rockin’ Summer
  9. Engine 999


Total Running Time: 42:45


The Players:

  • Eric Bazilian (vocals, guitar, bass, mandolin, saxophone)
  • Rob Hyman (vocals, keyboards, melodica)
  • Andy King (bass, vocals)
  • John Lilley (guitar)
  • David Uosikkinen (drums)

Rating:

3.769 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)

About the Album:

“Most of 80s pop fans remember Hooters only through… [1985’s] Nervous Night…that produced two top-20 hits ‘And We Danced’ and ‘Day by Day.’” S5 While that album “is an outstanding classic, if you really want to know Hooters, the second purchase might be this one.” S5

“The Hooters took a huge risk when it came time for their second album. One Way Home took a major stylistic leap away from the edgy new wave hybrids on their multi-platinum Nervous Night, forsaking what gave them MTV hits for a more rootsy sound. Mandolins and accordions added a tenor to the songs more on line with John Mellemcamp or Don Henley than the almost punky feeling of the debut.” TB

“Eric Brazillan and Rob Hyman were stretching themselves as songwriters, even if the commercial rewards weren’t as immediate.” TBOne Way Home is a striking album because of that.” TB

Satellite, was a semi-political rant about televangelists” TB whose sound “well represents the album tinged with good-ol' American traditional music.” S5

Karla with a K had Celtic undertones that made it a real standout.” TB The song came about from jamming on the road in Louisiana. It was inspired by an Irish street singer who the band met while in New Orleans. WK

Graveyard Waltz is written in 6/8 time.” TB The latter is a “well-structured, dynamic and melancholic masterpiece track which requires repeated listens.” S5

Fightin’ on the Same Side, which was first featured on 1983’s Amore, “in contrast, is upbeat one though themed with Civil War era America.” S5

“Should you be looking for songs more reflective of that initial fizzy pop explosion of the debut will find it on Hard Rocking Summer and Engine 999.” TB The former “is somewhat similar in style to John Cafferty, hard-crunching rock song” S5 while the latter is a “pure pop song extension of their debut album.” S5

“What they did, though, was add some grit to the slickness, and The Hooters were ahead of the curve on One Way Home.” TB

Resources and Related Links:


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 2/15/2008; last updated 8/19/2021.

U2 hit #1 with “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

First posted 11/28/2020; updated 1/29/2021.

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

U2

Writer(s): Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen (see lyrics here)


Released: May 25, 1987


First Charted: March 28, 1987


Peak: 12 US, 12 CB, 11 RR, 16 AC, 2 AR, 1 CO, 6 UK, 6 CN, 17 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK, 0.43 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 100.0 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

U2 built a loyal following with their first four albums in the 1980s, but had little success on the pop charts, having only graced the top 40 once with 1984’s “Pride (In the Name of Love).” That changed with 1987’s The Joshua Tree, a multi-platinum smash that made the band superstars. Within weeks of the album’s release, five songs landed on the mainstream rock chart and the lead single, “With Or Without You,” topped the Billboard Hot 100. One of the tracks to hit the mainstream rock chart was “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” In May, it was released as the second single from the album and followed its predecessor to #1.

The song grew out of a demo initially called “The Weather Girls,” also known as “Deser of Our Love.” The Edge, U2’s guitarist, compared it to “’Eye of the Tiger’ played by a reggae band.’” WK The band did, however, like the original drum part played by Larry Mullen Jr. As Daniel Lanois, one of the album’s producers, said, “We always look for those beats that would qualify as a signature for the song. And that certainly was one of those.” WK

Lyrically, Bono, the band’s lead singer, wanted to explore spiritual doubt. The Edge had written the phrase “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,” inspired by Bob Dylan’s “Idiot Wind,” as a possible song title. When recording the song, the group decided to go for a gospel vibe with the Edge, Lanois, and Brian Eno (the album’s other producer) provided choir-like backing vocals. WK

Bill Graham of Hot Press called the song a “smart job of pop handwork” WK and The Sunday Independent said the song proved the band could be commercially accessible without resorting to rock clich├ęs. WK The Rocket called it a “unique marriage of American gospel and Gaelic Soul…[that] rings far truer than the rantings of, say, the born-again Bob Dylan.” WK Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times called it U2’s “Let It Be,” in reference to the Beatles’ song. WK The song was nominated for Grammys for Record and Song of the Year.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for U2
  • DMDB page for parent album The Joshua Tree
  • AMG All Music Guide
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. Page 673.
  • WK Wikipedia