Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Best Albums of 1982


We are back with another Best Albums feature from a year gone by - if you missed 2002, check that out after you're done here. Let's go back 35 revolutions around the sun to the year 1982. Ronald Reagan was in his first term as President of the United States, while the compact disc was commercially debuting in Japan with 50 titles. The Commodore 64 personal computer hit the store shelves and Pitfall! for the Atari 2600 immediately became a favorite after school adventure. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Rocky III, Tootsie, Blade Runner, Poltergeist and Annie were tearing it up at the box office. 1982 was a year of some notable births, including rappers Lil Wayne & Nicki Minaj, future American Idol successes Adam Lambert & Kelly Clarkson, actresses Lacey Chabert (whose father invented Toaster Strudels), Anne Hathaway, Full House's Jodie Sweetin and Kirsten Dunst. The world sadly lost the talents of actors John Belushi & Grace Kelly, jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, guitarist Randy Rhoads and science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.

As always, Sarah and I enlisted the help of our regular contributors & friends to select Top 15 albums. In addition, everyone handpicked a track from each album for you to enjoy in our Best Albums of 1982 Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page (unfortunately there are a few albums not available on Spotify - we encourage you to locate those elsewhere). If you'd like to share your own 1982 favorites, please comment below. We will be back later in the week with a list of our honorable mentions. Stay tuned to see which year is coming next!


Bret Helm
Life on this Planet | Audra

15. Misfits - Walk Among Us
14. The Wake - Harmony
13. Talk Talk - The Party's Over
12. Grease 2 Soundtrack
11. The Associates - Sulk
10. Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame
09. Modern English - After the Snow
08. R.E.M. - Chronic Town EP
07. The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
06. The Sound - All Fall Down
05. The Church - The Blurred Crusade
04. Christian Death - Only Theatre of Pain
03. Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
02. The Cure - Pornography
01. Virgin Prunes - ...If I Die, I Die

Sarah Quarrie
Life on this Planet

15. Stray Cats - Built for Speed
14. The Jam - The Gift
13. INXS - Shabooh Shoobah
12. Ultravox - Quartet
11. Visage - The Anvil
10. Berlin - Pleasure Victim
09. The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
08. Modern English - After the Snow
07. The Clash - Combat Rock
06. Siouxsie and the Banshees - A Kiss in the Dreamhouse
05. Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
04. Duran Duran - Rio
03. Yazoo - Upstairs at Eric's
02. The Cure - Pornography
01. Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame

Rob Clark
Rockford, Illinois

15. Madness - The Rise & Fall
14. Duran Duran - Rio
13. Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
12. Ultravox - Quartet
11. Modern English - After the Snow
10. Midnight Oil - 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
09. Laurie Anderson - Big Science
08. Talk Talk - The Party's Over
07. The Clash - Combat Rock
06. The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
05. Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)
04. Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Imperial Bedroom
03. Peter Gabriel - (Security)
02. XTC - English Settlement
01. Kate Bush - The Dreaming

Ron Marrs
New Orleans, Louisiana

15. Judy Nylon & Crucial - Pal Judy
14. Missing Persons - Spring Session M
13. The Comsat Angels - Fiction
12. The Dream Syndicate - The Days of Wine and Roses
11. The Unknowns - s/t
10. Lydia Lunch - 13.13
09. The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
08. Cocteau Twins - Garlands
07. Crispy Ambulance - The Plateau Phase
06. The Wake - Harmony
05. Virgin Prunes - ...If I Die, I Die
04. Duran Duran - Rio
03. The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour
02. The Cure - Pornography
01. Christian Death - Only Theatre of Pain

Sierra Anna Jones
Okinawa, Japan

15. Culture Club - Kissing to Be Clever
14. Orange Juice - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever
13. Yazoo - Upstairs at Eric's
12. Duran Duran - Rio
11. Fleetwood Mac - Mirage
10. Virgin Prunes - ...If I Die, I Die
09. The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
08. Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame
07. Christian Death - Only Theatre of Pain
06. Cocteau Twins - Garlands
05. Siouxsie and the Banshees - A Kiss in the Dreamhouse
04. Roxy Music - Avalon
03. Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
02. Kate Bush - The Dreaming
01. The Cure - Pornography

Jason Jones
Okinawa, Japan

15. Billy Idol - s/t
14. Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse
13. Burning Spear - Farover
12. Yazoo - Upstairs at Eric's
11. The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
10. Duran Duran - Rio
09. Roxy Music - Avalon
08. Fleetwood Mac - Mirage
07. Siouxsie and the Banshees - A Kiss in the Dreamhouse
06. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
05. Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame
04. Prince - 1999
03. Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
02. The Cure - Pornography
01. Kate Bush - The Dreaming

John Magness
Uttoxeter, England

15. Phil Collins - Hello, I Must Be Going
14. Fleetwood Mac - Mirage
13. Talk Talk - The Party's Over
12. Dexys Midnight Runners - Too-Rye-Ay
11. Roxy Music - Avalon
10. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
09. The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
08. Joe Jackson - Night and Day
07. Siouxsie and the Banshees - A Kiss in the Dreamhouse
06. Cocteau Twins - Garlands
05. Donald Fagen - The Nightfly
04. The Cure - Pornography
03. Jethro Tull - Broadsword and the Beast
02. Peter Gabriel - (Security)
01. Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)

Jaymz Todd
Saturday Night Music Club

15. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Long After Dark
14. Kate Bush - The Dreaming
13. Yazoo - Upstairs at Eric's
12. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
11. Evelyn 'Champagne' King - Get Loose
10. Michael Jackson - Thriller
09. Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
08. Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
07. INXS - Shabooh Shoobah
06. Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame
05. XTC - English Settlement
04. The Cure - Pornography
03. Prince - 1999
02. Fad Gadget - Under the Flag
01. Grease 2 Soundtrack

Tim Brown
London, England

15. John 'Cougar' Mellencamp - American Fool
14. Culture Club - Kissing to Be Clever
13. Yazoo - Upstairs at Eric's
12. The Cure - Pornography
11. The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
10. Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
09. Orange Juice - Rip it Up
08. China Crisis - Difficult Shapes and Passive Rhythms...
07. ABC - The Lexicon of Love
06. Tracey Thorn - A Distant Shore
05. Kate Bush - The Dreaming
04. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
03. The Jam - The Gift
02. The Clash - Combat Rock
01. Fleetwood Mac - Mirage


STATS
66 different albums appeared in this feature
Which ones made it onto the most lists?
The Cure (8), The Psychedelic Furs (8), Bauhaus (7), Depeche Mode (5), Duran Duran (5), Kate Bush (5) and Yazoo (5)



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Friday, July 21, 2017

Planet Rotations #241

In the age of digital music, we tend to skip through albums, listening to one or two tracks - missing some of the deeper cuts that may be brilliant. We are huge fans of the album format, and love to experience the entire collection the way the artist intended. Listening to one or two songs is like randomly reading a few chapters of a book and expecting to understand the completed work. Like all music lovers, we love to share what we're listening to and discover some new things from friends.

This week, Sarah and I each highlighted 6 albums that we played in full. Make sure to tune into the Spotify player at the bottom, which features a song from each album. This is an ongoing playlist that you can follow directly on Spotify. Please put your own lists in the comments below, or interact at the Life On This Planet Facebook or Twitter. 

(text version below image)

Bret's 6
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold as Love
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
The Doors - Morrison Hotel
The Rolling Stones - Flowers
Tears for Fears - Songs From the Big Chair

Sarah's 6
Kissing is a Crime - s/t
Lowly - Heba
The Moonlandingz - Interplanetary Class Classics
Hundredth - Rare
The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love
Goldfrapp - Silver Eye

Listen to our ongoing Spotify Planet Rotations Playlist!

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Saturday Night Music Club #41: Best Albums of 2017... so far

We are back with a new edition of Saturday Night Music Club! The SNMC started up as an idea I had years ago - to recapture the feeling of being a kid and getting together with your friends in the basement to listen and discuss music. Over the last few years we've re-capped our monthly get-togethers with a video feature. For the time being, we are replacing the video aspect of the SNMC with a blog feature, where each member of the club will briefly discuss their record. A track from each album (when available) is collected in an ongoing SNMC Spotify playlist at the bottom of this post. So please listen in and enjoy the tunes along with us.

This month's theme: Each member of the SNMC was tasked with sharing a record released this year that they've been thoroughly enjoying. Let's take a look at what everyone brought...



Modern English - Take Me to the Trees
Self-Released | 2017
Favorite Song:
Come Out of Your Hole
Why did you add this record to your collection:
I've always really enjoyed Modern English, especially in their original 4AD run. Was so impressed with this album - their first with the OG lineup in 30 years - that I had to have it in the collection. The striking artwork was done by acclaimed 4AD designer Vaughan Oliver
Describe this album in one sentence:
Stripped-down, raw-ly produced post-punk - showcasing solid songwriting from a band that millions have heard but perhaps didn't know their name


Alexandra Savior - Belladonna of Sadness
Columbia | 2017
Favorite Song:
'Til You're Mine
Why did you add this record to your collection:
I'm a sucker for the sultry singer-songwriter style. I also swoon over everything Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys / The Last Shadow Puppets) - who co-wrote / co-produced & played on this album - so it was a must-have!
Describe this album in one sentence:
Smoky, cinematic lady-crooning in an old Hollywood lounge warming the crowd up for Lana Del Rey


Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet
Secretly Canadian | 2017
Favorite Song:
Machinist
Why did you add this record to your collection:
I already owned the first 3 albums on cassette and really enjoyed her progression as a musician. This album sees even more maturity and skill
Describe this album in one sentence:
Dreamy pop for any day - you need it!


Ride - Weather Diaries
Wichita | 2017
Favorite Song:
Cali
Why did you add this record to your collection:
I will add anything by Ride to my collection. This is an excellent release from my favorite shoegaze band
Describe this album in one sentence:
More killer melodies and beautiful harmonies from the seasoned musicians who helped pioneer the shoegaze sound


The Babe Rainbow - s/t
Flightless | 2017
Favorite Song:
Peace Blossom Boogy
Why did you add this record to your collection:
Nice grooves
Describe this album in one sentence:
Boogy Psych!


Kevin Morby - City Music
Dead Oceans | 2017
Favorite Song:
Come To Me Now
Why did you add this record to your collection:
The production sounds so good on vinyl
Describe this album in one sentence:
"Hi, I'm Psychedelic Sunset aka Sir Grails"


Tei Shi - Crawl Space
Downtown / Interscope | 2017
Favorite Song:
Creep
Why did you add this record to your collection:
Didn't. Jaymz bought it - he buys everything
Describe this album in one sentence:
Chill songs that you can sway to


Helado Negro - Private Energy (Expanded)
Rvng Intl | 2017
Favorite Song:
Runaround
Why did you add this record to your collection:
Heard it being used in end of a TV show, but I can't recall what show, then searched for it all around - and just loved it
Describe this album in one sentence:
Last time you saw your love and had to say goodbye until next time - those feels



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