Like a bolt of blue: New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (1987)

(Above: Sometimes the simplest cover artwork is the best.) Thirty years ago today, New Order released Substance, a double LP that's probably best known as the album that casual fans know.  New Order came to be in 1980 after Joy Division split following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. They're best known for "Blue … Continue reading Like a bolt of blue: New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (1987)

Saw the ghost of Elvis: Mark Cohn, “Walking in Memphis” (1991)

(Above: Elvis' house.) Every year a phenomenon called "Elvis Week" takes place in mid-August.  It centers on the anniversary of the date that Elvis Aaron Presley died at the too-young age of 42 in 1977. I'm always disappointed that we don't do Elvis Week in January, around the anniversary of his birth. It's the tragic … Continue reading Saw the ghost of Elvis: Mark Cohn, “Walking in Memphis” (1991)

MOR music: Bobby Goldsboro, “The Straight Life” (1968)

(Above: Bobby, trying to hide against a wall.) Students of 1960s culture often forget that there were, in fact, old people alive at that time, and that they were consumers in their own right.  While much of the "50 years later" type pieces spotlight teenage music preferences, there's a lot of other stuff that gets … Continue reading MOR music: Bobby Goldsboro, “The Straight Life” (1968)

As I look back now, the summer seemed to last forever: The Billboard Hot 100, July 27, 1985

(Above: me, representing AM radio, circa 1985-86.)   In some ways, the Summer of '85 was my last truly carefree summer.  I know I've made a similar argument about 1988 in another piece, as that was the last time I had had a summer vacation at all until leaving the world of radio for teaching. … Continue reading As I look back now, the summer seemed to last forever: The Billboard Hot 100, July 27, 1985