Rest in peace, Ric Ocasek: The Cars, “Since You’re Gone”

(Above: "How does he walk on the pool?" we asked, dumbfounded.) The news of the death of Cars frontman Ric Ocasek came as a bit of a surprise yesterday. I was perhaps more surprised by the fact that he was 75. That would have made him about 34 when the band hit it big initially, … Continue reading Rest in peace, Ric Ocasek: The Cars, “Since You’re Gone”

Rest in peace, Mark Hollis: Talk Talk, “Life Is What You Make It” (1986)

Word circulated today that Mark Hollis, the leader of UK group Talk Talk, passed away at the age of 64. The band hit the music scene in 1981 but first saw chart success the following year with their eponymous first release. "Talk Talk" failed to chart in the US the first time around, but a … Continue reading Rest in peace, Mark Hollis: Talk Talk, “Life Is What You Make It” (1986)

Rest in peace, James Ingram: “Just Once” (1981)

Word circulated this afternoon that Grammy-award winning singer James Ingram passed away today at the age of 66. In total Ingram put 21 records on the Billboard R&B chart and crossed over to the Pop chart 11 times. All but three of those songs made the Top 40, and two of them - "Baby Come … Continue reading Rest in peace, James Ingram: “Just Once” (1981)

1984 turns 35: Van Halen, “Jump” (1984)

(Above: An album cover that doesn't need explanation.) For the past few days on Facebook, many have taken the "How has aging treated you?" challenge. The premise, basically, is that you post your first profile picture, and then your current, and see how time has treated you. In most cases, the span is about ten … Continue reading 1984 turns 35: Van Halen, “Jump” (1984)

School’s out for winter: The Billboard Hot 100 for December 15, 1984 (and what we probably listened to instead)

(Above: I was clearly enjoying my junior year of high school and in no hurry to go on break.) Friday, December 14, 1984 was the last day of school before the Christmas break began. If I remember correctly, we got out early from school that day, and a bunch of us went to Dave-we-called-Fritz's house, … Continue reading School’s out for winter: The Billboard Hot 100 for December 15, 1984 (and what we probably listened to instead)

Snow’s coming: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Stranded” (1980)

(Above: Mayday, this is Echo Hotel.) The first winter storm warning of the season is upon us for 2018. Unfortunately, it's hitting a good portion of the plains and upper Midwest on the busiest travel day of the year: the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Each year more travelers fly on this day more than other, and … Continue reading Snow’s coming: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Stranded” (1980)

Plenty of variety: The Billboard Hot 100 chart, November 15, 1980

(Above: Kenny Rogers, somewhere between psychedelia and chicken.) By the middle of November I was entrenched in my new school. My parents decided to move to Orland Park near the end of my sixth grade year; in fact, I commuted to Helen Keller School for the last three months of the term that spring. I … Continue reading Plenty of variety: The Billboard Hot 100 chart, November 15, 1980