Tuesday, August 25, 2009

80s - Simply the Best

Why do I always think that the 80s were the best decade I’ve been asked by my daughter. Well hello, you keep remaking films from the 80s, you keep doing cover versions of 80s songs need I go on???

I’ve had a pretty busy year so I’m a little behind with the movie gossip (the problems with being a mum I guess), there was a time when as soon as someone even whispered any movie news I was hip to it, but not anymore.

It appears that a movie I liked from 1980 has been dragged into the noughties. This isn’t exactly a remake instead they are saying that it is ‘based’ on the original. Yes I’m talking about Fame – the movie, the song, the tv series, the legwarmers!

I loved the tv series of Fame and from there I read the book that the movie was based on. I don’t know when I actually saw the movie, but I don’t recall seeing it on the big screen, just on video. The Kids from Fame actually had a couple of hit records in the UK as well, I had a friend who owned both of them and we would go to her house at lunch times (she lived opposite the school) and make up dance routines to them!

Let’s hope that the noughties version of Fame can bring a smile to the faces of a whole new generation.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

John Hughes RIP

Wow, John Hughes has died. Aged only 59 he died of a heart attack, at least it was quick by all accounts.

It's hard to think of 80s movies without thinking of John Hughes with films such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Sixteen Candles John Hughes owned 80s teen movies. He didn't stop there though, he was still showing what he was made of during the 90s with the hit movie Home Alone to name just one.

What was the best John Hughes movie? It's so hard to say, I love Uncle Buck I think that John Candy played the role so well. Having said that Mr Mom was also fantastic and my hubby loves Ferris Bueller. Why don't you vote for what John Hughes movie was your favorite at The Best John Hughes Movie.

Monday, August 3, 2009

80s Music

I love 80s music, don't you? I can't decide what I prefer more the New Romantic sounds or the Soft Cell techno pop, the darkness of Depeche Mode's Blasphemous Rumours, the pop of Madonna, the dance sounds of both Michael and Janet Jackson, the power ballads, Bruce Springsteen.......I don't know where to start let alone where to finish!

What is 80s Music? is the start of my attempt to bring all of my 80s favorites together, it's a long way from complete, but I'd love your thoughts on it.

Watching all of the celebs bringing back the Wayfarers makes me think of Don Henley - hair slicked back and your wayfarers on (or words to that effect) and then hair slicked back is the girls from Robert Palmer's video.....who started this conversation!

Anyway - what is your favorite 80s song, genre or artist, don't leave me hanging here people!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

80s Games

What games do you remember from the 80s? I enjoyed it when the annual fair came into town as they had an arcade game tent and I would play Space Invaders - awesome! I found an online version of the game and it's so easy these days, but then wow it was HARD!!!!!

I score really high scores now, especially when I turn the sound off (hearing the music stresses me in to making mistakes!

What was your favorite 80s game? Vote for Space Invaders of Pac Man at my Space Invaders Rule! page. I guess I just gave away the one I prefer didn't I??!!

Of course there was always the Rubiks cube, but really when you are happy being able to get one side done and a six year old comes along to solve it really, really fast it kind of annoys you!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's a Red Dawn - An Awesome 80s Movie

Red Dawn - The Beginning of WWIII

Framed Red Dawn Movie Poster
September in a small Colorado town and teens are rocking up to school talking about football - including their school's bad loss at the weekend. It's just another day in 1984, but everything was about to change because today was about to become the beginning of a Red Dawn.

On the school playing fields pupils in class notice paratroopers landing, but they're not Americans........panic rises as the movie begins.

Red Dawn is an absolute classic 80s movie starring Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson and C Thomas Howell. Red Dawn embraces a very real fear in people's mind during this era and the chilling consequences they believed could occur.

Red Dawn - The Movie Trailer

Why Every 80s Teen Wanted to Watch This Movie

Red Dawn - A Movie For It's Time

I can remember watching Red Dawn at the cinema (I can't believe how long ago that was!) and I absolutely loved it. The 80s were the era of the cold war, although it was thawing later on in the 80s. The events that occurred in Red Dawn were actually believable at the time and was the stuff of some people's nightmares.

I had been thinking about Red Dawn for some time and so decided to rent the movie out again recently. The clerk at the video store commented what a classic it was and said that he watched it every few months - he looked like he hadn't even been born when it was released! That tells me that Red Dawn is a classic, despite the fact that the cold war is dead.

I still enjoyed it this time around although I wasn't on the edge of my seat this time- that's the trouble with knowing the ending! It also seemed to drag in places, but that was also because I knew what was coming. It's pretty good to see the stars before they became household names as well.

Red Dawn starred Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson and C Thomas Howell. It was actually Charlie Sheen's first film credit and (in my opinion) a great start to an actor's career.

Here's what other critics had to say -
Red Dawn is a classic 80s movie from writer director John Milius. Red Dawn, in my opinion, is a pop culture classic. Red Dawn joins the ranks of good cult movies. A Heroic Action-Adventure Film for those who remember the dark days of the Cold War
Red Dawn (Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson) Movie Poster


Before Hugh Jackman Wolverine meant a small group that included Jed (Patrick Swayze), Erica (Lea Thompson), Matt (Charlie Sheen), Robert (C Thomas Howell) and Toni (Jennifer Gray). The 'rebels' from the 1984 movie Red Dawn.

After the deaths of their families (except Darryl's) the kids decide to fight back. Using the name Wolverines after the school's football team they engage in Guerilla warfare with the Russians, Cubans and Nicaraguan troops.

The Wolverines was the name of the high school football team that Jed used to play for and Matt currently played for. A Wolverine is also a member of the weasel family that has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to it's size. It seemed a fitting name for this band of teens when they were tackling the might of a combined Soviet, Cuban and Nicaraguan troops
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt.
Everyone wants to be a hero, but do you think you have what it takes to be a wolverine? If the answer is yes then why not wear the name with pride?

Red Dawn - Chilling Dilemmas

The movie Red Dawn also tackles some moral questions - would you compromise your values for your life? We see the Mayor of the town effectively sign his own son's death warrant and we see Matt and Jed create a diversion to allow others to survive while knowing it was a suicide mission.

When the two brothers go into town towards the end of the movie you do wonder how much havoc a couple of teens can cause.....the answer is alot as we are treated to a pyrotechnic display of gunshots and explosions. There are also a couple of really touching moments.

 "...dad'll be here soon Matt"

More on Red Dawn

This movie was Charlie Sheen's first credited film role and what a film to make a debut in. A 1980s classic.

In Red Dawn Charlie Sheen gets to act out every boys dream, being able to fight for his countries freedom. He also has to answer the question - what's the difference between them and us and to dig deep for courage alongside his big brother.

The movie Red Dawn has several ironic moments in it the classic one appearing in the opening scenes. You can see a bumper sticker saying "they'll get me gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hands" then the camera pans over and shows the driver dead and a Russian prying the gun from his hands! These little gems of irony all add another layer to what was, at the time a very believable scenario.

Red Dawn Monument

Partisan Rock

The movie ends with one of the surviving characters returning to Partisan Rock when WWIII had ended. At the rock a monument has now been errected celebrating the Wolverines it reads as follows......
"In the early days of World War Three, guerillas, mostly children placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so that this nation should not perish from the earth."

Have You Seen Red Dawn?

Share your thoughts about the movie.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson RIP

Well today the entertainment world loses two of it's entertainers - Farrah Fawcett lost her battle with cancer. The King of Pop Michael Jackson also died of a heart attack.

The eighties would not have been the same without Michael Jackson. The songs - Beat It, Billie Jean, Thriller and lets not forget the dance moves - Moonwalk(!) Can anyone here do the moonwalk - I surely can't.

Check out Top Ten Michael Jackson Songs and vote for your own. What is your favorite Michael Jackson song?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Romantics

You can't talk about 80s music without mentioning the New Romantics. The New Romantics was a mainly UK branch of New Wave music that began in 1979/1980 and really set the stage for the advent of MTV later on in the 80s. Bands such as Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Culture Club, Adam and the Ants and more all made up the movement that saw bands provide a complete package as opposed to merely music. Like David Bowie before them the New Romantics worked on their looks and performances as much as they did their sound.....and it seemed to work as 80s music will always be known for the effect the New Romantics had on it.

Let me know who your favorite New Romantic band were.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Nightmare on Elm Street

I'm not a huge fan of slasher style horror movies, but Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street really appealed to me. Freddy Krueger is the ultimate boogeyman, I mean this guy can come into your dreams what the??!!

I would love to know what percentage of increase in sales the top coffee manufacturers experienced as teens everywhere tried to stay awake all night!

I really should have stuck with Sixteen Candles and the Police Academy if I'd wanted to continue to sleep during the rest of 1984!!!!!!

So if you had a choice between these 1984 movies, which would be your favorite? -

  • Supergirl

  • The Terminator

  • Amadeus

  • The Killing Fields

  • Sixteen Candles

  • Nightmare on Elm Street

  • Karate Kid

  • Police Academy

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Buy This at Allposters.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Born in the USA

Classic 80s Albums - Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteeen
It's hard to believe that Bruce Springsteen's born in the USA album is 25 years old this year. I absolutely thrashed the vinyl lp. I remember a lot of criticism from people saying that the Boss had sold out, that Born in the USA was too commercial but....it's stood the test of time.

Born in the USA Album - An 80s Classic

Bruce Springsteen or 'The Boss' as we like to call him had already established himself as a rocker before he released his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A. The album, Born in the U.S.A. raised him up from rock singer to superstar and everywhere you turned Bruce Springsteen was being played on the radio.

Born in the U.S.A. is a must have album of the 80s for both die hard Bruce fans and people who didn't enjoy The Boss' other work. It is a classic album filled with great songs. Born in the U.S.A. is one of the few albums where every song can stand on it's own two feet - there's no fillers at all. So why don't you take the Downbound Train to Darlington County and we can see Bobby Jean as she's Working on the Highway and talk about our Glory Days. I'm Goin' Down to My Hometown where I'll be Dancing in the Dark!

Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen

The album Born in the U.S.A. was released in 1984 and reached the number one position in album charts around the world. Bruce Springsteen released a number of singles from this album including the immensely popular title track - Born in the U.S.A.
Other singles from this album were Dancing in the Dark, Glory Days and My Hometown. It is so hard to pick just one favorite from the selection, during the late 80s it was Working on the Highway, in the early 90s I preferred My Hometown and a few years ago I would have picked Glory Days. However, all of the tracks are fantastic and this is a cd I think everyone should own!
Born in the U.S.A.Check Price

Track listing:-

  • Born in the U.S.A.

  • Cover Me

  • Darlington County

  • Working on the Highway

  • Downbound Train

  • I'm on Fire

  • No Surrender

  • Bobby Jean

  • I’m Goin’ Down

  • Glory Days

  • Dancing in the Dark

  • My Hometown.

Born in the U.S.A.

Born in the U.S.A. is often thought of as a patriotic song, even in so much as Ronald Reagan asked if he could use it on his campaign. It was in fact a song of a disillusioned Vietnam veteran. It is quite a harsh song about a veteran returning home from serving and finding no jobs in fact very little left for him in the country where he was born. He had fought hard, his brother had been killed and there wasn’t any of the parades that had welcomed home troops from WWII.

During the 80s the general public felt a little ashamed of how they treated their Vietnam veterans this is evidenced by movies such as Rambo as well as this song by Bruce Springsteen.

Cover Me

The second track on the album is Cover Me which was another top ten single from the album Born in the U.S.A. Cover Me is often criticized as being too 'pop' and commercialized compared to Bruce Springsteen's usual rock style. Personally I think it is yet another excellent song.

The whole world is out there just trying to score
I've seen enough, I don't want to see any more

Listen to the song - to me it appears to be full of desperation and the need to find someone. It could almost be an anthem for Bridget Jones.

Darlington County

Springsteen's Darlington County catches you as soon as it starts with a great beat that gets you swaying in time.

We drove down from New York city

This song really does sound like the kind of song you'd want playing on a road trip with a friend, singing along at the top of your voices.

With a 50s era vibe Darlington County tells the tale of a couple of kids going down South for work and a few kicks while they're away from home. This inevitably leads to trouble!

Working on the Highway

The next track on Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. album was Working on the Highway - fantastic. I absolutely thrashed this track when I first got the record, yes my first copy of Born in the U.S.A was on vinyl! Where Darlington County had a bit of a 50s vibe to it, Working on the Highway has a definite 50s feel.

Working on the Highway is a fun, catchy dance track that would appear to be a tribute to construction workers........................until you listen to Bruce Springsteen's lyrics properly. The song was about the consequences of romancing the wrong girl in the wrong town. Not only that the girl was obviously underage which is why he is now Working on the Highway!

Downbound Train

Although this track wasn't a single it had all the makings of a hit. The story was about a man who's life was going on fine and then boom everything had changed. It was like you hopped onto the first train at the station not knowing where it was going and you just held on tight!

Again this song is quite gloomy as the man slips further and further into oblivion with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Now I work at the car wash, where all it ever does is rain

He's in a depressed state because he can't even be happy he has a job, he just misses what he had and what he cannot seem to get back.

I'm on Fire

I’m on Fire is a lustful song where Bruce Springsteen is saying that only sex with this one lady could heal everything that causes him angst. A love song or something more creepy? I’m not really sure but I love it anyway!

No Surrender

I absolutely loved playing this loud and belting out the lyrics during the 80s.

Well, we made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender

As a teen I also loved the words from the first verse -

We learned more from a 3-minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school

Of course I didn't really believe it, but I felt like a rebel singing it..................................................and did I mention that this one needed to be sung loudly (it's lucky my folks liked Bruce Springsteen really!)

Basically I think this song is on Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A album because the whole album is about people doing it tough and this song is saying - pick yourself up and keep going. The American Dream is still out there, you've just got to keep on trying for it.

Bobby Jean

When I used to listen to Bobby Jean I always thought it was about a girl that Bruce Springsteen realized he loved after she left. He wishes that she'd told him she was going because as soon as he knew he realized his feelings for her.

Now I wish you would have told me
I wish I could have talked to you
Just to say goodbye, Bobby Jean

As I got older I realized that it was in fact a farewell to an old band member Steve Van Zandt who had just left the band after getting married (I think?). Personally I think I like the love story idea more!

I'm Goin' Down

This was a hit single for Bruce Springsteen, but it never really ‘did’ it for me, I felt it was like an album track! It takes a little bit of rock, a little bit of country and a touch of honky tonk which sounds pretty good, but it’s still too repetitive for me.

Basically it’s a song about a love affair that’s run it’s course and there’s absolutely nothing he can do to get the passion back.

Glory Days

I used to love singing this, although it’s not until you get older that you really appreciate Mr Springsteen’s songwriting abilities. I have a little smile to myself every time I hear this because it makes me think of my husband. Every couple of years he spends a week with a group of friends that have been friends since high school when they played footy together. Whenever they get together they’re always talking about the ‘glory days’, but the tales get bigger and bigger!

It is a fantastic singalong song and I know my feet are tapping just thinking about the song and I’m singing it in my head as I type – an absolute classic!

Dancing in the Dark

This single is accompanied by the video that starred Courtney Cox, but when I see the video these days all I can think is that Bruce Springsteen looks like he’s constipated!

On the surface Dancing in the Dark has a good beat and you could think of it as a great dance song, until you start listening to the lyrics. It’s not about someone who just wants to go ‘dancing in the dark’ (we all know what that means now , don’t we?), it’s actually about someone who’s searching for the possibility of love.

Like in Cover Me it’s about someone who’s alone and doesn’t want to be alone, I’m just tired and bored with myself followed by the I could use just a little help.

My Hometown

This song has that something special, you can’t define it but you know it when you hear it. My Hometown hooks you up and then tugs at your heartstrings. It is a beautiful song touched with a sad dollop of nostalgia, I think it’s still positive. Bruce Springsteen sings that it’s my hometown with pride.

A great song to end the album on because it’s really summing up what the whole album has been saying – people kick you when you’re down, sometimes life throws you a curve ball BUT you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and keep going. That’s what you learnt to do growing up in your hometown!