Philippine Showbiz Today Vol 14 No 6 - Page 13

March 22 - April 7, 2019 Jan. 22-Feb.7, 2015 Philippine Showbiz Today 13 Special Feature Albums that Mattered the Most in 1979 t was in early 1979 when I I decided to seriously begin my hobby of collecting the United Kingdom. The Spirits Having Flown album marked the end of the vinyl albums. Locally made vinyl Bee Gee’s most successful era, albums, that is. A single vinyl prior to a severe downturn in the album cost P26 and a double early 1980s when they would album cost P42. Imported vinyl experience a near-total radio albums were rare and hard to find blackout (particularly in America during those days and cost more and the Disco Sucks! campaign) than a P100 for a single album— that Robin Gibb would refer to much too expensive for a high as “censorship” and “evil” when school student whose daily baon interviewed by the music press. was P20. After having bought my first ever long playing record last Christmas Season of 1978 at Greenhills Shopping Center (the original motion picture soundtrack of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, ugh!) I began searching high and low the following New Year at record bars and record stores for quality, classic albums to buy and spin on our trusty Sony stereo back home. And I was not disappointed by the Cheap Trick at Budokan sheer number of albums released (Released in February 1979) It took a trip to Japan for in 1979, the end of the 1970s, the Cheap Trick to become popular Give Peace a Chance decade and the start of the I Me Mine decade at home in the United States. While garnering only moderate of the 1980s. Now let us flash back 40 success in the US with their years ago and read about and first three albums (Cheap Trick, listen to these vinyl/cassette/8 In Color, Heaven Tonight), the track cartridge albums that really quartet of Robin Zander, Rick made a profound impact on music Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun lovers when they were released E. Carlos managed to generate and appeared in record stores all Beatlemania-type frenzy during the group’s 1978 tour of Japan. around the country in 1979. Cheap Trick found success in Japan and capitalized on this popularity by recording Cheap Trick at Budokan in Tokyo on April 28 and 30, 1978, with an audience of 12,000 screaming Japanese fans nearly drowning out the music of the band at times. The album was intended for release only in Japan but with strong airplay of the promotional album From Tokyo to You, an estimated 30,000 import copies Spirits Having Flown – Bee were sold in the United States and Gees (Released on January 24, Cheap Trick at Budokan was finally 1979) released domestically in February The Bee Gees last hurrah 1979. The album also introduced after their blockbuster double two previously unreleased original album soundtrack to Saturday songs, “Lookout” and “Need Your Night Fever, Spirits Having Flown Love.” didn’t disappoint diehard fans of The gate fold cover of Cheap the Gibb brothers. The fifteenth Trick at Budokan, a live shot of long playing album released by vocalist Zander and bass player Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, Petersson, was a smart marketing the album’s first three songs— move, putting the pretty boys “Tragedy,” “Too Much Heaven” in front to attract young female and “Love You Inside Out”—were buyers. But it was also deceiving, released as singles and all of since it is the talented—though them reached the No. 1 position less photogenic—twosome of on the Billboard Singles Charts in guitarist Nielsen and drummer the US. Carlos that really made this album This musical feat gave the rock and roll. Bee Gees an unbroken run of six Nielsen, who wrote or co- US chart-toppers in a one-year wrote nine of the ten songs on the period and equalling a feat shared album, makes each note count by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley and with powerfully melodic lead the Beatles. It was the first Bee guitar inputs, making “Surrender” Gees album to make the UK top and “Big Eyes” still sound urgent 40 in ten years (excluding the today. Carlos pushes his drum kit soundtrack for Saturday Night to the limit on the album opener, Fever), as well as being their first “Hello There,” and then is an and only Number One album in excellent example of restraint on by Jose K. Lirios PST Manila Correspondent the remake of the Fats Domino Knack’s refusal to give interviews hit song “Ain’t That a Shame.” was also viewed negatively by the Cheap Trick at Budokan music press at that time. remained on the charts for over a year and sold more than three million copies. Cheap Trick would later achieve success in the recording studio, quickly recording and releasing their 1979 top 10 album Dream Police, but it would never again reach the dizzying heights found in Tokyo, Japan at the Budokan Arena. Get the Knack – The Knack (Released June 11, 1979) Get the Knack, the debut album by the power pop group the Knack, came out in mid-June 1979. At the time of its release, Get the Knack was one of the most successful debuts in the history of popular music, selling over one million copies in less than two months and spending five weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. The first single released from the album, “My Sharona,” was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks and number one on Billboard’s Top Pop Singles of 1979 yearend chart. The follow-up single, “Good Girls Don’t,” followed “My Sharona” to Number One on the Canadian Singles Chart and reached Number 11 in the United States. Get the Knack became an immediate success because of an intense promotional campaign by their record label, Capitol Records. The Knack’s image was largely influenced by the Beatles. The album’s front cover imitates the Beatles’ first Capitol Records album Meet the Beatles!, and the back cover photo depicts a scene from the Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night. To complete the Beatle imagery, the 1960s Capitol rainbow label adorned the album, a detail the band had written on its contract. A negative backlash against the Knack’s overnight success formed among music critics who found the band’s image and music too contrived and their attitude too brash. Conceptual artist Hugh Brown even started a “Knuke the Knack” campaign complete with T-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers. Some music writers began to criticize the Knack for what they perceived as arrogance, hype and a misogynist attitude expressed in their songs. The The B-52’s (Released July 6, 1979) In the late 1970s, the sight of B-52’s girls Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson dancing and singing in gigs and performances was a kind of culture shock that even the nihilistic urgings of punk hadn’t prepared the world for. After years of hippie culture and the whole back-to-nature simplicity of 1970s artists like Neil Young, Jackson Browne and the Eagles, something as flamboyantly camp as the B-52’s was a direct affront to mainstream sensibilities. The essence of New Wave, the B-52’s combined playful silliness with outright kitsch in a musical mix that was both propulsive and infectious. To many in the mainstream, this made them seem like a gimmick, but if critics had looked below the surface they would have discovered that the group had been part of Athens, Georgia’s avant-garde long before the city became one of the first indie-rock capitals. Early versions of “52 Girls” and “Rock Lobster” (which is said to have convinced John Lennon to come out of hiding and make music again after hearing the song being played in a disco in the Bahamas) recorded for their own label, proved that the members of the B-52’s was capable of straightforward punk aggression. The versions on The B-52’s were given considerably more depth by the production style of Chris Blackwell, so much so that “Rock Lobster” actually became one of the first significant New Wave hits. The B-52’s was one of the first American New Wave albums to enter the Top 50 and it was on the strength of songs like “52 Girls,” “Dance This Mess Around,” “Lava” and “6060-842” which combined crazy rhythms with absurd lyrics and the constant intertwining of complex male- female vocal harmonies. The fact that Pierson and Wilson apparently existed on equal footing with their male counterparts in the band helped set the stage for the whole inter- gender exchange of alternative rock, along with the group’s ironic, campy sensibilities. ●