I remember 1984 like it was yesterday. I was already into music and I had an old Sony combo stereo system it had a radio, record player, eight track and I plugged into the auxiliary channel an after market Realistic tape deck I bought at garage sale. It was fifteen watts per channel, wow! I had just bought Van Halen’s record 1984; The Police album Synchronicity and I had all my parents’ records at my disposal. The Stones, the Kinks, the Beatles, the Band, Johnny Winter, Mountain, Neil Young, the Temptations, Sam and Dave, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Dave Brubeck, Van Morrison and George Carlin (they had a few comedy records). I was amerced mostly with the older music not so much of the current top forty stuff like Madonna and Duran Duran. It’s funny I’m still kinda the same way. However along the line of musical immaturity or neglect I seemed to have missed a lot of groups that were of that era, the early to mid 1980s that were more underground so to speak. Groups like the Fleshtones, X, the Nerves, the Jam, or the dB’s were not in heavy rotation on the Chicago rock stations. WXRT a progressive Chicago rock station dabbled in this sort of music but was most likely featured on an over night, “stoner shift” radio program (I was not a midnight toker at that point, yet). Chicago rock and pop radio was all Journey, Def Lepoard, Toto, Pat Benatar, The Thompson Twins and other stuff like that. I was eight years old I did not know about the punk scene that was waning by then or the amazing power pop bands that were sprouting up in the wake of all the new wave bands. I was eight, it was 1984 and had no internet. The dB’s flew right by me.
The sh!t song of the week is “Winds of Change” by Jefferson Starship. I know that it’s too easy picking on Jefferson Starship because of their mega fluffy hit songs like “We Built This City” and “Nothing is Going to Stop Us Now”. As far as I am concerned the whole 80’s Starship catalogue is the soundtrack for Richard Gere’s gerbil escapades. The Jefferson Starship of the 80’s were so far removed from their original roots of Jefferson Airplane’s brand of psychedelic hippie rock it is astounding . Where did the white rabbit from the Bay Area go? Did they find somebody to love and just give up? When did Airplane became Starship? Why did this happen? I’m thinking it probably had something to do with cocaine. I saw that episode of “WKRP” when the record executive tries to push a new record on Johnny Fever and offers up some booger sugar to sweeten up the deal so I am figuring this may have been the case with “Winds of Change“. I was also shocked that Howard Hesseman passed on free coke even in a fictitious scenario. Anyway you want to slice it Jefferson Starship are widely known to many as purveyors of schmaltzy 80’s hits that you can often hear at Walgreens when making the import decisions in life like going with generic brand of KY jelly instead of that expensive brand name stuff. The song I chose this week is not one of Jefferson Starship’s best known songs but it is equally on point with the above mentioned songs. The video for this song is also cut from the same jizz rag because it is a light rock, Heart rip off song but the set design in the video would lead you believe that Jefferson Starship are a heavy metal band with a wall of generic Marshall stacks, an eighteen piece drum kit with double kick drums behind them and last but not least, they have a fucking keytar involved. Do the math. Terrible album art + Shit song + Coked up video conception = “Winds of Change“. This is just my two cents on a three cent matter but the song “Winds of Change” by Jefferson Starship strongly qualifies to be the shit song of the week.
The Joup shit song of the week is “(You Can Still) Rock In America” by Night Ranger. I’m repulsed by their mega hit “Sister Christian” but I like to dig a little deeper because I know if a band is capable of writing one shitty song they probably have more. You can still rock in America according to the lyrics in this song which was released in 1983 during the-hey day of the Cold War. I feel this song was to remind people of their freedoms here in the U.S. as opposed to the Soviet Union where you could not rock at that time. However, when I hear such a dreadful song such as this one it makes me feel like maybe we have too much freedom? I am aware this song is dated and the genre an easy target but there are songs older than this that have withstood the test of time. This piece of shit is not one of those songs.
Today’s shit song of the week is Rupert Holmes’s “Answering Machine”. This song may have been the B-Side to “Escape (The Peña Colada Song)” which was used in the hilarious movie “Dirty Work” during a bar fight scene. Although I have used the song “Answering Machine” as my voice mail message one time as a goof, the chorus of the song is “leave your name and number and I’ll try to get back to you. You have 30 seconds to talk to me before we’re through”. It is a cocaine decision, light FM, shitty song and it deserves to be in the anals of Joup’s Sh!t Song Of The Week. Just give it a listen and tell me what you think after the beep.
Ronnie Wood is a celebrated guitarist best known for his work as a bass guitarist and songwriter with The Jeff Beck group, vocalist and guitarist for The Faces and – finally – landing his dream job playing guitar and singing with The Rolling Stones (his favorite band). Ronnie Wood is a known figure in the world of rock and roll but is a very underappreciated songwriter and guitarist. Cry a river for Ronnie, right? Who cares? I do!
The shit song of the week goes to the anticlimactic Christopher Cross song “Ride Like the Wind”. I really remember hearing it for the first time, as a kid shopping with my mom at a southwest side Chicago Zayre Superstore in 1981. A middle-aged store clerk was stocking the shelves with pet rocks and sizzle lean wearing brown slacks and white shirt. I noticed the guys name tag and it said his name was Marty and he said to me, “Hey Kid you like Christopher Cross”? I was really young and shy but I just kind of replied that I really didn’t know? He looked at me, kind of giggled and remarked “your too young kid to really enjoy good music just yet”. Well now flash forward I’m 40 years old at the time of me writing this and I probably have been exposed to more music than most folks and I can safely say to Marty no, age isn’t the problem man. Christopher Cross just simply bores the piss outta me. It reminds me of death and that if there is indeed an elevator to hell “Ride Like The Wind” would be blaring in a loop at a high decibel all the way down. The song also raises a question. If you could ride like the wind wouldn’t you expect a more aggressive or even a more provocative and magical sounding soundtrack? You be the judge but as far as I’m concerned “Ride Like The Wind” by Christopher cross is about as exciting as a yawning festival. Enjoy!