Let's Make Mixtapes

Keeping your childhood pop icons alive…even the ones you thought were dead.

Do you remember where you were when everything fell apart? Before you fall to the floor, sobbing over your life choices–I’ve done that twice since breakfast–I’m actually curious if you recall the hit song from the 90s, “Everything Falls Apart” by Dog’s Eye View.

dogs eye view

Led by Peter Stuart, the band had a solid hit with the song off their 1995 debut album, Happy Nowhere. The album peaked at 77 on the charts but the single reached 8 on the Mainstream chart. You may not remember that the band released a second single from that album that didn’t chart but is definitely worth a listen. Check out this big wonder called “Small Wonders.”

 

In 1988, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians grooved onto the mainstream scene with their album Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars. The album reached number 4 on the U.S. charts.

edie brickell and the new bohemians

The album would produce their biggest hit, “What I Am” which reached number 7. As you can imagine, I bought the cassingle immediately (and much later–as an adult with a checking account and a car–the CD.) The band released a second album and then Edie split to work on her solo stuff (plus film and stage and, oh yeah, she married Paul Simon.) In 2006, the group released Stranger Things, their latest album to date. Check out their catalog, but first, let’s head back and remember Edie and the Bohemians and what they am. I mean, are.

Ah, July 1992…it was the month when Whitney Houston married Bobby Brown. It was also the month that Guns ‘N Roses‘ song “November Rain” became the longest-running song to enter the Billboard top 20. And most importantly, these songs were at the tippy-top of the Billboard charts this very week of July 1992…

mariah carey

On the Alternative chart, The Cure had a hit that we’d never forget.

Mary J. Blige reminded us why she’s at the top of the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

Elton John was the One with “the One” on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Frankie Knuckles made it rain from the top of the Dance chart.

The Black Crowes nested at the top of the Modern Rock chart.

Sir Mix-A-Lot liked one thing and we liked it too…here’s the number 1 song on the Billboard hot 100 for this week in 1992!

 

It starts with a raspy, repetitive moan and then a simple bass line kicks in. Then the voice tells you to “breathe it in and breathe it out…” and before you know it, you’re an addict–for the Belgian band K’s Choice, that is. The single was “Not an Addict” from their 1995 album Paradise in Me, and it would reach number 5 on the modern rock tracks.

ks choice

It would be the band’s biggest mainstream hit. They would, however, continue to make albums–including last month’s retrospective, 25. What you may not recall, is that the band released a second single off of the followup to Paradise, 1998’s Cocoon Crash, which would climb to number 28 on the charts. So pass around the streaming player and take a hit of “Everything for Free,” and become a junkie for K’s Choice all over again…

 

I’m not sure what the weather is like in your part of the world, but it’s raining where I live (the swamps), and I’m presently fashioning an ark from old beer cans and used gum. The weather’s got me in the mood for some songs that will compliment the dreary day outside. Here now, I present my Rainy Day mixtape, an hour’s worth of 80s & 90s songs that are both literally and metaphorically all about storms. So make sure your own spotify player is open in the background, hit play, and jump on the couch (or come help me drink beer and chew gum…for my ark. Obviously.)

 

For a single year, and for only one album, several members of Duran Duran (Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, and Roger Taylor) formed a band called Arcadia. The album they produced was So Red the Rose. It’s a great album. It is also, IMHO, not a far reach from a Duran Duran album. LeBon called it “pretentious” while one critic said it was “the best album Duran Duran never made.” The point is, you should give it a listen.

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The album, which featured cameos by Grace Jones, Herbie Hancock, and Sting, reached 23 in the states and spun off several hits. The group, as Arcadia, never made another album. Of course, Duran Duran continues to give us great music. While we wait for that next album (or the tour coming to a city near you–I’m not being paid but I’d take free tickets if they’re offering), enjoy this hit from So Red the Rose.

 

As a teen, I had an extensive cassingle collection stored in a shoebox. My OCD (plus geek necessity) required that I constantly dump the box out and sort them by artist, then genre, then mood, etc. My favorite was mood, because sometimes you need to dance. And sometimes, dear reader, you just need a good long cry…

Brian-McKnight

How fortuitous then, that Brian McKnight would come into my life with his silky smooth falsetto and drop a single like “One Last Cry” into my life and my shoebox. Off of his 1993 self-titled album, the single reached number 13 on the U.S. charts and it would reach the pole position in my cassingle shoebox. Enjoy. (And cry, if you need to. I won’t judge you.)

Folks, let’s talk folk music. Having seen the Indigo Girls live four times, I can safely say I’m a fan. In this age of lip-syncing no-no’s (unless you’re on Rupaul‘s drag race, then, baby, you better lip-sync for your life!), Amy Ray and Emily Sailers deliver epic live performances every time.

indigo girls

One of my favorite albums will forever be 1994’s Swamp Ophelia. (It’s a long story involving my best friend and I discovering the duo after our high school English teacher insisted we go out and find this album by the “Indigo Sisters.”) In the spirit of summer–and because I just got an invitation to my (mumbles numbers)teenth high school reunion–I present to you a great deep cut from Ophelia, “Reunion.” Written by Ray, she has said that after talking with former classmates at a reunion who thought her fame was much more impressive than what they were doing that “…rather than talking about things they are proud of in themselves, they talked about a lot of negative things in their lives…and that bummed me out, because I’m really into what other people are doing with themselves.”

 

The year was 1994. If you follow my blog (thanks, mom and that insomniac in Boise), then you know this was a big year for me in music. I’d just finished high school (did I tell you how much I hated high school?) and the world was mine for the taking. Among the phenomenal bands I would discover, thanks to my local college rock radio station, was Silverchair.

silverchair2006new

The Australian trio formed in 1992 and released their debut album, Frogstomp, in 1995 (if I’m doing my math correctly, lead singer Daniel Johns was 16.) Their first single, “Tomorrow,” would be a hit in their home country and here in the U.S., reaching number 1 on both the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts. It would also reach number 1 in my heart and add to that undiscovered, grunge side of my musical persona. So until tomorrow (or today, when I give you more musicians to read about) here’s Silverchair when they were wee boys…

 

I love typing the words “debut album” because the geek in me knows I’m about to tell you about an album you likely know and love (or don’t know but soon will) that was by an unknown group, and it was likely incredible and unique and different and life-changing (definitely for the band and hopefully for you.) Today, that band is Guns N’ Roses and that debut album is Appetite for Destruction.

Guns-N-Roses

Released on this day, July 21, 1987, the album would hit number one on the U.S. charts, and with the original lineup of Axl RoseSlash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler, the album would go on to sell an estimated 30 million copies (that’s million with an “m.”) It would spawn off several hits, including the following which is easily one of the most recognizable songs ever. Oh won’t you take a listen, sweet, sweet child (o’ mine)?