May 042009

I’ve suspected for some time that when most folks say they’re into ’80s music, they don’t mean what I mean whey I say I’m into ’80s music.  I’ve simply refused to ever leave the ’80s.  I’d guess two thirds of my iPod is either stuff I was listening to then, or stuff from then that I didn’t get into until later.

(And if something modern is on there, it’s even odds it’s because it reminds me of the ’80s.)

I’ve written before of my particular affection for ’80s Canadian AOR/hard rock.  There’s just…a vibe about it.  That’s a rich vein to mine, because as much of it as I was into then, there are always “new” artists around the corner I’ve never heard/heard of.  They’re masters of the car stereo song.

I’ve never picked too much at common technical threads for these kinds of songs.  I’m sure there are chord selections, progressions, and so forth identifiable as belonging to most of them.  I just know them when I hear them, and that’s a gut thing.  There are big, singable choruses.  There are loud, crunchy guitars, unapologetic in their vulgarity.  Slow tempo is rare.

The concept scales well, too.  It doesn’t have to be poppy ’80s hard rock.  Buckcherry’s “Riding” is a good modern example.  Velvet Revolver has done a couple, which perhaps isn’t surprising given that band’s personnel.  It’s just that the ’80s were a particularly rich decade for it.

My current wayback music project is Lee Aaron—an artist I never heard of until two weeks ago, and one I’m listening to a hell of a lot of now.  Here’s “Hands On”—a marvelous example of the kind of song I’m talking about (turn it up, baybee!):

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 Posted by at 9:34 pm

  8 Responses to “The ’80s car stereo song lives”

  1. Looks and sounds a bit like Saraya.

  2. nhfalcon: Good call. ‘Course, this is way happier than the average dark and brooding Saraya song. 🙂

  3. Some of the little-known Eighties hard rock bands that I enjoyed included Riverdogs, XYZ, House of Lords, Blue Murder, & Hardline, if those give you any inspiration.

  4. Heh! I have “Maggy” and “Nice Day To Die” by XYZ on my iPod as I type. I don’t own any House of Lords, but I remember them well. I have the first Blue Murder CD. I’ll put Riverdogs and Hardline in my pocket. Thanks.

  5. Hey, can you swing by the Eyrie for a second? Your last response left me confused (long week at work)?


  6. My fault all the way. My apologies. I hope my last comment clarifies things.

  7. Yes, thank you.

    Oh, btw, Badlands was another band from way back when that I really liked.

  8. Oh, that first Badlands record is epic. The second one had moments, but to me was definitely a step down. I actually bought a decent bootleg of the third (unfinished) one not long ago, but haven’t spent a lot of time with it.

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