Rest in peace, Bill Rieflin: Ministry, “Work For Love (1983)”

Word circulated late last night that drummer Bill Rieflin lost his battle with cancer at the age of only 59. The discography of Rieflin's work reads like a "who's who" of industrial rock. Rieflin played either in studio, on tour, or both with a wide variety of bands. A quick scan of the list shows … Continue reading Rest in peace, Bill Rieflin: Ministry, “Work For Love (1983)”

Rest in peace, Manu Dibango: “Soul Makossa” (1973)

Word circulated today that Manu Dibango, best described as a jazz-funk saxophonist, passed away at the age of 86 as a result of COVID-19 infection. Dibango was a legend in his native Cameroon for his music, which went worldwide in 1973 with the release of "Soul Makossa." The tune made it up to #35 in … Continue reading Rest in peace, Manu Dibango: “Soul Makossa” (1973)

Motown 60: Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” (1983)

(Above: I still can't quite figure it out.) "Did you see it?" Conversations on a typical Tuesday morning in high school weren't interesting: tests, girls, dirty jokes, and the like. But the morning of May 17, 1983 wasn't typical. The baseball season was just getting started, and the White Sox had gained a game on … Continue reading Motown 60: Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” (1983)

Hearts and dances: Billboard Adult Contemporary hits of February 1983-1986

(Above: A high school dance, circa 2018) The power of Twitter: I learned that my old high school, Victor J. Andrew HS, is holding a dance tonight. It's called "Just Dance." It comes at the end of Spirit Week, which had a variety of activities to bolster pride in the school. Tickets for Just Dance … Continue reading Hearts and dances: Billboard Adult Contemporary hits of February 1983-1986

Exploring the pop charts: The Billboard Hot 100 (March 26, 1983)

(Above: Michael Jackson, about to debut the moonwalk on Motown 25, taped 3/25/1983.) The last week in March of 1983 I was looking forward to the end of my freshman year of high school. Baseball fans on the South Side of Chicago were looking forward to opening day, not necessarily realizing that it would become … Continue reading Exploring the pop charts: The Billboard Hot 100 (March 26, 1983)

Rest in peace, John Wetton: Asia, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” (1983)

(Above: And now you find yourself in '82.) Among the first stories that I read this morning was the sad news of the death of John Wetton at the age of 67.  Wetton was a part of a group that isn't often referred to as a "supergroup" anymore, Asia - although they definitely count as … Continue reading Rest in peace, John Wetton: Asia, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” (1983)

Self-help music: Will Powers, “Adventures in Success” (1983)

(Above: What a Friday night at home looked like, 1984.) If you lived in a place without cable television in the early 80s, you weren't a part of the revolution that MTV was bringing to music distribution, at least not directly.  The success of music video led other networks and even local stations to offer … Continue reading Self-help music: Will Powers, “Adventures in Success” (1983)