Archives » 1980s

Live It Up 54: Garden Party

This piece of rather heavy-handed social commentary was, in 1983, the third choice of single for Mariilion.

As a result this version does not use the word that rhymes with rucking in the two words that follow it, presumably to avoid being banned and to safeguard airplay. Live versions of the track have no such inhibitions.

Marillion: Garden Party

Live It Up 53: Don’t Dream It’s Over

I must have heard this when it first came out but don’t consciously remember doing so. Well, it was released in 1986 and I was in the first throes of fatherhood that year. Still I suppose the song may only be familiar from repeated plays on the radio since.

(The first song I remember associating with Crowded House by name is actually Chocolate Cake from 1990.)

The talent in the band and Neil Finn’s songwriting ability is clear here though.

Crowded House: Don’t Dream It’s Over

Live It Up 52: Life’s What You Make It. RIP Mark Hollis

Talk Talk were never makers of big hits but nevertheless produced four or five songs which still show their quality over thirty years after they were written and recorded. The group also influenced many later bands as quoted in the Guardian obituary of Talk Talk’s singer and composer Mark Hollis who died earlier this week.

Hollis seems to have been one of the few people who could walk away from a musical career as, barring a solo album in 1998, after 1991 he made few forays into music making.

Talk Talk: Life’s What You Make It

Mark David Hollis: 4/1/1955 – 25/2/2019. So it goes.

Live It Up 51: Robert de Niro’s Waiting

This is one of those songs whose jaunty sound hides a darker underside in the lyric. The video here more than hints at that but undercuts it at the end.

Live It Up 51: Robert de Niro’s Waiting

Live It Up 50: Echo Beach

A bit of 80s fluff.

Martha and the Muffins: Echo Beach

Something Changed 17: Sympathy

A by now Fishless Marillion recorded this in 1992.

The original was of course first released by Rare Bird in 1970.

Marillion: Sympathy

Live It Up 49: Steamy Windows – RIP Tony Joe White

I was sad to read of the passing of singer-songwriter Tony Joe White, who died last week. His was an idiosyncratic voice.

I have already noted his sole UK hit Groupy Girl. His greatest success was perhaps as a writer of songs made famous by others. Elvis Presley recorded Polk Salad Annie (I featured White’s version here.) Tina Turner had a big hit with Steamy Windows in 1989. White’s version is a bit less strident.

Tony Joe White: Steamy Windows

White’s breakthrough as a songwriter came with Rainy Night in Georgia which has been covered multiple times. His original is still quite soulful, though.

Tony Joe White: Rainy Night in Georgia

Tony Joe White: 23/7/1943 –24/10/2018. So it goes.

Live It Up 48: Good Tradition

Tanita Tikaram had an unusual background for a 1980s pop star, born in Germany to a Indo-Fijian father and Sarawakian mother, moving to England in her teens.

This is one of those jaunty-sounding pop songs which has a lyric that hints at something darker.

Tanita Tikaram: Good Tradition

Live It Up 47: The Way It Is

I’m sure you were expecting this. You know how my mind works. I just held it over for an extra week.

A wonderful piece of piano playing from 1986.

Bruce Hornsby And The Range: The Way It Is

Live It Up 46: Assassing

Another one from before Marillion became big.

I hadn’t heard this version of the song till I looked it up for this post. On the basis of hearing Punch and Judy and the band’s performance on The Oxford Road Show I bought the album it’s from (Fugazi, the first Marillion record I ever bought) and the track on there is over 7 minutes long.

This is a somewhat brutal edit for the single release (and, I assume, radio play.)

Marillion: Assassing (7” edit)

The longer album version is here, should you wish to sample it.

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