Category Archives: 1980s

“Everybody’s comin’ home for lunch these days”

Camper Van Beethoven – “Take The Skinheads Bowling” from Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985)

No home should be without this slacker classic. My team, the Bowl Weevils, is dead last in our league.

Pray to Jah

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1980s, Rock

“Who will take the salt from the earth?”

Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Green River” from Green River (1969) and “Dont Look Now” from Willy & the Poor Boys (1969)

Minutemen – “Green River”  from Post-Mersh, vol. 3 (1985) and “Don’t Look Now” from Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)

At the end of this month, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s first five albums will be re-released in honor of the band’s 40th anniversary.  For those who have long dismissed CCR as merely classic rock station mainstays, I encourage you to take this opportunity to more deeply explore what I consider to be one of the most impressive succession of albums in rock history (consider, for example, that the two albums featured here were released within 3 months of eachother).

And no greater tribute could be payed to Creedence than to be covered by the universally admired Minutemen.

I wouldn’t hold out much hope for the tape deck though…or the Creedence.

Minutemen

Posted by Jordy

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Filed under 1960s, 1980s, Rock

Heave away!

The Pogues – “South Australia” bonus track from If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1987) reissue

Here’s another, non-a cappella version of the sea shanty “South Australia.”

More Pogues at SWR

Buy it here

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1980s, Acoustic, Folk, Punk, Traditional

“I’d be a mineral deposit”

Mission of Burma – “(That’s When I Reach For My) Revolver” from Signals, Calls, & Marches (1981)
Mission of Burma – “Mica” from Vs. (1982)

Of a piece with Joy Division and the Constantines (our previous two posts), Boston’s recently reunited Mission of Burma played (and play) a stoic, no-nonsense, anthemic version of punk rock anthems. This is the type of thing I can’t listen to over and over, but it sounds lifesaving every once in a while.

You mean Mynamar?

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1980s, Punk, Rock

“I live sweat, but I dream light years”

The Minutemen – “Boiling” from The Punch Line (1981) and “The Glory of Man” from Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)

It’s been said plenty of times before (including here), but the Minutemen were really, really great. One of the smartest punk bands, the ‘Men were almost completely bullshit-free and had an innate sense of what just plain works in rock music. This is music that is totally human and encourages humanity; its genius improv and deep in the pocket grooves make me want to make art instead sitting on my ass whining about X, Y, and Z. The “three prole dudes jammin’ econo” mythology kept up by Watt is alternately cheesy and embarrassing and totally inspirational. The Minutemen, to paraphrase Kafka, are three axes for the frozen sea within us. I’m going to start tearing up if I write any more; instead, I’ll put the Minutemen on at full blast and rock the hell out.

Buy the Minutemen

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1980s, Experimental, Punk, Rock

“He never helps out in the yard”

The Feelies – “The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness” from Crazy Rhythms (1980)

The Feelies, Television, and Talking Heads form some kind of unholy late-70s triumvirate of nervy New York dorkitude. I don’t know the work of Glenn Mercer & co. as deeply as I know that of Television and Talking Heads, but I have a feeling the Feelies may be the best of the bunch. The vocal delivery is as good as Byrne at his best (check the “awright” at 2:17, just after the song’s big plot twist); the rushing guitars at the climax of the song more than illustrate, they embody the lyrical content; the band seems constantly pushed to the breaking point, in the best punk tradition.

If you like, check the usual Internet sources for more–it looks like Feelies CDs are hard to come by these days.

Try the Feelies at Amazon

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1980s, Punk, Rock

“e.g. self-satisfied, smug”

The Kinks – “Plastic Man” from The Great Lost Kinks Album (1973)

The Fall – “How I Wrote Elastic Man” from 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong comp (2004) [originally released in 1980]

Another Kinks/Fall pairing. Are these songs related at all? If so, Mark E. Smith must be a huge Kinks fan.

Those who haven’t heard the terrific Great Lost Kinks can get it here while it lasts. It’s a tough one to find otherwise.

Buy more Kinks
or the Fall

Posted by Jordy

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Filed under 1970s, 1980s, Punk, Rock