Neil Young – Life (1987)

Freedom in sight!

Finally, in 1987 the experiment was over. Five albums on Geffen Records came to an end. The five albums were “Trans”, “Everybody’s rockin'”, “Old ways”, “Landing on water” and “Life”. En eclectic collection of styles. Only one of those albums is really good in my ears. What made the period with Geffen so strange, as some would say – bad?

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David Bowie – Tonight (1984)

Believing the strangest things

Me and my buddy Mr. Magic did a very small Swedish speaking podcast two years ago where we discussed Bowie’s albums. In the very last episode we ranked Bowie’s all albums from 28 up to number One. The bottom five in my list was a dog fight between “Tonight” and the two Tin Machine albums, “Pin ups” and the first album “David Bowie” from 1967.

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The Alarm – Declaration (1984)

Welch early eighties rock phenomena discovered in an old record bin

Back in the eighties I listened alot to the Welch band The Alarm. Today, listening to their first full-length album was like a stroll down memory lane.

In January 1986 me and my sister took my car and drove down to Gothenburg and saw them live at Konserhuset. I remember I had the flu but we didn’t want to miss the concert and it was great! I was on my last legs on the two hours drive back home in the middle of the night, but the adrenaline from the show kept me upright.

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The Waterboys – A pagan place (1984)

Something so pure

I discovered The Waterboys during my Uppsala years in the end of the eighties. They had already moved into folk music with their “Fisherman’s blues” but I happily delved into the three first albums as well. The early years Mike Scott and his band of players did their own variant of post-punk pop-folk-rock. Highly enjoyable. 

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Marillion – Real to reel (1984)

Third time’s the charm

Marillion is one of my favourite bands all time. They are one of those bands that are great live. Even though the studio albums have high production value they still add energy and interesting stuff to the songs when they perform them live. Not all artists I follow are successful in doing that.

The first time I didn’t see Marillion live was at Frölundaborg in Gothenburg, October 12th, 1985. My friend saw them there but he didn’t call me. I lived in a small town a long way away and I think my friend actually got invited to the concert by some other friends so maybe it was not that strange that he didn’t call...

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Simple Minds – Sparkle in the rain (1984)

Some say we’ll be together a very long time

Well, no actually. This is the start of the decline of the great early eighties band Simple Minds. Unfortunately they started to get more and more boring, frankly speaking. From post-punk new wave to stadium rock. Boring. They may have been more successful, but to my ears they declined over the next albums and I lost track of them.

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Neil Young – Landing on water (1986)

Take my advice

With such a horrible album cover, could this really be good? It turns out – no. This might very well be Neil’s weakest album ever. “Everybody’s rockin'” is at least good within its genre. “Landing on water” is made of everything that was rotten musically in the late eighties. The album is over-produced and it is shock-full of synthezisers. Neil is backed up by Danny Kortchmar and Steve Jordan plus a boys chorus. All three guys in “the band” are playing synthezisers together with drums or guitars.

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Alphaville – Forever young (1984)

Time becomes an illusion 

Alphaville’s debut album “Forever young” is a fantastic late discovery of mine. I knew of the famous songs when I grew up but I was not into synth-music at that time. Alphaville like Soft cell, Depeche Mode and Howard Jones were bands I heard on the radio and at the occasional high school dance in my small home town, but I didn’t listen to their LPs back then. This is now rectified.

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