Friday, January 31, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Before Alice In Chains became one of the four cornerstone bands (along with Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana) of Seattle grunge rock of the '90s, they were another up and coming local hair metal band.
Called Alice 'N Chains and released in 1987, this demo has everything. Samples, a horn section (you heard me), and the dopiest lyrics this side of Winger. No deep grungy depressiveness here and Layne Staley hadn't quite developed the voice he would be famous for. Enjoy.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Buc Wheats were a maple flavoured cereal that was very popular in the '70s. However in the early '80s, they switched the flavouring from maple to honey (probably to compete with newer, trendier honey flavoured cereals in the early '80s.) And sales plummeted. It just tasted AWFUL without the maple flavour.
Unfortunately, instead of reverting back to the classic formula and saving the brand, General Mills discontinued Buc Wheats altogether in 1984.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
After 39 years of marriage, the Captain & Tennille are getting a divorce.
The duo came on the national music scene in 1975 after releasing their first single, "The Way That I Want To Touch You". Which was played widely on Los Angeles area radio, leading to an album deal with A&M Records.
After signing with A&M Records, they were offered the Neil Sedaka song "Love Will Keep Us Together" The single went gold and from 1975 to 1979, the Captain and Tennille had a variety TV show (1976-77) and a string of chart topping hits including a re-release of "The Way That I Want To Touch You", "Muskrat Love" (famously parodied as "Hamster Love" by Big Daddy on the Dr. Demento radio show), "Shop Around", "Lonely Night (Angel Face)", "You Need A Woman Tonight" and their final hit "Do That To Me One More Time" for Casablanca Records.
Toni Tennille also went solo as pop standards singer and in 1980, briefly hosted a syndicated daytime TV talk show. They stayed together through the '80s, '90s and 2000s making occasional TV appearances and performing their old hits on the club circuit.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Florence Foster Jenkins has been called many things, but "talented diva" wasn't one of them. She's regarded as the worst opera singer in history. And that's actually putting it nicely.
Who was Florence Foster Jenkins? Well, let's just say she wasn't exactly Maria Callas.
Born in 1868 to a wealthy family, she studied music and wanted to take formal opera training in Europe. Perhaps sensing something, her father refused to pay for it. After he died, she used her inheritance for formal singing lessons (I'm sure somebody tried to get this tone-deaf woman on key.) And she started public recitals in 1912.
And at this point, I'll just let you hear for yourself....
Her screeching voice had all the grace and subtlety of a vacuum cleaner. And to boot, she often dressed in angel costumes, complete with fake wings.
She often ignored the laughter from audiences, regarding it as jealousy. And she did have probably the best comeback ever to her critics. "People may say I can't sing," she said, "but no one can ever say I didn't sing."
She held yearly recitals at the Ritz-Carlton in New York to her loyal core of fans (yes, she did have fans.) But they were a select few. Just before she died, she did hold a public recital at Carnegie Hall in 1944. And tickets were sold out weeks in advance. She died a month later at 76.
Her recording career luckily has only been preserved on a few 78 RPM sides, which have been collected and issued posthumously on RCA in 1962. And covered only one side of the LP.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Remember Microcassettes? They were a dictation medium (but so was the original compact cassette) Invented in 1969 by Olympus as the standard cassette started gaining traction as a popular music medium.
For a spell in the early '80s, Sony actually tried to make them as close to a serious audio medium as they could (as they did with the standard cassette.) Including stereo sound and Metal tape formulation microcassettes.
|The Microcassette Walkman even included a very rare microcassette version of the FM Tuner cassettes made for standard cassette personal stereos.|
In modern digital, It's like the sound of a 32 kbps MP3 to a 320 kbps MP3.
And secondly, people kept LOSING the handful of prerecorded albums on these tapes that were made for the Japanese market.
The Microcassette never went further into general use beyond dictation and in telephone answering machines. They have since been replaced by digital recorders.
Competing with the Microcassette (yes, it did have competing formats), was the Minicassette (developed in 1967 by Phillips) and the even tinier Picocassette (1985 by Dictaphone.)
Monday, January 20, 2014
Sunday, January 19, 2014
You did NOT mess with Mr. T back in the '80s (or now frankly.)
Coming on the scene in the early '80s as Clubber Lang in Rocky III (where he got his trademark "I pity the fool" phrase.) And most famously as B.A. Baracus in The A-Team, he became a combination actor/motivational speaker/religious advocate during his A-Team success.
In 1984 at the height of his fame, he released Mr. T's Commandments (Columbia, 1984), a sort of motivational record aimed at kids. Using his life and career success as a role model to youth, on this album Mr. T encouraged kids to follow the rules, be honest, avoid peer pressure, stay in school and off drugs, booze and cigarettes and listen to their parents. Or else. A pure advocate for clean living. With rap lyrics interestingly written by a young Ice-T (credited as Ice Tea.)
|Yep, This guy. (Wonder what Mr. T thought of "Cop Killer"?)|
And you really did have to pity the fool kid who didn't eat his/her vegetables in the '80s. As the lyrics of "Mr. T's Commandment" go; "Honor thy mother and father/The Bible makes it clear/If you break the rule, God help you fool/You got Mr. T to fear!" The kid will even be asking for seconds.
Mr. T released a follow-up for MCA later in 1984, a soundtrack to a motivational video titled Be Somebody...or Be Somebody's Fool!, following the same moral principles of Mr. T's Commandments.
The video and soundtrack featured not only '80s stars New Edition, Bobby Brown and Martika ("Toy Soldiers"), but a surprising number of acts who would later find success in the 1990s and 2000s, including Ice-T, Shanice ("I Love Your Smile") and even Fergie.
Mr. T continues to act and appear on TV programs today.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
|Courtesy of Found In Mom's Basement|
Something about the thick phallic shaped bottle, it's big wide ball and the fact that women on the TV ads for Tickle giggled everytime the voice over mentioned this deodourant's attributes made a lot of men hot and bothered in the late 1970s (C'mon ladies, we knew why you were taking so long in the bathroom).....
Friday, January 17, 2014
Oh dear, where do I simply begin?
The story of Kit Ream begins in the 1960s. Kit was a very wealthy heir to the Nabisco cookie fortune. And living such a charmed life up to that point, he had instant access to anything he wanted. Women, cars, the very best in anything and everything. And drugs.
And then someone gave him acid.
From here, the story goes off into multiple tangents. Some say his behaviour became increasingly erratic over time, others say he was at a party one night and bought and ate his dealer's entire stock of acid in one night on a whim. Who knows? All that is known is things were never the same again for Kit Ream.
He spent the rest of the '60s and most of the '70s in a psychiatric hospital as the acid wore off (which is probably an indicator of how much acid he actually ate), staring at his own reflection in a mirror. Before the decade ended, he was deemed recovered enough to be released. After which, it's been said he tried to start a religious cult (which has been discredited by sources close to Ream.)
He also recorded and released a vanity album titled All That I Am, from which we hear this incredible selection.
Listen to the entire tune. The drugs have already been done for you. Just turn it up loud. If you dare...