Retro Spins: Eurythmics - Touch



I've personally never found the Eurythmics to be a band of talent. Their most popular songs of all times are those which simply repeat the same three to five lines over and over and even then, they're not all that creative. However, what the talent lacked in lyrical mastery, they covered in their understanding and imbracement of synthesizers. I think it was this that put them on the map in the 80's. They didn't have the words, but they had the sound.

Touch, the group's 1983 entry, features the Top Forty hit, Here Comes The Rain Again, but in terms of anything else, I didn't find any quality here worth raving about. Again, the Eurythmics capture the sound of the 80's, but they simply fail to hook with catchy lyrics.

Who's That Girl was the only other track which caught my attention. Mainly because of the notes Lennox was hitting. They felt deep and haunting.

However, at the end of the day, I just don't think I'm destined to be a fan. Touch was definitely a hard pass for me.

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Alvin And The Chipmunks On DVD

 

It's sad to think that the classic 80's cartoon series, Alvin And The Chipmunks, will most likely never see a full fledged DVD release. As many of you know, the show borrowed liberally from 80's pop culture, specifically the music of the era. While the songs were recorded by the Chipmunks, or Chipettes, as a whole, the licensing behind them would probably be a nightmare to obtain for a home video release. Further, it would be quite expensive. Basically, the juice wouldn't be worth the squeeze.

However, all is not lost when it comes to this animated classic. Over the years, there have been several DVD releases which encompass a good 1/3 of the series, as well as the majority of the specials.

Today, I'm going through these, showing you just how you too can get your Alvin And The Chipmunks fix.

Note: When referencing the episodes, these are denoted by a number sequence in parentheses. "S" stands for the word, "Season", followed by the season number, which is the first number in the sequence, and then episode number, which are the last two numbers. The show was usually broken down into segments, and in these cases, the number sequence is followed by an "A" or "B", denoting if it was the first or second segment in the 22 minute block. For example, S112A would mean that this particular episode was season one, episode twelve, segment "A".

Alvin And The Chipmunks: A Christmas Chipmunk
Released: 2005
Features: Merry Christmas, Mr. Carroll (S713)*Dave's Wonderful Life(S624)*A Chipmunk Christmas (1981 Special)

It's worth noting that these "red label" Alvin And The Chipmunks DVD's as shown in the photos are 2008 re-releases.

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Chipmunk Adventure
Released: 2006
Features the 1987 theatrical feature film, The Chipmunk Adventure

This film was previously released on DVD in 2006, and after this particular 2008 release (as seen below), was release in 2014 on Blu-Ray.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: Trick Or Treason
Released: 2006
Features: Babysitter Fright Night (S613)*Theodore's Life As A Dog (S621A)*Nightmare On Seville Street (S703A)*No Chipmunk Is An Island (S613A)*Trick Or Treason (1994 Special)

This DVD is similar, but not the same as the 2012 released Alvin And The Chipmunks: Halloween Collection. More on that further down in this post.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine
Released: 2007
Features: Dr. Simon And Mr. Heartthrob (S705B)*Dear Diary (S707B)*Theodore And Juliet (S619A)*I Love The Chipmunks (1984 Special)
 
Before picking up this DVD, check out Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Valentines Collection, noted further down in this post.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Chipmunks Go To The Movies
Released: 2007
Features: Star Wreck: The Absolutely Final Frontier (S806)*Batmunk (S804)*Funny, We Shrunk The Adults (S812)

Before buying this DVD, it's worth noting that all of these episodes are available on a variety of later releases, which offer additional content not found on this disc. As such, this one may be worth skipping.


Alvin And The Chipmunks Go To The Movies: Funny, We Shrunk The Adults
Released 2008
Features: Funny, We Shrunk The Adults (S812)*Back To Our Future (S801)*Bigger (S802)

This release features the first of three episodes noted in the above Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Chipmunks Go To The Movies.


Alvin And The Chipmunks Go To The Movies: Daytona Jones And The Pearl Of Wisdom
Released: 2008
Features: Daytona Jones And The Pearl Of Wisdom (S805)*Batmunk (S804)*Robomunk (S807)

This release features the second of three episodes noted in the above Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Chipmunks Go To The Movies.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Alvinnn!!! Edition
Released: 2008
Features: The Curse Of Lontiki (S112B)*Mr. Fabulous (S105A)*Unidentified Flying Chipmunk (S106A)*A Horse, Of Course (S202B)*New, Improved Simon (S211A)*Snow Job (S209B)*Maids In Japan (S210A)*Every Chipmunk Tells A Story (S306B)*Romancing Miss Stone (S302B)*Three Alarm Alvin (S303B)*Alvin's Oldest Fan (S310B)*A Chip Off The Old Tooth (S303A)*What Ever Happened To Dave Seville (S403A)*Cadet's Regrets (S610)

With two discs, and fourteen shorts, this release certainly gives you a lot of bang for your buck.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration
Released: 2008
Features: Food For Thought (S604)*Cookie Chomper III (S701)*Dave's Getting Married (S612)*A Chipmunk Celebration (1994 Special)


Alvin And The Chipmunks: Classic Holiday Gift Set
Released: 2008
Features: A Chipmunk Christmas (1981 Special)*Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration (1994 Special)*Trick Or Treason (1994 Special)

This DVD only features holiday specials, and all of them are available in more definitive editions, which have already been mentioned above.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Chipettes
Released: 2009
Features: May The Best Chipmunk Win (S113B)*Operation Theodore (S208B)*Sisters (S304B)*The Greatest Show-Offs On Earth (S211B)*My Fair Chipette (S210B)*Tell It To The Judge (S501B)


Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Mystery Of The Easter Chipmunk
Released: 2009
Features: Snow Wrong (S213B)*Luck O' The Chipmunks (S618B)*A Special Kind Of Champion (S622B)*Thinking Cap Trap (S703B)*The Easter Chipmunk (1995 Special)

Before buying this DVD, it's worth noting that all of these episodes are available on a a similar DVD, Alvin And The Chipmunks: Easter Collection, which also includes an additional episode. As such, this one may be worth skipping.


Alvin And The Chipmunks Go To The Movies: Star Wreck
Released: 2009
Features: Star Wreck: The Absolute Final Frontier (S806)*Elementary, My Dear Simon (S602)*Chip Tracy (S810)

This release features the third of three episodes noted in the above Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Chipmunks Go To The Movies.


The Very First Alvin Show
Released: 2009
Features: Stanley The Eagle*Oh, Gondaleiro*Invents The Baseball*I Wish I Could Speak French*A Chipmunk Reunion (1985 Special)*Rockin' Through The Decades (1990 Special)

While the "episode" on this DVD set come from the 1961 series, the two specials, A Chipmunk Reunion, and Rock' Through The Decades, were both associated with the 80's series. This release is the only way to get them to date, making this a must have.


Alvin And The Chipettes: Cinderella, Cinderella
Released: 2010
Features: Cinderella, Cinderella (S405)*Alvie's Angels (S609)*The Brunch Club (S603)


Alvin And The Chipmunks: Driving Dave Crazy
Released: 2011
Features: Dave's Getting Married (S612)*Every Chipmunk Tells A Story (S306B)*Romancing Miss Stone (S302B)*Maids In Japan (S210A)*The Incredible Shrinking Dave (S108B)*Mother's Day (S106B)

While this set contains quite a few episodes, the unfortunate state of affairs is that it only has two episodes you can't get on other releases.


Christmas With The Chipmunks
Released: 2005
Features: Merry Christmas, Mr. Carroll (S713)*Dave's Wonderful Life(S624)*A Chipmunk Celebration (1994 Special)*A Chipmunk Christmas (1981 Special)

As noted above, this DVD is similar to the 2006 Alvin And The Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Christmas. While this latter version includes the additional special, A Chipmunk Celebration, this can be obtained on the above Alvin And The Chipmunks: Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration. As such, buying these two DVD's renders this release unnecessary.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Valentines Collection
Released: 2012
Features: Dr. Simon And Mr. Heartthrob (S705B)*Dear Diary (S707B)*Theodore And Juliet (S619A)*Sploosh (S812)*I Wish I Could Speak French (from the original 1961 The Alvin Show)*I Love The Chipmunks (1984 Special)
 
As noted above, you should check this particular DVD out prior to picking up Alvin And The Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine. This newer release contains two additional episodes, and while one of those is from the 60's series, the other is from season eight of the eighties series. Essentially, there''s more bang for your buck with this version.


The Chipette Diaries
Released: 2012
Features: Alvie's Angels (S609)*May The Best Chipmunk Win (S113B)*Tell It To The Judge (S501B)*My Fair Chipette (S210B)*The Greatest Show-Offs On Earth (S211B)*The Chipettes (S101B)

This DVD is bogged down with shorts available on other discs, which is why it's disappointing that the only "new" one available on this is the debut of The Chipettes in their self titled episode.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: Batmunk
Released: 2012
Features: Batmunk (S804)*Treasure Island (S606)*Elementary, My Dear Simon (S602).

While two of these three episodes can be found on other releases, this is the only way to get the episode Treasure Island to date.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: Halloween Collection
Released: 2012
Features: Babysitter Fright Night (S613)*Theodore's Life As A Dog (S621A)*Nightmare On Seville Street (S703A)*Once Upon A Crime (S615)*Trick Or Treason (1994 Special)

As noted above, this DVD is similar to Alvin And The Chipmunks: Trick Or Treason. The difference being that the prior released DVD contained the episode, No Chipmunk Is An Island (S613A), which has been removed from this release, and replaced with Once Upon A Crime (S615). The only way to get these two episodes, so far, is to buy both of these releases.


Alvin And The Chipmunks: Easter Collection
Released: 2009
Features: Snow Wrong (S213B)*Luck O' The Chipmunks (S618B)*A Special Kind Of Champion (S622B)*Thinking Cap Trap (S703B)*The Picture Of Health (S205A)*The Easter Chipmunk (1995 Special)

As noted above, this release is similar to Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Mystery Of The Easter Chipmunk. However, this latter version contains the additional episode, The Picture Of Health (S205A).


The Chipettes: Cinderella? Cinderella!
Released: 2013
Features: Cinderella, Cinderella (S405)*The Chipette Story (S308)*Sisters (S304A)*Operation, Theodore (S208A)

Though similar to other releases, this disc is the only way to get the episode, The Chipette Story (S308).


Alvin And The Chipmunks: Driving Dave Crazier
Released: 2013
Features: Cookie Chomper III (S701)*Grounded Chipmunk (S608)*Whatever Happened To Dave Seville (S403A)*A Chip Off The Old Tooth (S303A)

Though similar to other releases, this disc is the only way to get the episode, Grounded Chipmunk (S608).

Though there are clearly some releases that can be skipped, compiling the majority of these will garner you fifty-six of the one hundred sixty-eight shorts,  seven of the nine specials, and the full length feature film. While we can wish future DVD releases will cover more ground, with the latest release being nine years ago, it's not a hopeful outcome. For now, something is better than nothing.

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Retro Spins: The Police - Ghost In The Machine



I feel like by 1983 The Police were just starting. What happened with that? Why did they suddenly break up?

Sadly, it all comes down to a common tale in the rock and roll world. One member, typically the singer, and as such in this case, got too big for their britches. As the story goes, Sting took control of the band, eventually making the remaining members, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland, feel more like his employees than his band mates. Fighting ensued, and despite the band poised to be the next biggest thing in rock music, they finally called it quits in 1984 after a supporting tour for their 1983 album, Synchronicity.

Fortunately, before that happened, The Police left a mark in the music world which will forever be captured in vinyl, cassette and CD history.

Today's Retro Spin takes me to their 1981 album, Ghost In The Machine. It all starts out with the powerhouse tracks, Spirits In The Material World and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic. These two songs are definitely the most radio friendly of the eleven tracks which encompass the album.

The rest of Ghost In The Machine sounds very experimental with a heavy lean towards reggae. Mind you, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just interesting, in light of this, how the band became a "pop" sensation, as this was clearly not their objective.

What throws me off the most about the album is how short each song feels. Just as you're getting into it, the tracks fade out abruptly and in seemingly awkward places. You'd really have to hear it yourself to understand what I mean by this.

The album also features singles, Invisible Sun, Demolition Man and Secret Journey. However, these aren't particularly good songs, in my opinion. Overall, that's kind of my opinion about the whole record. It's not terrible, but it doesn't blow me away, as I would have expected it to do for how big of a stink some people make about The Police. It won't stop me from eventually getting around to their remaining albums. I'm just not in any rush to do so.

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Just Doodling: Jaga And The Sword Of Omens

 

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Retro Con 2022

 

I kicked around going to Retro Con for over a month, and only in the weeks leading up did I finally decide I would make the trek to Pennsylvania. The draw for me was that I would be able to get three of the four main cast of Thundercats to sign my complete DVD set, as well has get my glow in the dark Masters of the Universe complete DVD set signed by Skeletor himself, Mr. Alan Oppenheimer. Much more on this below.

Arriving to the con, the line was massive. I'm talking around the building. Since my brother lives in the area, My girl and I actually drove to his house, and he drove to the rest of the way to the convention center. This turned out beneficial, as when I jumped out on the corner to get in line as he searched futility for a parking space, by the time he got to me on foot, there were already another twenty people (or more) behind me.

As the line started to move at 10:00 AM, I eventually got my first look at the actual show.

Shortly thereafter, we were inside, and man was it a site to see.






































For as many photos as I took, I dare say I could have easily taken three or four more just in those areas to capture everything. There were a ton of tables, and a whole lot more people to match. This place was packed! So filled to capacity that it was difficult to traverse all the way to the back where the autograph tables were set up.

An unfortunate side to the con, well, besides the crowd, was that I was on a time limit. I had to be back on the road by 2:30 PM. At minimum it was a two hour drive home, and a waiting dog that hadn't peed since my girl and I left for PA 6:30 AM that morning.

This is where I have to take a step back. Leading up to the show was a series of disappointing announcements wherein it was stated that Alan Oppenheimer (Skeletor) had dropped out for health reasons the week before the show, and literally the day before Lynne Lipton (Cheetara) stated she would not longer be able to attend. These two announcements almost made me cancel my plans to go. Especially the latter. Who cancels the day before? That's so inconsiderate of the fans.

At least with the week's advance notice from Mr. Oppenheimer, the show promoters were able to book Renae Jacobs (April O'Neil). It was not Skeletor by any means, but an equally exciting replacement on such short notice. They were unfortunately not able to find a replacement guest for Mrs. Lipton.

Bad lead ups aside, the signatures I got were still worth the trip.

First up was the table of Peter Newman (Tygra), and then Larry Kenney (Lion-O). While both actors also provided their voices for Silver Hawks, which I almost brought as well to be signed, the price points of $40.00 per signature ultimately led to me leaving those at home.


While I was in line for Larry Kenney, I looked to my left to see that nobody was getting anything signed by Marvel Comics artist and writer, Bob Budiansky. He had some cool prints he was selling / signing for $15.00, so I asked my brother to grab one for me.

This was totally an impulse buy, and only because of the immediate convenience of it. Otherwise, I would have passed.

But speaking of lines, much like my trip to Big Lick earlier that year, I was really surprised (in general) to see so few people wanting to get autographs. With exception of one person, I was in line no more than five to ten minutes, and in most cases simply walked right up to the person with no wait.

Such was the case of both Venus Terzo and Renae Jacobs. It totally baffled my mind that people weren't stopping by these tables in droves.

Mrs. Terzo has not only been an actress on numerous live action series, but the voice behind some of my favorite cartoons. While I could have chosen any number of shows, I opted to go with a Captain N: The Game Master theme, where she played Princess Lana.

Before whipping the Nintendo Zapper out of my bag, I made sure to politely ask her if she would have any issues with signing the "gun". She did not.

She was kind enough to write the character name on the barrel, and then sign the body.

She then signed my two Captain N DVD sets.



With exception on one DVD, which wouldn't fit in the shadow box, got put in some form of case or frame, I was particularly happy with the end result of this display.

Of all the voice actors I stopped at, Venus signed the most items for me.

From her table, it was next door to Renae Jacobs. In hindsight, I wish I would have also brought the lid of my Turtle Van complete DVD collection. Unfortunately, space in my backpack was limited, and not only would it not fit, but I foresaw it would inevitably get broken if I brought it. As such, I settled for having the standard complete series DVD signed.

I really like what she did here. She signed it first with a yellow paint pen, and then went over it with a black Sharpie when it dried.

Speaking of paint pens, with the exception of her autograph, all the pens used to sign my stuff were ones I brought. Pro-tip! Bring your own pens. The people signing are typically willing to use them, and are really happy if you in turn let them keep it when they're done. I gave my entire box of pens to Larry Kenney.

I was admittedly very surprised to see that Butch Patrick was not drawing in a crowd. I not only walked right up to his table to get my 45 LP signed, but then went back a second time to get the complete Munsters series signed as well.

I bet you didn't know Eddie Munster was also an accomplished bass player. Have you heard this classic from 1985 from the short lived Eddie & The Monsters?

I've long since wanted a copy of the complete series of The Munsters on DVD, and when you can buy it directly from Eddie Munster himself, and have it signed, kind of a no brainer.


The last table I went to was one I initially wasn't going to, and which also turned out to take the longest. People were lined up in droves to get autographs from The Monkees Micky Dolenz. I had the foresight to bring my CD copy of "Head" with the mindset of, "Maybe I'll get it signed".

To the left of his table were the classic Monkeemobile and Dragula.



Those in and of themselves were worth stopping and seeing. Cool stuff!

I will admit that the biggest turnoff for me in getting stuff signed by Mr. Dolenz was the price points. Fifty for an autograph, and more if you buy stuff from him, such as drum sticks for $80.00. It wasn't astronomical. It was just more than I wanted to spend on signatures...and then did anyway.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm glad I got some autographs from him. He was really awesome to meet, friendly, playful, and wanted to interact with fans.

After signing my two pairs of drum sticks (he signed all four sticks), he then said, "I have to tune them up for you, and proceeded to tap out a drum roll on his table. He then handed them to me, and said, "Now they're used."

These are really awesome.

He was also nice enough to write, "Can you dig it?" on my Head soundtrack, which is my favorite track from the album.

I guess you could say I also got an added bonus, because he blew on everything he signed to dry it. Fans of anyone will understand how big a thing that is, in a weird way.

There was a final signature I initially wanted, and that was to have my Back To The Future soundtrack signed by Claudia Wells. However, she was wanting $60.00 per autograph, and I had to draw the line, and say, "No way." With all due respect to her, she may have been in one of the most iconic movies of all time, but her signature by no means has that kind of value to me. I mean, come on. Micky Dolenz was charging $50.00 to have something you brought to the show signed, and he was part of one of the biggest bands on the planet. Her signature should have cost $20.00, and at worst case scenario, $40.00, to be in line with the other folks there.

The show also featured a screen driven Kitt from Knight Rider, and a Delorean from Back To The Future. However, these were hidden behind screens, forcing you to pay to even see them.

There was a downside to autograph hunting, and that was the time. Between getting into the show, and getting things signed,  it was already 12:20 PM. With the anticipation that we would join my brother for lunch, that didn't leave me much time to actually walk the convention. As such, believe it or not, the photos in this post are really my first opportunity to take in visually anything that was being sold.

Starting from the front doors, I quickly took a lap around the floor, frantically snapping photos where I could, while dodging people. The bright side to my speed was that I really wasn't looking to buy anything. As such, while I am sure I missed several things I would have bought, I also didn't end up impulse buying things.

I did stop at the tables where I saw NES games, futility looking for a copy of Wrecking Crew. After three tables of misses, I finally spotted something I absolutely wanted.

I've been meaning to start my collection of Spidy Super Stories for a long time. However, these books are often times not only expensive, but in terrible shape. While this copy is by no means mint condition, I wasn't leaving the show without it. The same dealer also had a gold cover second print of McFarlane's Spider-Man number one, which I took off his hands.

From there, I told my brother that between my budget for the show being depleted, and time constraints, we needed to make our way out. That was when I saw something totally shocking. Oh my gosh, the line to get into this place. If I thought it was bad when I was standing in it, I kid you not when I say I would have simply left if I was in it now. It was not only around the building, but then all the way down the sidewalk running parallel with the parking lot, and not moving. I speculate the problem was that the show was at capacity, and they weren't legally allowed to keep letting people into the building.

Once we were driving down the road, my brother informed us he didn't want to eat lunch, so we made our way back to the car, and left. It turned out to be a good thing to get an early start because several accidents resulted in a three hour drive home.

Overall, it was a good trip, but time constraints really impacted my overall ability to do anything other than get autographs, sprint through the place, and then leave. If I were to return in the future, I would definitely find a way to avoid a cutoff time.

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