Retro Spins: The Firm - The Firm
What the heck is going on around here? I can't find a solid 80's album to save my life. Today's entry, self titled The Firm, is no exception. For a super group featuring the likes of Paul Rodgers, Jimmy Page, Chris Slade and Tony Franklin, I expected far better.
What I disliked the most about this 1985 released album was that it sounded very 90's. Grungy almost - A sound that definitely doesn't appeal too much to me. How they pulled this off five years before the decade that ruined music was beyond me, but that's exactly what I felt like I was listening to.
I've got to dig deep for the next album. I really do. I can't keep wasting time on bad music. There are so many other things I'd rather be doing.
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Movies Of The 80's - 1982
As an 80's music aficionado, I've found myself interested as of late in the world of 80's soundtracks. Be it scores, or various artist albums, I'm always on the lookout for a CD to add to my collection.
Of course, there are the staples. Top Gun, Footloose, Flashdance, Ghostbusters, and the list goes on and on. These albums have been a mainstay in my collection since relatively the start of it. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and I wanted to dive deeper.
The problem I quickly found was that while searching based on films that popped into my head randomly, I wasn't necessarily delving very far. After mulling it around for a while, I finally broke down and decided that to truly find just what was out there, I first had to educate myself on what films were out there.
It took months of cataloging, which was based on limited time between work and other obligations, but finally I was able to reach the finish line. Utilizing links to Wikipedia by year denoting the List of American Films of (insert year here), I created a series of posts with each movie poster, ad, or some form of representation for made for television movies, to have a reference guide. Now I could truly begin my search into just what soundtracks were out there.
Not wanting all this work to go to waste, I decided I would take the next several weeks to present to you the Movies of the 80's! We've already looked at the freshman year of the decade, and it continues here with 1981.
As mentioned in my prior post, I think I may be losing 80's street cred with my overall lack of knowledge on the films of the era. However, after thinking about it, I think it dawned on my why that is the case.
See, the fact of the matter is that I didn't live in the Unites States until 1985. Leading up to that year, I was being shuffled off from country to country by my "government" working parents. The only reason I got so much more exposure to the tunes was because, in most cases, music was globally spread on the airwaves and records. We didn't go to movie theaters overseas. In fact, I don't think I ever stepped foot in one until we were in the states.
So, yeah, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.
Glancing over 48 Hours, as yet another movie I know I should have seen, but haven't, I'll jump headlong into Airplane II, the equally hysterical sequel to its predecessor. These films are classics!
An Officer And A Gentlemen, or as I call it, yet another film I have never seen, but own the soundtrack for.
Oh my gosh, the subjection of torture that was the movie Annie growing up. I don't have a problem with the film itself. What I didn't like about it was how many times my sister watched it while we were growing up.
Speaking of my sister, she was the one who introduced me to The Beastmaster, or as I call it, that movie with the guy from "V". I'm pretty sure that's the only reason she wanted to see it.
To this day, Blade Runner makes zero sense to me, and with so many different cuts out there of the film, I'm guessing it doesn't to a lot of people. Otherwise, why do they keep expanding on it, trying to add more story to it that was originally cut out?
As a child of the 80's, of course I've seen this Looney Tunes films. It's was aired repeatedly through the decade that you couldn't miss it.
I picked up, and first saw, both Conan films in the 90's on VHS. They are by no means amazing as masterful storytelling or acting. Iconic? Absolutely. Award worthy? No. The soundtrack for the first film, however, is touted as the best score of all time put to film.
I can't sit through The Dark Crystal. Not even to this day. The visuals make me physically ill. It's a disgusting film to have to watch.
E.T. was one of the first films I saw overseas, at least one of the earliest I remember. My dad would often receive care packages from US shores that contained actual prints of the films, which he would run on a projector for all his work buddies. Our house was a happening place for movie nights quite frequently.
My first exposure to John Rambo was via the sequel, so it was a little shocking to go backwards after seeing it to the first installment, which is much slower paced and story driven. It's a great film, it's just not as action oriented as the sequels deliver.
A high school buddy of mine introduced me to Forbidden Zone. However, this was in 2004, when the film got its first official re-release. Man, that flick was weird! This same buddy also introduced me to Oingo Boingo, and that was the driving force to me tracking down the soundtrack.
I really can't say more about the Friday the 13th franchise that I haven't said already. To summarize a final time, bought these on VHS from Blockbuster in the 90's on a limited paycheck, and watched them all as they came into my possession.
Grease 2 was the sequel everyone wanted, and then failed to meet expectations. It's okay, as far as musical films go, but it by no means earns the Grease name. It was nothing more than a rehash of a story that was done far superior in the first installment.
I would often confuse people when I would tell them Halloween III was my favorite in the franchise. It didn't feature its main protagonist, Michal Myers, and that in and of itself is what makes it so great. The franchise took a chance in going a different direction, and while it was a risk that ultimately didn't pay off, it still provided something fresh and different in the series.
I was about to type something to the tune of, "1982 is panning out far better for me than prior years," and then I skipped all the way down to here past a slew of films I've never seen. Even then I can't say as I honestly have seen Liquid Sky. Rather, when putting this post together, I found it on Youtube. It looked interesting, but man was it rough. I didn't make it far into the film before shutting it off.
My dad told me to go to my room one day because he was about to watch a movie. I was by no means to come downstairs until it was finished. That film was Poltergeist, and being dumb, I didn't heed those words. I sneaked downstairs just as the scene started with a man standing in front of a mirror. He proceeded to start tearing off the flesh of his face, and I freaked out. To this day I have not seen this movie.
Porky's, on the other hand, is a film I did pick up on VHS in my teen years, and watched with my friends. I recall it being funny, but I don't honestly remember much of it at this point.
It wasn't until a VHS box set featuring all five Rocky films was released in 1995 that I finally got to see the first three, and (at the time) last installment. It became one of my favorite franchises after that.
Back in the day, kids animated films could be emotionally scaring, frightening, and full of death and despair. That's about all I remember from The Secret Of Nimh.
Star Trek II was the first film in the franchise I saw, and man did that ear creature scene creep me out as a kid. I remember this as being among the first VHS tapes my dad owned, and I believe he got it that same year, which at the time, was pretty unheard of for films to be released on VHS the same year they were in the theater.
Another film my dad owned on VHS was Tron, and boy oh boy was that film boring as a kid. Coming off of Star Wars, seeing anything sci-fi related that delivered anything less simply didn't hold my young mind's attention.
I remember bits and pieces of Zapped from my sister watching it one day. She of course wanted to see it for Scott Baio. Beyond using his powers to lift skirts, I couldn't tell you the overall premise of the film, how he got said powers, and what ultimately the outcome was.
So, did I do better in 1982 than prior years? No, it doesn't look like it. I started strong, and things looked hopeful, but the gaps kept growing and growing. Oh well, maybe next year, and that's exactly where we'll pick up next week with 1983!