Retro Spins: Stacey Q - Better Than Heaven

 

Early 80's albums on CD can be both a blessing and a curse. They're a blessing to have nice digital copies of music that for the most part was mass distributed on vinyl and cassette, with CD's being a somewhat low production in comparison. However, this comes at sometimes inflated costs due to their rarer nature, or the problem I discovered today. What am I talking about? Keep reading.

Cinnamon, I mean, Stacey Q (leave a comment if you caught that reference) didn't necessarily ignite the world of pop music in the 80's. She's had a handful of Billboard charters, but of those four songs, Two Of Hearts was the only one to crack the top ten. This was the song that lead me to tracking down her 1986 album, Better Than Heaven, a very over exaggerated title based on the music enclosed within.

Better Than Heaven, for the most part, is your typical 80's throw away fodder. It has that one noteworthy track, that is by no means a song worth racing out there to find the album for. It's more so one of those, "Yeah, I'll get to it," kind of things.

Which leads me to wrapping up my first paragraph. Some artists of the 80's really took advantage of the extended space on CD's. This led to them not releasing the original album version of songs found on the cassettes or LP's, but instead, extended plays or even remixes.

Such is the case with Two Of Hearts, a song which originally runs for three minutes fifty-nine seconds, but has been extended to a whopping seven minutes fourteen seconds. Sometimes less is more, and this is typically the case when people buy an album, only to be blindsided by an unwanted seven or twelve inch version

At the end of the day, it's disappointing because I didn't get the song I wanted, and after listening to the album, I also didn't hear anything all that impressive. Basically, it was a waste of money to get this album on CD. Rather than spending twenty bucks, I could have just spent three on the cassette and ripped it to MP3 format.

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Just Doodling: Wolverine


SNIKT!

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Retro Spins: Buster Poindexter - Buster Poindexter

 

I had no expectations for Buster Poindexter's self titled debut album. I bought it for Hot, Hot, Hot, a simply party song that was played at every 80's party in 1987, but nothing I would call a serious song. I thought the singer was going to be a novelty at best, with songs geared more towards goofing off and being part of the scene.

I was wrong.

Buster Poindexter, the album, digs deep into the roots of rhythm and blues, and delivers a unique listening experience. Not only that, but the vocals amplify with passion. I quickly found tracks stood far superior to the likes of his 80's party anthem, and quickly became some of my favorites. Are You Lonely For Me Baby and Oh Me Oh My (I'm A Fool For You Baby) are amazing, and I recommend people looking for some good tunes to listen to should check them out. Especially if you're a fan of rhythm and blues.

Buster even does a fair rendition of classic, The House Of The Rising Sun. The original 1964 version from The Animals is of course far superior, but his isn't the worst remake I've heard...cough cough, American Pie...cough...Madonna.

Hearing this album made me immediately seek out Buster's 1989 follow up album, Buster Goes Berserk. While I have it in my collection currently, I haven't gotten around to giving it a spin, but definitely need to in the near future.

I definitely think this one is worth checking out by those of you who like some good new music that won't be the typical cut and paste of the era. I thoroughly enjoyed my play session.

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Walt Disney's Donald Duck And Mickey Mouse Club Projector (Stephens Products Co.)


Walt Disney's Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse Club Projector
Stephens Products Co.
1946

We're heading way back this time. All the way back to the forties to an era before home videos. A day and age where if you wanted to see a movie at home, it would have been on a projector, typically owned by the rich and famous, or in a kids toy version. That's where we meet up with the really cool Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse Club Projector from Stephens Products Co. These things are designed for fans young and old, making it a fun toy for kids of all ages. I'm not lying. That's what is says on the box.


Opening up the package, you're greeted by a folding open show curtain, which reveals the projector inside. It's here you'll also see the words, "Auto-Magic Theater. It was in digging in further to these words that I found further information, pinpointing the year 1946, as printed on the side of the film reel box. I also learned that Stephens Products Co. initially released what they called the Auto-Magic Picture Gun, a pistol shaped image projector.


I was able to find two different Disney themed versions of the toy gun, one branded as Disneyland, and the other based on Davy Crockett. 

The box for the Disneyland version would fold open into a theater for kids to project their films on. Of course, being a cardboard box, they are few and far between these days, having not survived use and abuse.


The latter Crockett version is definitely odd, as this certainly isn't the type of pistol that would have existed in his day and age. This also pinpoints this particular gun to around 1956, as that's when the show aired on television.


How it works can get a little convoluted, so rather then blindly explain it, take a look at the instruction sheet.


Basically, load the gun, looping the real around the inner body of the chamber. The bulb rest in between the film loop, and when you pull the trigger, two AA batteries required in the handle of the gun, the bulb turns on, transmitting the images through the barrel. Speaking of the barrel, it's able to be pulled in, and pushed out, serving as the projector's focuser.

I was able to trace all the way back to a version of the auto-gun released in 1936. In addition to the various releases of it throughout the following decades, Stephens Products Co. would make several film strips cross compatible with both the guns and projectors. They also produced several different packages and licensed versions of the gun, but all of the exterior designs remained the same, sometimes receiving upgrades to the mechanisms inside to improve functionality.

Now knowing the origin of the projectors, we fast forward back to the Donald Duck version.

Unlike the gun version, the projector runs off of a power cable. However, this only serves to provide power to the bulb. Much like the gun, the film strips are loaded inside the unit. However, instead of pulling the trigger to advance the film, one would need to manually crank the knob located on the outside of the machine.

What's interesting about the projector is that it has a standard reel molded into the top of the unit, but this is not functional or usable. It serves no other purpose than to sell the effect that it's an actual reel fed projector, even though it's not.


The below image is an example of the packaging that the film strips come in, and the roll of film itself. As I mentioned above, there were several different strips released, which packaging varied for. This particular version is the one included in with the Donald Duck projector.


Stephens Products Co. also released a Mickey Mouse Club version of the projector. The design was the same as the above Donald version, simply with a new sticker adhered. Both a grey and light blue version were released.


Overall, it's a pretty cool concept. Considering it was a day and age where home video wasn't a thing, this was a great way for kids to watch them at home. Granted, without sound. Still, from a child's perspective, this would be just as good as seeing it in a theater. Imagine the hours of fun spent hosting a movie show with the neighborhood kids as you go from film strip to film strip. What a blast!

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Retro Spins: Pet Shop Boys - Introspective

 

Pet Shop Boys seemed to always be at the forefront of synth-pop, somewhat leading the charge with New Order, Talk Talk, Yello, Depeche Mode and so many other. In fact, did you know that even Michael Jackson and Madonna are considered synth pop?

One of my absolute favorite things about listening to full albums is discovering songs I had forgotten about. This happened today while listening to Introspective. While it's an album I purchased for the fantastic rendition of Always On My Mind, I got a bonus treat from Domino Dancing. I would have never remembered this song in a million years had it not started playing. It was wonderful to hear it again after decades, and I quickly added it to my shuffle list. 

However, with regards to the aforementioned, Always On My Mind, it's key to note that the version from the studio album is not the radio play version that many are accustomed to from their favorite weekly top forty memories. Instead, this version is a whopping nine minutes, and while I admit it did take me some time to become accustomed to it, I do enjoy it more than the edited version. That's not to say that I still don't like the shorter cut. Instead, I just favor the groups original vision for the track.

Beyond this though, I didn't find anything within the album that necessarily blew my mind. The album was okay, but again, that's a problem. Maybe I'm just too picky, but I want more than just okay. I want songs that stand out, and that make me say, "Play that again!" This was not to be found here for me.

Oh well. I suppose two tracks out of six isn't bad.

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When Actors Sing: 80's Edition


Before they were stars, while they were stars, after they were stars, because they were stars, wherever the category lands, it takes an eclectic celebrity to not be satisfied staying in the world of acting. Instead, they branch off into other interests, showcasing their talents in a multitude of creative outlets. Some create food sold in grocery stores. Others will paint. Perhaps some will even write books. Then there are the select few who will get into a recording studio, and kick out a whole album, trying to place a Grammy alongside their Oscars.

While this certainly wasn't an anomaly inclusive to the 80's, today, that's where we're going to hang out. Taking a look at those actors and actresses who stepped away from the camera, briefly or indefinitely, to trade the silver screen for the radio. Some of these folks may have come from the 70's, while others may have gone on to the 90's and beyond. However, the albums we're looking at are all 80's goodness.

There were some guidelines I followed when curating this list. Though soundtracks wouldn't be shunned, a full fledged musical or Broadway show would. I'm not going to include Grease 2 or Rhinestone, for example, because those movies were built around the music. The actors were expected to sing, and an album following was inevitable. Same scenario goes for movies about bands (real or fictional). So, no Michael J. Fox mention for The Light Of Day.

Vice versa, a musician playing a musician in a movie, such as The Jeff Healey Band in Roadhouse, or the most obvious offender, Prince, doesn't count either. These aren't actors becoming musicians. These are musician playing musicians. The musician could, however, be playing a character in a movie, where it's not a musical. Such as the case with the first few people on this list.

Further, the celebrity couldn't be included if it was a guest appearance. If a studio album, it had to be theirs, with their name on it. For that example, I reference Daryl Hannah appearing on the song, You're A Friend of Mine by Clarence Clemons (featuring Jackson Browne).

Everybody got the rules, and the method to my madness? Good! So, let's kick this off by getting the obvious three out of the way.

Say what you will about her, Barbra Streisand minces no words when it comes to being one of the greatest actresses and singers of all time. She has categorically been honored across the world for her work and performances, and no spoof on South Park will ever diminish that. She is highly respected in Hollywood, and adored by fans everywhere.

Yes, Olivia Newton-John started out as a musician, and transitioned to film with the major hit Grease. However, from there she became an actress in her own right, while still having a very lucrative singing career. Her biggest hit, Physical, coming from the 1981 album of the same title, catapulted her music into orbit, while her continued film success in the likes of Xanadu, and Twist of Fate, equally kept her popular on the big screen.

Is Bette Midler on the same plane as Barbra Streisand? I don't know. Maybe in her own right. What I do know is that much like the aforementioned singer / actress, Midler has carved her own place in the history of entertainment breaching both boundaries of movies and songs.


Dipping into what we'll call the lesser known, though I'm not sure how or why, we come face to face with Rick Springfield. Though a struggling musician in the 70's, Springfield would simultaneous release his 1981 break out album, Working Class Dog, while also becoming a heartthrob on the soap opera series, General Hospital. Despite his music career taking off, he would continue to work on the show through 1983, while releasing his follow up albums, Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet, and Living In Oz. Though he has continued to make albums throughout the decades, his latest being 2023's Automatic, he would also return to General Hospital from 2005 to 2013, reprising his character, Noah Drake.

Just a good old boy, John Schneider made his claim to fame as Bo Duke on the highly popular Dukes of Hazzard, eventually reprising his role in the children's cartoon, The Dukes. However, when not in front of the camera, Schneider was hard at work on a very lustrous music career. Including a collection of Greatest Hits, he's released over thirty albums between 1981 and 2019, ten in total just in the 80's (nine studio albums, and a compilation of hits).

If David Hasselhoff is a king in the USA for his roles in Knight Rider and Baywatch, then he's an emperor across Germany for his music career. Though American's didn't see the appeal to his singing career, Europeans count him among the likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson. The man has a knack for turning everything he touches to gold, and you can't fault him for that. If there's one thing in life that proves you're famous, it's when you can play yourself in a movie, and people love every minute of it.

Another General Hospital alum, Jack Wagner worked on the series as Frisco Jones from 1983 to 1987, again from 1989 to 1991, once again from 1994 to 1995, and a final time in 2013. Perhaps inspired by Rick Springfield, or already on that path individually, Wagner would release his first studio album in 1984. Unfortunately, unlike his series co-star, Wagner didn't garner as much success in the world of music, chart wise.

Staying in the world of soap operas, but shifting over to The Young and the Restless, we come to actor Michael Damian, who played Danny Romalotti from 1981 to 1998, 2002 to 2004, 2008, 2012 to 2013, and again from 2022 to 2024. He began his music career with the 1984 studio album, Love Is A Mystery, but failed to garner much attention. It wouldn't be until his 1989 cover of the David Essex song, Rock On, that Damian would finally start to see some movement in his singing career. However, this success was short lived. He would spend the 90's jumping from label to label, but never finding a foothold on the charts amongst an era of grunge. Though he continued to release music throughout the first decade of the New Millennium, this too was not a lucrative time for him musically.

I'll always remember Harry Connick Jr. for his roles in Copycat and The Iron Giant, as well as the time I saw him live in concert. Harry has been highly successful as a musician, probably even more so than as an actor. He's renowned for his skillful piano playing, and highly regarded as a composer. These days, he also passes on his knowledge via online piano courses.

RIP Patrick Swayze. When a lot of people heard the song, "She's Like the Wind" on the radio for the first time, their jaws were on the ground with the realization they were listening to Swayze as the lead singer. He'd been working on the song for quite some time when he pitched it for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. The song raced up the charts, and with the aid of the film, catapulted the actor into teen heartthrob status. Though he never released any studio albums, Swayze would continue to contribute to soundtracks, including Road House, Next of Kin, and One Last Dance. I guess in hindsight, Roadhouse could have been included on this list.

Thanks to Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta makes this list for his duet contribution to the soundtrack, Two of A Kind, also starring Newton-John. However, what a lot of people don't know is that this wasn't his first foray into the world of albums, and no, I'm not talking about the Grease soundtrack. Travolta released his own studio albums in the 70's, his self titled disco record (1976), and its pop rock follow up, 1977's, Can't Let You Go. He's also released several singles, and continued to collaborate with Olivia on future albums.

When comedian / actress Tracey Ullman told her husband she was going to work with the newly created Stiff Records label to release a studio album, he urged her not to, telling her it was a bad idea. Not heeding this advice, Ullman released 1983's You Broke My Heart in 17 Places, and 1984's You Caught Me Out. Both featured 80's renditions of classic jukebox hits from the fifties and sixties, and while her first album found success with the chart topper, They Don't Know, both albums were critical flops. The comedian has not released a music album since, and instead focused her efforts on her comedy act, leading to the debut of The Simpsons on her highly popular show.

When interviewed about his venture into the world of music, Eddie Murphy told talk show host David Letterman that as a comedian, it wouldn't matter how his debut album went. If it was successful, he'd smile and go with it. If it flopped, he'd simply incorporate its failure into his comedy act. In short, either way, it would be a win for him. Though it didn't reach number one, How Could It Be still burned up the charts with its single, Party All the Time, paving the way for Murphy to occasionally revisit the world of music, though he still favors acting.

Its tragic what's happened to Bruce Willis. Fortunately, we can revisit better times in his life via his fantastic films, his great success in television, and his brief music career. Critically, his albums have been far less successful than his blockbuster films. Reviewers are kind, but also conclude that he doesn't have the chops to really stand out as a musician amongst the likes of the Blues Brothers, Don Johnson or Bruce Springsteen. They akin him more so to a comedy act than a serious musician.

And speaking of Don Johnson, he's the next actor on our list. If you lived under a rock in the 80's, Johnson catapulted into success with his portrayal of Sonny Crockett on the prime time series, Miami Vice from 1984 to 1990. From there, he starred in the equally successful, Nash Bridges, from 1996 to 2001. Possibly inspired by his earlier co-star, who we'll get to in a moment, Johnson tried his hand at music in the 80's. Led by the title track, Heartbeat, which went to number five on the Billboard, the now singer / actor was noted as successful in his transition to the world of music. However, his follow up album, 1989's Let It Roll, would not fare as well, despite a contribution from Barbra Streisand. To date, he hasn't released any further albums.

Now we switch over to Johnson's co-star from Miami Vice, Philip Michael Thomas. Thomas would self release his debut album in 1985, but unfortunately, it sold poorly, and produced no hits. He would try again in 1988, but again would be met with failure. Despite this, he has continued to dabble in music periodically. However, most will always remember him as Ricardo Tubbs.

Who doesn't love Mr. T? Lead on The A-Team, greatest opponent to Rocky Balboa, and icon to kids across the nation. Despite his tough exterior, Mr. T exhibited a demeanor of kindness, caring, and love. These aspects carried over to his two albums from 1984, which were full of moral lessons for kids, and advice to help them stay safe. It's no wonder that children of the 80's looked up to him, and adults grown up from the 80's still reflect on him fondly. Mr. T was the ideal role model.

When he wasn't busy loving Joanie, or being in charge, Scott Baio was working on a less than acclaimed music career. The singer / actor himself has reflected on the lackluster success. These days, his self titled debut album is typically only remembered when being compared to the album cover of Michael Jackson's Thriller. Even Baio has stated how their similarities are striking, while laughing about how Jackson's album went on to be a bit more popular than his.

Now we start heading into obscure territory.

The Facts of Life is that Lisa Whelchel can't sing. I'm sorry, but her one and only album, All Because of You wasn't going to be making any waves any time soon. What I find the most oddest, but also intriguing at the same time is that some of the songs want to be pop oriented hits, while others are slow tempo gospel. This isn't a bad thing. It's just an odd combination. The album flip flops back and forth, and this results in a record that doesn't cohesively flow. Kudos to her though for showcasing her faith. That's rare in Hollywood.

Her co-star, Kim Fields also tried her hand in music. Rather than produce a full album, Fields instead opted for a single. Though the lead track was, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, the b-side Dear Michael, which serves as a love letter to Michael Jackson, is the more memorable song. It's not good...it's just more memorable.

Though the show, Who's the Boss was still on the air in 1989 (1984 to 1992), and remained popular in the USA, the states were not ready for a musical career from Alyssa Milano. Instead, she turned her efforts to a Japanese audience, who ate up her two studio albums, both released in 1989. To this day her albums continue to be re-released over seas, but remain scarce in the US. In fact, you won't even find a CD release in North America. These are limited to Japan, making them all the more hard to find and expensive.

You know, I'd be lying if I said Tina Yother's 1987 single, Over and Over, wasn't good. It's peppy, totally pop oriented, and rather enjoyable. What's odd about it is that you won't actually find the song Over and Over on the two track LP. Instead, it features Baby I'm Back In Love Again, and Girlie Girlie. Since leaving the world of acting, she's stayed in music, forming the band, Jaded, with her brother.

As one of Charlie's Angels, Cherly Ladd introduced many a young boy to the world of manhood. It takes a lot of woman to replace the likes of Farrah Fawcett, but Ladd did just that from 1977 to 1981. Prior to the end of the 70's she released two studio albums, which we won't bother with, because we're focused on the 80's. She then released her final album to date, 1981's Take A Chance, which was limited to Japan. Rather than continue a career in music, the actress returned to the small screen, starring in several made for television films, and continues to act to this day.

Alan Thicke doesn't often get the credit he deserves. He's usually only remembered for his stint on Growing Pains, which granted was no small achievement. After all, the series ran for six seasons between 1985 and 1992. However, Thicke's career began long before that. Prior to becoming an actor, he was a renowned writer of classic television themes, having penned over forty tunes. Some of the more noteworthy include the themes to The Facts of Life, Diffe'rent Strokes, the original version of Wheel of Fortune, Celebrity Sweepstakes, and more. He even released a single, Thicke of the Night. Despite its goofy title, it's actually a pretty solid rock track.

While Alan Thicke wrote the theme to The Facts of Life, it would be Gloria Loring who would sing it. Oh, yeah, she was also married to Thicke, is the mother of their son, Robin Thicke, and had her own successful career playing Liz Chandler on Days of Our Lives from 1980 to 1986. She dabbled in the world of music leading up to the 80's, but never really found much success. It's more of a novelty to own her 1984 album, A Shot In the Dark for its inclusion of the full version of The Facts of Life. However, beyond that, it's nothing to write home about. Her greatest musical success came from her 1986 self titled follow up album, which featured the number two hit, Friends and Lovers, with Carl Anderson.

We wrap this up with Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd's duet from the Dragnet soundtrack entitled, City of Crime. It's part rock, part rap, an acquired taste for sure. For its time it was unique. These days, it's one of those, "why" moments. The song was played over the films closing credits, while the music video was choreographed by Paula Abdul. As for its existence...Well, I can only speculate it was to capitalize on the rising popularity of rap, and a ploy to garner attention towards the movie. It worked at the time, but like I said, these days it more so leaves one asking, "Why would they do that?"

An honorable mention to this post would be We Are the World for featuring both Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler as part of the chorus. But, that about wraps it up. Are there any other actors from the 80's who made albums, singles, or were part of soundtracks that I missed? Let me know. I could always use more 80's music.

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Retro Spins: Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms

 

I, like so many, got my introduction to Dire Straits via their frequently played music video to, Money For Nothing, on MTV. The video was ground breaking, and visually fantastic. Even today it stands out as one of the best music videos of all time. My liking of the song was only boosted all the more when Weird Al Yankovic did his own rendition of the song for his movie, and subsequent album, UHF.

It's interesting in listening to that song these days, because you can definitely see how times have changed. I don't think that in today's day and age that Mark Knopfler would get away with the lyrics, "See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup? Yeah buddy, that's his own hair That little faggot got his own jet airplane That little faggot, he's a millionaire." Let alone that the song would get continuous airplay both in audio and video format. Of course, those versions were heavily edited to remove that verse. In fact, even when playing the song at Live Aid, while the verse was incorporated into the performance, words were changed to be a little more appropriate.

But I digress, I'm not here to focus on just one song from the album. I want to talk about the whole thing.

Brothers In Arms had always been on my radar as an album I wanted to track down, but I never really made a push for it until coming across a blogger, who for the life of me I can't remember, posted the title track to the album. I had never heard this before, but upon doing so, the record immediately shot up my list to, "Buy This Now" status. Brothers In Arms, the song, is a masterpiece! I dare say better than any of the commercial hits from the album, and one I highly recommend everyone check out.

But speaking of those hits, you'll also find iconic tracks such as, Walk Of Life, So Far Away, and of course, Money For Nothing, with backing vocals by Sting. While I'm no fan of saxophones, I have to admit that I really enjoyed, Your Latest Trick, a song until listening to the album I was unfamiliar with. I suppose this is why I do this though. Listening to the full albums is for the purposes of not only getting the songs I like, but to find new ones. Mission accomplished!

In fact, as the album progressed, I found myself saying out loud, "Wow, I am really enjoying this album." I don't know what it was, but every track felt deep. Like each one meant something to Knopfler. He wasn't just singing songs to make an album. These tracks felt like they meant something to him personally. Was this the case? I have no clue. What I do know is that it made me go looking for more music from Dire Straits. And, I did just that, picking up the 1978 self titled debut, 1979's Communiqué, 1980's Making Moves and 1982's Love Over Gold - All original Germany pressings of course.

The only album that leaves in their discography (to date) is 1991's On Every Street. I don't know what it is about 90's albums, but I slam on the breaks once you cross that 1989 line. There are just so many 90's CD's that are bad. Even from established artists. Probably because they tried to hard to remain relevant, straying so far from their style of music that made them enjoyable to begin with. Very few 70's / 80's artists made a successful attempt at this decade.

So, I guess I've got a lot of Dire Straits in my near future. I suppose I can also say, if you haven't figured it out for yourself already, Brothers In Arms was an extremely enjoyable album.

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Just Doodling: Spider-Men - A TOY BOX CONTEST!


Hello, Toy Box readers! Not including Peter Parker, there are twenty-one different Spider-Man costumes within this drawing. Can you name all the suit variations? First one to do so wins a Spider-Man themed mystery box.

Simply list out all the costumes in the comment section (in one comment). If you get them all right, I'll post a reply confirming, and ask you to respond with your email address. I'll then reach out to coordinate sending you the prize. Your email address will not be published.

There's only one rule for entering, and that is to keep your answers aligned with the below numbering chart. Beyond that, how you get those answers is up to you. Know them off the top of your head, scrub Google, ask a friend, trick me into revealing it, read up on decades of Spider-Man books over night, whatever your choice.

Just because I have to say it, I reserve the right to end this contest at any time, without notice or obligation.

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Retro Spins: Chicago - 17


For as much as I like the song, Stay The Night, by Chicago, I have to admit that in my older years it's become known to me as the rape song. I mean, the lyrics are right there, plain as day. "I won't take no if that's your answer." It doesn't get any clearer than that what the singer's intentions are. It's cringe worthy, and it kind of makes you feel guilty to find yourself singing along.

Chicago has a unique way of titling their albums. It makes it convenient for sorting them in order, but man, does it feel lazy.

I'm sure I've said this many times before. I know Chicago's hits, but beyond that, I'm not so much in tune with their music. In listening to the few albums I have from them, I can honestly say at this point that this point of view is not going to change. I like the hits, the rest I can easily pass on.

Which leads me to today's list of Chicago 17. Of their handful of albums I own, this one packs the most of the songs that I wanted in my personal catalog of music. Tracks such as, Stay The Night, Hard Habit To Break, Along Comes A Woman and You're The Inspiration are all present and accounted for. Well worth the buy in price for those alone.

As for the rest of the album, and as I kind of already stated above, it wasn't for me. The music wasn't bad. It just wasn't catchy. Nothing really memorable, so to speak. Still, there's no denying that Chicago isn't stacked to the brim with talent. Of the various 80's bands that went mainstream, they certainly stand out in the unique crowd for their combination of pop and horns mix.

Overall, I'm interested in diving into the remaining albums I have, but I probably won't venture beyond that.

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More With Series Four - G.I. Jigsaw's Spider-Man Peg People

 

Everyone loves when George of G.I. Jigsaw comes around! I reached out to him back in April to show him a photo of a vintage phone I found at my building, asking him if he wanted it. When he said, "Yes," he said he'd also be dropping off the next set of Spider-Man Peg People. Well...Heck yeah!

George handed me that all too familiar clear box, with the "figures" within wrapped in paper towel. When we last talked, he hinted at throwing a curve ball by jumping around a bit in the list of characters, versus going through them consecutively. That's cool! I love a good surprise.


Solo

Johnny Storm, The Human Torch

Firestar

Iceman

Task Master

Arcade

Swarm

Humbug

Styx

Stone

Awesome group shot of the new characters.


Which of course immediately got incorporated into the fold.


I love this mix of classic characters intermingling with some of the newer, and more obscure ones. They're all immediately recognizable, which is a testament to George's ability to capture each one's key facets and characteristics that make them who they are.




George seems all in on making more and more characters that I keep throwing at him. That may be a curse for him in the long run with my non-stop OCD. I even went as far as to create a classic style checklist (below), which every time I look at it, it grows.



This design has a strong vintage Star Wars cardback vibe...Because I stole it. Right down to George's very own proof of purchase points.



I can't wait for George to get through all of these!


And I can only imagine that his response would be something along the lines of...

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