Albums I loved when they were released that I don’t love quite as much today:
(Not saying they are bad albums, I still like them, just not the best efforts from each of these artists because they have a lot of that mid-80’s sound *e.g. synths, electronic drum kits, over-production, etc.* incorporated into the music or they flat out deviated from their signature sound toward a more pop-type release).
1. Raised On Radio by Journey
2. 1984 by Van Halen
3. Permanent Waves by Rush
4. Pictures At Eleven by Robert Plant
5. Born In The U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen
6. Abacab by Genesis
7. Nothing Like The Sun by Sting
8. Building The Perfect Beast by Don Henley
9. Journeyman by Eric Clapton
“The production on Raised on Radio is so excessive that it cannot go unappreciated. In fact you have to dig through hundreds of layers just to get to the foundation of each song. Everything, and I mean everything, floats way above the rhythms of each song. And, though Steve Perry’s vocals are probably one of very few in modern music that do not need studio enhancement, Journey somehow managed to intensify Perry’s already intense falsetto pitches. But I love it. Neal Schon is great on this album. Perry and Jim Gaines were obviously going for the Production Grammy but they may have overshot a little. What really works for me is shoving Jonathan Cain to the side. It’s just guitars, Perry’s vocals and a lot of production with Cain contributing sparingly to the rhythm section. I don’t think an album like this will ever be made again by anybody. And that’s a shame. It won’t make any Top 500 lists, but it’s a great period piece on mid-1980s album production.”
“Before I say anything about 1984 - go listen to Eruption/Running With The Devil from Van Halen 1 and then go listen to 1984 (the intro to Jump) followed by Jump. Hit me up when you get back.
Not a very subtle difference, eh?
OK here’s the deal. Everyone was raving at the time about Eddie Van Halen’s obsession with synthesizing metal and his success in doing so on this album but how do you take one of the best guitarists of all time (ever hear the guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’? Maybe one of the most sampled riffs of all time. That was EVH) and make his guitar playing a bit part on an album? The album is campy and far too slick to be true Van Halen, David Lee Roth is constantly trying to upstage everybody else in the band, and furthermore, ‘Jump’ is a blatant rip off of Starship’s ‘We Built This City’, with only a slightly different arrangement and the lyrics separating the two.
But the album has some great highlights - Panama is amazing and Girl Gone Bad might be Van Halen’s best song ever. The album sold more than any other VH album and then the Van Halen’s kicked David Lee Roth to the curb. Buh-bye.
Oh, an aside » I haven’t really liked anything Ted Templeman has produced, I mean the guy did all the Michael McDonald solo albums for cry-eye, and even his work with Van Morrison was mostly mediocre. But the guy sold a lot of albums and 1984 was Van Halen’s biggest selling album of all time”