For some reason I’ve been in the mood for the old tunes the past few days. You know, the stuff that was on the charts when I first began driving and a little before. The good stuff. No Men at Work, Flock of Seagulls or Culture Club.
I’m talking Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagon. That was my holy trinity of music in 1981. This was after KISS dove into the toilet and before I discovered the Priest. It was a mellow time. It was a pop time. But dammit, it was a good time. I got my driver’s license in April 1982. My first car was a 1975 Toyota Corona. Here are the 10 cassettes I most remember cranking up before the car caught on fire sometime in the spring of 1983.
1. Styx — Paradise Theatre — Yes, there was rockin’ at the Paradise, but it’s "The Best of Times" that gets to me now
2. REO Speedwagon — Hi InFidelity — Not a bad song on the thing, and Kevin Cronin actually said "shit" in "Tough Guys"
3. Journey — Escape — This album was so big it still boggles the mind, and kids today still sing "Don’t Stop Believin’"
4. April Wine — Power Play — Why is this so hard to find? I need it. I must hear "If You See Kay" again
5. Rush — Signals — This was the first Rush I got into and "New World Man" is still my favorite Rush song
6. Aldo Nova — Aldo Nova — You know you remember "Fantasy." The album hasn’t stood up so well over time, though
7. Rick Springfield — Working Class Dog — Hey, not everything has stood the test of time and maturity, but "Jessie’s Girl" was cool once
8. Meat Loaf — Dead Ringer — The long-awaited follow-up to Bat Out of Hell is a damned good forgotten gem, including the duet with Cher
9. Judas Priest — Screaming for Vengeance — WTF? Music with great big steel balls! Ushered in heavy metal for me
10. AC/DC — For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) — Not as good as Back in Black, but it has some killer cuts. My favorite is still "C.O.D."
That leaves off a whole bunch of stuff, like Van Halen’s Diver Down, Dio’s solo debut, WASP’s debut, Ratt’s Out of the Cellar, John Cougar’s American Fool and many others, including older Styx, REO and Journey, which I listened to all the time.
So, what tapes (eight track or cassette) do you most remember jamming to the first year after you got your driver’s license? Yeah, you young’uns can list your fancy CDs, too.