Feelin’ mighty retro


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.

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9 thoughts on “Feelin’ mighty retro

  1. Wow! We share nearly 90% of the same taste. Don’t you feel lucky.
    I was never a big STYX fan until a friend of mine gave me Grand Illusion some time in the 90s and then I was hooked. And Journey just never hit me where it hurt. Other than that… I’m with you.
    I went to a Rick Springfield concert back then… girls everywhere the eye could see. Nice!
    Ratt was a favorite of mine. But I was also heavy into The Cars – Candy’O and Eddie Money – Life for the Taking and The Scorpians – ‘Blackout’ kicked ass!!!!
    Kiss… I never gave up on them. I liked Dynasty. And ‘Lick it Up’.

    • I knowed you was a man of good tastes, but I suppose I’m a little surprised by 90 percent.
      The more I listen to Styx, the more I like them. Do you have the old Wooden Nickel albums? Kilroy was Here was my first concert. We saw them again last summer and it just wasn’t the same without DeYoung.
      Journey has some real clunkers, but when they got it right …
      I loved the Scorpions until they went all soft. I like Eddie Money, but was never much into The Cars.
      KISS … I like Dynasty and love Lick it Up. It’s what was in between that was so bad. Unmasked and The Elder, although the song “I” from The Elder kicks ass. I remember seeing them do that one and “A World Without Heroes” on Solid Gold and Gene was freakin’ CRYING at the end of Heroes. I thought, “This is the god of thunder? No way!”

      • I heard the ‘Kilroy was Here’ shows sucked. Is that true? I don’t have the Wooden Nickels album. And without DeYoung… what’s the point.
        I do like a few Journey tunes. Mostly the older stuff.
        Unmasked was pure bubble gum. I sort’a liked the Elder. A concept album from KISS was cool. And, yeah, ‘I’ is a good tune. Gene’s a softy at heart, I guess. Of all the times I’ve seen KISS, never once have I seen them perform anything from The Elder. Or unmasked for that matter.
        The only thing I can recall about Solid Gold was the dancers. Hubba Hubba!!!!

        • At the time, Kilroy was the best concert I’d ever seen. hehe It was … very ambitious. Lots of costume changes, a storyline to follow, etc. It started with a short film to set up the story. It was a bit over the top, but they managed to work in all the hits.
          Styx did four albums with Wooden Nickel before signing with … Atlantic? Whoever did their huge albums. Those four are available on two CDs now.
          No, I’ve never seen KISS do anything from The Elder or Unmasked. I think people would have thrown things if they tried to play “Shandi” in concert.
          Solid Gold dancers … ummmmm

  2. I just moved to a small town in Oregon, and we have one radio station. It plays only songs from this era, and I’ve heard 90% of your list in the past week. So I feel like I’m back in high school. ( I got my license in August 81)

    • A small town in Oregon. Ooooo. I am so jealous. I love Oregon. We vacationed there twice, in 1990 and ’92 but haven’t been back since.
      Sounds like a good radio station! Brings back all the high school memories without the angst, huh?

  3. For years anytime I would hear the term C.O.D. I would sing to myself “Care of the De-vil!”
    But sadly, in these days of PayPal and BillMeLater and all that, you just don’t hear anyone say C.O.D. anymore.

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