A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.

17 April 2009

Ruby Turner

I got tickets for one of Ruby's shows in May so I thought I would share a few of her early hits as they seem so hard to track down! While she didn't enjoy a great deal of commercial success during her pop years with Jive Records, she did have two Top 40 hits in the UK with If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) - a duet with Jonathan Butler in 1986, as well as I'd Rather Go Blind in 1987. In 1990 she had a #1 US R&B hit with It's Gonna Be Alright, a single from her album Paradise. Her sole hit album was a collection of Motown covers which hit #22 in 1988. Since then Ruby has had a successful career touring by herself and with Jools Holland. My personal favourites are the early ones, especially Bye Baby. I'm In Love (single pictured above) was covered by the Pointer Sisters for their 1988 album Serious Slammin'.

I thoroughly recommend the Best Of Ruby Turner, Emporio Records, 1995! Sadly all her Jive recordings are well out of print, but as promised here's a few gems to enjoy from the mid 80's...


05 April 2009

Debbie Gibson - Then... and Now!

Electric Youth (1989)

Now Debbie is Deborah and back with a new track called Already Gone!

I think I might have to give this a few spins, the vocals are a bit screechy! But I do like Debbie, I was one of the 10 people who bought her last pop album M.Y.O.B. in 2001, which is highly recommended!

03 April 2009

Tina Turner - Live in Manchester 31 March 2009

What a show! It's fair to say that at 70 years young Tina Turner puts performers half her age to shame, her show started off quite simple with Tina and her dancers pumping out classics such as Steamy Windows and River Deep Mountain High. As the show progressed it got more and more spectacular! The first highlight was Acid Queen (see above) which was just mesmerising! As if that wasn't enough, Tina's re-appearance as as Aunty Entity, her character from Mad Max - Beyond The Thunderdome, for a stunning rendition of We Don't Need Another Hero, was just perfect.

But there was so much more! The whole show was a retrospective of her career to dates with some excellent cover versions, a particular highlight was a bluesy take on The Beatles 'Help'. She also performed my favourites Typical Male and What You Get Is What You See from the Break Every Rule album.

Another highlight was when Tina came through the Golden Eye itself on a moving walkway as she performed her classic Bond theme. The whole show was just spectacular, it was so big and bold that even fans in the cheap seats like me got a lot out of it. Tina herself was relentless, performing for what seemed like hours and hours without even breaking a sweat. Her affection for her fans was clear and she seemed to love every minute of it, as did everyone else. Let's hope she doesn't leave it so long next time, this is her first tour in 10 long years!

02 April 2009

Starship - No Protection (1987)

The album opens with the superb Beat Patrol a synth-driven rock track which served as the album's third single, it comes across as a follow up to We Built This City in that it's almost as non-sensical and fun, with both Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas on vocals again. Sadly as the album goes on Slick become almost relegated to backing vocals on half of the tracks, I think by this time she'd started to become uncomfortable with the idea of being a pop star in her 50's.

Everyone knows Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, the classic theme tune to the movie Mannequin, so we don't need to go over it too much, other than to say it's one of the best pop songs ever!

It's Not Over (Till It's Over) was the second single, and despite the lack of Ms Slick, it is still pretty mighty. It's plastic 80's rock/pop at it's best. Great vocals. If you like this, you'll like the next track Girls Like You, which has some nice effects on the vocals and is superb. When I first listened to No Protection I felt a bit cheated as I wanted some more Slick/Thomas bellowing, but after I got over the fact that that wasn't happening, I really grew to like this one.

Wings Of A Lie is nice a mid-tempo synth/rock ballad, if not a bit bland. Sounds like a Heart b-side. The Children is another duet(of sorts), it's a bit airy fairy, it does eventually get going during the meandering choruses, Grace Slick shows up a bit on this one, sings a few lines, and buggers off again...

She shows up again for I Don't Know Why, which is more mid-tempo filler, but well sung!

Things pick up speed with Transatlantic, which as was the fashion in the 80's rattles on about have a long distance love affair across the sea, cliched lyrics galore!!! - "SOS, in distress, close my eyes for you reply!" It's so 80's it hurts. No Grace on this one either, sadly.

Say When is pure filler.

Babylon is an interesting one, Grace Slick on lead vocals, the dreamy verses and the dramatic electronic chorus really work so well, I have no idea what it's about, but I like it a lot. If only she'd done more of this!

"Babylon, is it true that our streets were paved with gold, did you play beneath the stars? Babylon, did you know it would all come down to how you played the dealer's cards?"

Set The Night To Music sounds like it was written by Diane Warren, it's sickly and syrupy, but kinda good. This duet marks the end of the original lineup of Starship as Grace Slick left for good in 1988.

Chart Action: No Protection (LP) US #12, UK #26. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now US #1, UK #1. It's Not Over (Till It's Over) US #9, UK #flop. Beat Patrol US #46, UK #flop. Set The Night To Music US #flop!.

Since I don't think they actually promoted this album, here's a great interview with Grace from 1985, she was fab!...

Get the Beat Patrol remixes from Old School Music