For a lot of people, 1981 is a year where the 1980s really found its feet. It’s a year where fewer things carry a feel of the 70s; it’s a year where the New Romantics and the new wave of synth pop stars dominated the charts. As well as being a solid year for pop, 1981 also found the New Wave of British Heavy Metal reaching its crescendo.
It’s hard to believe that Real Gone has reached its tenth anniversary. There have been a vast amount of albums and EPs reviewed in that time. Some captured a moment somewhere in the world of DIY recordings; others continue to be unloved by the masses but we’re still more than glad we got to help spread the word in our own way.
Then there have been those albums destined to become classics; albums we’ve continued to love long after our reviews were shared. For our tenth anniversary, it seemed only appropriate that we took a look back at a few landmark albums from our first decade online – an album from each year we think holds up well; recordings that continue to be important to us and have somehow allowed us to build a following and still have an internet presence… Ten years – ten albums… Every one a classic.
Ric Ocasek was a legend. As a songwriter, his pop melodies were among the best. The way he blended alternative ideas with timeless power pop sensibilities marked him out as not only a great songwriter, but a master arranger. The very fact that tunes like ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ and ‘It’s Candy-O’ became fixtures on oldies radio stations despite carrying the kind of vocal that was…quirky, to say the least, speaks volumes about his talent.
Following last year’s expanded reissues of The Cars’ ‘Candy-O’ and ‘Panorama’, Rhino are set to continue their Cars reissue campaign with expanded reissues of 1981’s ‘Shake It Up’ and 1984’s pop classic ‘Heartbeat City’.
Some eighteen years after The Cars’ self titled debut album was afforded the 2CD deluxe reissue treatment, fans of Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr can now breath a sigh of relief. After almost two decades of hoping other Cars titles would be reissued with various bonuses, two more titles hit the shelves in July 2017.