Dire Straits ~ Dire Straits. This was a great debut album all the way through. It includes their hit Sultans of Swing, but my favorite was always Down to the Waterline.
Some Girls ~ The Rolling Stones. The Stones finally came close enough for me to see them in Chicago. It was outdoors in summer at Soldier Field. Link I remember the girl I took because she was my first love. She dumped me hard the next fall after she went away to UW-Whitewater.
The Cars. Eponymous debut album. Great stadium rock. The link goes to my two favorite cuts: Moving In Stereo and All Mixed Up.
Easter by the Patti Smith Group includes the commercially successful the Because The Night, co-written with Bruce Springsteen. Though the song has his cadence and feel, I think she does a better version of song than he ever did.
Van Halen. Another eponymous debut album. Like so many others, they started earnest enough and then choked a bit on their own hubris. My older brother told me about these guys and I had a chance to see them play at Madison's now defunct Shuffle Inn. Van Halen at the Shuffle Inn! (a bar with a stage and a few hundred other people). I blew it big time. The van Halen brothers's immigration story reminds me of my wife's.
Le Freak ~ Chic
Rock Lobster ~ The B-52's guitar sound was quite retro, but the band was anything but. I had no idea that they inspired John Lennon to record Double Fantasy.
Surrender ~ Cheap Trick from their album Heaven Tonight. Cheap Trick's schtick was getting old fast but this PSA was "catchy."
Boogie Oogie Oogie ~ A Taste of Honey
Follow You, Follow Me by Genesis. The band charted after Peter Gabriel left. They both flourished.
Life's Been Good ~ Joe Walsh reflects on life as a member of The Iggles.
Take Me To the River by Talking Heads from their second album More Songs about Buildings and Food. The original version made my 1974 review. link
Radio Radio ~ Elvis Costello defends the Sex Pistols.
The Gambler ~ Kenny Rogers drops back in to see what condition his condition is in. The Gambler, video edition: link.
Four Strong Winds by Neil Young from his album Comes A Time. I missed a chance to see Neil Young around this time at a small Madison venue called The Church Key because I was under 18. I love this song and the feeling it evokes. Young's version is a cover of another Canadian singer/songwriter, Ian Tyson. I read somewhere once that Neil Young loved this song as a teen in Canada and he used to play it over and over on the jukebox while playing pinball.
Non-Alignment Pact by Pere Ubu. More ahead-of-its-time music from David Thomas.
I Need To Know ~ Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Great commercial teenage angst.
Romeo Is Bleeding by Tom Waits from his album Blue Valentine. Nobody growls and hisses like Tom Waits. Was it just the smokes?
Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys by Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson from their album Waylon & Willie. This may have been the moment when I stopped shunning Country Music.
In Pursuit of the Woman in the Feathered Hat ~ Weather Report. I fell in love with this song/album (Mr. Gone) around this time. I can't find the studio version to link to. I'll always associate this song with Florence, Italy because somebody kept playing it on their boom box at the train station the night I saw Patti Smith play her "last" show there.