Chris Rea – Dancing With Strangers (1987)

frontcover1Dancing with Strangers is the ninth studio album by Chris Rea, released in 1987.

It became Rea’s first major success in UK, peaking at #2, behind Michael Jackson’s Bad, and spent 46 weeks in the charts, achieving Platinum accreditation.

It reached the Top 10 in six other countries, including New Zealand where it became a number one album.

“Let’s Dance” was released as the first single and, like the album, became a major hit for Rea in UK, peaking at #12.

In tone with the success of the album, “Let’s Dance” became a major hit in New Zealand as well, peaking at #2. The other singles released from this album were “Loving You Again” (UK #47), “Joys of Christmas” (UK #67) and “Que Sera” (UK #73).(by wikipedia)


Album no 3 in Chris’ ‘imperial’ phase, and the all-important one before The Road To Hell set the seal on the legend. A splendid album, with something for everyone. Of it’s time, yes, but none the worse for that. ‘Side One’ is just about faultless, with each song a sign of styles to come, combining pop, rock & blues just so (I Can’t Dance to that being a particular favourite).

‘Side Two’ kicks off with the always great Let’s Dance (the slightly superior original version to my mind), and while not quite as strong as the first half, still holds it’s own. The album may be a couple of tracks too long, but it shows an artist on top, confident form, with the best yet to come. (by Jason Brown)


Robert Ahwai (guitar)
Martin Ditcham (percussion, drums)
Jerry Donahue (guitar)
Kevin Leach (keyboards)
Dave Mattacks (drums)
Max Middleton (keyboards)
Eoghan O’Neill (bass)
Adrian Rea (drums)
Chris Rea (vocals, guitar, keyboards, slide guitar, synthesizer, accordion)
Davy Spillane (guitar, uilleann pipes)


01. Joys Of Christmas 5.15
02. I Can’t Dance To That 4.19
03. Windy Town 4.25
04. Gonna Buy A Hat 4.25
05. Curse Of The Traveller 6.26
06. Let’s Dance 4.07
07. Que Sera 5.23
08. Josie’s Tune 2.19
09. Loving You Again 5.40
10. That Girl Of Mine 3.41
11. September Blue 3.09
12. I Don’t Care Any More 2.10
13. Donahue’s Broken Wheel 3.02
14. Danielle’s Breakfast 4.33

All songs written by Chris Rea

Tracks 12, 13, 14 are bonus tracks not available on the initial LP release.




Men Without Hats – Pop Goes The World (1987)

frontcover1Pop Goes the World is the third studio album by Canadian new wave band Men Without Hats, released in 1987. It contained the single “Pop Goes the World”, which reached the top twenty in Canada (achieving Gold status) and the United States. The album went Platinum in Canada.

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull makes a guest appearance and plays the flute on the track “On Tuesday.”

The album was performed by Ivan and Stefan Doroschuk, with additional keyboards by Lenny Pinkas. “Jenny” and “Johnny” were actually characters from the opening song “Pop Goes The World”—the album graphics were designed to reference their roles in the song, which opens with the line “Johnny played gee-tar, Jenny played bass.” The album follows a loose conceptual thread, and Johnny and Jenny go on to appear as characters in numerous other songs on the disc, being mentioned by name in “Jenny Wore Black” and “The End (Of The World)”. The role of “Johnny” on the album cover (and in videos) was played by Stefan Doroschuk, the band’s actual guitarist. “Jenny” was played by Marika Tjelios, who remained with the band until 1990.

Drummer “J. Bonhomme” is also referenced in the song “Pop Goes The World” (as “a big bonhomme”). A Bonhomme de neige (fr) is a snowman; a character known as “Bonhomme” (a man in a stylized snowman costume with a top hat) is a common mascot at Quebec winter carnivals. The album cover shows the character Bonhomme as the band’s drummer. The initial J. would seem to be a multi-lingual pun, referencing both the French phrase “Joyeux bonhomme”, as well as the English rock drummer John Bonham.

The only credited musician aside from the Doroschuks and Pinkas is Ian Anderson of the rock group Jethro Tull. Anderson plays flute on track 3, “On Tuesday”.

Early in recording sessions, a song called “The Same Halo” was recorded by the band for the album but was ultimately replaced by “Lose My Way” on the album. “Jenny Wore Black” was first performed live in 1985-1986 during the “Freeways” tour.

Another song left over from these sessions was “A Funny Place (The World Is)”, which was given to Mitsou who recorded and released it in 1991.

A French-language demo called “Pyjamarama” was recorded the following year.

Along with the title track, two other singles from this album were released, but neither got much notice. These singles were “Moonbeam”, which featured a complementing music video, and “O Solo Mio” that was backed by “Lose My Way” as a promo single.
The song “Pop goes the world” was used by Tide in TV advertisements for their “Pods” in 2012.


Men Without Hats broke big with their 1982 debut, Rhythm of Youth. Though they never maintained that level of success, their third album Pop Goes the World was a smart, well-crafted, woefully underrated offering. The album chronicles the quest for and backlash of fame on songs like the title track, on which Ivan sings “Johnny and Jenny had a crazy dream/See their pictures in a magazine.” Perhaps it was a way of dealing with the band’s sudden success/failure, particularly on “Lose My Way” and “The Real World..” Thankfully, a wild sense of humor and a heartbreaking poignancy keeps the album from becoming too serious. Additionally, each song is vastly different: there are some lullabies (“Moonbeam”), some anthems (“Jenny Wore Black”), and some dirges (“Bright Side of the Sun” — which is criminally short, adding to its power). Cartoonish but dark, this album marries wide-eyed innocence with cynicism in its recurring themes (celebrity, loss, rejuvenation, the vastness of our world) and characters (Jenny and Johnny, who are credited with bass and guitar, respectively). It takes a few listens to fully absorb the stories and lessons interwoven in Pop Goes the World’s synthesizer-driven, somewhat goofy, sometimes somber cuts. Though there are some quirky aspects to the album (from the intro with a beckoning voice like that of Newcleus’ helium-driven “Jam on It” to an intro to “Walk on Water” that sounds like a faraway voice on a hissing vinyl album), nothing seems gimmicky. Overall, the album is solid, smart, haunting, and complete. (by Bryan Buss)


A Baby (keyboards)
Ivan Doroschuk (vocals)
Stefan Doroschuk (guitar)
Richard Samson (drums)
Marika Tjelios (bass)
Ian Anderson (flute on 03.)

01. Intro 1.49
02 Pop Goes The World 3.43
03. On Tuesday 4.08
04. Bright Side Of The Sun 0.42
05. O Sole Mio 3.57
06. Lose My Way 3.10
07. The Real World 4.24
08. Moonbeam 3.37
09. In The Name Of Angels 3.49
10. La Valse d’Eugénie 1.28
11. Jenny Wore Black 2.57
12. Intro/Walk On Water 5.43
13. The End (Of The World) 3.23

All songs written by Ivan Doroschuk



singlefrontcoverSingle frontcover

Paolo Conte – Aguaplano (1987)

frontcover1Paolo Conte’s star was on the rise throughout the ’80s, yet at the same time that his ineffable stage persona was triumphing all over Europe, his records from the period — while always eminently enjoyable — were becoming slightly less consistent than before. Benefiting from the break granted by his 1985 live release Concerti, Conte sounds definitely inspired in Aguaplano, his first studio album in three years and a strong contender for his best work ever. The only double album in Conte’s discography, Aguaplano is logically the longest, but paradoxically one of the most focused projects of his entire career. One of the main reasons for this is Renzo Fantini’s production,which wisely maintains a similar instrumental palette for the entire record. Compared with previous records such as Appunti di Viaggio and Paolo Conte [1994], the sound of Aguaplano seems stripped down to the bare essentials. Backed up by the familiar rhythm section of Ares Tavolazzi, Ellade Bandini, and Jimmy Villotti, Conte’s trademark piano and vocal stylings take center stage in virtually every song. Impeccable horn arrangements render this already impressive set positively exquisite. Rather than individual efforts, Conte’s songs in Aguaplano seem conceived as parts of an organic suite of sketches or miniatures. There may not be any immediately recognizable hits in Aguaplano, but that is a consequence of its uniform quality of mood and content. This is the rare double album worth listening to in its entirety, where the sum is greater than the parts. Which is not to say that, taken individually, the songs are not of the highest Conte standard: “Anni,” “Blu Notte,” “Gratis,” “Ratafià,” “Les Tam-Tam du Paradis…” — it is almost unfair to look for highlights in such a cohesive collection, one that seems to get better with every listening. If anything, in another rare occurrence for a double album, the second disc is probably superior to the first.


Everything feels in the right place in Aguaplano, from the songwriting and arrangements down to the album art and track sequencing: it cannot be a coincidence that the record is bookended by its two greatest moments, “Aguaplano” and “Jimmy Ballando.” The title track functions as a film’s opening shot, zooming in from an airplane high in the air to discover the baffling spectacle of a concert piano floating at sea, a fitting welcome to a secret universe where music and sensuality (or rather, the languid sensuality derived from this kind of music) prevail over logic. The last song, “Jimmy Ballando” is a comic masterpiece in which Conte and his buddy Jimmy, two aged playboys drowsy after a pantagruelic meal, attempt for old times’ sake a last dancehall seduction. Alas, their failing eyesight impedes them in seeing that the women they invite over are Chinese, killing off any possibility of verbal communication. Resigned, the two men content themselves with dancing with their unexpected partners. A brilliant farewell to the world introduced in Aguaplano, “Jimmy Ballando” represents the slow awakening from the slumber induced by a long journey of alcohol, smoke, and dancing, and the humorous realization that one may not be so young anymore, and certainly no longer in step with the times. Yet, much like the mood created by this album, it was magic while the illusion lasted. (by Mariano Prunes)


Ellade Bandini (drums)
Paolo Conte (vocals)
Nando Francia (accordion)
Antonio Marangolo (saxophone, synthesizer)
Stefano Pastor (violin)
Marie-Françoise Pélissier (cello)
Ares Tavolazzi (bass)
Paolo Tocco (clarinet)
Marco Jimmy Villotti (guitar)
background vocals:
Cristina Rossi – Holly Pearson


01. Aguaplano  4.00
02. Baci Senza Memoria 3.14
03. Languida 2.14
04. Paso Doble 2.55
05. Dopo Le Sei 3.20
06. Max 3.45
07. Blu Notte 4.20
08. La Negra 2.43
09. Hesitation 3.42
10. Ratafià 2.56
11. Nessuno Mi Ama 4.40

All songs written by Paolo Conte





Bobby Charles – Clean Water (1987)

FrontCover1Bobby Charles was born Robert Charles Guidry on 21st February 1938 in Abbeville, Louisiana. A native Cajun
himself, he recalled that his life “changed for ever” when he re-tuned his parents’ radio set from a local Cajun station to one playing records by Fats Domino. Most successful as a songwriter, he is regarded as one of the founding fathers of swamp pop. His own vocal style was laidback and drawling. His biggest successes were songs other artists covered, such as ‘See You Later Alligator’ by Bill Haley & His Comets; ‘Walking To New Orleans’ by Fats Domino – with whom he recorded a duet of the same song in the 1990s – and
‘(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do’ by Clarence “Frogman” Henry. It  allowed him to live off the songwriting royalties for the rest of his life! Two other well-known compositions are ‘The Jealous Kind’, recorded by Joe Cocker, and ‘Tennessee Blues’ which Kris Kristofferson committed to record.

Disenchanted with the music business, Bobby disappeared from the music scene in the mid-1960s but returned  in 1972 with a self-titled album on the Bearsville  label on which he was accompanied by Rick Danko and several other members of the Band and Dr John. Bobby later made a rare live appearance as a guest singer on stage at The Last Waltz, the 1976 farewell concert of the Band, although his contribution was cut from Martin Scorsese’s film of the event.

Bobby Charles returned to the studio in later years, recording a European-only album called Clean Water in 1987.

In September 2007, he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Bobby Charles lived for some years in quiet seclusion at Holly Beach on the Gulf of Mexico and became  a local environmental activist. After his house was destroy ed by Hurricane Rita in 2005, he returned to Abbeville. He collapsed in his home near Abbeville and died on 14th January 2010. (Robin Dunn & Chrissie van Varik)

Bobby Charles

Around 1986, Bobby recorded enough songs for an album with the aforementioned Nelson and Young and members of their bands. One band member, Ben Keith

“…asked me if I had any new songs. I said that I did and I sang him a couple of ’em and he said, ‘Man, let’s go in the studio and do ’em right now’. So we went in, we got some time and we started doin’ some songs and before we knew it we were on our way to finishing another complete album and I just felt really good about this. This is the record that I’ve always dreamed of making. This is the first time I get to make MY record the way that I wanted to make it, from cover to cover.”

The album in question was released in 1987. Produced by Bobby’s own Rice ‘n’ Gravy company (so-called after Bobby’s favourite Cajun dish), it was entitled ‘Clean Water’ and was issued in Germany by Zensor. It included a version of ‘But I Do’, performed in a very different manner to Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, plus nine more Charles compositions, many of which were well worth a place in any record collection. The title track reflected Bobby’s interest in ecology: “I’m trying to clean all the waters of the world. It’s a big project but I think we can do it”. Three years later when he autographed the sleeve of my copy of the album he wrote “Smile – Better Days are coming”. These sentiments are particularly ironic in view of the recent BP oil leakage into the Gulf of Mexico and the disastrous consequences. It is difficult to understand why airplay was so difficult to come by in Louisiana at the time when four singles were released, even though the album was not originally issued in the States.

“They play Cajun in Berlin, Germany before they play it in Lafayette, Louisiana which is the Cajun capital of the world and that’s embarrassing to me, it really is.”


Joe Allen (bass)
Bobby Charles (vocals)
Charles Cockran (piano)
Bessyl Duhon (accordion)
Mike Elliot (guitar, synth drums programing)
Karl Himmel (synth drums programing)
Jim Horn (horns)
Wayne Jackson (horns)
Ben Keith (bass, steel guitar, background vocals)
Doanner Kupper (background vocals)
Wade Benson Landry (fiddle)
Kenny Malone (percussion)
Larry Marshall (piano)
Terry McMillan (percussion, harp)
Joey Miskulin (accordion)
Tracy Nelson (background vocals)
Hrgus Robbins (piano)
Jackie Street (bass)
Bob Wilson (piano)


01. Lil’ Cajun 3.04
02. Secrets 3.27
03. Love In The Worse Degree 3.22
04. Cowboys And Indians 2.59
05. But I Do 4.26
06. Clean Water 3.10
07. Lil’ Sister 3.07
08. Party Town 3.56
09. Le Champs Elysee! 3.39

All songs written by Bobby Charles



Bobby Charles2

Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010)


Robbie Robertson – Same (1987)

FrontCover1Robbie Robertson is the solo debut album by Robbie Robertson, released in 1987. It won the Juno Award for “Album of the Year”, and producers Daniel Lanois and Robertson won the “Producer of the Year” Juno award, both in 1989 (there were no Juno Awards in 1988).

The album includes contributions from the members of U2 and Peter Gabriel, both of whom were also working with Lanois at the time. U2 was recording The Joshua Tree and Gabriel was recording So. U2’s contribution is heard in the song “Sweet Fire of Love”, a duet of sorts between Robertson and U2 lead singer Bono. The other track featuring U2 is “Testimony”, again with vocals by Bono. Gabriel’s contributions are heard on the song “Fallen Angel”, which was dedicated to Richard Manuel, Robertson’s former bandmate in the Band, and “Broken Arrow”, which reverberates with Gabriel’s signature Rhodes electric piano. In addition, Tony Levin and Manu Katché, who were recording with Gabriel, are featured prominently on this record. (wikipedia)

Robbie Robertson was once asked why he waited 11 years after the breakup of the Band to release a solo project, and he replied, “I wasn’t so sure I had something to say.” One can hear a bit of this thinking in Robertson’s self-titled solo debut; it’s obvious that he didn’t care to revisit the country- and blues-flavored roots rock that had been his bread and butter with the Band, and at the same time Robertson seemed determined to make an album that had something important to say, and could stand alongside his legendary earlier work. Looking for a moody and atmospheric sound, Robertson teamed up with RobieRobertson01producer Daniel Lanois, who had previously worked with U2 and Peter Gabriel, two artists whose work obviously influenced Robertson’s musical thinking while he was making the album (they both appear on the album as well). As a result, Robbie Robertson is an album that represents both a clear break from his past, and an ambitious attempt to take his fascination with American culture and music in a new and contemporary direction. It’s highly ambitious stuff, and the album’s ambitions sometimes prove to be its Achilles’ heel. Robertson’s collaboration with U2, “Sweet Fire of Love,” sounds like a rather unremarkable outtake from The Joshua Tree, with the group’s aural bombast subsuming the ostensive leader of the session, while “Fallen Angel,” “American Roulette,” and “Somewhere Down the Crazy River” find Robertson exploring the same iconography of the Band’s best work, but without the same grace or subtle wit. And it doesn’t take long to realize why Robbie only took two lead vocals during his tenure with the Band; his dry, reedy voice isn’t bad, but it lacks the force and authority to communicate the big themes Robertson wants to bring across. Despite all this, Robbie Robertson does have its share of pearly moments, especially on the bitter “Hell’s Half Acre,” “Sonny Got Caught in the Moonlight,” and “Broken Arrow” (a performance more subtle and effective than Rod Stewart’s better-known cover). Robbie Robertson isn’t the masterpiece its creator was obviously striving towards, but it’s an intelligent and often compelling set from an inarguably important artist, and it comes a good bit closer to capturing what made the Band’s work so memorable than the latter-day efforts from Levon Helm and company. ( by Mark Deming)


Bill Dillon (guitar, background vocals)
Manu Katché (drums, percussion)
Daniel Lanois (percussion, guitar on 05. + 08., omnichord on 05., background vocals)
Robbie Robertson (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Tinker Barfield (bass on 01. + 05.)
BoDeans (Sam Llanas, Kurt Neumann) (background vocals on 02. + 05.)
Bono (vocals, bass on 04., background vocals, guitar on 09.)
Terry Bozzio (drums on 03. + 05.)
Cary Butler (background vocals on 08.)
Hans Christian (bass on 05.)
Adam Clayton (bass on 04. + 09.)
Rick Danko (background vocals on 08.)
Sammy BoDean (Sam Llanas) (background vocals on 05. + 06.)
David Howell “The edge” Evans ( (guitar on 04. + 09.)
Peter Gabriel (keyboards on 01. + 03., vocals on 01., drum program on 03.)
Garth Hudson (keyboards on 01. + 05.)
Larry Klein (bass on 02.)
Abraham Laboriel (bass on 03.)
Tony Levin (chapman stick on 05. + 07., bass on 06. + 08.)
Maria McKee (background vocals on 05.)
Larry Mullen, jr. (drums on 04. + 09.)
Ivan Neville (background vocals on 09.)
Martin Page (drum programming on 01.)
Gil Evans Horn Section (horns on 09.)


All songs written by Robbie Robertson except as noted.[3]

01. Fallen Angel (Robertson/Page) 5.52
02. Showdown At Big Sky (Robertson) 4.43
03. Broken Arrow (Robertson)  – 5:17
04. Sweet Fire Of Love (Robertson, U2) 5.08
05. American Roulette (Robertson) 4.46
06. Somewhere Down The Crazy River (Robertson/Page) 4.44
07. Hell’s Half Acre (Robertson) 3.45
08. Sonny Got Caught In The Moonlight (Robertson) 3.45
09. Testimony (Robertson) 4.45




Canned Heat – Boogie Up The Country (1988)

FrontCover1During the 1980s the interest in the type of music played by Canned Heat was revived and, despite the past tragedies and permanent instability, the band appeared to be revitalized. In 1985, Trout had left to join John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, so Vestine was once again back in the band and he brought with him new musical talent from Oregon in James Thornbury (slide guitar and lead vocals) and Skip Jones (Bass). They were dubbed the “Nuts and Berries” band by de la Parra, due to their love of organic food. It was not long before former members Larry Taylor (replacing Jones) and Ronnie Barron returned to round out the group. Versions of this lineup would record the live album, Boogie Up The Country, in Kassel, Germany, in 1987 and also appear on the Blues Festival Live in Bonn ’87 Vol 2 compilation. Barron, just as before did not last long in this lineup, nor did Vestine, who was once again ousted from the band due to pressure from Larry Taylor. Replacing Vestine on lead guitar was Junior Watson; his style emulated Hollywood Fats (who died in late 1986) and was perfectly suited for the band as witnessed by the well-regarded album, Reheated. Unfortunately, the album was released only in Germany in 1988 due to disagreements with the Chameleon Music Group Record label. (by wikipedia)


“Now the new revitalized Canned Heat wants to bring their classic hitsand new songs to the public.  This new band brings  with its current members, a new strong, contemporary, original sound with the same down to earth Rhythm & Blues and Boogie roots that have characterized the band throughout the years. Canned Heat is happening in the Eighties ! Catch them and watch out ! It´s heavy …” (taken from the original liner-notes).


Adolfo “Fito” De La Parra (drums, percussion, vocals)
James T. (guitar, vocals, harmonica, flute)
Larry Taylor (bass, vocals, guitar)
Henry Vestine (guitar)


01. Intro (Ansage) 0.26
02. Mercury Blues (Douglas) 3.24
03. Take Me To The River (Green/H0dges) 4.10
04. Rollin’ And Tumblin’ (Morganfield) 3.34
05. Amphetamine Annie (Hite/Wilson/Vestine/Taylor/de la Parra) 4.16
06. Bullfrog Blues (Hite/Wilson/Vestine/Taylor/de la Parra) 3.11
07. Sweet Home Chicago (Johnson) 4.28
08. Kidman Blues (Estes) 5.58
09. Going Up The Country (Wilson) 2.51
10. Let’s Work Together (Harrison) 4.32
11. Trouble No More (Morganfield) 4.31
12. Younderswall (James) 4.21
13. Boogie (Taylor) 17.31
14. Outro (Absage) 0.29



Simon Rattle & London Sinfonietta – The Jazz Album (1987)

CDFrontCover1The London Sinfonietta’s mission is to place the best contemporary classical music at the heart of today’s culture; engaging and challenging the public through inspiring performances of the highest standard, and taking risks to develop new work and talent. Founded in 1968, the ensemble’s commitment to new music has seen it commission over 350 works, and premiere many hundreds more.

Resident at Southbank Centre and Artistic Associates at Kings Place, with a busy touring schedule across the UK and abroad, its core is 18 Principal Players, representing some of the best solo and ensemble musicians in the world. The group also works with talented Emerging Artists, to ensure the unique expertise of its Principals is passed on to the next generation of performers.

Having held a world-leading position in education and participation work for many years, the London Sinfonietta continues this with a belief that arts participation is transformational to individuals and communities, and new music is relevant to people’s lives.

The ensemble has an extensive back catalogue of recordings made over 47 years, which have been released on numerous prestigious labels as well as its own London Sinfonietta Label.


Alternate frontcovers

Together with the famous conducter Simon Rattle they recorded a very special “jazz album”:
This has to be one of the most embarrassing cross albums ever. There is nothing worse than classical musicians trying to be “right on” and The London Sinfonietta and Rattle stay absolutely nailed to the studio floor with not one ounce of swing in them. The vocal pieces are laughably wooden in their posh boy delivery. An extra star for recording the Milhaud, a interesting and neglected piece. (by organ boy)

What a wonderful, what a brilliant mixture between classic and jazz !


Original frontcover from 1987


London Sinfonietta conducted by Simon Rattle
Michael Collins (clarinet on 05. – 07. + 13.)
Peter Donohoe (piano on 02. + 13.)
John Harle (saxophone on 01.)
Jeremy Taylor (vocals on 03.)
Harvey & The Wallbangers (on 08., 10. + 11.)


01. La Création Du Monde (Milhaud) 16.28
02. Rhapsody In Blues (original version) (Gershwin) 16.02
03. After You’ve Gone (Creamer) 3.22
04. Nobody’s Sweetheart (Meyers/Schoebel/Erdman/Kahn) 2.34
05. Allegro Moderato (from: Ebony Concerto) (Stravinsky) 3.06
06. Andante (from: Ebony Concerto) (Stravinsky) 2.33
07. Moderato (from: Ebony Concerto) (Stravinsky) 3.29
08. Sweet Sue (Young/Harris) 4.46
09. Dardanella (Bernard/Black) 3.03
10. Makin’ Whoopee (Kahn/Donaldson) 3.41
11. My Blue Heaven (Whiting/Donaldson) 3.16
12. San (McPhail/Michels) 3.16
13. Prelude Fugue And Riffs (Bernstein) 7.46




The young Simon Rattle on drums