Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘culture club’

Great First Albums

Music is part of my life. It brings me up when I am down, makes me want to dance, and moves my soul. Sometimes artists come on strong, never to make an album as strong again. For others it is just a glimpse of all the greatness to come. Here is my list of the Top Ten Greatest First Albums (in no particular order):

  • The B-52’s — “The B-52’s”
    The band from Athens, GA came on strong with their first album. The music scene didn’t know what to make of them. Were they punk? A comedy group? Were they retro? All I know is this is one fun party album. Classic tracks included: “Rock Lobster,” “Lava” and “Planet Claire.” They would hit the big time finally with “Love Shack.”The B-52's
  • Cyndi Lauper — “She’s So Unusual”
    Benefitting from the early days of MTV, she was a breath of fresh air from the pretty dance queens. This was a girl who definitely marched to the beat of her own drum. Classic tracks included: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Time After Time” and “Money Changes Everything.” She is still a popular artist on the touring circuit, and released a blues album in 2011.
  • Duran Duran — “Duran Duran”
    “Rio” was the band’s breakthrough for sure, but the success of that one brought their first album back in the spotlight when they added “Is There Something I Should Know?” to it and re-released it. Classic tracks included: “Girls on Film,” “Planet Earth” and “Careless Memories.” Another MTV ready band, they also tour regularly and are still going strong.
  • Alicia Keys — “Songs in A Minor”
    The pretty girl who played piano, hit the big time with her debut. In the process, she has inspired plenty of up and coming singers. Classic tracks included: “Fallin,” “How Come You Don’t Call Me” and “A Woman’s Worth.” She has had many more hits in recent years, slowing down to get married and start a family.
  • Culture Club — “Kissing to Be Clever”
    Another great band from MTV’s early days, when they played videos. Boy George may have looked different with his makeup and outfits, but his voice was pure soul. Classic tracks included: “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?,” “Time” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.” (more…)
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Winter Concerts

Here’s the sequel to my blog on Summer Concerts. Here are 10 favorites from past winters (December to February) in no particular order. Believe me, it was hard narrowing it down!

Michael Jackson, January 1989, LA Sport Arena
This was my 3rd time seeing Michael, but the first without his brothers. This was one of the hottest shows I have ever seen in my life. Michael was on FIRE. The concert itself was delayed for a few months because he was sick. It was so worth the wait! A high-energy, hit filled extravaganza. “Man in the Mirror” live was awesome! He would never tour the US again. So I was very lucky to see him in his prime.

Spice Girls, December 2007, Staples Center
Reunited and it feels so good. All 5 girls were back for the reunion tour (dare we say Farewell Tour?).  The US never got all five women in concert before, Ginger Spice had quit before their first US tour. They put an excellent show, dancing and singing their hearts out in a high-energy show. Girl power was alive and well!Spice Girls

Justin Timberlake, January 2007, Staples Center
After this show, it was apparent that Justin wasn’t ever going back to NSync. He danced, he sang, he played multiple instruments. He showed what a great entertainer and performer he had become. With Pink as the opening act, and support from Timbaland during the show, Justin became a superstar with this show. The show was in the round and had great staging and choreography.

The Colors of Christmas, December 2003, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
I have seen this seasonal show 12 times. Every year features 4 different performers. This year’s edition featured Peabo Bryson, Sheena Easton, Christopher Cross, and Natalie Cole. They sing their own hits, plus Christmas songs too in solos, duos and groups. It is always cool to see who they match up with whom. Natalie was a last minute replacement for Irene Cara. They have back-up from a small orchestra with band, as well as a local gospel choir. One of the best shows around for the money.

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