Bobby Dylan said recently in Rolling Stone interview that he doesn't think any records in the last 20 years sound any good
. His main beef is with the quality of the recordings;
"You do the best you can, you fight technology in all kinds of ways, but I don't know anyone who's made a record that sounds decent in the past 20 years, really"
And on the morality of downloading music for free on the internet he wryly commented;
"...well why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway".
I don't intend to contest Dylan's assertion about the quality of music these past two decades, not necessarily because I agree with it, but because there's more pressing questions at hand. Questions like what the fuck was released in 1986 that sounded decent??? I can understand harking back to the 60's, 70's, even the 50's for that improvised, unique, characterful, personal analogue sound, but the mid eighties?? Jesus.
So confounded was I that I went to old grumps himself, Papa Google, who reluctantly showed me what was hot in August, 1986 in the shape of the top 40
. Maybe this would illuminate some little gems that could be called decent.
I'm probabaly looking in the wrong place, Bob's not exactly a top 40 man, but it's a start...Anywho, it's bad. REALLY bad.
John Cougar Mellencamp at 39 with Rumbleseat. Billy Ocean with, no, not get out of my dreams and into my car, but "Lovezone". There's a SOLO effort by Daryl Hall (what, no Oates??), Rod Stewart's classic "Love Touch" and who could forget Klymaxx's touching number "Man Sized Love"? Oh, quite a few.
Not even the hard core 80s fan will remember Wham's "Edge of Heaven". The Monkeys even had a hit out that was obviously worse than the ones you HAVE heard of; "That was Then, This is Now". All ZZ Top could be muster up was "Velcro Fly". Fuck ZZ Top, but they did know how to rock out....obviously not in 1986, but they had their time.
There's a few classics in there, Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", "Venus" by Bananarama, and Run D-MC's sublime "Walk This Way". At number 1?? Madonna, Papa Don't Preach. I don't think any of them represented a "Golden Age of Sound Production" though.
"What an old coot", I thought. "He doesn't know what he's talking about". Then I saw it, nestled in snugly at number 4, Berlin, "Take My Breath Away". TopGunTonguetastic. THAT'S what Bobby was talking about...or was it???
Number 1, on January 4 1986
, was Eddie Murphy; "Party All the Time". I doff my hat Bobby D, I doff my hat.
Freeze Mutha Fuckah, the times, well, they be a changin', an' yo' ship?? Yeah, you know where it's at.