Tag Archives: debauchery

LTEV Playlist: 80s Power Ballads

It should be no surprise to anyone reading this that I love the ’80s. And one of the things that I love most about that decade is the cheesy, over-the-top, heavy metal rock ballads. It seems that every ’80s metal band worth their glitter spandex put out at least one of these gems (and of course, there were some repeat offenders — Bon Jovi, I’m looking in your direction). Below, I have gathered together some classic examples from this genre. I’ve assembled them into a handy playlist so that you, too, can rock out. Bonus points if you serenade your lady (or man) friend with an overblown rendition of one of these ballads. “If I could fly high I would give you the skyyyy/Don’t you make that mistake, what does it taaaaake…”

It also goes without saying that music videos from this era were just complete and utter solid gold, filled with so many utterly amazing 80s cliches (big hair, spandex, overwrought guitar solos, modulation) that it makes my head explode with joy. I mean, look, I know that the 80s were no different from any other decade in that people still had problems, lost money, got divorced, got fired, had general angstiness, etc…but honestly, how could things possibly be that bad when you looked like this?

jon bon jovi

If you were feeling down, wouldn’t you be able to look in the mirror and immediately be cheered up by the super rad apparition staring back at you? Of course you would!

So here are my picks for top ’80s power ballads. Take the time to re-watch these videos – I promise it’ll put a smile on your face. And let me know your faves!

1. Alone – Heart

2. Love Bites – Def Leppard

3. I’ll Be There For You – Bon Jovi

4. Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

5. When I’m With You – Sheriff

6. Keep On Loving You – REO Speedwagon

7. Angel – Aerosmith

8. Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison

9. Carrie – Europe

10. When I See You Smile – Bad English

11. Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue

12. What Does It Take – Honeymoon Suite

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God vs The Devil: U2 and Led Zeppelin

U2 vs Zep

My two favourite bands couldn’t be more of a study in contrasts. Led Zeppelin was a hard-rocking, drug-taking, groupie-banging maelstrom of bombastic sound. U2’s music, on the other hand, is infused with spirituality, soaring melodies, and the quest for a connection with a higher power.

And yet I love them both. Which is why I think it’s important to celebrate many different styles of music, from the highly spiritual to the down-and-dirty. And how better to do so than by comparing and contrasting one band of self-professed Christian rockers with another band that was plagued throughout their career by lurid tales of dark arts and devil worship.

Now, I’m not trying to turn this into an epic battle between the forces of Good and Evil…but just for the hell of it, I wonder who would win? Clearly the only way to judge is by employing the objective powers of Science to sort it out.

Therefore, I will be examining each band based on a variety of categories, and totally choosing my favourites utilizing a highly scientifical method that is not at all biased in order to establish the winner in each category. Points from all of the categories will be tabulated at the conclusion of our study to determine the ultimate victor. So without further ado, I present to you our first category:

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Señores y Señoras…Juana’s Adicción

jane's addiction

When I heard that Jane’s Addiction was touring again, and playing Toronto’s Massey Hall (one of my all-time favorite venues), I was totally into it. But then I kind of dropped the ball on getting tickets, so I had resigned myself to the fact that I would miss the chance yet again to see Perry Farrell in action, which was a shame because I have heard many accounts of what an excellent front man he is. Plus I love the band. I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard them. It was the summer after grade 9 and I was in San Francisco visiting family. I met up with a bunch of my high school buddies who were also in town. We were hanging out down at Pier 39 doing the touristy thing, and it was one of those perfect San Fran days where it’s sunny and kind of cool but the air is crisp and the sky is unbelievably blue. My friend Matt turned to me and said “Spencer, check this out,” shoving a pair of earphones into my ears. ‘Been Caught Stealing’. That was my first taste of Jane’s Addiction.

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You Always Said We’d Meet Again…Someday…

pretty in pink

Today is a beautiful day. It’s sunny out and (relatively) warm, it’s Friday, and I am in a great mood. But more important than all of those things put together is the fact that tonight, I am going to see…oh, only one of the best movies of all time on the big screen.

Whether or not you are a fan of John Hughes, you have to admit that his films were a huge part of 80s pop culture, helping to cement the careers of a handful of young actors (Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Eric Stoltz, Ally Sheedy, to name a few), and were seminal in the establishment of the teen movie as a genre. Which, as far as I’m concerned, was one of the most important developments of the 20th century. Sure, there were a few other “big” things that happened (women achieving the right to vote, desegregation, man walking on the moon, the invention of the internet by Al Gore, etc) but I’d say that the creation of the modern teen movie ranks pretty high up there.

Although The Breakfast Club is probably considered his masterpiece, Pretty in Pink is my favorite John Hughes movie (with Some Kind of Wonderful coming in a close second). Pretty in Pink has everything — great music, unbelievably awesome 80s fashion, a classic love triangle, new-wave hairdos…all set amidst the backdrop of the ’80s high school class divide (rich kids vs. poor kids, preps vs. outcasts) — obviously a recurring theme in Hughes’ work. Throw in a young James Spader in a crumpled linen suit in what is surely the most amazing portrayal of a rich sleazebag ever to hit the big screen, and what’s not to love?

steff

I mean, look at this guy.

james as steff

The disdainful smirk, the unbuttoned shirt, the feathered hair… goddamit, everything about this look is complete & utter perfection.

There’s one scene in the movie in which Blane (Andrew McCarthy) takes Andie (Molly Ringwald) to a party, and they stumble upon Steff (James Spader) and his rich bitch girlfriend Benny hooking up in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and oh my god Steff and Benny behave like such awesomely horrible rich douchebags to her that it makes me want to punch myself in the face from pure joy.

Steff + Benny

I need these two in my life so they can sit around all day making disparaging remarks about my outfits. Somebody please make this happen.

Anyway, I can feel this quickly devolving into a rant about why Steff is the best character in the movie so I’ll stop here for now, but there are many other amazing parts of this movie that we need to discuss (Duckie’s fashion stylings! Harry Dean Stanton! Annie Potts as Andie’s record store boss!) I’ll be posting this weekend about my thoughts on seeing Pretty in Pink again on the big screen, 25 years after I first saw it in theatres (I was 10). Will it live up to expectations? Will it be as good as it was all those years ago?*

*Spoiler alert: of course it will. Obviously I own the DVD and watch it every few months.

Most importantly, we will examine the music that appears throughout the movie and determine whether Hughes hit the mark with the songs he chose for the soundtrack.

I’m taking a walk down memory lane tonight, my friends. If all goes according to plan, at around 10:30 pm I will be sitting in a dark movie theatre sobbing with happiness as this song plays during the movie’s epic final prom scene:

“We’ve always had time on our sides
Now it’s fading fast
Every second, every moment
We’ve got to, we’ve gotta make it last…”


California Über Alles

pch

Hello everyone & Happy Friday! We have a special treat for you today. Here at LTRV we are obsessed with many things, but one of the things we love the most is the great state of California.

Why California, you ask? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • It’s sunny and warm, like, all the time
  • The Terminator was its Governor
  • There are palm trees and beaches as far as the eye can see
  • You never have to put on your snow tires
  • William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon, built a castle in the countryside where he housed over 100 wiener dogs! Yes! The man was obviously more than a little eccentric, but he was a kajillionnaire so he could do whatever the F he wanted. We love wiener dogs, and it makes us happy to picture them frolicking around the hillsides at Hearst Castle
  • It never rains in Southern California
  • Beverley Hills, 90210 — only the best TV show of all time — was set there

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Please Don’t Put Your Life In the Hands Of a Rock ‘n Roll Band

BOOK REVIEW FOR: Oasis: The Truth: My Life As Oasis’s Drummer

Author: Tony McCarroll

tony mccarroll

What’s the Story, Morning Glory: from the mean streets of Manchester to the heights of Supersonic success

Who Are You: original drummer setting the record straight

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About: sibling rivalry, the agony & the ecstasy, the real Noel

Do Ya Think I’m Sexy: LG, I think I love you

Paperback Writer: a genuinely funny author with a knack for spinning a tale

Add It Up: a Spartan of a book

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Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga

hammer of the gods

Author: Stephen Davis

What’s the Story, Morning Glory: Setting the bar for rock star excess

Who Are You: Four very talented musicians who weren’t afraid to sell their souls to the devil

Do Ya Think I’m Sexy: I actually just wanna be Jimmy Page

Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About: The “red snapper” incident, underage groupies, the occult

Paperback Writer: Spellbinder

Add It Up: One of my all-time faves



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