The Bangles first received national attention with their debut album, All Over the Place in 1984, and the MTV hit, “Hero Takes a Fall.” The followup album, Different Light, would go triple platinum and spawn three massive hits with “Manic Monday,” “If She Knew What She Wants,” and “Walk Like An Egyptian.” The Bangles have just issued Ladies & Gentlemen…the Bangles on Omnivore Records featuring the band’s earliest recordings, back in print for the first time in years.
We talk with founding member, guitarist Vicki Peterson about unearthing these lost gems, plus their garage rock roots, and the recent loss of Prince, who wrote their breakout hit, “Manic Monday.”
Nils Lofgren has been a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E. Street Band since 1984. He’s also played in Neil Young’s band, all the while maintaining a successful solo career. Old School, Lofgren’s first full-length album of his tunes in five years, features guest appearances by Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, and Sam Moore of Sam & Dave. Icon Fetch talks to the multi-instrumentalist about recording his latest effort at home, his love of dogs, and the passing of his dear friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons. He also touches on his online guitar classes
Thomas Dolby, the man behind such enduring hits as “She Blinded Me With Science,” and “Hyperactive,” is readying his first new studio album in 20 years, A Map of the Floating City, an eclectic mix of styles recorded at Dolby’s own home studio, and featuring several guests, including Mark Knopfler and Regina Spektor. Icon Fetch talks to the video pioneer about doing most of the work himself this time around. He also tells a great story about playing with David Bowie at the monumental Live Aid concert in 1985. Hear the Icon Fetch interview with Thomas Dolby by clicking below.
We talked with Dolby back in March of 2011 about the release of the EP Oceanea. He also tells us the story behind “She Blinded Me With Science.” Listen to that interview by clicking below.
Nina Blackwood was one of the original five VJs that played all that crazy music in the early days of MTV. Unbelievably the network quietly just celebrated it’s 30th anniversary. Icon Fetch sits down with the former Ohio resident about how she got chosen to join the fledgling network and what those early days were like, when it seemed like new music was spilling over everywhere. We also touch on some of her current projects, including the nationally-syndicated Nina Blackwood’s Absolutely 80’s, and her daily slot on Sirius/XM’s 80’s on 8 channel.
–One of her videos was banned in the early days of MTV–
Terri Nunn fronted the Eighties synth band Berlin, who first rose to prominence with their controversial single “Sex (I’m a…)” in 1982. MTV refused to play that steamy bit of erotica, but did put other Berlin tracks like “The Metro,” and “No More Words” into heavy rotation. The band eventually hit pay dirt with “Take My Breath Away” from the Top Gun Soundtrack, which rocketed to number one in 1986. But, that stab at commercialism tore the band apart and Nunn went solo. Now, she is readying her first set of original material in nine years, which she hopes to release later this fall. Icon Fetch talks to the former actress about co-hosting the new podcast “Between the Sheets” with Gaye Ann Bruno, recording her new material and the story behind “Take My Breath Away.”
She never fit into the “rock star mold” that the record company wanted her in. Now she’s playing by her own rules
Debora Iyall fronted the Eighties band Romeo Void, who scored a pair of MTV hits in the biting “Never Say Never,” and the funky “Girl in Trouble is a Temporary Thing,” before calling it quits in 1985. After a brief stint as a solo artist, Iyall left the music business altogether to concentrate on art and teaching. Now, she’s got a brand-new album of material called Stay Strong. Icon Fetch talks her about the different directions her new music has taken, the inspiration behind some of the songs, and how Michael Jackson inspired her song “A Girl in Trouble.”
John Oates is one-half of Hall and Oates, the most successful duo in rock history, scoring six #1 hits and seven platinum albums from the Seventies and Eighties. Although he helped create numerous pop smashes, Oates’ true love is still the rhythm & blues and folk music he grew up on. Which brings us to his brand new solo album, Mississippi Mile, a kind of musical road map of his long career. He gives his take on soul classics like “It’s Alright” from the Impressions and “Send Me Someone to Love” from Percy Mayfield.
More surprising is the inclusion of folk standards like “He Was a Friend of Mine,” showing that Oates’ influences are far and wide. Icon Fetch talks with the resident of Aspen, Colorado about the inspiration behind the new record, the back-to-basics recording process, and his thoughts on that monumental success of the Eighties.
Former teen pop sensation Tiffany actually began her career singing country music. But, when she was discovered by manager George Tobin, he steered her towards pop music. She became the youngest female artist to top the Billboard Album chart with Tiffany in 1987, scoring two number one hits in a cover of Tommy James’ “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and the ballad “Could’ve Been,” as well as another top ten in a reworking of the Beatles’ “I Saw HIM Standing There.”
But, as is the case with many teen stars, she really didn’t have creative control over her own career. After her initial success, she’s delved into a variety of styles. Now, with the release of Rose Tattoo, she’s come full circle, back to her country roots. Icon Fetch talks with Tiffany about those crazy early years, moving to Nashville, the story behind the title of her album, and her teaming with fellow 80’s pop queen Debbie Gibson for a goofy SciFi channel movie.
Our RETROactive Eighties week concludes with Thomas Dolby, best known for “She Blinded Me With Science,” an early New Wave hit on MTV. But, a quick listen to any of his studio albums reveals a much deeper melodic sense than that quirky synth hit. Dolby took a great deal of time off from the music business to concentrate on developing new technology (he actually created the synthesizer that plays ringtones in most cellphones!). Now, he’s back with a brand new EP called Ocenea, a preview of a full-length album called A Map of the Floating City, due in the summer. Dolby talks with Icon Fetch about why he’s concentrating more on organic sounds these days, his unique studio built out of an old life boat, and the early days of MTV.
The Motels were one of the biggest bands of the early days of MTV, with hits like “Only the Lonely,” and “Suddenly Last Summer,” all led by the smokey vocals of Martha Davis. Icon Fetch sits down with the singer to talk about those early days, and what she’s been up to lately, including recording a jazz CD. Davis also shares her unique insight into the music business.