The Motels had several big hits in the early Eighties, including “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.” At a time when new albums are kind of an afterthought, The Motels have just issued one of the strongest albums of their entire career called The Last Few Beautiful Days.
Vocalist Martha Davis is reunited with Marty Jourard who provided signature saxophone and keyboards on many of their albums. This new record somehow manages to be both modern and a reflection of everything that the band has done before.
We chat with Davis about what led to this new project, and how using vintage keyboards on the new record helped give it a timeless quality . Plus, she gives us the stories behind their biggest hits.
Founding member and vocalist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim Wilson, has enjoyed hit albums, sold out concerts and even videos on MTV, but his latest project takes him back to where it all started – Blues and Boogie Volume One is a collection of raw blues, done the old-fashioned way. The 16 tracks give Wilson a chance to honor some of his idols, like James Cotton, Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, while also throwing in some of his originals which fit perfectly with the mood.
He reveals how he was able to channel that vintage sound on his new material. Plus, he talks the crazy success of the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ hit “Tuff Enuff.”
Colin Hay was the lead singer of Men At Work, who sold an unbelievable 15 million copies worldwide of their debut, Business as Usual, yielding hits like “Down Under” and “Who Can it Be Now.” After three albums, the band called it quits. Since then, Hay has forged a solo career, showing an ability to write songs with incredible depth. He’s recently issued his 13th solo platter, Fierce Mercy, and it’s a diverse affair, with some songs featuring a heavy Americana feel, while another has a strong Phil Spector influence. We chat about the inspiration for some of the new songs, plus he looks back on that incredible popularity of the early Eighties.
Stephen Pearcy fronted Ratt through several platinum albums in the Eighties and early Nineties, including Out of the Cellar, Invasion of Your Privacy, Dancing Undercover and Reach For the Sky. The band had success on the pop charts as well, hitting #12 in 1984 with “Round and Round,” also a huge MTV hit.
In the early 2000’s, Pearcy embarked on a solo career, and he’s just issued his fourth solo long-player called Smash. The new album sees him returning to his riff-heavy roots of classic Ratt, while also breaking new ground – there’s some strong Led Zeppelin influences here as well. He’s also planning a reunion with his bandmates in Ratt for a tour later this year.
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.”
Long before Richard Barone embarked on a successful solo career, he fronted the Hoboken band the Bongos. The group enjoyed critical acclaim, college radio success, and even got some videos played on early MTV. But by 1986, the band was falling apart. They recorded a final album in the Bahamas, but it remained unreleased, and Barone went solo. Now, after over 25 years, Phantom Train finally gets a proper release. Full of the chiming guitars and haunting melodies that were characteristics of the band’s best moments. We talk to Barone about why 2013 was the right time to release these tracks, how these songs figured into his next project, Cool Blue Halo, and the recent reunion of the Bongos.’
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.