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In the '80s, Nashville music was 'A Family Thing'

The last couple of days we've featured Nashville-based bands so let's finish off the week in the Music City with one that is new to most of us - Raging Fire and their song A Family Thing.

Whether you call cowpunk or Nashville New Wave, the '80s in Nashville was not all about country music and the Grand Old Opry as hybrids of country, rock, punk and new wave made for great music in the Midwest that unfortunately never made it to the masses.  One of those bands that had a unique sound was Raging Fire.

In 1985, Raging Fire released their debut EP A Family Thing and made a video for the title track. The song starts off acoustic with Melora Zaner's sweet vocals before rocking hard in a song about family alcoholism.

Raging Fire is showing that they can't be snuffed out as this past May they released their first album in almost 30 years called These Teeth Are Sharp.

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Poll: Pick the best Halloween-themed song of the '80s

It's nearly Halloween season again, '80s fans. Well, for you goth fans, the season never ends. But back on topic: We here at Stuck in the '80s are building the ultimate Halloween playlist of '80s songs for the occasion. We definitely want your suggestions (either via email or on our FB page). But we'd also love you to vote in our poll for the best Halloween-themed song of the '80s. CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Stay tuned for the results in an upcoming podcast!

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Five years later, Lost and Found still shopping for Scorchers

In just a few months, it will be five years since Steve Spears moved from Tampa and his newspaper job to the world of digital content management in Orlando. That move opened up some opportunities on the blog which in turn has given me great privilege to give birth to the Lost and Found feature on Stuck In The '80s. How did I arrive at the name Lost and Found? I just went shopping around with Jason & the Scorchers.

While we have featured almost a thousand artists on Lost and Found (really I'm not kidding - it's close to 1,000!), and it's so fun when I find a rare video not only for one of my favorite bands, but one of my favorite songs. While Jason & the Scorchers are no strangers to the Lost and Found feature making their fourth appearance on the blog, it was a good day when I found a new posting of Shop It Around on YouTube. …

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Question for you: Who performed 'Window to the World?'

Yesterday we featured Shawn Colvin and today we feature more Americana and a Colvin connection with the Questionnaires and Window To The World.

In 1994, Colvin put out an album of cover songs cleverly titled Cover Girl. About half the songs are from '80s originals including popular songs like Every Little Thing (He) Does Is Magic (Police), Someday (Steve Earle) and This Must Be The Place (Talking Heads). A few of the '80s covers are less familiar like Window To The World originally recorded by the Questionnaires in 1989.

The Questionnaires were from Nashville and led by Tim Littlefield. They released their debut record on EMI, the same label that promoted other Midwest acts like Jason & the Scorchers. The video for Window To The World is a solid lead single with great harmonies and the Questionnaires are literally Stuck in the '80s as they are confined to a toy prism found by young lad. The Questionnaires released one last album in 1991 that also didn't sell. …

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This forgotten Shawn Colvin tune was a real jewel

On Lost and Found, some of our posts have surprisingly revealed that musicians we thought were '90s-only acts actually got their recording start in the '80s. These diamonds in the rough always are intriguing as we get an early glimpse before they made it big like Shawn Colvin and the aptly titled Diamond In The Rough.

Thirty-three years of age is a pretty ripe number for an artist to put out their first album, but that is what happened when Shawn Colvin released her debut album Steady On in 1989. The question of what genre Colvin's music falls into is always a tricky topic as Colvin's title track was a minor hit on the Modern Rock Tracks charts while the album would win the Grammy for Best Folk Album, which seems almost the opposite of Modern Rock.

Another track off of Colvin's debut album was Diamond In The Rough, which did not chart. The video is in black and white and mostly performance with some flashbacks thrown in depicting Colvin's childhood and the unearthing of treasure. The phrase Diamond In The Rough dates back to the 1600's literature and continues to be used today as any parent who owns a copy of Disney's Aladdin well knows. …

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New podcast: Belushi's 'Real Men,' 'The Principal' turn 30

Hand to god, I'm a sucker for a good Jim Belushi movie. And the mid-'80s gave us SO many good ones from the actor. But of all odd timing, two of his more under-appreciated flicks actually were released within one week of each other 30 years ago: The Principal and Real Men.

Now, The Principal could be written off as your typical "rough-around-the-edges educator tries to tame an inner-city school crowd" story. We saw our fair share of those in the '80s. (Lean On Me or Stand and Deliver come to mind.) But Belushi's take is still more entertaining - and he gives us a good balance of drama with a sprinkling of his comic chops. Real Men, on the other hand, is just plain fun - a sci-fi comedy that plays to Belushi's strengths. Of course, it helps having John Ritter as a co-star.

We make our case for rewatching both flicks in this week's show. Hope you enjoy it.

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Remember that famous dance band from the '80s? Blue Oyster Cult!

The '80s were for dancing. In song title form, '80s Nation was dancing in the streets, in the sheets, on the ceiling, in heaven and Billy Idol was fine with dancing all by his lonesome. We were so much dancing fools that we even danced in the oddest of places as Blue Oyster Cult found with Dancin' In The Ruins.

A common misconception is that Blue Oyster Cult is just a '70s band, but this is their third appearance on Lost And Found and late in 1985 their fourth album of the '80s produced the Top 10 Mainstream Rock Track Dancin' In The Ruins.  

The video for Dancin' In The Ruins is about the underground skateboard world as BOC is the house band in a video that has a similar dark style to the movie The Lost Boys that would come out several years later. All though the only skateboarder I can name is Tony Hawk, the video for Dancin' In The Ruins supposedly contains some of the best skateboarders of the day.

 

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This Bronski Beat video ain't necessarily appetizing

I don't claim to know a lot about competitive eating contests, but I do know some name like Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi. While everybody knows about the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest that started in the late '70s, there was competitive eating in '80s music videos too, just get out the barf bag for Bronski Beat and their video for Ain't Necessarily So.

We've featured Bronski Beat many years ago on Lost and Found with their dance hit Small Town Boy from their Age Of Consent album. The third single off of that album was Ain't Necessarily So and it was a Top 20 hit in the U.K. …

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Bernie Casey was so much more than ‘U.N. Jefferson’

We lost another actor from the ‘80s this week. Bernie Casey, possibly best known to the ‘80s generation for playing U.N. Jefferson in Revenge of the Nerds, died Tuesday at age 78 after a brief illness.

The former wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers and L.A. Rams appeared in more than 30 films in his career, beginning in 1969 with Guns of the Magnificent Seven

Among his notable ‘80s big-screen appearances are Revenge of the Nerds, Spies Like Us, Rent-a-Cop, Never Say Never Again, Sharky’s Machine and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures

During his craft, his piercing stare was often accompanied by an equally sharp line of dialog.

“It seems to me the only thing you've learned is that Caesar is a salad dressing dude,” Casey delivered with perfect pacing in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Or “Boys, it would be a shame to have to kill you now” still stands out from Spies Like Us.

Casey also painted and wrote books of poetry and found famous fans in process. 

"His art makes my road less rocky, and my path less crooked," Maya Angelou once commented on a 2003 exhibit of Casey’s works.

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5 things you didn't know about 'Wall Street' on its 30th anniversary

It’s hard to think of the 1987 movie Wall Street and not picture Michael Douglas as a megalomaniac tycoon spouting "greed is good" until shareholders fall in line. 

But the truth is Douglas — who won an Oscar for his performance - wasn’t the first choice to play the role of Gordon Gekko. Or even the second or third. Director Oliver Stone had Richard Gere and Warren Beatty in mind. William Petersen and James Woods also reportedly turned down the part before it fell to Douglas.

It’s like Gekko says in the movie: “It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.”

Released on Dec. 11, 1987, Wall Street is getting another chance to shine at the cineplexes for its 30th anniversary. Select theaters around the country will show Wall Street on Sept. 24 and 27. 

You can put on a power tie and order the steak tartare before heading out to the theater, but here are five things you probably didn’t know about Wall Street on its big anniversary, according to IMDB.com. …

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45 'Magnum P.I.' impersonators kicked out of Detroit Tigers game

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How’s this being stuck in the ‘80s? A group of 45 men dressed as Tom Selleck’s character in Magnum P.I. were kicked out of a Detroit Tigers game this past weekend.

Their offense? The men, who were gathered for a bachelor party at the ballpark, allegedly were smoking and catcalling, according to the local newspaper. 

We didn’t know that was even against the rules in a town like Detroit. 

Here’s a video of the group being ejected. 

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New podcast: 'Stormy moments' of the '80s (too soon?)

Hurricane Irma was so nasty, it almost knocked the Stuck in the '80s podcast out of business last night. Your poor host had no power or Internet for most of the week, so this episode was recorded at an undisclosed location somewhere in Central Florida. 

The topic? Well, that's almost second thought to the accomplishment of recording it, but we covered "Stormy Moments of the '80s," mainly films that had memorable disaster scenes. You see, disaster films weren't really a thing in the '80s. The '70s had them. So did the '90s. Why not the '80s? We may never know but we found five memorable moments anyway. Hope you enjoy the show. 

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New ‘Terminator’ trilogy will reunite Schwarzenegger, Hamilton

Humanity may survive the machines, but can it survive another three installments of the Terminator franchise? 

Deadline.com reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton will reunite for a “final” trilogy that will be helmed by James Cameron. Hamilton appeared in the first two Terminator movies but hasn’t been on screen for the deluge of less-than-stellar sequels that have followed. 

“As meaningful as [Hamilton] was to gender and action stars everywhere back then, it’s going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return,” Cameron reportedly told a group. “There are 50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys, but there isn’t an example of that for women.”

While Cameron is set to produce the Terminator trilogy, he won’t be directing. That duty will fall to Deadpool’s Tim Miller. No word yet on release dates.  

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A hit with It? Anthrax's 'Antisocial' isn't clowning around

There have been many home runs lately with '80s nostalgia like Stranger Things and perhaps the grand slam of the bunch is the runaway box office success of It. The remake of It is set in the late '80s, and many of the '80s songs featured in the movie weave well into story like the thrash metal sound of Anthrax with Antisocial.

Based on Stephen King's 1986 novel, It is a remake of the made-for-TV 4-hour event. The flick has set box office records as well as scoring high approval ratings on IMDB. Even though the original movie was released in 1990, the new version wisely moves back the timeline a few years and incorporates '80s fashion style and music into the story. The songs heard in It range from New Kids On The Block to the Cure to heavy acts like Anthrax.

Hailing from New York, Anthrax was one of the biggest thrash metal groups of the '80s and they have a Stephen King connection beyond having a song included in It. In 1988 they released their fourth and most successful album of the '80s with State Of Euphoria that besides the song Antisocial, featured the song Misery Loves Company based on King's 1987 novel Misery. …

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Even in the '80s, 'This World of Water' was still New Musik to us

Our relentless search for lost music of the '80s took a week off while Steve Spears weathered Hurricane Irma. The hurricanes of the past month has reminded us how powerful water can be and so we tip our hats to those who now are trying to get back to normal after the hurricanes with New Musik and This World Of Water.

More than a year ago, we featured New Musik and their catchy Living By Numbers that was a U.K. hit in 1980. Their follow-up single was This World Of Water, which also hit U.K. Top 40 peaking at No. 31. The lyrics for This World Is Water talk about what the residents of Florida, Texas, Louisiana and other areas have been feeling about water always rising and the struggle to survive. The video for This World Of Water is more lighthearted with the synth pop band from England sporting matching white outfits, sunglasses and synthesizers on the beach. 

New Musik suffered the fate of many other bands when record company woes facilitated their demise, but lead singer Tony Mansfield went on to become a successful producer including all of Naked Eyes big hits.

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