Posts Tagged ‘Manic Monday’

Of late, Facebook has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. As most folks now know, unscrupulous data miners utilized a personality-quiz app to scrape the innards of millions upon millions of profiles, and then used the information to push political ads during the 2016 election aimed at dissuading Democrats from voting and boosting Republican turnout. Micro-targeted ads, of course, are tailored for specific audiences. In this case, they played off of the hopes and/or fears that the scraped data indicated they have. 

There’s still much we don’t know, however, such as what the ads looked like – and whether they worked. But we do know this: It’s a foreshadow of what’s to come, writ large, and not just for political advertisements or on Facebook. It’s the wave of the future.

I should note that, somehow, my data wasn’t scraped. So the political ads in question came to me the old-fashioned way: by hook, not crook. Someone reacted vociferously to an ad, in other words, and decided to share their outrage or support. (And then I, in turn, ignored it.) In fact, after downloading my 10 years’ worth of Facebook data a few weeks back, what became obvious is that, by and large, the ads I interact with are music-related (artists, albums, concerts) or, more broadly, entertainment-related. (Veronica Mars meet Jason Bourne!)

Hmmm…I wonder why?

All that being said, I happen to like and enjoy Facebook. After a long day at the office, or even during a long day at the office, it provides a quick pick-me-up – Charlie Brown cartoons, silly animal videos, and music recommendations from friends and sponsored ads. It’s also a good way to keep up with friends old and new, as well as a few pets of said friends.

Anyway, I was “tagged” on Facebook several times over the past few weeks regarding one of the latest memes to make the rounds, which is supposed to be played out over 10 days: “In no particular order – 10 all-time favorite albums that really made an impact and are still on your rotation list, even if only now and then. Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person to do the same. Today, I nominate…[insert tag].” After some internal back-and-forth, I gave into the whim and shared 10 “all-time favorite albums” over the next 10 days.

I hasten to add: They are not my All-Time Top 10 picks, just 10 albums I love. And, with that, here’s today’s Top 5: 10 All-Time Favorite Albums, Part 1.

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Day 1: Lone Justice – Lone Justice. The 1985 debut of Maria McKee’s old band needs no introduction on these pages. It sounds as fresh to my ears now as it did then. It was the first pick for my occasional “Essentials” series. 

Day 2: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Another “Essentials” pick. 

Day 3: Rumer – Seasons of My Soul. And yet another “Essentials” pick. (See a pattern here?)

Day 4: The Bangles – Different Light. A future “Essentials” pick. Despite their success, the Bangles are one of the most underrated bands in the annals of rock ’n’ roll. (Why they aren’t in the Rock Hall of Fame is beyond me.) And this album is a sheer delight.

Day 5: Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run. Another future “Essentials” pick. It should need no introduction to any self-respecting rock fan. 

IMG_1052The first Prince album I purchased was 1999 – on Oct. 18, 1983, almost a year after its release on Oct. 28, 1982. Why I waited so long: I was somewhat on the fence about whether I liked his music. Oh, I thought he was talented, don’t get me wrong, but the bulk of my musical obsession was focused elsewhere, as the other two albums I bought that same day show. That said, once I did hear 1999 in full…well, I bought Purple Rain on the day of its release the next year, and it went on to become my No. 2 album of ’84, right behind Talk Show by the Go-Go’s. (Yeah, yeah, I can hear the snickers echoing through the tubes that make up this thing we call the Internet. If I only knew then what I know now…or not. I’d still make the same call. For where I was at that point in my life, it made and still makes sense.)

Anyway, there was a stretch in the ’80s when he was one of the best musical artists riding the charts – 1999 (1982), Purple Rain (1984), Around the World in a  Day (1985), Parade (1986) and Sign o’ the Times (1987), specifically, though his Batman soundtrack (1989) had its moments, too. (Lovesexy, on the other hand…the less said, the better.) Anyway, I remember sitting around a table at a Folk Show staff meeting in early ’86 while one of my fellow deejays – like me, a long-haired, unlikely Prince fan – raved about “Raspberry Beret.” Prince’s music pushed past long-established boundaries, in other words.

Aside from his music, what I always found amazing (and/or amusing): Prince’s extracurricular activities. He wrote hits for Sheila E., Sheena Easton and the Bangles, among others, including “Manic Monday.”

That song wasn’t written for the Bangles, though, but Apollonia 6. Prince supposedly became infatuated with Susanna Hoffs, however, and decided she should sing the song instead. Here’s Apollonia 6 demo (which sounds almost exactly like the Bangles’ version).

He also oversaw the final LP of one of the great, lost bands of the ’80s, Paisley Underground pioneers the Three O’Clock, whom he signed to his label, Paisley Park Records. That 1988 album was Vermillion, and features the Prince-penned “Neon Telephone.”