Here’s a playlist/mixtape made of incredible French tracks recorded between 1981 and 1989.
Back in the days, in Quebec City (Canada), I used to listen to these tracks late at night on the radio. Great tunes, great era — though it makes one wonder what would have happened to the 80s soundscape without Yamaha’s then-flagship DX7 ? It would have been less colourful for sure !
Oh man — Heavy Metal !
Yes, I’m a fan.
Every time I go for a run, this is the playlist I listen to. Nothing’s like Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry for keeping you on the track !
Here’s Lunatic Mixtape number one.
No definite style, no definite era, just a list of tracks, made on the spot and completely improvised if you want.
Anything goes !
Very inspired “Italo-Disco” tracks from the Province of Quebec in the 80s.
Around 1984-1985, new artists were emerging on Quebec’s music scene. Flirting with the new Italian disco sound and equipped with Linn Drum drum machines and an armada of DX7s, producers were eager to cut new french tunes for a lot less ($) than in the 70s. After 1980, forgetting the past and embracing the future was as urgent as putting an end to an entire decade ruled mostly by prog music and folk revival.
I love these songs so much. First they were cheap and kitsch, now they’re pure bliss and magic !
It has a lot to do, IMO, with the recording path still prevailing at the time : first, everything’s programmed, then, all is recorded and mixed directly to tape.
I created this playlist on YouTube because most of these songs are not published yet on Spotify (as of today, January 7 2019).
Sylvester Stallone is well known for his bigger than life characters. We tend to forget, though, that he wrote and directed (or ghost directed) a lot of his own movies in the 80s — and he was also very good at finding and matching great hooky songs with long sequence montages, MTV style !
I was watching Rocky IV the other night. It reminded me that a lot of Stallone’s films have good music in them — and I’m not even thinking about Bill Conti’s outstanding work on the Rocky series. I’m talking about the songs curated over the years, from Survivor to Bad English, from John Cafferty to Frank Stallone (Sylvester’s brother).
Often disregarded, these songs packed a LOT of craftmanship and were very well written.
For fun, I tracked down the most notorious ones.
*Another one bites the dust was Stallone’s first choice for Rocky III, so it’s up there, but he couldn’t clear the rights with Queen. After having heard Survivor’s Eye of the tiger, he decided to go with it instead of Joe Esposito’s You’re the best (which ended on the Karate Kid Soundtrack) — it is also in the list.
I’m fascinated by the late 70s, early 80s music. It was the moment when disco and punk were suddenly morphing into brand new styles : new-wave, new romantics, electro, dance, rap music…
I. LOVE. THIS. ERA.
Of all the new emerging styles, rap/hip-hop was the most surprising one. Using turntables as a new kind of musical instrument, recycling music, turning break beats into something totally new, adding voices and lyrical parts, the break dancers (b-boys), the DJs and MCs culture —— I mean COME ON ! This was incredible and it was happening at the speed of light (oh, and if you haven’t seen it, go watch Hip-Hop Evolution (produced by HBO), it is, I think, the most researched and the most complete document on the subject).
I was around 10 when all this was happening, becoming aware of it through movies like Flashdance and Breakin’. These new sounds had a huge impact on me. I’m still in awe of these rhythms, so I decided to made a playlist of my favorite tunes of the era.
Party people, can y’all get funky ?