Vintage Sunglasses 11-10-16: If Your Election Lasts Longer Than Four Hours...

Hello! Anything interesting happen in this country over the last 10 days? We'll try to take a light-hearted look at it all tonight, with songs about healing what's broken, new ideas, change...and hopefully, through this music, some hope for the future.
  1. Arcadia, "Election Day"
    You know the story (or perhaps not): Duran Duran goes on hiatus circa 1985, its members forming two splinter groups. Arcadia, for which "Election Day" was the only big hit, starred singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, and drummer Roger Taylor. The Power Station, with Andy and John Taylor along with Robert Palmer, and Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson of Chic, scored with "Some Like It Hot" and a cover of "Get It On (Bang A Gong)." The original DD lineup would not reunite until 2004.
  2. The Doobie Brothers, "The Doctor"
    Speaking of reunions, the Doobie Brothers got back together sans Michael McDonald in 1989, seven years after the band split and McDonald began a solo career. Founding member Tom Johnston returned to sing the lead vocal on the resulting album's leadoff track and biggest single, "The Doctor," updating the classic boogie of "China Grove" while hearkening back to the lighthearted lyrics of "Listen To The Music."
  3. Men at Work, "Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive"
    Similarly titled, but differently spelled, from the 1979 England Dan & John Ford Coley album most notable for a hit cover of Todd Rundgren's "Love Is The Answer," "Dr. Heckyll" was the lead single off Men at Work's second album, Cargo. But it didn't chart in the U.S. until after both of what are now considered the album's signature songs, "Overkill" and "It's A Mistake," became huge hits here.
  4. Motley Crue, "Dr. Feelgood"
    Theatre of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls had set the Crue up for major mainstream success, and the Dr. Feelgood album, released in 1989, cashed in on that promise. At its heart is the title track, with verses sounding like "Walk This Way" on uppers and a breakneck, singalong chorus that became so ubiquitous that "Weird Al" Yankovic picked it up for one of his polka medleys.
  5. Thompson Twins, "Doctor! Doctor!"
    "Lies" having become a cult favorite single in the U.S., and several other songs having made waves in their native England, Thompson Twins went for broke on their fourth and best-known album, Into the Gap. "Doctor! Doctor" was certainly memorable, but the album is of course best recognized for containing one of the truly great achievements of the '80s, "Hold Me Now."
  6. Dr. Hook, "Sexy Eyes"
    So you have several different doctors to choose from in dealing with this election (and we'll get to what's wrong with you in a minute), but why not try out Dr. Hook -- by the turn of the '70s they'd dropped the Medicine Show -- and their Yacht Rock-y hit "Sexy Eyes." It continued a pattern of smooth singles that previously included "Sharing The Night Together" and "When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman," hardly the band that had given us "The Cover Of Rolling Stone" years before.
  7. Joe Jackson, "Breaking Us In Two"
    On an album (Night and Day) that deliberately recalled Cole Porter and painted an Englishman's view of early-80s New York, the U.S. Top 20 "Breaking Us In Two" served as a smoky, late-night serenade, though it appeared on the "Day" side of the album. The ballad pointed the way to similarly sophisticated Jackson material still to come, like the same album's "A Slow Song" or the ensuing one's "Be My Number Two."
  8. Mr. Mister, "Broken Wings"
    Far from being a doctor, Mr. Mister demands to be addressed with a slightly lesser honorific. "Broken Wings" was one of two massive #1 hits (the other being the spiritual "Kyrie") off MM's 1985 release Welcome To The Real World, and though I like the song, it does seem a bit disingenuous to ape an entire line of the chorus from the Beatles' "Blackbird."
  9. Queen, "I Want To Break Free"
    In one of the weirder configurations I'm aware of, the album version of "I Want To Break Free," off Queen's 1984 The Works LP, actually also became the radio edit. The single version begins with a lengthy, some would say unnecessary, synthesizer intro (remember, Queen didn't even start using synths until about 1980) that completely undermines the driving, chug-a-chug riff you're probably most familiar with.
  10. Tears for Fears, "Head Over Heels/Broken"
    "Head Over Heels" has always been a great single and one of my favorite TfF songs, but it wasn't until I got my hands on the full Songs from the Big Chair album that I realized its true compositional brilliance. In that context, it weaves out of a studio version of "Broken," only to return to a live coda of that song after "Heels" proper ends. And yes, the intro drum fill on "Broken" is coincidentally the same as that of the theme song to the 1990s Nickelodeon show Clarissa Explains It All.
  11. Al Jarreau, "Breakin' Away"
    Produced and co-written by L.A. studio whiz Jay Graydon (I've mentioned it before, but he plays the legendary guitar solo on Steely Dan's "Peg"), the title track to Jarreau's most successful album is undoubtedly one of his finest pop vocal performances. It doesn't scat like his take on "Blue Rondo A La Turk" or torch like his cover of "Teach Me Tonight" and it's not as readily accessible as "We're In This Love Together," but...jeez, this is a fantastic album.
  12. Whitney Houston, "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"
    This ballad -- which struck a softer blow than the fantastic, yet bombastic, "Didn't We Almost Have It All" off the same album -- became Whitney's record-setting seventh consecutive #1 single. Its writers were Frank Wildhorn, well-known in theater circles for writing the music to Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War, and Chuck Jackson, perhaps best known for doing the original version of Leiber-Stoller's "I Keep Forgettin'" that Michael McDonald adapted in hit form in 1982.
  13. Foreigner, "Urgent"
    Need to see a doctor? Something's broken? Make it fast, make it urgent (emergency!) with one of Foreigner's most recognizable hits. Heavy hitters abound on this one...producer Mutt Lange, once known as Mr. Shania Twain, a then-unknown Thomas Dolby on synths, and most conspicuously an extended saxophone solo by Junior Walker.
  14. Neil Young, "Rockin' In The Free World"
    Heard here is the live acoustic version from 1989's Freedom album (there's an electric one too, similar to "Hey Hey, My My"). Ol' Neil has never shied away from political stances, many of which he has taken up in the U.S. despite his Canadian lineage. No matter the results of this election, his message from more than 25 years ago remains powerful.
  15. Steve Winwood, "Freedom Overspill"
    There were just eight songs on Winwood's Back in the High Life album, each between five and six minutes in length, and seven (the exception being the album closer "My Love's Leavin'") were officially released as singles. "Freedom Overspill" was the second of those, following obvious first choice "Higher Love," and peaked at #20 in the U.S. It's been mostly forgotten since, having been passed in popularity by two subsequent hits, the title track and "The Finer Things."
  16. The Fixx, "One Thing Leads To Another"
    Only I can Fixx it, Donald Trump says. Well, here's his chance, but it would be wise to remember the consequence-ridden implications of this title. Easily the Fixx's biggest hit, it was preceded by a real chestnut in "Saved By Zero" (which showed up in a U.S. car commercial about eight years ago). Neither song was ever surpassed in reputation by anything the band recorded that followed.
  17. Kenny Loggins, "I'm Free (Heaven Helps The Man)"
    From Loggins' extremely lucrative soundtrack years, the gritty "I'm Free" contrasts beautifully with his other contribution -- it's obvious what that is -- to Footloose. In the stage musical adaptation of the film, a favorite for high school and college groups (and in both regards my alma maters have performed it), "I'm Free" provides a climactic end to the first act.
  18. Patti LaBelle, "New Attitude"
    There certainly will be a new attitude in the White House come January; some say it may not be as rosy as the upbeat pop of this hit off the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. I always think this climbed higher on the charts than it actually did, but no, it reached only #17 in the U.S. Patti would have much better luck with her 1986 Michael McDonald duet "On My Own," a transatlantic #1.
  19. John Waite, "Change"
    Have voice, will travel...and John's got a great one. First rising to prominence as lead singer of the Babys, with anthemic late-70s hits like "Everytime I Think Of You," he went on to sing two 1980's #1s: his solo masterpiece from 1984, "Missing You," and the supergroup Bad English's 1989 signature track "When I See You Smile." "Change" was a minor chart hit, but popular on MTV, and compositionally it's as good as any of the others.
  20. George Michael, "A Different Corner"
    Michael had been credited, in a sense, as the soloist on Wham!'s "Careless Whisper," and "Corner" technically came out on a Wham! release, but for all intents and purposes this was the beginning of his solo career. In fact, George was the only individual at all involved in its recording. A runaway #1 hit in his native U.K., it peaked at #7 in the U.S., setting up the remarkable success of his flagship album Faith. Donald Trump is from a different corner than almost any other president, ya know.
  21. Elton John, "Healing Hands"
    The lead single off Elton's Sleeping With the Past, in 1989, it's familiar and just generic enough in a way that at least one Elton single off every one of his future albums would be. Peaking at #13 in America, it was the album's biggest single from a sales perspective, but "Sacrifice" -- which unbelievably was his first-ever U.K. #1 -- has become the better-known track.
  22. Todd Rundgren, "Time Heals"
    Sounding like a B-side from one of the early-80s albums by Philly contemporaries Hall & Oates (with a remarkably spot-on Daryl Hall impersonation by Todd, always a vocal chameleon), "Time Heals" was the eighth video ever played on MTV. Rundgren embraced the medium early, and his arty film for this minor hit made prominent use of Salvador Dali's painting The Persistence of Memory...that's the melting clocks one, guys.
  23. Bruce Hornsby & the Range, "The Way It Is"
    NO, TUPAC DIDN'T WRITE THIS. Hornsby did, and its socially-conscious message is still an important one 30 years after the original song came out. Also, Hornsby on piano is one of the few artist-instrument pairings, like Stevie Wonder on harmonica, that's instantly recognizable the second you hear it. Oh yeah -- and this was easily his biggest hit.
  24. Cyndi Lauper, "Money Changes Everything"
    I've long had a debate going among friends and family about the greatest leadoff track on a debut album, i.e. the best song that launched an artist's career. This has to be in the discussion. And in my career in radio, it was once used to great kiss-off effect by a colleague of mine who knew they were going to be let go in a budget crunch but had time to play one...more...song.
  25. Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry Be Happy"
    You might want to sing this note-for-note...for the next four years.