Thursday, 24 April 2014

Worth a listen: The defining albums of 1984

Thirty years on, these three albums still matter in the music world.

Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA

Brimming with self-respect and swagger, this album saw Bruce Springsteen back with a bang. It made him a certified superstar His longtime fans were delighted while Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks were often seen backstage on the Born In The USA tour. 

The album unleashed a number of tunes that would become Springsteen standards. None more potent than the album’s title track – an angry song about the Vietnam conflict – that became the unlikeliest 1980s stadium rock anthem, while the pop savvy yet cynical Dancing In The Dark stormed up the charts.

That iconic Annie Leibovitz album cover reminded the masses that the Boss had the world in his back pocket.

Bruce SpringsteenBorn In The USA(Sony Music)

Prince And The Revolution’s Purple Rain

If ever there was a point in time when Prince turned his past into drama, then Purple Rain – the movie and soundtrack – was it. As an album, Purple Rain remains a blinder from start to end. His Purpleness Prince’s backing group The Revolution also knew more than one way to rock the house, especially on Let’s Go Crazy and Purple Rain

Revelations that Prince used to hang out in a rock dive in his Minneapolis hometown (First Avenue’s next door wing) back then now make sense. 

The X-rated funk on Darling Nikki did bring on “parental advisory” stickers (on albums) later on. Despite some overtly sexual turns, tracks like I Would Die For U and The Beautiful Ones must rank as Prince’s most inspiring moments on tape.

Prince and The RevolutionPurple Rain soundtrack (Warner Music)

Metallica’s Ride The Lightning

Thrash metal wasn’t musically ambitious enough? Think again. No such thing as a sophomore slump when Metallica’s second album Ride The Lightning arrived in early 1984. Despite the fast and furious momentum across Ride The Lightning, classical music-inspired twists and turns can be heard through the album’s corners while the band’s songcraft was markedly improved. 

Even the epic Fade To Black became a staple on the Sunday playlist of RTM Radio 4’s One Twenty Special show hosted by Saidi Ahmad here. Early career firestarters like For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Call Of The Ktulu (an instrumental) and Creeping Death remain the sacred texts of thrash metal. In fact, after 30 years, the Ride The Lightning album strikes harder than ever. 

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment , Entertainment , music , 1984


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