40 Records In 40 Years (13/40 – 1986)

Whilst thinking about this year I recognized that two explosions ruled the headlines. The first one will be known by many readers as the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster from end of January when the shuttle broke apart 73 seconds into it’s flight. All seven members of the crew died. The spacecraft disintegrated over the the Atlantic Ocean. I still see the family members of those who died looking unbelievable to this disaster.

The second one happened three month later and nothing was the way it was before. Me and some mates with those I use to play football were off for a weekend in the mountains. We hiked around the hills and did some rafting and had fun at all. We had rented a hut in the mountain sitting together in the evening when we noticed the news on the radio. They told that in Ukraine an accident happened in the Nuclear Power Plant. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere that spread over much of the wester USSR and Europe. Discussing the theme and the what will be the consequences for us made us all being silent at this time. We also realized that the radioactive particles will not stay in the atmosphere and fall down on earth. What does it mean to all our food, the water and so on? The risk of cancer will expand and suddenly we realized that our lives could come to an end quickly. We also realized that we’ve been cheated by the atomic industry and been lied by our politicians. What we agreed on this weekend was that we will look for ways to get rid of them Nuclear Power Plants.

Over all that negative things we watched the FIFA World Cup in Mexico and the rebirth of a new great German team. We lost in a dramatic final game against Argentina after extra time 3:2. But the main game was the quarter final in Mexico City between Argentina and England (four years after the Falkland war). It was a great game and finally England was beaten by ‘The Hand of God’ and Diego Maradona with an unbelievable solo run.

Some music and video-clips from 1986:

Falco – The song of the year in Germany by an Austrian!

Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls: Perfect pop song

New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle: Seem  like electronic music takes over the commando

Bruce Hornsby – The way it is: A classical tune

Debbie Harry – French Kissing in the USA: One of her finest songs

The Bangles – Walk like an Egyptian: One hit wonder – but good

Prince – Kiss: How good this song is you can see it’s cover versions

Elton John – Nikita: Also a perfect pop song in it’s way

Run DMC – Walk this way: That’s the way you can make a good song better

When I go back to 1986 there are a few records that I remember very well:

Joe Jackson – Big World: Fantastic live recordings from his best songs

Prince – Parade: One of his best recordings

The Triffids – Born Sandy Devotional: Great record from a hardly underrated band

Hüsker Dü – Candy Apple Grey: It’s their legacy to me

Anita Baker – Rapture: The return of soul music and a great voice. Less noticed because most people were focused on Whitney Houston

Peter Gabriel – So: It was his masterpiece after leaving Genesis

The Smiths – The Queen is dead: Listened to it over and over

Sting – Bring on the Night:

Paul Simon – Graceland: Mighty comeback with the best of African music

Elvis Costello – Blood and Chocolate:

Timbuk 3 – Greetings from Timbuk 3: Another little gem that is not on my favorite list

The Housemartins – London 0 Hull 4: As on the back sleeve told ‘Take Jesus – take Marx – take hope’

They Might Be Giants – same: Alternative Indie-Folk rock at it’s best

The Beastie Boys – Licenced to Ill: Eponymous first album

Miles Davis – Tutu: The man with his horn is back – gigantic!

The Cramps – A date with Elvis: The Kings of Psychobilly returned with an awesome record

The The – Infected: Played in every god location at my place

What remains from this year in recollection:

Brain – the first PC-Virus starts to spread the net; Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates 73 seconds after launch, killing the whole crew; ‘Baby Doc’ Jean-Claude Duvalier flees from Haiti – the family rule and terror ends finally after 28 years; Revolution in the Philippines – President Marcos escapes to Hawaii after 20 years of rule and Corazon Aquino becomes the first female president of the Philippines; Swedish prime minister Olof Palme was assassinated; former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim was accused to be involved in Nazi war crimes during World War II; Berlin discotheque ‘La Belle’, a usually hangout for American soldiers is bombed by Lybian terrorists; Chernobyl disaster in the Nuclear Power Plant – radio active fallout all over the northern hemisphere; FIFA World Cup was won by Argentina; Abu Nidal a former member of the PLO gets radical and orders attacks in  20 countries, killing or injuring more than 900 people; Iran-Contra affair in America – Oliver North is the leading person to get illegal money to support the Nicaraguan Contras; Desmond Tutu becomes the first black Anglican Church bishop in South Africa.

Movies from 1986 that you can watch again:

Platoon – Oliver North processes his experiences from Vietnam war

Aliens – Sigourney Weaver’s first fight against them

Down and out in Beverly Hills – Nick Nolte and Richard Dreyfuss showed us the other side of Hollywood

Stand by me – Fine movie about coming of age

The Mission – Unbelievable pictures of a Jesuit missionary in South America in the 19th century

Absolute Beginners – Julian Temple’s review of life in the 1950s

Blue Velvet – Still distressing after all the years

Highlander – ‘There can only be one’

The Name of the Rose – Sean Connery as a monk and the big question ‘Is laughing suitable to god?’

Round Midnight – The best movie about the Paris Jazz scene in the 1950s

Sid and Nancy – Tragedy


A year with very very good records made it hard to decide which album was the one that means most to me. My decision to Sting was finally easy because of two facts: First I saw him a year ago on the tour this live recordings were made. And second because it was one of the only records me and my girlfriend could agree. After he released his first solo record Sting went on tour playing a lot of his solo material and added some songs from his former band The Police. ‘The Dream of the Blue Turtles’ is a good record but didn’t was eager to see him live. In the approach of his tour became known who will be the members of his band. The names of so prominent jazz musicians as Branford Marsalis, Darryl Jones, Kenny Kirkland and Omar Hakim made my decision easy to buy some tickets. Arriving in the nearly sold out concert hall we met a lot of other folks we knew from our hometown. Most of them were more into jazz and funk then into rock music and they just came because of the band and not because of Sting. What we had was one of the best live concerts ever. They arranged the songs in a more jazzy style with time enough for improvisations for each member of the band. What made this musicians high class is their ability to play rock songs also as well as jazz tunes. The record shows exactly the sum of the performance. Therefore it is a milestone of crossover music.

Sting – Consider Me Gone
Sting – Driven To Tears
Sting – Burn For You
Sting – Tea In The Sahara

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