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Archive for the ‘Kenny Loggins’ Category

Tom Petty, The Clash, Dire Straits, Pat Benatar Featured On “The Best of Fridays”

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The Best of FridaysWhen ABC-TV’s Fridays premiered on April 11, 1980, its agenda was not a hidden one: to grab a piece of the lucrative late-night comedy pie from NBC’s Saturday Night Live.  Less than a year later, on March 10, 1981, The New York Times was trumpeting in a headline, “How ‘Fridays’ Beat ‘Saturday Night.’”  Of course, Fridays’ domination didn’t last, and the program was off the air after just three seasons.  The series has mainly lived on due to the infamous incident in which Andy Kaufman and Michael Richards got into a mock brawl on the air…that soon turned into a real brawl with other cast and crew members unaware of Kaufman’s planned hijinks.  Shout! Factory hasn’t forgotten Fridays, however, and has just released sixteen full episodes of the series as The Best of Fridays, a new 5-DVD set.  It should be of special interest to readers of The Second Disc for its eclectic musical performances.  The new collection includes appearances by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Kenny Loggins, The Cars, KISS, and many other famed classic-rock artists.

Of Fridays’ core cast of comedians, two names stand out: Michael Richards and Larry David.  The future Kramer and co-creator of Seinfeld both made a splash as part of the Fridays ensemble.  Richards and Davis were joined by Melanie Chartoff (Rugrats), Mark Blankfield (Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Dracula: Dead and Loving It), Maryedith Burrell (Parenthood), Bruce Mahler (Police Academy, Seinfeld), Darrow Igus, Brandis Kemp and John Roarke.  Though musical guests were a part of the show since the very first episode, with Kenny Loggins, guest stars weren’t a part of the series until its second season.  The Best of Fridays includes appearances by the aforementioned Kaufman as well as Valerie Harper, Billy Crystal, William Shatner, Karen Allen, Valerie Bertinelli, Shelley Duvall, Peter Fonda, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tab Hunter and Anthony Geary.

Each musical guest usually contributed a couple of songs per episode.  On the new DVD set, you’ll find highlights from Loggins (“Keep the Fire”), Petty and the Heartbreakers (“American Girl”), The Clash (“London Calling”) Graham Parker and the Rumour (“Empty Lives”), The Cars (“Shake It Up”), Dire Straits (“Romeo and Juliet”), Devo (“Whip It”), Pat Benatar (“Hit Me with Your Best Shot”), former Eagle Randy Meisner (“Hearts on Fire”), Kim Carnes (“Miss You Tonight”), Stray Cats (“Rock This Town”) and KISS (“A World Without Heroes”). The Stray Cats and The Clash both made their American television debuts on Fridays.  AC/DC, The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett, Bonnie Raitt, Def Leppard, Heart, Ian Hunter, Jefferson Starship, Warren Zevon, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney all made appearances on Fridays before the show’s demise in 1982.

Besides the off-the-wall (and frequently topical) sketch comedy performed by the main ensemble, Fridays also premiered a number of films directed by the once and future Monkee Mike Nesmith.  His “Police Gynecologist” and “Bite the Bullet” can be found on The Best of Fridays.

After the jump, we have more details – including a list of episodes and guests – plus an order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 12, 2013 at 12:50

Release Round-Up: Week of June 12

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Dean Martin, Collected Cool (UMe)

Can you believe this is the first ever domestic, career-spanning Dino box set, pallies? And just in time for Father’s Day.

Sugar, File Under: Easy Listening – Deluxe Edition (Edsel)

The last Sugar LP, expanded with B-sides, the live album The Joke is Always on Us, Sometimes, and a DVD of videos and live footage.

Gilbert O’Sullivan, Southpaw: Deluxe EditionA Stranger in My Own Back Yard: Deluxe Edition (Salvo)

The latest in Salvo’s ongoing expansion campaign for the Irish songwriter.

Kenny Loggins, Keep the Fire: Expanded Edition (Lemon)

One of Kenny’s best solo LPs gets expanded in the U.K. with two live tracks and a “clean version” of “This is It,” which we still have no idea what that is.

Written by Mike Duquette

June 12, 2012 at 08:30

Cherry Red Round-Up: Kenny, KC, Carly and More Get New Expansions

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Our friends at Cherry Red Group have had a stellar amount of new reissues in the past month, and we figured now was as good a time as any to highlight some of our favorites across the board.

The Lemon label has issued an expanded edition of Keep the Fire, the 1979 soft-rock classic by Kenny Loggins. While the singer-songwriter had put out two albums since the disbandment of Loggins & Messina, it was only recently that he started his ascendancy as one of the go-to pop writers and performers of the age; previous album Nightwatch featured Top 5 hit “Whenever I Call You Friend” with Stevie Nicks, and earlier in 1979 saw “What a Fool Believes,” written with Michael McDonald for McDonald’s Doobie Brothers, reach the top of the Billboard charts. Loggins and McDonald teamed up again for Keep the Fire‘s lead single, “This is It,” which reached No. 11 and won Loggins a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Strong guests bolster the album, with Michael Brecker contributing saxophone work and underrated album cut “Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong” featuring sweet vocal harmonies from Michael Jackson. Lemon’s expanded disc features two live tracks of undetermined origin and a “clean version” of “This is It.”

One of Big Break Records’ newest titles harkens back to the days of disco and the unstoppable dance rhythms of KC and The Sunshine Band. Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch and their irrepressibly-produced band had a triple platinum hit with their self-titled sophomore album for T.K. Records in 1975, buoyed by No. 1 hits “Get Down Tonight” and “That’s the Way (I Like It).” (The effervescent “Boogie Shoes” was a Top 40 hit when included on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack LP two years later.) Bonus cuts include the original single mixes of “Get Down Tonight” and “That’s the Way (I Like It)” as well as a 1994 mix of the former by veteran disco man Tom Moulton.

It’s on to the ’80s and ’90s with some big hits and intriguing obscurities after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

June 5, 2012 at 13:26

Friday Feature: “Footloose”

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This week’s theatrical release of Step Up 3D proves that young people everywhere still embrace the notion of defying authority by shaking one’s ass on the dance floor. It’s nothing new, of course; ever since Columbia Pictures turned Twist Around the Clock onto a dance-crazy culture in 1961, dance pictures have become a generational touchstone. Whether they’re good, crowd-pleasing films (Saturday Night Fever (1977), Flashdance (1983)) or wildly silly affairs (The Forbidden Dance (1990), You Got Served (2004)), America has really embraced its dance films. This week’s Friday Feature spotlights one of those dance films that I hold in higher regard than most: Footloose, the 1984 film that feels like it should’ve been made two decades earlier.

Most filmgoers know the tale: a city kid (Kevin Bacon, in one of his early lead roles) moves to a hick town and clashes with the local government’s ban on dancing. Bacon challenges the local minister (John Lithgow), the staunchest opponent to dancing in the town, and woos his daughter (Lori Singer). It’s a lot of pseudo-Puritannical fluff, mostly, but the sparks in Bacon’s and Lithgow’s performances are evident, not to mention some humorous turns by Chris Penn (Sean’s brother) as Bacon’s ally who learns a move or two of his own and a barely-known Sarah Jessica Parker as another female lead.

I first saw Footloose in 2002, in advance of auditioning for a local youth theatre performance of the Broadway adaptation. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the TV station that aired the film cut a great deal out for time constraints, and it seemed like a very flat, by-the-numbers film. There’s a little more character development going on than one might think, however, particularly toward the end when Bacon and Lithgow force themselves to consider why they’re digging their heels so hard into the dancing issues at hand.

That isn’t to say that the film is a stunning depiction of small-town American trials. It often veers toward the ridiculous – nowhere is this more evident than the finale, where a group of teenagers go from wallflowers to moonwalkers in seconds flat. (The ending was shot twice, once with the main cast and once with a group of more experienced dancers, and edited together for the final cut.) No, Footloose probably was so successful because it was an MTV-ready flick: if you can believe it, seven of the nine tracks on the soundtrack became singles – and six of them became Top 40 hits.

You had a double dose of Kenny Loggins, well on his way to becoming the preeminent soundtrack man of the decade. Bonnie Tyler continued her successful partnership with Jim Steinman on “Holding Out for a Hero,” while the leaders of Heart and Loverboy performed one of the best love songs on an ’80s soundtrack. And then there was the ebullient “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” which joined “Footloose” as a chart-topping single from the record and an Oscar-nominated song from the film. (As stated countless times before, that year was a busy playing field, with tunes like “Ghostbusters” and eventual winner “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Purple Rain had won for Best Original Song Score, the last year that category existed.)

Hit the jump to check out the multiple releases of the soundtrack.

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Written by Mike Duquette

August 6, 2010 at 15:33