Why The Vampire Diaries should gift Stefan Salvatore to The Originals!

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So with less than a handful of episodes of The Vampire Diaries left, I’m lamenting on how big a lost opportunity it will be if they don’t cross someone over to The Originals as a permanent cast member when it ends.

Both shows have been languishing in the ratings and while The Vampire Diaries has generally run its course (despite its rating ON A FRIDAY being on par with half the networks midweek output) there could still be a good few years left in The Originals; it just needs that little boost.

That boost could come if the producers are smart enough to send Caroline, Stefan if he doesn’t die, or hell, even Matt to New Orleans.

Granted Damon is too synonymous with The Vampire Diaries to appear, but Stefan would probably work. I get the feeling last year’s special guest appearance in The Originals was trying him out as a potential love interest for Freya. And hey it kind of worked. He also has (had?) the real-life Hayley/Phoebe Tonkin connection too, so probably wouldn’t be in such a hurry to leave Atlanta (where filming takes place) too soon.

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Of course Caroline could get with Klaus. Killing off Cami certainly paved that way.

And Matt could finally continue his usurped storyline with Rebekah. That is if Rebekah isn’t kept daggered for half of the much shorter upcoming season, as I suspect she might.

And this would surely be The Originals next biggest mistake. The Originals is at its best when it’s about all of the family. This includes Rebekah and my personal favourite Kol. And yes, even Finn. If they don’t concentrate on this element of the series and instead revert back to the Marcel wanting to run the city nonsense of season 1, we could be in for a disappointing (and potentially final) season.

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It also concerns me that the season is only 13 episodes long and that filming finished in December, some 2 months before The Vampire Diaries wrapped production on theirs, which ends a week before The Originals even starts.

And then there’s that persistent rumour that The Originals is indeed ending this year too. If it can pull a 0.3 rating, it might just scrape by with a short 5th and final proper wrap-up season next year, but a Vampire Diaries crossover might just be enough to push it nearer to a 0.4, which is on par with The 100’s rating and probably better than what iZombie is likely to achieve, almost pushed into summer.

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The Originals — “A Streetcar Named Desire” — Image Number: OG314b_0119.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Riley Voelkel as Freya, Paul Wesley as Stefan and Joseph Morgan as Klaus — Photo: Annette Brown/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

So let’s try and think positively. In an ideal world, Kol and Rebekah are contracted throughout the season, a Vampire Diaries crossover of any kind happens; and the series could come back from the same deep sleep the characters are presently in.

What do you think should happen? Who do you want to see crossover and why? And can The Originals truly be saved? Be sure to leave your comments below…

A mini rant about having to fly with common peasants.

  
The good thing about Ryan air: cheap flights. The bad: that also means Bodrum-bought Louis Vuitton suitcase carrying peasants can also fly. This is particularly true on holiday resort flights. So we moved to a vacant row of seats, away from the lovely old quiet respectful couple we were originally sat with (big mistake) and ended up with loud profanity spouting alcohol drinking creatures behind us who thought it perfectly ok to shout, start blasting chav music and tap their fat drunken feet the whole painful journey. I mean f*** everyone else as long as you’re having a good time and that kind of empty headed / waste of earth space and oxygen / why hasn’t time travel abortion been invented yet mentality. I don’t mean to be a travel educated snob but there’s nothing I abhor more than the annual holidayer who only goes to ‘resorts’ and can’t fly without getting drunk. And anyone that’d pay €7 for a glass of wine would surely have to have shit for brains. But hey ho the four of them paid £15 each to sit here (more than the cost of our car hire) and we got here for just being savvy and sophisticated; two traits they clearly need never concern themselves with. But I really, truly, honestly hope they have a super lovely time at the Spanish pubs. Oh and thank you for giving me a blog to write to while the flight away. P.S I was on about 29 ‘real’ flights last year where alcohol is free and no one ever got drunken, loud or rowdy. P.P.S. Tove Lo and Jack Savoretti, you saved my f***ing life.   
#bancommonpeasantsfromairflighttheyprobablydontlikeforeignersandvotedforbrexitanywaysofeelfreetoasyouwouldputitfuckoffbackhome
And breathe. 

Think America is batshit crazy?

I’m not making this shit up.

These are actual laws in various states in the good ole U.S. of A…

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You may not sing the alphabet on the streets at night.

Pedestrians crossing the highways after dark must wear tail lights.

If two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed.

Incestuous marriages are legal.

You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.

It is illegal to sell peanuts in Lee County after sundown on Wednesday.

It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.

Dominoes may not be played on Sunday.

It is illegal to wear a fake moustache in church.

Snots may not be flicked into the wind.

Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death.

It is legal to drive the wrong way down a one-way street if you have a lantern attached to the front of your automobile.

Men who deflower virgins, regardless of age or marital status, may face up to five years in jail.

While it is legal to shoot bears, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.

It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.

Moose may not be viewed from an airplane.

No one may tie their pet dog to the roof of a car.

It is considered an offense to feed alcoholic beverages to a moose.

Owners of flamingos may not let their pet into barber shops.

There is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus.

Donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs.

When being attacked by a criminal or burglar, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon that the other person possesses.

You may not have more than two dildos in a house.

It is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water.

No more than six girls may live in any house.

A decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up.

Alligators may not be kept in bathtubs.

A man can legally beat his wife, but not more than once a month.

Honking ones car horn at a sandwich shop after 9 PM is against the law.

Dogs may not bark after 6 PM.

Flirtation between men and women on the streets of Little Rock may result in a 30-day jail term.

It is unlawful to walk one’s cow down Main Street after 1:00 PM on Sunday.

You may only throw a frisbee at the beach in Los Angeles County, CA with the lifeguard’s permission.

No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.

Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a school or church.

Peacocks have the right of way to cross any street, including driveways.

Nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

City Council order reads: “No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.

You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.

It is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbour.

In order for a pickle to officially be considered a pickle, it must bounce.

It is illegal to dispose of used razor blades.

It is unlawful to walk backwards after sunset.

It is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday.

It is illegal for any beautician to hum, whistle, or sing while working on a customer.

Changing into or out of a bathing suit in a public restroom is prohibited.

One may not whisper in church.

Six-year-old girls may not run around without being fully clothed.

Alcohol may not be served in nightclubs if dancing is occurring on the premises at the same time.

Pregnant pigs must not be confined in cages.

It is illegal to sell your children.

Women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer.

A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday.

If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.

You may not kiss your wife’s breasts.

It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.

Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.

Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.

All sex toys are banned.

It is illegal to use profanity in front of a dead body which lies in a funeral home or in a coroners office.

Donkeys may not be kept in bathtubs.

No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday.

All citizens must own a rake.

If you want to read your favorite book in public to your friends, do it before 2:45 AM.

It is illegal to sell two beers at once for a single price.

Goldfish may not be given away to entice someone to enter a game of bingo.

You may only have one alcoholic drink in front of you at a time.

Coins are not allowed to be placed in one’s ears.

You may not fish on a camel’s back.

Riding a merry-go-round on Sundays is considered a crime.

If a police officer approaches a vehicle and suspects that the occupants are engaging in sex, he must either honk, or flash his lights and wait for three minutes before approaching the car.

Bicycles are not allowed in the tennis courts.

A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face.

It is against the law to have sex with a corpse in Illinois.

You may be arrested for vagrancy if you do not have at least one dollar bill on your person.

One may not pee in your neighbour’s mouth.

Law forbids eating in a place that is on fire.

It is illegal to give a dog whiskey.

It is forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe’s neck.

In the Pullman area, it is illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb.

It is legal to protest naked in front of city hall as long as you are under seventeen years of age and have legal permits.

Humming on public streets is prohibited on Sundays.

It is illegal for a man to be sexually aroused in public.

One may not sniff glue.

Baths may not be taken between the months of October and March.

Moustaches are illegal if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.

A man with a moustache may never kiss a woman in public.

One-armed piano players must perform for free.

Kisses may last for no more than five minutes.

Horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants.

One must obtain written permission from the City Council before throwing bricks into a highway.

Within the city limits, a man may not wink at any woman he does not know.

One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.

Dogs may not molest cars.

One may not receive anal sex.

A woman may not buy a hat without her husband’s permission.

One could possibly land in jail for 20 years upon urinating in the city’s water supply.

Persons could land in jail for up to ten years for stealing an alligator.

It is a $500 fine to instruct a pizza delivery man to deliver a pizza to your friend without them knowing.

It is illegal to rob a bank and then shoot at the bank teller with a water pistol.

It is illegal to gargle in public places.

Rituals that involve the ingestion of blood, urine, or fecal matter are not allowed.

If your extra curricular activities happen to include any of the above, these are the places to avoid on your next vacation: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana.

P.S. You’re welcome.

Don’t forget the X in Xmas!

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Life had not been kind to Susan Jones.

She had married the first man who had shown a literal semi -interest in her.

Had sex twice and popped out two kids.

There was no love lost between her and Ronnie because there had never been any.

They lived in a small County Durham village and not only was her business everyone else’s, it seems her man was too.

In the 70s he was known as The Chopper of Shotton Colliery.

All the not-so-ladies had ridden him… around the block and back again.

Usually while she had his bun cooking in her oven.

And things had not changed with time.

Well other than her svelte physique.

Now she was a size and age plus, alone and hungry for affection.

Ronnie had left her years ago for some cheap tart or other.

The kids had grown up, popped out a few of their own and moved onto the exciting big town delights of neighbouring Peterlee.

All she had left was rock and roll night on a Thursday at the Shotton Comrades Club with her equally dowdy cousin Linda Lou.

Oh how she lived for a Thursday.

As did Linda.

Linda’s circumstances were somewhat direr.

She had never been kissed, never been loved, never been CENSORED.

And this even after a night in Club Vibe (or claggy mat as it was called, back in her day) where girls had been known to get ‘with child’ just from the sticky carpet.

The carpet has been replaced with linoleum and it’s harder not to slide and ride on a mystery penis there now, after a couple of cans of Hooch.

And that’s just the boys.

But Linda was determined to make amends for that.

And it all started right here and right now.

She was determined to get a White Christmas this year.

Santa Claus was going to come down her chimney and empty his sack on her both.

She just needed Cousin Susan to help execute her fiendish plan.

Now Susan and Linda weren’t the prettiest of babes.

They weren’t so much dropped as babies, but rather thrown.

And usually in the Brickyard pond, twice a week.

It’s how children were taught to swim here, way back when.

They also got caught on barbed wire a couple of times, crawling under the gate of the local paper factory.

That was how Shottonians got their weekly magazines.

And Susan couldn’t live without her Look-In, nor Linda her Just Seventeen.

She had saved all the weekly position of the fortnight clippings up and intended to try them all out this very Christmas.

And with Santa himself no less.

She’d been a good girl this year.

Now it was time to get her just desserts.

Susan too.

So they wrote their letters to Daddy Xmas and hung their fishnet stockings on the mantelpiece.

They couldn’t find a carrot so left a stick of Twix for Rudolph and can of extra strength lager for Santa.

The Shotton norm.

Oh and a couple of condoms.

Susan’s was ribbed. Linda’s Salty Caramel flavoured.

And off to bed they went.

They believed in the true spirit of Christmas.

So they had a couple of Brandy’s to help them sleep, otherwise the excitement would have been simply too overpower-bottoming.

Linda was snoring within seconds.

But Susan just couldn’t drift off (probably because of Linda’s snoring, which sounded like a pig and an elephant participating in electro anal auto asphyxiation.)

She tossed and turned for what seemed like hours, then suddenly she thought she heard hoove-steps on the roof.

“Rudolph!” she pronounced excitedly, getting out of bed.

It was windy out and there were a couple of loose tiles.

She tiptoed downstairs to find Santa in the living room, drinking the can of lager and nibbling on the stick of Twix.

“That was for Rudolph!” she chastised, shaking her finger rather crossly at him.

“He wasn’t hungry,” said Santa. “Ate too many carrots at no.23, 4 and 5.”

Santa was sitting on the couch.

And it looked like he had a boner in his big red suit.

“Wanna sit on my knee?” he asked.

It wasn’t really Santa of course, it was local druggie Ted Myers.

He’d broken in to steal presents to flog for more E.

But he’d been touched by Susan and Linda’s letters… it was likely the drugs, either that or the Carling Special Brew… so he’d gone back to no. 23 and ‘borrowed’ a Santa suit to make all their XXXmas wishes come true.

Luckily he’d had enough drugs not to see that Susan wasn’t Cheryl  Whatever-HerNameIs-ThisWeek. Or feel her weight when she kindly obliged.

They made love by the open fireside.

It was so ‘romantic’, Santa emptied his sack at least twice.

Susan felt like she was in a Mills & Boon novel.

She wasn’t expecting one pearl necklace, never mind two!

The next morning when Linda woke up, she found Susan lying naked on the fireside rug.

It was surely a sight for sore eyes, she thought, covering her eyes.

Susan had fallen asleep after a cigarette and Santa had since mysteriously disappeared.

Linda was sure Susan had just dreamt of her romantic liaison.

Either that or she was just jealous.

It looked like the only action she was going to get this year was with claggy mat, after a drunken tumble in Vibe on New Year’s Eve.

And with that they exchanged Cousinly pleasantries, presents… well same value TK Maxx gift cards… they pulled crackers… and had a Turkey crown dinner with brussel sprouts and all the trimmings.

And they wished a Happy XXXmas to one and all.

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‘Don’t Forget the X in Xmas’ is taken from the book ‘I Killed Santa’, a series of short Christmas stories by Brian Lovestar, available as a free eBook HERE or get a copy of the super limited edition collector’s paperback for just £4.99 HERE. But hurry! Only a few copies left!

As a fairly goodish, not completely super awful year draws to a close…

As 2016 draws to a close, I reflect back on what has been a pretty good year… unless you’re a dead celebrity (one of many) and except for the Brexit and Trump fiascos, and the rise of a right wing sickness that seems to be sweeping the country and indeed the world at the minute. Maybe I should downgrade that rating to fairly goodish or not completely super awful?

Anyway that aside, I went on some absolutely fantastic holidays: South Africa was just phenomenal and truly the greatest place I’ve been for a long while; I’d go back in a heartbeat. I had a great time living the high life in a swanky apartment in Kuala Lumpur and in our walk-in swimming pool in Langkawi (Malaysia), got to tick Singapore off my ‘been’ list; and spent a week in the Croatian summer home of a former Olympic silver medalist, country hopping to Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro in the process; nearly forgetting I’m not long since back from surviving an earthquake in New f—ing Zealand!

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I spent most of the rest of the year (when I wasn’t busy being on holiday) working on and publishing my 4th book – my first foray into nonfiction – ‘Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s’. It was of course a sort of throwback salute to those lesser known hits that should have been much bigger, and I managed to garner support from an array of solid 80s pop icons, including Billy Idol, Human League, Five Star, Go West, Tight Fit, Pepsi & Shirlie, Imagination, Owen Paul, Haywoode and Sir Roland Rat Superstar himself!

I also got to meet the true undisputed 80’s Princess of Pop, the one and only Miss Debbie Gibson:

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I tragically lost my musical paramount in Robert Thomas Velline (Bobby Vee to you) but gained in next generational providence courtesy of Tove Lo and Jack Savoretti. Never grow old by letting your musical tastes rest on their laurels. There’s still an awful lot of good stuff out there, if you stop grazing for a second and peer over the fence.

In 2017 I intend to holiday some more (working on the first escape as we speak) and start work on my next book, but I was feeling festive so I threw together a quick one for you right now. It’s called ‘I Killed Santa’ and is a heart-warming tale of Christmas magic… oh, who am I kidding?  Santa is dead and you don’t even want to know what happens to the snowman! No, seriously!

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It’s a series of short Christmas stories, not suitable for children, the faint-hearted, or those easily offended. With my unique, twisted sense of humour, come and enjoy a Christmas like no other before… in Paris… in space… in hell… and in Shotton Colliery; though some would argue the latter two are one and the same.

The stories serve as an interquel and sequel of sorts to my existing novels ‘Dream Myself Alive’ and ‘Pop Tarts’, as well as a preview of forthcoming work. Oh and the eBook is COMPLETELY FREE and gift wrapped over on Smashwords, also available on Kindle, and I even put a super limited edition paperback on Amazon, for those physical format loving freakazoids among you…

…which just leaves my final words of 2016 to be said: To my enemy, my forgiveness. To my friends and family, my heart. To my children, a good example. To myself, respect.

All YOU Want for Christmas is… THIS BOOK!

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It was the dawning of the Golden Age of Pop Music: The fabulous 1980s.

Some would say it was the greatest decade in music history. It is certainly the most favoured (and played) for those that lived through it, and those that came to appreciate it afterwards. It defined who we are and became the soundtrack to our lives.

Duran Duran, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, The Human League, Kajagoogoo, Bananarama, and so many more iconic legends. They all had hit after hit, after hit. Some 30 plus years later and some songs are remembered (and revered) more than others. Each band has at least one synonymous classic that radio still plays, stuck on repeat with the tone arm up and nothing else on the stacker. But what about the next best record? Or the one after that?

They may not have charted as highly or they may just have been overshadowed by an even bigger hit. Some of my selection in the book went Top 10, some barely charted at all, but they all have one thing in common: their time is now.

This book celebrates the other songs, the ones not so famous, but still every bit as good. You may remember them from the first time around… or you may just discover an all new soundtrack to the 80s that’ll make you want to live through it, all over again.

And as a brief taster, here is an exclusive sample of some of the worthy selection:

Bad Boys by Wham!

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Wham! blew up at the end of 1982 and went onto have hit after hit in the years that followed, before George Michael going solo, cut the band relatively short, and some may say prematurely. ‘Bad Boys’ was the ultimate pop song: it had funk and it had spunk, with a chorus as-catchy-as-hell and a ‘woo-woo’ hook so big it could catch a shark. It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo – the other being of course, Andrew Ridgeley – and released in 1983, where it proved a big hit, peaking at no. 2. It was an energetic and endearing tale of a teenage boy rebelling against his parents’ wishes and revelling in the marvel of his brotherhood on the dole. It was taken from the debut album ‘Fantastic’, and one of the bestselling singles of the year. Despite this, George Michael denounced ‘Bad Boys’, saying it was “like an albatross round my neck”. The song was famously omitted from a greatest hits album and has been relatively (and all but shamelessly) ignored since. But I think its high time George stopped cringing and embraced what is surely one of his catchiest pop hits ever. Others included the utterly immense ‘Club Tropicana’, ‘Young Guns (Go For It)’, ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ and ‘Wham Rap’, championing benefit claimants everywhere.

Lucky Star by Madonna

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Every song Madonna released in the 80s was UK charting gold dust; in fact she only failed to make the top 10 on one crime-inducing occasion, with the utter pop delight that was ‘Lucky Star’. Unbelievably this peaked at no. 14 back in 1984; despite it selling 117,470 copies and remaining Madonna’s 42nd best-selling single. It warrants its place as an underrated pop classic – and still sounds as fresh as it did back then – given that everything else barring has been played to death on repeat, ever since. A medium-paced dance track, it combines a sparkly, bubbling bass synth with the sounds of a high riff “and some magic”, added in when John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez remixed the track. It was described at the time as “state of the art dance-pop”, “glittery” and “effervescent”. Both contemporary and modern critics praised the song, heralding it as the introduction to upbeat dance music, and for Madonna, the start of things to come. It was also the dawning of the iconic 80s Madonna-style still revered today: shiny black mini-skirt, leggings, ankle boots, a crucifix earring on her right ear, cut-off gloves and rubber bangles, with her tangled hair tied in a floppy black ribbon. Of course, after which Madonna needs no introduction. She went onto become the biggest pop star in the history of the world, and still performs this little secret pop gem, most recently as part of a flamenco-style medley during her ‘Rebel Heart’ tour. But the question remains: how did this song not make the top 10? People of 1984, you should be ashamed of yourselves!

My Favourite Waste of Time by Owen Paul

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One of the catchiest songs of the entire 80s was surely this heart-warming classic. ‘My Favourite Waste of Time’ was originally written by American singer Marshall Crenshaw and – unbelievably – only first released as a B-side in 1982. The song was later recorded by Scottish singer Owen Paul and released in the UK in 1986. The brain imbedding hook, and romantic charm, ensured it reached number 3 on the singles chart in July of that year and Owen thus became known as somewhat of a one-hit wonder. He did have other singles that were almost as good (‘Pleased to Meet You’ being a prime example) but none fared quite so well and after his ‘As It Is’ album, he kind of faded into obscurity, due in part to clashing with his record company. He wanted to perform rockier, they pigeonholed him in poppier and he basically went on strike until they cancelled his contract. And never the twain shall meet. As a youngster Paul was taken on as an apprentice with the football club Celtic, but later decided to pursue a career in music. He was in various bands and singing as a solo performer from the age of 15 and was eventually signed to Sony records in 1985 at the age of 23. Reverting to his full name of Owen Paul McGee, he returned to the music scene in 2002 with the album ‘About Time’ and it surely was. He also toured and recorded with ‘Mike & The Mechanics’ and became the lead vocalist with ‘XSM’ (ex-Simple Minds, of which his brother was a member). He still regular tours, either with them or as a solo artist, and also recently released his third studio album ‘About Time II’.

Author Brian Lovestar has been to over 40 countries, survived 2 earthquakes; once dropped a record player on his head and took Louis Walsh nightclubbing. Not both on the same day, he hastens to add.

His debut novel ‘Dream Myself Alive’ was described by one critic as “a masterpiece, created by a genius” and who is he to beg to differ?

‘Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s’ is obviously much of the same, AVAILABLE NOW and the perfect Christmas present for any 80s music loving pop fan!

Get it now, RIGHT HERE.

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Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s

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It was the dawning of the Golden Age of Pop Music: The fabulous 1980s.

Some would say it was the greatest decade in music history. It is certainly the most favoured (and played) for those that lived through it, and those that came to appreciate it afterwards. It defined who we are and became the soundtrack to our lives.

Duran Duran, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, The Human League, Kajagoogoo, Bananarama, and so many more iconic legends. They all had hit after hit, after hit.

Some 30 plus years later and some songs are remembered (and revered) more than others. Each band has at least one synonymous classic that radio still plays, stuck on repeat with the tone arm up and nothing else on the stacker. But what about the next best record? Or the one after that?

They may not have charted as highly or they may just have been overshadowed by an even bigger hit. Some of my selection in the book went Top 10, some barely charted at all, but they all have one thing in common: their time is now.

This book celebrates the other songs, the ones not so famous, but still every bit as good. You may remember them from the first time around… or you may just discover an all new soundtrack to the 80s that’ll make you want to live through it, all over again.

For over 80 of the 80s most under-realised pop gems, get my brand new book ‘Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s’, available now HERE and the perfect Christmas present for any true 80s music loving pop fan!

Or for further information, see the preview HERE.

 

 

Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s

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VHS defeated Betamax… Ronald Reagan was president of the United States… Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles… John  Lennon was gunned down… The wreck of the Titanic was discovered… The Berlin Wall was demolished… and it was the dawning of the Golden Age of Pop Music: The fabulous 1980s.

Some would say it was the greatest decade in music history. It is certainly the most favoured (and played) for those that lived through it, and those that came to appreciate it afterwards. It defined who we are and became the soundtrack to our lives.

Duran Duran, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, Wham!, The Human League, Kajagoogoo, Bananarama.

They all had hit after hit, after hit, after hit.

Some 30 plus years later and some songs are remembered (and revered) more than others. Each band has at least one synonymous classic that radio still plays to death, stuck on repeat with the tone arm up and nothing else on the stacker. But what about the next best record? Or the one after that?

This book celebrates the other songs, the ones not so famous, but still every bit as good. You may remember them from the first time around… or you may just discover an all new soundtrack to the 80s that’ll make you want to live through it, all over again.

I don’t profess to be an expert on music, but when it comes to the 80s I’d like to think I know my stuff.

I was born in 1972 (hard to believe, I know) and got my first record in 1981; unless you count a Pinky and Perky album I got for Christmas, sometime in the 70s.

I don’t pretend to be cool either. I’ve never jumped on the dead artist of the week bandwagon. I never got Elvis Presley. And I can take or leave the Beatles, with a pinch of salt.

In fact I’m not ashamed to admit that one of my first records was ‘My Camera Never Lies’ by Bucks Fizz and I played it on repeat, wore the record and burned the player out in just one day.

The thing about the 80s is that the music was so good, you didn’t have to just like the ‘real’ bands that wrote and played their own music and instruments. Everyone mimed on Top of the Pops anyway.

I liked 80s Pop in its purest form. If you could hear the drums or the guitar too loudly – or the band wasn’t pretty enough – it went completely over my head.

But that was what the 80s were all about. And what made them so special.

It was the decade pop stars didn’t have to wear designer labels. They made their own clothes out of torn curtain or cut up dish rags.

You could listen to chart friendly music and even now, you don’t have to feel guilty about it.

In fact, there was so much good stuff I keep finding new old songs I missed the first time around, and latching on to new old bands. My ears don’t seem to mind the louder guitars or drums anymore.

Radio generally only plays the definition of Classic 80s, which tends to fall between one or two tracks by the majority of popular 80s artists, and that’s if they’re lucky.

So what about the other hits? The slightly lesser known ones? They may not have charted as highly or they may just have been overshadowed by an even bigger hit.

Some of my selection in the book went Top 10, some barely charted at all, but they all have one thing in common:

Their time is now.

For over 80 of the 80s most under-realised pop delights, get my book ‘Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s’, available now and the perfect Christmas present for any 80s music loving pop fan!

‘Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s’

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And as an online exclusive, here are a few that just missed out on the final cut…

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 Belinda Carlisle ~ Circle in the Sand Official Video

Circle in the Sand by Belinda Carlisle

Sometimes when you have one particularly super-memorable song, like Belinda Carlisle does with ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ (oh, the infamy!) everything else tends to have a lasting impression that pales in comparison. One such example is the lush purity that is ‘Circle in the Sand’. Her joint second biggest hit (‘Leave a Light On’ sharing honours), it reached no. 4 back in 1988 and was taken from her ‘Heaven on Earth’ album. Combined with a thumping bass line and accentuated with swirling and shimmering guitar, the melody borrows from Mike & the Mechanic’s ‘Silent Running’, but features a unique lead keyboard theme provided by pioneering Thomas Dolby. Belinda went onto score top 10 hits well into the 90s. Other notable songs included ‘I Get Weak’, ‘We Want the Same Thing’ and ‘Live Your Life, Be Free’. Belinda is an American singer – and daughter of a travelling vacuum cleaner salesman – who gained worldwide fame as the lead vocalist of the Go Go’s. Although only slightly denting the UK chart on a couple of occasions, the girls became one of the most successful American bands of the early 1980s, helping usher new wave music onto popular American radio, and became the first all-female band who wrote their own music and played their own instruments to achieve a No. 1 album called ‘Beauty and the Beat’. More recently, Belinda did a pictorial for Playboy magazine in 2001, appeared on the West End in London in the musical ‘Hairspray’ and her autobiography ‘Lips Unsealed’, published in 2010, was a New York Times best seller and received favourable reviews. On August 11, 2011, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She continues to record and tour, both with the Go-Go’s and as a solo artist, doing the 80s revival circuit.

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 Rick Springfield ~ Human Touch Official Video

Human Touch by Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield is a bit of an enigma in the UK. Although massive worldwide, particularly in the USA and his country of origin Australia, Rick barely scratched the surface of the UK pop charts. His iconic popular soft rock anthem ‘Jessie’s Girl’ (which is still revered as a 80s classic in most parts of the world) only reached a lowly no. 43 here. His other UK ‘hits’ included ‘Celebrate Youth’ (no. 80 in 1985) and ‘Rock of Life’ (no. 83 in 1985), so it was literally quite phenomenal that ‘Human Touch’ actually reached the heady heights of no. 23, back in 1983. This song was clearly something special.  Born in a western suburb of Sydney, Australia in 1949, Rick played his first guitar at the age of 13 and was hooked.  After leading various bands during the late 60s / early 70s, he signed a solo record contract and started making inroads in the music scene. He broke through with ‘Jessie’s Girl’ in 1981 but became frustrated at being confused with name-and-look-a-like Bruce Springsteen, so much so that he wrote a song about it called ‘Bruce’ that appears on his 1984 ‘Beautiful Feelings’ album. That same year he starred in his own movie ‘Hard to Hold’ and recorded the majority of the soundtrack. He had previously acted in the US daytime soap ‘General Hospital’ as Dr Noah Drake from 1981-83, which no doubt assisted his assault on the US Billboard chart. And in 1989 he played an 800-year-old vampire seeking a cure for his condition in the film ‘Nick Knight’, which was later made into a TV series. Although he has continued to sing, strum his guitar, record and play music, acting has also played a big part in his life and career. On the small screen his credits have included ‘Californication’, ‘Hawaii 5-0’ and ‘True Detective’. He must have had an easy paper round as the years have been more than kind to him, as evidenced by his recently cinematic co-star alongside Meryl Streep in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Ricki and the Flash’.

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 Matthew Wilder ~ Break My Stride Official Video

Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder

‘Break My Stride’ is a pop genius of a record by American singer Matthew Wilder. It was released in 1983 as the lead single from his debut album ‘I Don’t Speak the Language’, and became an instant hit single for him on both sides of the Atlantic, going to number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 in the UK charts, back in February 1984. Though ‘Break My Stride’ was in fact Matthew’s only UK hit, he also reached the US pop chart with his next two singles, ‘The Kid’s American’ (#33) and ‘Bouncing Off the Walls’ (#52). But his second album failed to gain much momentum, even with an innovative music video for the single of the same name, and was subsequently deemed a commercial failure. Despite the downturn in his solo career, Matthew continued his career in the music industry as a songwriter and record producer for such acts as No Doubt, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson and Miley Cyrus. The song has been covered by several artists throughout the years, including Unique II in 1996 and Blue Lagoon in 2004, both versions of which charted highly in various places; and also in interpolations by Puff Daddy in 1997 and Christina Aguilera with Lil’ Kim in 2003. Born Matthew Weiner in 1953 in New York City, the musician, composer and record producer moved to LA, and sang for television commercials, and as a backing vocalist for Bette Midler.

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Nu Shooz ~ I Can’t Wait Official Video

I Can’t Wait by Nu Shooz

‘I Can’t Wait’ was a one hit wonder for American pop group Nu Shooz in 1986. The song was originally recorded in late 1984 and flopped, until a copy of the song made it to the Netherlands, where it was remixed by Peter Slaghuis. It finally set the charts alight, peaking at no. 2 in the UK in March of that year. In the US, the song climbed to No. 3 and remained in the top 40 for 15 weeks. The extended version contains a sample from Madonna’s ‘Into the Groove’ and takes the pitch shifting of the chorus further, creating an eventual pitch down at the end. Critic John Leland from Spin magazine described the song as “the perfect disco record.”  Its follow-up ‘Point of No Return’ was remixed by Shep Pettibone and also topped the dance chart in September 1986. Nu Shooz were an American R&B dance group fronted by husband-and-wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day. They released a total of four albums during the tenure of the 1980s, although it was mainly their third album ‘Poolside’ (on which ‘I Can’t Wait’ appears) which brought the group’s sound to a wider audience. The song’s hook has been sampled in too many songs to mention over the years and ‘I Can’t Wait’’ was in fact covered in 2002 by the British female R&B group ‘Ladies First’ where it was a UK Top 20 hit, reaching number 19; and later by Icona Pop. In 2007, Nu Shooz were inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, and they continue to perform to this very day.

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Natasha ~ The Boom Boom Room Official Video

The Boom Boom Room by Natasha

Most known for her top 10 ‘Iko Iko’ cover thrashing that of The Belle Stars, Natasha’s true defining moment in pop was actually with the underappreciated follow-up pop explosion that was ‘The Boom Boom Room’, which peaked at a disappointing no. 44 just a few short months later and remains a little-known pop gem. It was taken from her debut album ‘Captured’ and Natasha England (as was her full name) had been a little known Scottish singer who moved to London in the late 70s and started working back office for the likes of Rod Stewart and David Bowie. She proved so successful working behind the scenes that it would have been tempting to stay there, but having the looks, voice and song writing talent to match her business acumen, a move into the spotlight was inevitable. However by 1984 music was evolving rapidly, radio play was proving elusive, and following her second album ‘Don’t Walk Away’, Natasha did just that. Despite which, she continued writing songs and stockpiling material, was diagnosed and beat breast cancer and is fighting fit and releasing music again: a new version of ‘Iko Iko’, the song that started it all; an anthology of unreleased material from the 80s and a brand new album ‘Deeper Into Reality’ and single ‘Stop Doing Nothing’ ensure this welcome blast from the past is deserving of her previous pop accolades and truly back with a bang.

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Author Brian Lovestar is not the most interesting person in the history of the world ever, but he has been to over 40 countries, survived two earthquakes; once dropped a record player on his head and took Louis Walsh nightclubbing. Not both on the same day, he hastens to add.

When he’s not writing, he’s playing records and when he’s not playing records, he can usually be found writing. When he’s not doing either, he’s probably asleep.

His debut novel ‘Dream Myself Alive’ was described by one critic as “a masterpiece, created by a genius” and who is he to beg to differ?

‘Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s’ is much of the same, and available now, right here:

‘Unsung Pop Songs of the 80s’

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http://amzn.eu/e6TrMtD

So I finally got my first proper book review by a real live critic…

So I finally got my my first proper book review by a proper critic and I was a little gobsmacked at the outcome.

I had to share. So here it is:

“Dream Myself Alive is a one of a kind paranormal read that will take readers away from reality and take them somewhere in between. Readers won’t know what is real and what isn’t at least not until the ending. A fantastic thriller unlike any I have ever read before. Brian Lovestar masterfully created a novel that lures readers deep into the unknown. At first, I thought I knew what was going on and then it was something that I didn’t expect it to be at all. Suspense, intrigue, and a romance all worth reading. This novel will keep readers up all night long. 

Brain Lovestar’s brilliant paranormal romance with a twist of fantasy keeps your heart thumping, and your senses alive. A stunning tale of one man who loves a woman so much that is needs to be with her. He believes she is dead and mourns deeply of her lost. But is his world viewpoint real or just a piece of a dream that he created? Readers will be swept up in the story constantly turning the pages in a race to uncover the truth. I loved reading Dream Myself Alive. It is noting like anything I have read. Truly a masterpiece created by a genius. I highly recommend this fantasy to readers worldwide. You definitely do not want to miss out on this great read. Overall, I rate it a five out of five stars.”

by Danielle Urban @urbanliterary

Not too bad huh?

Oh and if it’s tempting the skeptic in you, you can get all my books here:

Dream Myself Alive

Pop Tarts

Waking Up Asleep

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