“The Lost Boys: Hard-To-Find ’80s Albums” gives you exactly what the title implies: a rare or out-of-print album from the ’80s in its entirety. Some will be from CD, but most will have been lovingly transferred from pristine vinyl culled directly from the Analog Kid’s vast collection. Whatever album I choose, it will be one that you can’t easily find a physical copy for sale on Amazon or in your local record store (if you even have one anymore). Death…by stereo!
Everyone has that one bar that served as your home-away-from-home during college– for me, that bar was Austin’s Back Room. I lived in various super-cheap apartments off of East Riverside during my final few years in school, and the biggest benefit of slummin’ it was the close (i.e. within walking distance) proximity of Austin’s best (and only) dive metal bar.
When you entered the Back Room, you had to choose your path for the evening. On the right, there was live music featuring an assortment of the best (and the worst) hard rock music in Austin. The Back Room also booked road shows, and I saw an amazing assortment of great bands there over the years (including Warren Zevon, The Alarm. The Rainmakers, Faith No More, and Too Much Joy). On the left, the Back Room featured an enormous space filled with pool tables, video games, giant TVs, and really cheap beer. As you might imagine, we veered to the left on most nights.
Mondays were our favorite night at the Back Room, especially during football season. Monday Night Football was always on the big screen, and the bar generously provided 25-cent beer and 10-cent hot dogs. It was a college student’s dream: $3 got you stuffed and drunk, and you could stumble home on foot afterwards. We rarely missed out on this tremendous gift from the Gods.
If there wasn’t a football game going on, the big screens on the left side of the Back Room always featured an assortment of hard rock/metal videos. Most of the time, these videos were promotional VHS tapes and featured an incredible assortment of awful late-’80s crap. Many of these bands were so bad that they were almost good (think Danzig), and we never tired of laughing at them while piling up a huge stack of Lone Star cups. Every now and then, though, we’d stumble upon something really cool and new on these tapes– great bands like Voivoid and King’s X (who we saw live many times on the right side of the bar). I think my favorite Back Room discovery was Chicago’s Enuff Z’Nuff– they looked glam and presented themselves as a hard rock band, but they weren’t fooling me. This was a power-pop band that did what they had to do to get by in a metal world, and they were freaking fantastic. MTV even picked up on “Fly High Michelle,” and it seemed like Enuff Z’Nuff might make it big at one point. It never really happened, but the band continues on to this day and still has a huge cult following.
The Back Room is gone now, and I can proudly say that I helped close it down on its final night. The beers were no longer a quarter and there were no hot dogs, but the Iron Maiden t-shirts, big hair, and nasty bathrooms were still in place. It felt like home.
Enuff Z’Nuff: Enuff Z’Nuff
Atco Records, 1989
1. “New Thing” (Vie/Z’Nuff)
2. “She Wants More” (Vie/Z’Nuff)
3. “Fly High Michelle” (Vie)
4. “Hot Little Summer Girl” (Vie/Fajerstein)
5. “In The Groove” (Vie/Z’Nuff)
6. “Little Indian Angel” (Vie/Z’Nuff)
7. “For Now” (Vie/Z’Nuff)
8. “Kiss The Clown” (Vie)
9. “I Could Never Be Without You” (Vie)
10. “Finger On The Trigger” (Vie/Frigo)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
King’s X: “Over My Head”
From the album Gretchen Goes To Nebraska
Megaforce Records, 1989
Voivod: “Astronomy Domine” (Barrett)
From the album Nothingface
Mechanic Records, 1989
Warren Zevon: “Boom Boom Mancini” (Zevon)
From the album Sentimental Hygiene
Virgin Records, 1987
The Alarm: “Rescue Me” (Peters/MacDonald)
From the album Eye Of The Hurricane
IRS Records, 1987
The Rainmakers: “Long Gone Long” (Walkenhorst)
From the album The Rainmakers
Mercury Records, 1986
Faith No More: “Falling To Pieces” (Gould/Bottum/Martin)
From the album The Real Thing
Slash Records, 1989
Too Much Joy: “Susquehanna Hat Company” (Too Much Joy)
From the album Cereal Killers
Giant Records, 1991
Danzig: “Mother” (Danzig)
From the album Danzig
Def American Records, 1988