Angel Of Harlem - U2 
Monday, 11 February, 2013, 05:53 - Singles Of The 1980s
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u2 angel of harlem 1Ah, 1988, what a year. It was the year that came before 1989 and the year that came after 1987. And even more interestingly, it was the year that U2 released the single Angel Of Harlem. What many people do not recognize is that if you take all of the letters in Angel Of Harlem, and add them together (using their position in the alphabet as a number), then square this number, it doesn't add up to 1988. The subliminal message in the song comes from this cover which, on the face of it, is incredibly boring. What on earth were they thinking about. Since when has a bored looking guy sat around in morbid black and white had anything to do with either angels or Harlem. Maybe that's the point. Or maybe there isn't a point.

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u2 angel of harlem remixWhat this cover needs is a damned good, yes damned good, remix. Harlem is one of those up-and-coming aspirational districts where stuff is happening. So let's make the cover aspirational and up-and-coming. Gone is the bored looking guy, and in his place is a hot looking angel. What's it got to do with U2. Nothing particularly but does that really matter. Surely Bono and his buddies would approve of this angel who, it has to be said, if she had been on the original cover, would probably have catapulted this single from the obscurity of number 14 in the hot 100, to the dizzy heights of number 12, or even number 11.

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(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) - Beastie Boys 
Sunday, 10 February, 2013, 05:12 - Singles Of The 1980s
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beastie boys fight for your right 1Kick It! No, that is not a reference to the bucket which Beastie Boy Adam Yauch sadly kicked in 2012, but is the now infamous opening line from the Beastie Boys classic 1986 single (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) The very 1980s cover (in the sense that it's a very over everything, over cluttered, over colorful and over complicated) carries the name of the band, the title of the song and a picture of the Beastie Boys looking, well, very 80s. It's probably the hats and the sunglasses that do it, because it doesn't appear to be raining (hence no need for a hat), nor does it appear to be overly sunny (hence no need for the glasses) and so the band are over dressed, adding to the overly nature of the whole cover.

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beastie boys fight for yourright remixYou should never speak ill of the dead, but we thing Mr Yauch would forgive the replacement of his picture with one that better sums up the whole track. Instead of the picture of the 'Boys, we instead see a couple of girls who are clearly fighting hard. It is only this extreme level of fighting that could possibly be appropriate if the outcome of the battle was the right to party. Never mind human rights, or constitutional rights, the right to party is something that should be a universal human norm, and should not require any fight. But if you are going to fight, make two girls do it in the nude, that's the best way by far. In fact, it almost represents a party in itself, so in a way, no matter who wins, at least they will both have had a party.

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I'm So Excited - The Pointer Sisters 
Thursday, 7 February, 2013, 05:49 - Singles Of The 1980s
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pointer sisters so excited 1I'm So Excited is the 1982 single from The Pointer Sisters. Although it dates to 1982, it's style has a lot in common with the 1970s disco sounds, the covers of which have formed a bit of a theme over the past few days here at AllBum.Art. But Oh, what a dull, dull, dull (did someone say dull) cover. It has yellow. It has blue. It has some words. It does not have any evidence of The Pointer Sisters. It does not show any propensity for excitement. It is a cover for the sake of covers, to protect the inwardly protected single from dust. To protect the grooves on the vinyl from the ingress of dirt. To stop the single getting mucky.

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pointer sisters so excited remixBut getting mucky is what a song such as I'm So Excited screams out for on it's cover. What it needs is sisters (in the widest sense of the word, rather than necessarily the clinical one) who are not just excited, but just can't hide it. They need to be about to lose control, and they need to think they like it. The girl in the centre of this remixed cover fits that description to a penny. The look on her face says more than the song needs to. It has blue, yes. It has some words, yes. It shows some sisters, oh yes. It shows a propensity for immediate excitement, definitely. As for protecting the grooves, it does that too. A clear and unequivocal improvement, darn tootin'.

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Love Is A Battlefield - Pat Benetar 
Friday, 1 February, 2013, 05:09 - Singles Of The 1980s
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pat benetar love is a 1An American classic from Pat Benetar, Love Is A Battlefield is one of those songs that's timeless. Or at least if you use airplay to define what's timeless, then this is on the list as it's still played on the radio like there's no tomorrow. Anyhow, the cover of the single shows Ms Benetar in a rather odd pose. Perhaps this is meant to be her attempt to show what a love-based battlefield looks like. The fact is that you can't see what else is going on either behind, below, or in front of Ms Benetar and it's difficult to imagine what this might be from the scant information provided by the cover. Is she, for example, mid-punch against some floozie that she has taken a dislike to, or maybe she's just been punched herself. The mind boggles. The cover doesn't.

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pat benetar love is a remixSo that there can be no confusion, in the remixed cover, Ms Benetar has been replaced by two floozies who look very much like they are in the mood to battle it out for love. The battlefield in this case is a boxing ring, and the two floozies have their gloves on and are facing off ready for a punch up. In the red corner is a redhead who, for the sake of argument we shall call 'Paula'. In the blue corner we have a blonde who, for the sake of argument we shall call 'Britney'. Let the argument commence, and the battle ensue. The things we do for love! Oh, wait, that's a different song isn't it.

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Born In The USA - Bruce Springsteen 
Monday, 28 January, 2013, 12:45 - Singles Of The 1980s
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bruce springsteen born in the usa 1An all American classic like Apple Pie and July the 4th, Born In The USA is an 80's classic of its own by Bruce Springsteen. The cover for the single is relatively minimalist but almost has the essentials. Firstly, Mr Springsteen is pictured, in full rock-star electric guitar playing style. You can almost hear the chord that he is strumming. He is set against a red, white and blue backdrop that isn't totally dissimilar to the old star spangled banner itself. The main difference being the stars which have been replaced by the title of the song itself. 4 out of 5 perhaps? (Incidentally, you can rate any of the pictures by clicking the blobs at the bottom of each entry).

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bruce springsteen born in the usa remix 1Achieving a remix of this cover was never going to be easy. It's like remixing the white house. For starters you can't take away the red, white and blueness, that would just be plain wrong. But what can be done is to remix Mr Springsteen himself. So instead of his rock-star physique he has been replaced by a physique of a different type. Yes, Mr Springsteen has been replaced by a sexy all-American cheerleader type wearing a patriotic bikini. Though there is only one of her, she is clearly a shining star thereby putting the stars back into the spangled banner. She is an American model who is, it is true to say, is born in the USA. God bless America!

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White Lines (Don't Do It) - Grandmaster Flash And Melle Mel 
Wednesday, 9 January, 2013, 12:28 - Singles Of The 1980s
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grandmaster flash and melle white lines 1Three flashes in a row, anyone might start believing that there was some logic in the apparently random songs picked to appear. Anyone would be largely wrong. The cover for this 1983 song by Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel fails on the same front that many other covers do. Firstly, the band members are nowhere to be seen, and secondly the picture included in on the cover art has no White Lines on it. The titles are shown as if they have been printed on various different bits of paper and then ripped up and stuck together and this does leave a few White Lines, but not really enough to qualify.

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grandmaster flash and melle white lines 2And here's another thing: what on earth are they going on about in the song. Something like a phenomenon baby? What is, some desolate urban scene with graffiti? Hardly now. So the cover has been revised to show a phenomenal young white lady who has obviously had her bikini on whilst sunbathing and has now come inside to cool off. Unfortunately for her, having taken off her bikini, she has revealed the white lines it has left. Silly girl. If only she'd listened to the Grandmaster she'd have been told not to do it. Only one thing left to say about the fact that her white lines go a long way, and that is: Rang dang diggedy dang-a-dang.

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Flashdance (What A Feeling) - Irene Cara 
Tuesday, 8 January, 2013, 12:49 - Singles Of The 1980s
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irene cara flashdance 1Oooh, what a feelin', when you're dancin' on the seelin'. No, not that one, that's Lionel Richie you're thinking of. This is the Oooh, what a feelin', feel's believin'. From the 1983 film Flashdance (whose name is most probably taken from this sing) no less, the cover sees some dancing type in leg-warmers sitting on the floor. Oddly, she is neither flashin', nor for that matter, feelin', but is just sat there being a bit dull. Grey. Dull. See? But despite this cover art dullness, the film was a rip roaring success. It's about a welder who, well, who dances but doesn't flash, unless the flash relates to the light from her arc-welding lamp. Yawn.

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irene cara flashdance 2Still here? Well let's hope this updated version provides you with the zing you need to relive those halcyon moments from the film. The dull welding girl type has been replaced by a dancer who seems to fit into her leg warmers in an altogether more pleasing manner. Some may argue that it would have been more pleasing if she had been in the altogether, but that's not how AllBum.Art rolls. And it's clear that the dancer has no rolls either as there doesn't appear to be an ounce of flesh out of place. Is she also a welder? You have to ask yourself whether you really need to know the answer to this question or whether you are content to let such unimportant issues float on the wind like the sparks from an Oxy-Acetelene welding torch.

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Flash - Queen 
Monday, 7 January, 2013, 16:34 - Singles Of The 1980s
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queen flash 1Whilst we are in the realm of the Britannic majesty of Queen, there is one more song that is just gagging to have a cover that reflects it's double-entendre if not triple or quadruple-entendre title and that is Flash. Recently re-popularized by the film Ted, the song is the theme tune to the 1980 movie Flash Gordon. The cover for the single on the other hand is as boring as a discussion on quantum rocket theory would be with Ted's supposed belle Tammy Lynn. That is to say, blue. With a few speckled white bits of dubious origin. And the word 'Queen' in white. And the word 'Flash' in red. Rocket science it ain't.

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queen flash 2Of course there are many picture of ladies 'flashing' that could adorn the revised cover, but only one has the regality and authenticity to grace such a noble cover and that is Ornella Muti who played Princess Aura in the original Flash Gordon movie. Thankfully there are a range of pictures of Ms Muti 'flashing' to choose from, as she has posed for such upmarket and prestigious magazines as Playboy. Here she is flashing some flesh and demonstrating why she was the ideal person to play Mr Gordon's love interest given the odd propensity for all her clothes to just fall off when presented with a stiff ray gun.

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9 To 5 - Sheena Easton 
Friday, 4 January, 2013, 12:40 - Singles Of The 1980s
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sheena easton 9 to 5 1Welcome back to work after the holiday season. And to get back into the mood, here's a song about going to work. A number 1 hit from Scottish songstress Sheena Easton 9 To 5 (which we know best as Morning Train) is all about that monotonous daily grind. Ms Easton is perhaps best know for becoming arm candy for Prince. It's all too easy to forget that she was an artist in her own right. The cover sees Ms Easton in a pink raincoat stood by a clock. Why the raincoat? Who is to say. The question that does matter, is what exactly is she wearing under the raincoat?

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sheena easton 9 to 5 2Wonder no more as AllBum.Art reveal the answer. In fact there's more than just the answer revealed but also the fact that under the pink raincoat, there is nothing and everything to show. Nothing in the sense that there's nothing underneath the raincoat, as opposed to nothing to see. Everything in the sense that there's everything you might expect to see. The oddness of this is that in opening the raincoat a little to give a peek of what lies beneath, Ms Easton's hair and make-up also seem to have changed, as has her body shape. No matter, it's a little clearer to understand what Prince saw in her now.

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Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now - Samantha Fox 
Thursday, 3 January, 2013, 12:27 - Singles Of The 1980s
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samantha fox nothings gonna stop me now 1It's always nice to receive a submission from someone new. This one comes courtesy of Reg Splineby of Grimsby, England. Reg tells us that Samantha Fox was a 'page 3' model in England in the 1980s. Apparently this means that she posed topless for one of the national newspapers. After her modelling career, she went on to have some, limited, chart success in England but was apparently much more popular in Eastern Europe and Russia. This is the cover for her 1987 single Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now in which Samantha does not appear to have followed her own instructions as she has stopped short of stripping off.

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samantha fox nothings gonna stop me now 2Reg has sent us this alternative single cover which shows, as he put it, 'Sam's bountiful assets'. In this version, nothing has stopped her now and she has stripped off to be topless. Reg declines to say any more about Samantha, or what his motivation was for producing this alternative cover, but perhaps a picture speaks a thousand words, and there is really no reason for him to provide added commentary. Not to worry, we can see why Ms Fox might cause a stir, especially if she posed like that in a national newspaper. Maybe the New York Times could take a leaf from the English press with their pictorials. If that was the 1980s it makes you wonder what kind of pictures appear in English newspapers today...

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