Finest Worksongs
Def Leppard - Pyromania

Def Leppard - Pyromania

November 23, 2021
In 1983, Def Leppard emerged from the burgeoning British hard rock/metal landscape as, arguably, the biggest cats around. On the strength of mega hits (and fantastically "1980s-esque" videos) like "Photograph," Rock of Ages," "Foolin'" and "Too Late For Love," the boys from Sheffield were able to become MTV darlings while still leaning into the spike bracelets and fist-pumping ethos. Their third album, "Pyromania," was a break-out success. Their ascension hit a slight bump when drummer Rick Allen was significantly injured in a car accident (and thus lost an arm), but they would reach even greater heights with 1987's "Hysteria." But with '83's "Pyromania," Def Leppard was HOT. And who could forget this classic lyric:
 
Gunter gleiben glauchen globen
Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair

Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair

November 11, 2021

1985 was a big year in pop music. The list of Billboard-topping albums is like a "who's who" of 80s powerhouses: "Born in the USA" ... "Purple Rain" ... "No Jacket Required" .... "We Are the World" ... "Like a Virgin" ... and so on. But one album that made a splash that summer was Tears For Fears' "Songs from the Big Chair." All of a sudden, with hits like "Shout," "Head Over Heels" and "Everybody Wants to Rule The World," Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal were punching above their class with the likes of Bruce, Prince and Madonna. It didn't hurt that the songs undeniably catchy, and the videos were compelling. Almost four decades later, many of us are still singing -- or shouting -- along to these songs.

Fugees - The Score

Fugees - The Score

November 3, 2021

Twenty-five years ago, a hip-hop album hit the scene so hard – and so somewhat unexpectedly – that it is still amazing to reflect on the remarkable impact that it had. In a time where gangster rap was shouting the loudest, "The Score," the second album by Fugees, resonated with virtually everyone, scoring Grammys, selling millions of copies, and being the soundtrack to dance clubs for years to come – while underscoring many of the same issues that their more bombastic contemporaries were also rapping about. Of course, it never hurts to have Lauryn Hill's wordplay and sensual voice; however, the musicality and vision of Wyclef Jean and the skills of Pras Michel made the Fugees a tour de force. With hits like "Ready Or Not, "Killing Me Softly" and "Fu-Gee La," Fugees' "The Score" remains one of the most beloved hip-hop and rap albums of all time. 

Adele - 21

Adele - 21

October 26, 2021

When most people turn 21, they celebrate by going out drinking with their friends. Adele used her life experiences as a 21-year-old to create one of the best-selling (and critically acclaimed) albums of all time. It's an album that shares the kind of heartbreak and loss that many young women have dealt with. However, the difference is Adele was able to channel that emotion and turmoil into a complete, beautiful -- and sometimes cleverly vicious -- album. "21" spurred three No. 1 songs: "Rolling in the Deep," "Someone Like You" and "Set Fire to the Rain" -- and "Rumour Has It" was a top 20 hit worldwide as well. And she really did do it her way, by writing songs from her heart that captured the essence of a women going through intense life mileposts. The ex-lover who spurned her allegedly told Adele that she would be "boring and lonely" without him. Today, the world knows Adele and could not give a crap about him. So cheers to you, Adele, for "21!"

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

September 29, 2021

Almost out of nowhere, Alabama Shakes' 2015 album "Sound & Color" took the music world by storm. Fueled by Brittany Howard's Janice-meets-Aretha soulful treatise on love, loss and longing, "Sound & Color" brings together blues, rock, soul, R&B, Southern rock -- and so much more. And the world was here for it all. Fueled by the gritty and thumping "Don't Wanna Fight," the album was loved by music fans and music critics at the same time -- a novelty, for sure. It would go on to be nominated for six Grammys, including Album of the Year. "Don't Wanna Fight" would take home the Grammy for both Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. But like the rest of the album, it's SO much more than "rock."

Rush–Moving Pictures

Rush–Moving Pictures

September 23, 2021

Air drummers of the world, UNITE! This seminal album by the classic Canadian prog rock band Rush has been a long time coming for one Matt and a bitter pill to swallow for the other Matt. Clocking in at a concise (for them) 40 minutes, "Moving Pictures" was the album that took the trio from the world of mystical, dystopian rock operas to certified radio stars -- while retaining street cred to the nerds. "Tom Sawyer" is an undeniable classic rock titan. "Limelight" tells the story of a superstar who doesn't want to be a superstar -- all the while ironically leading to said star becoming a superstar. And while "Moving Pictures" is a "pop" hit by Rush standards, it still retains elements of their earlier days with technically-sound instrumentals ("YYZ"), multi-movement sagas ("The Camera Eye") and even paranoia/Big Brother elements ("Witch Hunt"). It also has a kick-ass car song ("Red Barchetta").

Underrated Albums: Roman Candle, Queen Sarah Saturday

Underrated Albums: Roman Candle, Queen Sarah Saturday

September 7, 2021

On our first "Underrated Albums" epipod, we're sharing two albums that are scandalously under-appreciated. This is the opposite of the pretentious indie rocker touting an album no one would understand even if they could find it. These are albums we're  dying for the world to hear. For whatever reason, these gems didn't make it into everyone's CD catalog or playlist, but it's never too late. 

Counting Crows - August and Everything After

Counting Crows - August and Everything After

August 25, 2021

"We all wanna be Bob Dylan."  In the midst of grunge and new punk, Adam Duritz and Co. were a throwback, not just to folk/pop music, but to the singer-songwriter era. Duritz's poetic narratives offered a deep look into his soul and psyche, to his desire for belonging and fame. He would get at least the latter thanks to beautiful, pop hits like "Round Here," "Rain King" and, of course, "Mr. Jones, which remains a radio staple. But the album, "August and Everything After" is a complete piece, often overlooked as a whole due to the momentous success of radio hits. "We all wanna be big stars, yeah, but we got different reasons for that."

Prince - Purple Rain

Prince - Purple Rain

August 17, 2021

Prince was already an enigmatic superstar before the movie (and soundtrack) for "Purple Rain" was released in 1984. But this outing catapulted him into superstardom -- where he orbited the likes of Michael and Madonna (and often surpassed them). "Purple Rain" is Prince at his creative, clever and naughty best. Standard classics like "Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry" are teased with gems like "Darling Nikki" and "I Would Die 4 U." And the anthemic title track is the type of masterpiece by which other songs are measured. The album "Purple Rain" is a bonafide classic. And Prince was just getting started.

Listener’s Choice - Cage The Elephant

Listener’s Choice - Cage The Elephant

June 22, 2021

How on earth does a group of high school buddies from Bowling Green, Kentucky win multiple Grammy awards for internationally popular rock music? For this listener's choice epipod, Matt and Matt dig in to find out what makes this band so beloved. While Cage The Elephant wear their influences on their sleeves, you'll see that these talented boys from the Bluegrass State are much more than the sum of the bands that came before them. 

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