[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

[<<] 1983 [>>]

Key films: Videodrome (1983) - David Cronenberg

Developments in music: commercial availability of the Emulator

Videodrome (1983) - David Cronenberg [Amazon.com]

Digital sampling is launched with the Emulator

1983: The new Emulator -- the first digital sampling keyboard. When sounds were programmed into it, the Emulator could "play" breaking glass or vocal fragments from other records, or it could make countermelodies out of just about any sound "tuned" as a musical note. Its first use in a dance record was a subtle one: in Cuba Gooding's revival of his former group The Main Ingredient's "Happiness Is Just Around The Bend" coproducer John Robie created a background chorus out of one syllable, "bop," sung into the Emulator and played back as a chord. Of course, sampling had gone on for much longer ... because ... what is sampling but digitized scratching? --jahsonic [Jul 2004]

Key singles

  1. Sun Palace - Rude Movements
  2. Grandmaster Flash - White Lines
  3. Gwen Guthrie - Peanut Butter
  4. Gwen Guthrie - Seventh Heaven (LP Version)
  5. Gwen Guthrie - Hopscotch
  6. Will Powers - Adventures In Success
  7. David Joseph 'You Can't Hide Your Love'
  8. Salsoul Orchestra - Ooh, I Love it (love break)
  9. O'Jays - Put Our Heads Together
  10. Visual - The Music Got Me
  11. Billie - Nobody's Bizness
  12. C-Bank - One More Shot
  13. Freeez - I.O.U.
  14. Montana - Who Needs Enemies (With A Friend Like You) You)
  15. Visual - Somehow, Someway
  16. Monyaka - Go Deh Yaka (Go To The Top)
  17. Unique - What I Got Is What You Need
  18. Fonda Rae - Heobah
  19. NYC Peech Boys - Warm Summer's Night
  20. System - You Are In My System
  21. NYC Peech Boys - Life Is Something Special
  22. NYC Peech Boys - On A Journey
  23. Captain Rapp - Bad Times (I Can't Stand It)
  24. Tracy Weber - Sure Shot
  25. Cuba Gooding - Love Is Just Around The Bend
  26. Status IV - You Ain't Really Down
  27. Loose Joints - Tell You (Today)
  28. Tania Maria - Come With Me
  29. Womack & Womack - Baby I'm Scared Of You
  30. Sinnamon - I Need You Now
  31. Glenn Jones - I Am Somebody
  32. Status IV - You Ain't Really Down
  33. Goldie Alexander - Show You My Love
  34. Gwen McCrae - Keep The Fire Burning
  35. First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder Shep Pettibone remix for Salsoul
  36. Doctor's Cat - Feel the Drive
  37. Oliver Cheatham - Saturday Night
  38. Eddy Louiss - Taureau
  39. Material and Herbie Hancock - Rockit
  40. Beastie Boys - Cooky Puss b/w Beastie Revolution
  41. Art Of Noise - Moments in Love
  42. Hashim - Al Naafiysh (The Soul)
  43. Public Image Ltd (PIL) - This Is Not A Love Song
  44. The Smiths - This Charming Man’ (Francois K mix)
  45. Rammellzee Vs. K Rob - Beat Bop
  46. Cargo - Axel Bauer


  1. Violent Femmes (1983) - Violent Femmes [Amazon.com]
    1. Blister in the Sun 2. Kiss Off 3. Please Do Not Go 4. Add It Up 5. Confessions 6. Prove My Love 7. Promise 8. To the Kill 9. Gone Daddy Gone 10. Good Feeling 11. Ugly [*] 12. Gimme the Car [*]
    If you don't have this album, get it. NOW! "College" rock at it's best, this Femmes classic has the main stream alternative classic, Blister in the Sun, as well as the lesser radio-played but equally classic, Add it Up. The lyrics are emotional and angst-ridden, while the music is a funky garage sound with a twist. This band is my personal favorite band to see in concert, of all times. And they have been popping up in the darnest places, so if you think you've never heard a song by them, give this CD a spin. Just don't play it at any family gatherings, as it can be offensive to some (but my Grandma digs it, and she's 70, so not that bad, I guess) -- Tracy from California for amazon.com

  2. Love Wars - Womack & Womack [ 1 CD, Amazon US]
    1. Love Wars 2. Express Myself 3. Baby I'm Scared of You 4. T.K.O. 5. A.P.B. 6. Catch and Don't Look Back 7. Woman 8. Angie 9. Good Times Rarely do I buy a cd before hearing 2 or 3 songs but I've been searching for "Baby I'm Scared of You" for at least a year! A dj at a block party gave me the wrong title and the wrong singer so you have no idea how excited I am to have come upon this completely by chance. It has got to be one of the smoothest tracks from the 80's and it's one of my fave old skool dance records. how could anybody not look fly rockin to that beat at a backyard bbq?! And after reading the other reviews I'm sure i will find other tracks worth listening to and other Womack & Womack cd's worth buying. Anikka for amazon.com

  3. Clear - Cybotron [Amazon US]
    Juan Atkins and Rick Davies for Fantasy records in 1983
    1. Clear 2. R-9 3. Cosmic Cars 4. Enter 5. Alleys of Your Mind 6. Industrial Lies 7. Line 8. Cosmic Raindance 9. Salvador [*]
    Even the track that gave birth to techno, the Juan Atkins / Rick Davies 12” ‘Clear’ by Cybotron (Fantasy), was regarded as an electro classic here in 83, way before the techno scene began to take shape, and would feature on the first Street Sounds ‘Crucial Electro’ compilation the following year. [...] -- Greg Wilson

  4. Herbie Hancock - Future Shock[1 CD, Amazon US]

    1983 Electro: Herbie Hancock's electro tracks with Bill Laswell - particularly the smash hit "Rockit". Bernard Fowler is a featured vocalist.

More films

  1. The Hunger (1983) - Tony Scott [Amazon US]

    See entry on hunger

  2. Flambierte Frau, Die/Woman in Flames (1983) - Robert van Ackeren
    Eva, an upper-class housewife, frustratedly leaves her arrogant husband and decides to enter the call girl business. She lets Yvonne, a prostitute, teach her the basics and both set out for prey together, until Eva starts an affair with Chris, who turns out to be a call boy, as well. Consequently, she moves into his penthouse, large enough for both to offer their services separately.

    Robert van Ackeren was born in 1946. He has always been active in numerous fields of the filmmaking business, including work as a scriptwriter and producer, involvement in film politics, and teaching as a professor of film at the Cologne College of the Arts. His films include: Blondie's Number One (1970), The Other Smile (Das andere Laecheln, TV, 1977), Purity of Heart (Die Reinheit des Herzens, 1979), Deutschland privat (1980), A Woman in Flames (Die flambierte Frau, 1983), The Venus Trap (Die Venusfalle, 1988), and Die wahre Geschichte von Maennern und Frauen (1991).

  3. The King of Comedy (1983) - Martin Scorsese [Amazon.com]

    See entry on Martin Scorsese

  4. Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance (1982) - Godfrey Reggio [Amazon US]
    First-time filmmaker Godfrey Reggio's experimental documentary from 1983--shot mostly in the desert Southwest and New York City on a tiny budget with no script, then attracting the support of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas and enlisting the indispensable musical contribution of Philip Glass--delighted college students on the midnight circuit and fans of minimalism for many years. Meanwhile, its techniques, merging cinematographer Ron Fricke's time-lapse shots (alternately peripatetic and hyperspeed) with Glass's reiterative music (from the meditative to the orgiastic)--as well as its ecology-minded imagery--crept into the consciousness of popular culture. The influence of Koyaanisqatsi, or "life out of balance," has by now become unmistakable in television advertisements, music videos, and, of course, in similar movies such as Fricke's own Chronos and Craig McCourry's Apogee. Reggio shot a sequel, Powaqqatsi (1988), and is planning to complete the trilogy with Naqoyqatsi. Koyaanisqatsi provides the uninitiated the chance to see where it all started--along with an intense audiovisual rush. --Robert Burns Neveldine for Amazon.com

  5. De Vierde Man aka The Fourth Man (1983) - Paul Verhoeven [Amazon US]
    Only two years separate The Fourth Man, the final Dutch language movie by director Paul Verhoeven, and the explosive commencement of his Hollywood career. Controversy raged about violence in Flesh & Blood, RoboCop and everything else he made thereafter. Yet controversy has always been a part of the filmmaker's work. This savage comedy shocker could well be seen as a trial run for Basic Instinct, since it features an ice-cold seductress (Renée Soutendijk) with mysterious motivations and sexual preferences. The hallucinatory tale follows a novelist (Jeroen Krabbé) first falling for her, and then feverishly investigating whether she's a serial husband killer. The film is full of what would soon be recognized as Verhoeven trademarks: a little blasphemy, a lot of nudity, dispassionate characters, and hidden agendas. One of the aspects that caught the eye of international audiences was the film's colorful lighting and camerawork. This was from Jan de Bont, who, thanks in large part to Verhoeven, would go on to direct Speed and others. Full of symbolic flourishes and allegorical plot points The Fourth Man is a dizzying display of the type of black comedy that not even Verhoeven can get away with in today's politically aware industry. --Paul Tonks for Amazon.com

  6. Bad Boys (1983) - Rick Rosenthal [DVD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Sean Penn delivered a star-making one-two punch in the early '80s, debuting as stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and turning up only a few months later, all but unrecognizable, as a steel-nerved teenage convict in this raw, powerful prison drama--and both performances hold up remarkably well. While the story line of Bad Boys has the familiar contours of classic jailhouse melodrama (Penn's fearless Mick stands tall against a bullying Latino gang boss played by Esai Morales), the sense of tightly wound raw force the actor conveys is so convincing that it's actually a little scary. It goes way beyond the blunt-force impact of a standard action star; Mick's acts of violence are expressions of personality, practically eruptions of his life force. The authenticity of this portrayal is reinforced by the closely observed production design: the youth-prison set is so cunningly textured that many moviegoers took it for the real thing. Ally Sheedy also made her film debut in Bad Boys, as the girl Mick leaves behind on the outside. --David Chute for Amazon.com

  7. The Right Stuff (1983) - Philip Kaufman [DVD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Philip Kaufman's intimate epic about the Mercury astronauts (based on Tom Wolfe's book) was one of the most ambitious and spectacularly exciting movies of the 1980s. It surprised almost everybody by not becoming a smash hit. By all rights, the film should have been every bit the success that Apollo 13 would later become; The Right Stuff is not only just as thrilling, but it is also a bigger and better movie. Combining history (both established and revisionist), grand mythmaking (and myth puncturing), adventure, melodrama, behind-the-scenes dish, spectacular visuals, and a down-to-earth sense of humor, The Right Stuff chronicles NASA's efforts to put a man in orbit. Such an achievement would be the first step toward President Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon, and, perhaps most important of all, would win a crucial public relations/morale victory over the Soviets, who had delivered a stunning blow to American pride by launching Sputnik, the first satellite. The movie contrasts the daring feats of the unsung test pilots--one of whom, Chuck Yeager, embodied more than anyone else the skill and spirit of Wolfe's title--against the heavily publicized (and sanitized) accomplishments of the Mercury astronauts. Through no fault of their own, the spacemen became prisoners of the heroic images the government created for them in order to capture the public's imagination. The casting is inspired; the film features Sam Shepard as the legendary Yeager, Ed Harris as John Glenn, Dennis Quaid as "Gordo" Cooper, Scott Glenn as Alan Shepard, Fred Ward as Gus Grissom, Scott Wilson as Scott Crossfield, and Pamela Reed and Veronica Cartwright are superb in their thankless roles as astronauts' wives. --Jim Emerson for Amazon.com

  8. Zelig (1983) - Woody Allen [Amazon US]
    The thinking person's Forrest Gump, Woody Allen's 1983 Zelig is a funny, atmospheric mock-documentary about the collision of one man's manifest neuroses colliding with key moments in 20th-century history. Allen plays the title character, a self-effacing, timorous fellow with such a porous personality that he physically becomes a reflection of whoever he is with. Complex and painstaking, the film's pre-Gump special effects manage to place Allen, buried under a series of makeup and prosthetic guises, in a number of scenes along with Adolf Hitler at a Nazi rally, a pope at the Vatican, and famous guests at a garden party hosted by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Similar in tone and satire to some of Allen's short, comic pieces published in The New Yorker magazine, Zelig is a one-note movie that takes its delicious time establishing the fullness of its central joke. It's well worth the wait. --Tom Keogh for amazon.com

    Zelig was an experiment upon Allen’s part in creating a documentary set around a fantastic, entirely fictional character. Allen was quite possibly inspired by the then recent Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982) wherein director Carl Reiner composed a film based around inserting Steve Martin into clips from 1940s film noir thrillers. Allen had earlier composed another entire film by dubbing over footage from a Japanese spy thriller with What’s Up Tiger Lily ? (1965), while his Take the Money and Run also posed at the documentary form. The move of inserting a fictional character into historical footage was later copied by the much more famous Forrest Gump (1994), although Zelig is much cleverer and more sophisticated with what it does. --Richard Scheib

  9. Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983) - Henry Jaglom [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Nobody mixes sexy and crazy like Karen Black (Five Easy Pieces, Nashville). Black plays Zee, a paranoid New Yorker whose boyfriend has just left her. So when Eli (Michael Emil) picks her up at a cafe, she goes along with it--despite his unfortunate comb-over haircut--and the two engage in a mismatched romance. Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? can be thought of as writer-director Henry Jaglom's version of Annie Hall, with two neurotics trying to find mutual ground for love. Though the movie sometimes gets bogged down in its extensive dialogue, there are moments when both the bickering and the flirting feel remarkably genuine. Black is dynamic and makes her erratic behavior not only convincing but sympathetic. Jaglom delves into the human psyche, sometimes at the expense of story momentum, but you have to admire his willingness to let characters reveal themselves at length. --Bret Fetzer for amazon.com

  10. Brainstorm (1983) - Douglas Trumbull [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Brainstorm is a fascinating but frustrating film, simply because it dabbles in greatness but fails to develop the fullest implications of its provocative ideas. It's a visually dazzling film with outstanding special effects; directed by veteran effects creator Douglas Trumbull, of 2001 fame; but too caught up in marvels of hardware and software at the expense of its characters, who remain interesting but dramatically two-dimensional. The story involves the development of a headset recorder that can replay one person's experiences--even their emotional states--into the mind of another. The device obviously invites corporate or military exploitation, and Cliff Robertson plays a ruthless executive determined to tap into its lucrative potential. But when a scientist (Louise Fletcher) records her own death experience with the device, along with incriminating evidence, the technology's inventor (Christopher Walken) must unlock the mysteries of his colleague's suspicious demise and the very nature of death itself. Punctuated by remarkable sequences from the perspective of those who use the mind-expanding headset, Brainstorm dares to reach for ambitious themes and innovative movie experiences, and that alone makes it eminently worthwhile. But with a conclusion that too literally interprets the afterlife experience with conventional angelic imagery, and a disappointingly thin role for Natalie Wood (who died while the film was still in production), the film strives for profundity and settles instead for an inspirational light show. --Jeff Shannon for amazon.com

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications