A colourful face from Miami’s Wynwood Walls:


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memories of the ’80s – Jump by Van Halen

Van Halen - Jump.jpgThe sixth studio album from Van Halen brought the band bestselling success and a their first number one single: Jump.

Written in 1981 by Eddie Van Halen, the other band members rejected the song for their previous album Diver Down.

Producer Ted Templeman asked David Lee Roth to listen to the song and hopefully get inspired for their upcoming album.

Roth listened to the song with band roadie Larry Hostler, trying to come up with the right lyrics. Inspired after remembering a television report about someone trying to commit suicide, Roth came up with the chorus for the song.

Instead of focusing on suicide, Roth focused on someone taking the leap for love in the song lyrics. The album and song were recorded at the 5150 Studios in Studio City, California and showcased Eddie Van Halen’s newfound interest in the synthesizer.

Released in December 1983 ahead of the release of the album MCMLXXXVI (1984), the song climbed the charts and hit the number one spot in February 1984.

The accompanying music video, showcasing the stage performance of the band, propelled the song to be on regular rotation on MTV and MuchMusic in Canada. It won three awards from the MTV Video Awards.

Used by several sports teams including AC Milan football club and the Winnipeg Jets hockey team, the song has become embedded in pop culture since its release in the early 1980s.

The song was chosen by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock ‘n’ roll.



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Graffiti reflection

A popular corner of Miami’s Wynwood Arts District:


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memories of the ’70s – Dance the Night Away by Van Halen

In the late 1970s, an Los Angeles rock band hit the charts with its first top 20 single: Dance the Night Away by Van Halen.

Written during the recording sessions for Van Halen II, the song was inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way.

Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony worked with producer Ted Templeman.

Recorded over three weeks at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, the album was released a year  after their debut album, with most songs, except Dance the Night Away, written before the recording sessions.

Dance the Night Away was released in April by Warner Bros, just after the release of Van Halen II. The first single from the album, its popularity came from the song’s balance of hard rock with melodic overtones.

The cover was a striking image of Roth – who apparently broke his ankle doing this jump.

Critics were guarded in their praise of the album, saying it was similar to their first album, although accolades were focused on Roth’s stage performance and the skill of Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing.

Dance the Night Away was the band’s first top 20 single, and peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.



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Wynwood dawg

A dawg with style in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District:


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Don’t care

But perhaps we should:

dont care

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memories of the ’80s – Need You Tonight by INXS

Need you tonight.jpgFor an Australian band, their sixth studio album had the song that became their hit around the world: Need You Tonight by INXS.

After four albums, INXS had recorded and promoted Listen Like Thieves, gaining more fans beyond Australia and especially in North America.

Going on a 14 month world tour, the band returned to Sydney and spent time at the Sydney Opera House to work on songs for Kick.

Three members of the band worked on songs for the album in Hong Kong, with band members Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss focused on creating the right songs for Kick. Farriss started with the roots of Need You Tonight as he was headed to Hong Kong.

Released in October 1987, the album Kick was recorded in Sydney, mixing funk and soul styles with mainstream rock. The first single, Need You Tonight, was released in September, ahead of the album release.

Steadily climbing the charts on both sides of the Pacific (and Atlantic), Need You Tonight became the first (and only) Billboard Hot 100 number one single for INXS.

The song was boosted by the distinctive music video, which combined live action and animation as well as Need You Tonight and Mediate, two songs from Kick.  The video won five MTV Video Awards, including award for Video of the Year in 1988.

The band rode the wave of popularity due to Need You Tonight and consequent singles, Devil Inside, New Sensation and Never Tear Us Apart.


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