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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Freegal Picks: I can't believe that was 30 years ago!

Posted by Alana T.

Freegal has expanded it's offerings and now offers 3 hours of free streaming per day.  In addition to your 3 downloads per week, you are allowed three hours of streaming.  You can create your own playlists, or choose from one of Freegal's lists.  I have to admit I was a bit under-enthused by Freegal's lists (I listened to 80's, 80's Metal, Country, Broadway & One Hit Wonders), but they do give you a few options to try something new.  I wish there were more lists dedicated to world music, especially since this is one of Freegal's strengths.  One benefit of the streaming is that you can listen to an entire song before deciding whether to download.

In any case, I thought I would look for some selections from the 80s, specifically 1984, 30 years ago!  Of course, with Freegal, coverage is spotty, but there are some interesting options, along with a few of the, now classic, hits.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood put out its debut album in 1984.  If you recall, the hit Relax was controversial at the time, but now seems pretty tame.  The song is available on Freegal, on a 'best of' album with a variety of other hits. If you want an extended 80's techno selection, listen to the 14 minute long Welcome To the Pleasure Dome.

The Alarm has remained one of my favorite bands, and and I remember when Declaration came out. Sadly, there aren't any 80's albums available on Freegal.  The Sound and the Fury, a 30-year retrospective of the band is available and there are some decent selections. Give a listen.

In the heyday of the cola wars, Michael Jackson made headlines when his hair caught on fire during the taping of a Pepsi commercial loaded with pyrotechnics.  He was recording the song Thriller.  The entire album came out later that year and the rest is history.   Relive the experience by downloading the album.

Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual whole album available

1984 was also a year for amazing movies.  Since we're focusing on music here, I'll only mention two soundtracks - Ghostbusters and Footloose - available in their entirety for download.  Lots of 80's gems here; download the whole thing or just your favs.

Hard to believe there was ever American music without Bruce Springsteen, but before 1984 he was much more a local New Jersey favorite.  Born in the U.S.A blew onto the scene and we've never been the same.  The original album is available, so you can have the whole thing, or just the iconic singles.

Two musical women made waves with their clothing choices in 1984 and influenced thousands of young women (and quite a few men) to wear multiple necklaces, layers of skirts, lace in odd places and messy hair.  Madonna and Cyndi Lauper released their debut albums, Like a Virgin and She's So Unusual, respectively and the world was never the same.  Sadly, nothing from Madonna is available on Freegal, but you can download all of Cyndi's iconic album and dance the night away.

Last, but not least, we can't forget the hair bands!  I couldn't find anything great on Freegal, but I was intrigued by two selections for the younger set.  Metallica Para Bebe by Sweet Little Band and Rockaby Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Van Halen are gentle remixes of the classic hits and are almost unrecognizable - but pretty great.  The version of Hot For Teacher, complete with xylaphone and chirping birds is unforgettable.

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