As you may have guessed by now, I love the geographic quirkiness that pop music sometimes brings. What makes an artist successful in one part of the world, but not in other parts of the world?
One of the bigger examples of that would be Cliff Richard – who is only behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley in terms of the top selling artists in British pop music history. Over here in America, this was Richard’s biggest hit, going to #6 on the Billboard charts in 1975 – scoring ten top 40 hits in the States from 1959 to 1981.
Through bits and pieces on YouTube, and because the album won’t be released in North America until the fall (which will be the first release of a studio album of hers here since 1996) but has been released in most of Europe already – I’ve heard Bonnie Tyler’s most recent album, Between The Earth And The Stars. Since I seem to be one of the few “Bonnieologists” out there on this particular continent, I’d thought I’d give a review – as I did back in 2013 with Rocks And Honey.
In short, I think this was one of her better studio albums of the 17 she’s released since 1977 – with probably only 1983’s Faster Than The Speed Of Night rivaling it. (I’d give it an 8.5 on a 1 to 10 scale if you’re keeping score.) If what Bonnie has said recently in the European media a few times is true, I’m suspecting this will likely be (at almost two months shy of 68) her last studio album in a career that spanned half a century. I certainly don’t want that to be the case – but the clock eventually catches up to all of us sooner or later, right?
I’ve always thought Tyler might have one more hit over here in the US, as evidenced when the solar eclipse in August of 2017 briefly made her a thing once again in the United States, remembering how “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” was a big hit worldwide in 1983. A “best of” album briefly charted in Billboard’s Top 200 albums around that time, which ended a gap of over 31 years since Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire made the lower end of the charts in the spring of 1986. After that, I thought perhaps that was the “one more hit” that I had envisioned for her and not any new material that could come along.
But then again, when I had these dreams of Bonnie having that one last hit in America over the years, I kept seeing a year with a 9 in it. First I thought the 9 meant 19-something as in the previous century, then 2009 – and now, here we are in 2019. Perhaps, this will be her time.
“Hold On” was easily the best song on the newest album, though if the album is released here in the fall as planned – her new label, earMUSIC, will probably push her duet with Rod Stewart. “Battle Of The Sexes” kind of disappointed me – both put in their usual good vocal work and by no means is it a terrible song, but it didn’t seem there was any chemistry between them within the song itself. If “Battle” is released as a single and charts (and that might not be the big “if” it would have been a few years ago), Bonnie and Rod could break some of the elder age records on Billboard, and that’s probably where the money is to be made publicity-wise if anywhere.
If this indeed winds up being Bonnie’s last studio album (I do think she’ll continue on and do tours into the 2020’s – and oh by the way, North America gets another total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024), it’s not a bad capper for her. I’ll get it when it comes out over here, for sure – it could wind up being somewhat of a collector’s item.
If you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater, then it should not be allowed to say a President colluded with another country if such information is false.
The networks were abuzz late Friday afternoon with the news that the nearly two-year investigation of what happened in the 2016 Elections reached its end. In the days that followed up until the time of this typing just before noon on Sunday, very little information leaked to the media about special counsel Robert Muller’s findings – which would seem to be a preliminary indication that the President nor his family did anything wrong.
Should this continue to verify, the media and those politicians who gave no quarter to the presiding President have done the man – and, by extension, all of us – a grave disservice. Remember back in 2016 that I was skeptical of Mr. Trump – but as the election dawned, I felt the country would be better in his hands than in the hands of the wife of an impeached former President.
If Republicans had done this so a sitting Democratic president, I would be just as upset – and regardless of the political affiliation, whether or not we have a President with a “D” or an “R” next to his name – this was all done in our names. All who participated in this scam should be shunned as much as possible. As Caitlin Johnstone recently suggested, these people need to be ruthlessly mocked – as they did to Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Mitch McConnell, and others.
If that leads to the indictment of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama – so be it.
In putting this piece together, I didn’t know that Dick Dale had passed away this past Saturday, March 16th. More of a reason to play the song made famous in Pulp Fiction and some other media outlets circa 1994 that was originally recorded in 1962.
While the argument continues to rage over who did what to who in the 2016 US Elections, there’s this matter of various states combining efforts to do away with the Electoral College – probably not before the 2020 Elections get here, but perhaps 2024 or at some point afterward.
Regardless of whether or not Democrats get away with what they did in 2016, I’m not in favor of government making another end run around the Constitution as was attempted in 2009 with the passing of the mandatory purchasing of healthcare – which didn’t last long as the law of the land. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would be just another means of bypassing the Constitution and would allow states to make laws of their own accord.
It is also worth mentioning that all of the states that have joined the NPVIC so far were all won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Should that change, the compact would only be permitted if the combined electoral vote total exceeds 270 – the majority needed for a presidential nomination.
I have had misgivings about the value of the Electoral College – and why it only applies to elections at the presidential level. But at the same time, if our society is going to make this significant of a change, it should be done the legal way: by going through the Constitution. By going through and changing the law at the state level, it gives the states that are colluding with each other too much power – which is not good for the country as a whole.
I’ve been remiss these past few months not mentioning how wonderful it’s been to watch the local hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, burn through the rest of the NHL so far. With ten games left in the regular season, they’ve already broken team records for wins and standings points, and may wind up with one of the best regular seasons in NHL history by the time it’s all over with.
The reason I really haven’t been paying attention is that I’m basically a football and baseball guy. I watch baseball season – then when that’s over with, I watch football. When the Super Bowl comes and goes, I watch NASCAR until it’s baseball season again.
I’ll be making an exception for Lightning games as they make their playoff run – because in the world of North American sports, one bad run of games and all that good work in the regular season can go up in smoke quickly. Go Bolts!