Albums I Grew Up On: Synthpop Sisters

Previously: Road Trippin'

This might not be the manliest pair of albums, but my two sisters, Cheryl and Christie, were a huge influence on my earliest musical tastes. What can you do?

Duran Duran: Arena

My sisters were just hitting their teenage years during the mid-80s, so that means they were obsessed with Duran Duran. They had compiled quite an impressive scrapbook of band photos carefully cut out from the pages of Tiger Beat and the like. But more importantly, they recorded the band's 1984 tour documentary when we briefly had MTV. This was Duran Duran at the absolute height of their popularity. Culled from the same tour was Arena, which featured most of their biggest early hits performed live. "The Wild Boys" single was tacked on to the album as well, which quickly became my favorite song and music video. Some years later, in the midst of their early '90s comeback, I was there alongside my sisters to see Duran Duran perform at the old ParkWest Amphitheatre—my very first concert.

He may have been an atypical idol for a young boy, but lead singer Simon Le Bon was once the coolest guy on the planet in my eyes (right after Luke Skywalker, of course).

Erasure: The Innocents

As Duran Duran faded from the limelight in the latter half of the '80s, my sisters started listening to other groups such as Depeche Mode and Erasure. Depeche Mode later went on to become one of my favorite bands as well, but I have found that Erasure is best taken in small doses. Still, I have written before about albums that have the power to transport us to another time and place. The Innocents is one of those albums for me. As soon as I hear the oh-so-peppy opening synthesizer beat of "A Little Respect," I am immediately taken back to my sisters' room in our old New Jersey house where I grew up. And now I am recalling my dad infuriating Cheryl and Christie by calling the band "Eraser." I'm tellin' you, this album is almost as good as having my very own time machine.

Adorning the wall of my sisters' room was this large, colorful (and kinda creepy) poster.


Christie said...

OH.. I haven't seen that Erasure picture in ages. Thanks for the trip back to our sweet basement room on Hillside Ave. I was transported there just imagining "a little respect" in my head as I read.. So glad we had such influence over your early musical taste.

Cheeseboy said...

It seems as though every Utahn I know in their 30's "briefly" had MTV as a kid... until their parents caught on. I thought these two bands were actually one and the same. Now I am all clear.

Cheryl said...

Oh, the memories. You didn't tell about all the Duran Duran pictures and poster plastered all over our room as well. I remember how mad I was when Padre painted over John Taylor's face on a center fold pinup while he was painting our room with a paint roller.