I was over at my brother‘s house today talking about his 25th high school reunion he attended over the weekend. And since he’s DJ as well, he was basically the de facto entertainment at the event. He brought his iPod and loaded it up with songs from his graduating year (1981, in case you weren’t doing the math), and he played back some of the songs featured at the reunion when we were sitting around. One of the golden oldies was “88 Lines About 44 Women” by The Nails.
Suddenly my demeanor changed from a cynical music snob who sneered at some of the selections, to one who was singing along to a song that took me back to the days of listening to “The Quake” in San Francisco in 1984. By the way, The Quake was the first alternative rock station in the Bay Area. These days, it’s an AM station that mostly repeats programming from Air America Radio.
Anyway, when I got home, I became obsessed with some of the songs on their album, “Mood Swing.” I Googled, went to iTunes, the Russian mafia, and a few other websites I thought would have mp3s of some of their songs, but couldn’t find it. Steve (my brother) emailed me the mp3 of “88 Lines,” but I wanted to hear “Home of the Brave” and “Let It All Hang Out.” Lucky for me, I recently cleaned out the downstairs closet and found some CDs and cassettes I had forgotten about. Eureka! I found a cassette(!) of The Nails’ “Mood Swing,” and I’m happy to report that I’m going to pass on the love by giving you some golden oldies from the early to mid-80s that you may have forgotten about– or never heard before.
Sadly,”88 Lines” was sold down the river to The Man for some soft drink commercial (I think it was Slice, but it could have been Sprite), but it’s still a great song.
Another great one is “Let It All Hang Out.” Have a listen and tell me this doesn’t sound like a Huey Lewis and the News rip off.
“Home of the Brave” has a wonderful mood created with the guitar and, of course, Marc Campell’s deep, rich voice. And this is probably my favorite song by The Nails.
Of course, as luck would have it, as I was looking for “Mood Swing” cover art, I stumbled onto George Kaufman’s site (he was a guitarist for The Nails), and he has mp3s (probably taken from the analog tapes) of “Home of the Brave” and “Let It All Hang Out.” So, if you don’t want my cassette to mp3 dub, you can grab versions with less “hiss” by clicking HERE.