I don’t really know what to say about this album. It has its moments – mainly the scratchy guitar riff and sheer oomph of Money For Nothing – but the rest of the songs are just bland background music, easy listening slush for ‘80s yuppies.
I think I find the album cover the most offensive though – a beautiful guitar, suspended in the air, framed by a sky blue border and a horrific pastel-pink trim. The tasteless presentation takes the beauty out of the guitar and leaves nothing but nausea for the listener.
Hit: Money For Nothing
Hidden Gem: Brothers In Arms
I bought this because it had Bad Love on it. I’m glad I bought it because the rest of the album is sweet – I could never understand how Unplugged was considered his comeback when he was making albums of this quality 3 years earlier.
The opening guitar riff to Bad Love has to be one of most underrated rock riffs of the 1980s. I’d put it up there with Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing as the best of that decade. In fact, does anybody even write riffs of that calibre anymore? Jack White has a few under his belt, but there’s been a shift away from putting a riff like that front and centre in the production.
I love everything about this album – the photo of Eric looking vaguely psychotic in the dark on the front cover, to the photo of him on the reverse – wearing a grey linen suit over a bright yellow turtleneck, standing on metal shavings.
I read his autobiography not too long ago, and it really got to me that so much of his life has been plagued by alcoholism, and frankly, wasted. If he had been able to knock albums like this out every couple of years, he would have a pretty impressive back catalogue rather than the sketchy affair that it is.
I remember, many years after first buying this record, I was working on a late night as a supervisor of a DIY store. I put the album on in the break room, thinking that nobody would know it, but one of my colleagues Carly got overexcited and started singing and dancing along to it whilst doing the vacuuming – a favourite album of hers too. It’s funny how things stick in your memory like that.
Hit: Bad Love
Hidden Gem: Breaking Point