In this summer of 1985, New Wave was about to end as we were entering the post-We Are the World. Heavy metal bands like Quiet Riot, Ratt, Van Halen, and Def Leppard to name a few were the rage. And other pop acts like Prince and the Revolution were popular.
Heading into first year college, these three albums all came out literally within three weeks of each other. I thought that these were the albums that really changed my tastes.
Prefab Sprout's "Steve McQueen" introduced me to the music of George Gershwin. Gershwin begat the Rat Pack. You know Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. etc. From there I listened to Satchmo and Ella Fitzgerald.
Sting released his first solo album after the Police broke up and it was a jazz album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles. That introduced me to saxman Branford Marsalis and drummer Omar Hakim who played drums for jazz outfit Weather Report and in Dire Straits' mega-successful album, Brothers in Arms. Both of course were part of Sting's new band.
The Style Council, I knew of and liked because of Paul Weller. I had their Cafe Bleu album that introduced me to lounge, jazz, and French music. But Our Favorite Shop also got me into that Tamla-Motown sound.
Save for Our Favorite Shop, I lost the Prefab Sprout album over the years. I managed to get a new one. And listening to them all over again, it's like not only being in a time capsule but remembering good days and loving great music.