Friday, April 17, 2009

Adventures in 80s Land, Part Two

Okay, since I realized I had a hell of a lot more to say about VH-1’s “Greatest One Hit Wonders of the ‘80s” than I thought I did, here are some random thoughts on selections #49-1. At least by this time, I had a pretty good buzz going…

One thought that kept recurring in my head during the first few hours of this countdown was “Where the HELL is “Shaddap You Face” by Joe Dolce?

I saw the Georgia Satellites (“Keep Your Hands to Yourself”, #46) open for Tom Petty back in 1987 at the “legendary” Hollywood Sportatorium (which we all referred to as the “Snortatorium”, or the “Snort” for short. ) In keeping with the tradition of the venue, my then-boyfriend smoked an impressive amount of pot that night.

Robbie Nevil (“C’est la Vie”, #45) is another one I thought went beyond one hit wonder-dom. My girl Teej and I used to jam out to the dance mix of “Wot’s It To Ya” back in the day. Good times.

I auditioned for the Pom Pom squad in high school (and made the team, thankyouverymuch) in 1985, and I remember that Shannon’s “Let the Music Play” (#43) was played over and over that afternoon. Girlfriend can still do splits, sadly, I can’t say the same.

I still hate “Break My Stride” (#39). It could be one of my most hated pop songs ever. The singer had a bad white dude perm and porn ‘stache too. Yuck.

I forgot that one of the Weather Girls died. Sadness….

John Parr. Great mullet – and he’s still rocking it. You go, boy. I liked “Naughty Naughty” a heck of a lot better than “St. Elmo’s Fire (#28.)

The lead singer of Cutting Crew (“I Just Died In Your Arms”, #26) is dead too? That sucks.

Did anyone else think Eddy “Electric Avenue” Grant was hot?

I really didn’t need to see close-ups of Pete Burns’ (Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round” - #19) pus-filled, cosmetic surgery-destroyed lips. What a train wreck.

DEVO (“Whip It”, # 15) never struck me as a one hit wonder either. They had a bunch of cool songs – I mean, “Working in a Coalmine”? “Love Without Anger”? “Peek-A-Boo”? Come on, VH-1!

I forgot how much Big Country rocked – and how much of a crush I used to have on Stuart Adamson. (I do remember being quite saddened to learn of his suicide back in the mid-90s.) Big Country was the first parent-free concert I ever attended. I’m going to download “In A Big Country” (#14) and “Fields of Fire” when I get home.

I wish I still had my “Frankie Say Relax” t-shirt.

At this point, I retired the pen and paper (damn you, wine!) But I really had nothing overly relevant to say about the top 10 (like any of what I’ve written has any relevance!) I will admit that I didn’t see Dexy’s Midnight Runners (“Come On Eileen”) as the #1 one hit wonder. I danced with an adorable boy in Ireland to that song (I was on the Emerald Isle the summer that song was at the top of the charts. Memories…)

All I can say is I’m so happy I finally have something to post! With P. traveling for work more, I hope to update this blog a bit more often (hope is the operative word here!)

Nostalgia and Wine

I have meant to post here for a long time, but there’s just not enough time in the day to work, have family time and nurture my creativity (and, admittedly, to watch the TV shows rapidly piling up on my DVR.) One such DVR purge allowed me to revisit the days of cassingles and party mix tapes – VH-1’s “Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s”. That's five hours I could have spent doing much more productive things, but as I am positively speeding to the big 4-0, I thought the stroll down godawful pop music lane was just what the doctor ordered to cure my slight malaise at hitting middle age. Well, that and a fine wine. During the show, I took notes (hey, at least I was writing something), so I now proudly present “Fun Facts from 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.”

I actually made reference to the lyrics to the Clarence Clemons/Jackson Browne song “You’re A Friend of Mine” (#100) in my senior yearbook. That’s almost as embarrassing as my senior picture. Almost.

“Pac Man Fever” (#98) could be the dumbest song ever (well, except perhaps for “The Curley Shuffle”).

Peter Frampton should be allowed to beat the living snot out of Will to Power for their completely anemic cover of “Baby, I Love Your Way” (#97). The version of the song in “Reality Bites” was almost as horrific.

Around the time The Fabulous Thunderbirds were popular (“Tuff Enuff”, #96), they appeared on MTV’s Spring Break coverage in an oyster eating contest with some frat guys. One of them (the frat boys, not the band members) was my then-boyfriend (and he skipped my sorority formal for that. Scumbag.)

I still adore Haircut 100’s “Love Plus One” (#90) – and just learned that Nick Heyward was singing “Ring” and not “Reg” (with a hard “g”) in that song.

I’d love to see Nik Kershaw sing “Wouldn’t It Be Good” (#88) again. We saw him back in the 80s when he opened for Paul Young (remember him?)

Best misquoted song by my Mom ever – Paul Lekakis’ “Boom Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back to My Room)” (#83). I didn’t like that song until I heard my Mom’s interpretation of it – I think she felt it was one of the signs of the apocalypse.

The lead singer of Red Rider (“Lunatic Fringe”, #82) is Tom Cochrane, who also sang “Life is a Highway” (who knew?)

Alannah Myles (“Black Velvet”, #79) is a witch.

Most annoying song of all time? J.J. Fad’s “Supersonic” (#76) – one of my younger sister’s faves. Still makes my butt pucker to this day.

Contrary to what it says in the Paul Hardcastle song “19” (#73), the average age of a soldier fighting in Vietnam was 23.

Swing Out Sister’s “Breakout” (#72) always reminds me of my college roommate, Chet. I miss that guy.

I actually paid money to see Jack “Frisco” Wagner in concert (“All I Need”, #71). In my defense, I took my younger sister (who was a huge fan) to see him for her confirmation present. The low point of the show was when he sang a song he wrote about world hunger called “Don’t Forget How Lucky We Are”. Really.

(I obviously wrote this after the wine started getting to me.) Eminem sampled Martika’s “Toy Soldiers” (#67) – crap can be recycled! (Friends don’t let friends drink and write.)

Jeff Healey (“Angel Eyes”, #66) will still be the most famous blind singer since Stevie Wonder. Sorry, “American Idol” contestant Scott (I did initially write this stuff before he was eliminated!)

I always liked the Boomtown Rats song “Up All Night” waaay better than “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#65). Anyone else?

Cheesy as it might be (and it is) Robbie Dupree’s “Steal Away” (#64) is still quite listenable.

The first song I didn’t really know in this countdown is Oran “Juice” Jones’ “The Rain” (#63).

I don’t really think XTC was a one hit wonder (“Dear God”, #62).

“Da Butt” (#61). Aaah, the memories. Back in my carefree college days, we used to play a drinking game to this song – every time the word “butt” was uttered, we drank. It was all fun and games until I bought the 12” remix! It was easily a three-beer song.

Nu Shooz (“I Can’t Wait”, #60) wasn’t really a one hit wonder – they also did “Point of No Return”, which was an MTV staple for quite a while, as I recall.

I know that Outlook had more than one hit (“Your Love”, #59). One hit album, definitely, but more than one hit (I always liked “All the Love in the World”.) They played the FSU Homecoming Pow Wow one year. U of Florida always had kick-ass homecoming concerts (big name comedians and such), we always had more pedestrian fare like Rod Stewart and Jimmy Buffett (fortunately I am a “Margarita Man” fan, and was a borderline Parrothead in college.)

I never liked Johnny Kemp’s “Just Got Paid” (#55) until I heard N*SYNC’s remake of it. Does that make me evil?

#53 – “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” TACO! He’s big in Germany. So is David Hasslehoff.

Poor Falco. Not only did “Rock Me Amadeus” not make the cut, but his version of “Der Kommissar” didn’t either. The English version by After the Fire (#51) beat him out.

“Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry (#50) surprisingly still holds up.

Sheesh…this is a long post. I’ll reserve #s 49-1 for another entry. Two in one day? Unprecedented!