Friday, September 12, 2014

(It's Not Nostalgia) It's the 80s Express--Pt. 19

28.  "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"--Wham!
Released 1984
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  1

Brainless?  Zombies would starve.  Wham!'s breakthrough has aged worse than Robert Redford.  Thank Jebus that it didn't repopularize the Jitterbug.  Or Doris Day.

So he left a note for his parents wherein he accidentally wrote the word "up" twice so, for consistency's sake, he wrote the word "go" twice as well?  Andrew Ridgeley, that's why you were banana number two.

The video salvages nothing.  Just makes me wish I was watching Trainspotting, which itself just makes me wish I was reading Trainspotting.

Keep It?  NO

"Careless Whisper"--Wham! featuring George Michael
Released 1984
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  1

You'll never find me standing on my two left feet, sipping a pina colada as I watch the sun's retreat.  Pina coladas taste terrible. 

The sensuous tempo doesn't need that silky sax; it wants that silky sax.  "Careless Whisper" is a world away from the sock-hop pop of "Go-Go," so of course George Michael hates the song.  Sure,  this lamentation of a love done wrong put him on the proverbial map as a serious artist, but George was never happy with the  "simplistic lyrics."  Huh.  I've always considered the "guilty feet have got no rhythm" line to be pretty nifty, but maybe I wouldn't if the music surrounding it weren't so alluring.  What about "there's no comfort in the truth," though?  Pretty sure that would endure regardless of the company it kept.

27.  "Too Shy"--Kajagoogoo
Released 1983
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  5

Co-produced by Nick Rhodes?  The blending of hairspray and synthesized sounds had no choice but to be blissful.  Immensely popular in clubs where smoke emanated out of the walls.  Where the men looked like women, the women looked like men, or maybe not!  Maybe everyone just looked, like.

Keep It?  YES

26.  "Welcome to the Jungle"--Guns N' Roses
Released 1987
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  7

From the want-it-take-it land where babies are found in bathrooms and their parents found a day later floating dead in pools--or sewers--came a nice teabag for the unsullied face of 80s rock radio.  So wretched.  So right.  "Jungle" was less a place and more the ideal antidote to Poison and their prettified, condom-wearing ilk.  Axl Rose was moved to write this love-hate ode to and about Los Angeles, the city where fake and real commingle till the distinctions become indiscernible, after visiting a friend in Seattle and winding up less than impressed with the relatively laid-back Jet City.  Hey, fucker, at least Seattle has a decent public transport system.

Keep It?  NO

"It's So Easy"--Guns N' Roses
Released 1987
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  Not released as a single in the U.S.

When sleazy dude with noodle arms covered in needle tracks and tattoos that do a poor job of concealing said tracks staggers up to you and greets you with the words, "I see your sister in her Sunday dress," you gotta knock him out and then yak up on his prostrate body.  The principle is what matters.

If that same guy goes and makes a kick-brick song about the incident on his way to superstardom, hey, at least he'll be off the streets.  Even better, he'll be exposed to a whole new, dare I say classier type of poison-pusher.  It's all about upward mobility in this world.

Geez, were GnR some scuzzbags.  Snotty noses and greasy toes-es.  All the pus overflows into their best music:  Slash and that other Keef wanna-be churn out riffs that are empty and yeah, easy.  Duff McKagan fingers his bass as delicately as he fingers any random trashy slore with more eyes in her head than teeth in her mouth.  The drummer...who cares.  The gall of these assholes.

25.  "Our Lips Are Sealed"--The Go-Go's
Released 1981
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  20

Ah, the Go-Go's.  Good girls who weren't really.  (Good, that is.)  Here we have probably their finest several minutes, but a solid argument could be made for "We Got the Beat."  (Certainly that one's more energetic.)  I'll edge it to "Lips" because it falls more in line with the sordid reality behind their deceptively crafted image.

Guitarist Jane Wiedlin and a spoken-for Terry Hall from the Specials struck up an affair while their bands were touring together and went half on a song.  A supremely catchy song that utilizes the vocal talents of both Wiedlin and Belinda Carlisle.  A song that dares refer to "their lies."  Whose lies?  The people saying there were illicit activities going on were, in fact, correct.  I have to admire how two people engaged in cheatery can crank up the denial shield to such high levels.   "Us against the world!"  Yeah, because neither of you could keep your jeans on when both of you should have known better.  Poor babies. 

Keep It?  YES

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