Tuesday, September 9, 2014

(It's Not Nostalgia) It's the 80s Express--Pt. 16

40.  "Love Shack"--The B-52's

Released 1989
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  3

Gay clubs, breeder weddings...breeder clubs, gay weddings..."Love Shack" is still inescapable.  As the song that returned one of rock's sui generis bands to the public eye, I could never hate it.  But I still find it an overlong, overplayed Mr. Potato Song.

Keep It?  NO

"Private Idaho"--The B-52's

Released 1980
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position: Did not chart

"Private Idaho," on the other paw, is a prime example of what made the B's so great:  Fred Schneider's game show host histrionics, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson with their cloud-cruising harmonies, and the altogether different guitar style of Ricky Wilson.  Ain't no potato here--more a red velvet cupcake, ludicrously tasty and irresistibly fashioned.

39.  "I Melt With You"--Modern English

Released 1982
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  76

What an average thing.  Where is the oomph?  Wherefore art the ooh-la-la?  Where oh where is the French word or phrase that I can't think of right now that would perfectly describe the quality this song lacks?

Keep It?  NO

"The Look"--Roxette

Released 1989
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  1

Who knew this would start Per Gissle and Marie Frederiksson on the path to appearing on a stamp in their native Sweden?  From "tasty like a raindrop" to getting licked on the back by millions.

Sometimes I'm convinced that all love songs should be written by people who claim English as a second or third language.

Guitar plus keybs plus vox equals killa, 'cause it's one thing when the dude says that a chick has "the look," but when a totally different chick pops up to back up his assertion, that's how you can be sure.

38.  "Pride (In the Name of Love)"--U2

Released 1984
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  33

I applaud the Edge for trying.  Bono, not so much.  Dull tributes to dynamic men are unacceptable, especially ones that screw up essential facts.

Keep It?  NO

"Burnin' For You"--Blue Oyster Cult

Released 1981
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  40

Obsessed with the concepts of home and time, and hey--I relate.  A great deal.  Not so much with the nut-grabbing, wheel-clutching, smoke-blowing attitude, but so what?  "Burnin' For You" sounds like if it ever stayed in one place for long enough, it definitely wouldn't have to worry about getting laid.  Therein lies the tragedy.  Damned to be in that mood where only moving on will do.

37.  "Janie's Got a Gun"--Aerosmith

Released 1989
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  4

No piece of music is so abhorrent that it should be made equivalent to those human monsters who violate the innocence of children.  But Jesus Christ, people, we need to have some standards.

The pointlessness of this melody-deficient, ripped-from-the-headlines anti-song is surpassed only by the pointlessness of sober Aerosmith.

Keep It?  NO

"Party All the Time"--Eddie Murphy

Released 1985
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  2  (thanks a lot, "Say You, Say Me"!)

Rick James wrote and produced "Party All the Time" in the midst of strippers and snortables.  When zombies invaded his studio, he simply threw ass and titties at them in exchange for their help in writing the chorus.

Why does this track get shit upon, yet "In My House" by Mary Jane Girls (another Rick muthafuckin' James creation of dubious artistic merit) is remembered with a fair amount of fondness?  Holy shit, there are people who love that goddamn Rockwell song, and lest you forget, that asshole could not even sing.  Like, whatsoever.  Nor could he rap.  Leaving us with a guy talking about his paranoia over some electro-funk.  Singing, though?  Don't worry, Rock, your dad knows a guy who can handle that.

We all know why.  Because Eddie Murphy rose to fame as a comedian and actor.  Singing had nothing to do with his ascension to mega-celebrity.  Thus, "Party All the Time" is a vanity piece.  And?

'Tis true Eddie Murphy had a very thin singing voice, but at least he sang, and he didn't require anyone else to tag in on the hook.  And yes, that chorus is so dumb that people begin talking louder after hearing it, but!  When it comes to brain-dead dance songs from the 1980s, Rick James and his coked-out titty-fucking zombie party is top notch. 

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