Thursday, September 11, 2014

(It's Not Nostalgia) It's the 80s Express--Pt. 18

32.  "Sister Christian"--Night Ranger

Released 1984
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  5

Girl to woman at lightning speed.  A story men can tell only so well.  But it's also a story always worth telling.  Scary for everyone involved.

Funny then, that a female coming of age tale is the Kool-Aid Man of the VH-1 list.


Oh yeeeeah!

Night Ranger threw every flavor into the pitcher, basically, but at least they had the decency to go easy with the sugar.

Keep It?  YES

31.  "Under Pressure"--Queen and David Bowie

Released 1981
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  29

Ignore, if you can, the sleeping old man.  Enjoy, I implore you, the blessed union of two flamboyant geniuses.  "Under Pressure" isn't a singing competition because frankly, there is none.  Freddie all day.  (How I wish Angie Bowie had found him in bed with her husband instead.)  Two of the coolest cats ever to perch on a fence, purring about the vital roles love and compassion each play on the biggest stage.

Keep It?  NO

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"--Queen

Released 1980
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  1

The best Elvis tributes are the ones written in five-to-ten minutes.  While admittedly a slight acoustic ditty that doesn't allow for vocal gymnastics, never fear!  Freddie Mercury's Brobdingnagian ego is ever-present and just like another Freddie (Walsh), he could make a powerful impression even as a lightweight.  Such was his gift to make a barefoot shuffle across a faded floor seem like "Waltz In Swing Time."

Okay...maybe not that crazy.  But damn I love this song.  It makes me want to walk up to someone and slap them in the face with a glove.  Just to see what happens next.

30.  "Love is a Battlefield"--Pat Benatar

Released 1983 
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  5

A bunch o' short, scattered thoughts racing atop one long, complete thought.  Teen love approximates progress.  Pop a bottle and shoulder-shimmy.  We!  Are!  Young!

I hate doing this to any song with "field" in the title, but....

Keep It?  NO

"Shadows of the Night"--Pat Benatar

Released 1982
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  13

Starts off with the chorus sung acapella, because...?  Because it's so good that Pat doesn't want us to wait!  I love thoughtful musicians.

And I love "Shadows of the Night."  So why does it seem that no one else remembers it?  I'll make you remember it, damnit!  I'll make your mother remember how to scramble eggs.

"Shadows" is a bit of a sequel to "Love is a Battlefield" (but only a bit, seeing as how it was actually recorded the year before) with the two young lovers still caught up in the struggle, only this time with the world and not with each other.  Teaming up and presenting a united front, they are set to defy each and every odd against them and stay together for...I dunno, three more years?

I believe in love.  I believe in having "Shadows of the Night" being the song that blares through my earbuds when I finally get some money and some guts (not necessarily in that order) and take a flamethrower to the abandoned building that was once my childhood home while my best friend fulfills the "lookout" role from his car.

29.  "Burning Down the House"--Talking Heads

Released 1983
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Peak Position:  9

David Byrne, rock star.  Not until many years later would I realize how frankly amazing a feat that was.  And all it took was a night of acoustic arson born of the residual ecstasy from a P-Funk gig.

Fire is an outstanding purifier; a can't-miss way to stir up panic.  A splash of treachery to spark the soul, yessir.

(Now see, you think this would be the song I'd want playing while creating a conflagration, but you'd be wrong.  I don't care much for those moments when the soundtrack and the action cue up so perfectly.  Seems a bit disingenuous.  I'll save "Burning Down the House" for the next time I sing in the shower.)

Keep It?  YES

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