Friday Music

A special edition of Friday Music for you today. In honor of the launch of , every song this week is chock full of New Wavey goodness….and we’re not talking the usual assortment of “TOTALLY 80s NOSTALGIA FLASHBACK WEEKEND ON K-R-A-P” stuff, either. I went for lesser-known stuff that I like — less well-known artists, and less well-known singles from the big artists. So, without further ado:

My favorite track from Berlin’s 1982 album Pleasure Victim, which featured the much-more-often-played singles “Metro” and “Sex (I’m A..)” How the group went from this to producing smarmy movie-soundtrack ballads like “Take My Breath Away”, I’ll never know. Berlin – “Masquerade.”

One of the first singles from INXS, who, as you all know, went on to become a supergroup in the late 80s. As much as I like tracks like “Need You Tonight” and “Suicide Blonde”, I still prefer the early stuff like this: INXS – “Don’t Change.”

Another installment in my effort to demonstrate that Men Without Hats were far more than “the Safety Dance” indicated. Another brilliant track from the same album, The Rhythm of Youth: Men Without Hats – “The Great Ones Remember.”

One of the few instances where the cover of a song is far better than the original. This was originally done by The Call (better known for “The Walls Came Down”, which I posted a few weeks back), and was covered by Tina Turner’s saxaphone player, Tim Capello, for a sequence in the movie The Lost Boys: Tim Capello – “I Still Believe.”

In case you never noticed, we spent a lot of time in the 80s singing songs about our Communist enemies (“Russians”, “Soviet Snow”, “Der Kommisar,” etc.). Here’s one of the few songs of that sort that wasn’t about the Soviet Union: Red Rockers – “China.”

When I was a lad, I had a mix tape comprised of nothing but songs called “Gloria” — I had the Van Morrison version (“G-L-O-R-I-A, glooooria!”), the Laura Branigan version (“..the voices in your head, calling Gloria…”), the U2 version (“Gloria, in te domine. Gloria…exultate..”)…and this version, from a little-known Detroit band: Figures on a Beach – “Accidentally 4th Street (Gloria).”

One of the things that pisses me of is the entire output of really good bands has been forgotten (usually by people who are engaging in “nostalgia” for bands and songs that they never listened to when they were actually in the 80s….but that’s another rant). It pisses me off that Flock of Seagulls now equals “I Ran” and jokes about haircuts. Here’s one of their forgotten songs: Flock of Seagulls – “Wishing.”

When Songs From The Big Chair hit big in 1985, I had the insufferable smugness of one who has arrived at a thing first, and now everybody else has shown up. I was a fan of Tears for Fears from their 1983 debut album, The Hurting, which I still like more. Here’s one of my favorite tracks: Tears for Fears – “Pale Shelter.”

I can’t remember who first exposed me to this, but it is one of my favorite lesser-known artists and singles. Peter Godwin was one half of a group called Metro, almost entirely unknown except for the fact that Bowie covered one of their songs (“Criminal World”) on Let’s Dance. Later, Godwin went solo, and this was the one song that made any degree of splash–I remember hearing it once or twice at dance clubs, but that’s about it: Peter Godwin – “Images of Heaven.”

When the New Wave sound took off, even older artists gave it a spin. I leave you now with this slice of cheese, which I really do love — it’s the last hit single by 70s darling Olivia Newton-John, the single from the soundtrack to her 1983 “reunion film” with John Travolta, Two of a Kind: Olivia Newton-John – “Twist of Fate.”

There you go, kids. We’ll return to my standard mix of genres next week. I hope you enjoyed this special installment.

2 Replies to “Friday Music”

  1. Nice selection :)

    I’m always more into stuff that’s harder to find or at least isn’t played as much. Peter Schilling’s “Different Story” is a great New Wave track. Talk Talk’s “Life’s What You Make It” is good too. Even pre-Egyptian Bangles.. “Going Down To Liverpool” is just cool. And it’s got Leonard Nimoy in the video. so. you know. bonus :)

    Off to listen…

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