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Monday, April 06, 2009

Earworm: Decade brought to you by Massengill.

On my 10th Christmas, I received from my parents a mid-sized GE radio/cassette player/recorder. Monaural. Condenser microphone. No auto-reverse. No digital tuning. Just a little device to play a little low-definition music. I LOVED it.

My cousins had gotten word of this, and they gave me a pair of audio cassette tapes: Rock Of The '80s by various artists that I never heard of before or after (Mind you-- this was 1981. How could they put together a compilation of '80s hits in time for Christmas of that year?), and I Love Rock & Roll, by the feisty Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Even at age 10, I recognized the irony of silly anthology of a two-year-old decade, and I barely gave the former a listen. But Joan Jett had something going on, and I wore that tape out, after a few years in my growing rotation.

I remember realizing that there was a lot more music out there than just what the Top 40 radio played on the pop stations, but the other kids were listening to it, and I got tired-head trying to think for myself... so I listened to the ensuing mess of crappy pop music, too. I hate myself a little bit for that.

With a few notable exceptions, the 1980s was a decade filled with pop music presided over by pretty boys acting more and more effeminate, and with music boiling down to synthesizers. No meat. The poster boys for the decade were probably Duran Duran, who did the sound track for the cheesiest James Bond movie ever made: A View To A Kill. The sissification of the mix is complete when you realize that it is Roger Moore's last Bond film, and even he didn't like it. That's right: Moore --the PETA-endorsing, fois gras-detracting, Effectal-whiffing, self-professed hoplophobe-- who was the centerpiece of this pile of stinky, said that the flick was lame.

And he was right. Even Christopher Walken and an armed blimp couldn't save it.

The Duran Duran song "A View To A Kill" went to #2 on the pop charts, and a music video (a video short, made to accompany the music, made to accompany the motion picture. We were beginning to spin tighter and tighter knots.) was created.

And now, 24 years later, the music rings in my head. Damn it.


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8 Comments:

At Monday, April 06, 2009 4:21:00 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

I remember when I was a fresham in highschool all the nancy boys loved duran duran and would wear makeup and those silly little boy george hats.

Ugh now I have that song stuck in my head.

One good roger moore flick was the wild geese.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Geese

 
At Monday, April 06, 2009 8:33:00 PM, Blogger Mikael said...

You're older than me, but I had an 80s childhood as well(born 80). The stuff that stuck with me is a bit different from yours though.

My most vividly remembered childhood songs are:
Europe - Rock the Night.
Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It.
Twisted Sister - I Want To Rock.
Guns and Roses - Take Me Down To the Paradise City.

I didn't start listening to metal until I was in my teens, in the 90s, but the 80s had some really good metal as well, that I've grown to appreciate, from teens and onwards(like Iron Maiden, Metallica, WASP, etc).

 
At Monday, April 06, 2009 9:03:00 PM, Blogger Tam said...

My secret shame: I liked (most) Duran Duran.

Don't tell anybody.

 
At Tuesday, April 07, 2009 1:30:00 AM, Blogger John B said...

Gawd I loved the 80's I loved MTV until rap moved in and killed it. Now it's a cheesy 4th rate network devoted to pop star worship.

I was firmly into the metal camp. Judas Priest. Anyone who clears out my books after I die will know my favorite group. I've highlighted the phrase or name in over a thousand books.

But Tam's secret is safe with me. I carry more DD on my phone than anything except Priest or Ozzy!

Any band that names themselves after a character that tortured Jane Fonda's character can't be all bad.

 
At Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And thank you very little for sticking the song in mine...

Matt
St Paul

 
At Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:46:00 AM, Blogger the pistolero said...

Buy yourself some '80s-era Metallica or Guns'n'Roses. Betcha it'll kill that earworm right quick.

 
At Tuesday, April 07, 2009 6:41:00 PM, Anonymous LabRat said...

I have a taste for the cheesy and actually quite like a lot of 80's pop- including the occasional brush with Duran- but Mikael's right. There was plenty of awesome going on musically in the eighties, but it was all punk and metal- none of it played on the top forty stations.

 
At Thursday, April 09, 2009 1:00:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Heh- At least I grew up in the 60's, so we had some better choices! Beatles for one :-)

 

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