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CHART ATTACK! #14: 1/14/84

Welcome back, folks, to another edition of CHART ATTACK!  I have sad news for you this week: there is no Stevie B. track on this Top 10.  In fact, you might as well get used to it – there will never be another Stevie B. song, as "Because I Love You" was his only Top 10..  (Sorry, JT, sweetie, but you go with your S. Florida bad self!)  But don’t let it get you down – we have plenty of other artists and songs to cover – so let’s see how the charts fared on January 14, 1984!

10.  Running With The Night – Lionel Richie  Amazon iTunes
9.  Karma Chameleon – Culture Club
  Amazon iTunes
8.  I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Elton John  Amazon iTunes
7.  Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder  Amazon
6.  Talking In Your Sleep – The Romantics  Amazon iTunes
5.  Twist of Fate – Olivia Newton-John  Amazon iTunes
4.  Union Of The Snake  – Duran Duran  Amazon iTunes
3.  Say It Isn’t So – Daryl Hall & John Oates  Amazon iTunes
2.  Owner Of A Lonely Heart – Yes  Amazon iTunes
1.  Say Say Say – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson  Amazon

10.  Running With The Night – Lionel Richie  It should be noted that the week before this one, "All Night Long" made its last appearance in the Top 10.  It had been in the Top 10 for 11 weeks, and just as it left, "Running With The Night" showed up.  It’s not a fantastic song, but Richie didn’t need fantastic songs in 1984.  Just about anything he released was a smash.

9.  Karma Chameleon – Culture Club  I don’t know what "Karma Chameleon" is about nor do I know what a karma-karma-karma-karma (or, as I’m sure you also grew up singing, comma-comma-comma-comma) chameleon is, either.  And I don’t care.  I’ve always found Boy George and Culture Club to be ridiculously overrated, and that’s the end of that story.  Want a not-so-interesting fact?  "Karma Chameleon" was the first single to sell a million copies in Canada.

8.  I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Elton John  I think the shame of the studio version of this song, apart from the fact that it’s overproduced with cheesy backing vocals, is that it doesn’t illustrate that the song actually IS a blues number.  So for that reason, I’d like to offer up a solo version of the song from Elton’s performance at The Ritz in France in January of 1998.   Warning, though: this mp3, encoded at 160 kpbs, is a little on the loud side.

Elton John – I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues (live) (download)

However, the studio version has the harmonica solo, courtesy of Stevie Wonder, which I absolutely love.  I’ve always loved how Stevie’s harmonica parts are filled with emotion (think "Creepin’").  This one is no exception.  If you can’t feel it on this track, what can I say?  You have no soul.

7.  Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder  On the request of our good friend Emily, Mike and I learned "Break My Stride" for our last ’80s gig.  We had a remarkably hard time figuring out the chords.  In fact, one of the chords that eluded us was a C diminished chord.  I found that chord so annoying to play on guitar that I eventually pleaded to Mike to just change it to a plain C chord, which actually works also.  So I guess the point of this story is that I’m not talented, and Matthew Wilder is some sort of genius.  Or something.  Also, I started off really not wanting to play this song, and then found it to be a lot of fun to perform, even though the chorus is kind of tricky to sing.  Especially with the key change.

You may wonder why Matthew Wilder only had one hit to his name.  Have you ever seen Matthew Wilder, by any chance?  I think it might explain some things.  Here’s a remarkably fey video for "Break My Stride."  Or maybe it’s not so remarkable, considering the quality of his vocal.


It’s like Freddie Mercury went to see Flashdance and then got a perm!

But don’t feel too bad for Mr. Wilder: he produced No Doubt’s breakthrough album Tragic Kingdom and co-wrote the score to the Disney film Mulan, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.  He also voiced the character of Ling.  In 2007, Princesses will open on Broadway, for which he wrote the music.  So like our friend Rupert Holmes, Matthew Wilder has found further success elsewhere in the biz, specifically on the stage.  But like Mr. Holmes, only one thing’s going to be mentioned in his obit.

6.  Talking In Your Sleep – The Romantics (download) The Romantics are known for two hits: this one and "What I Like About You."  Judging from media saturation, I would have bet that the latter was the bigger hit, but it turns out that "Talking In Your Sleep" was the big winner for The Romantics, peaking at #3.  ("What I Like About You," surprisingly, only reached a disappointing #49, which is odd since their lesser-known single "One In A Million" beat it and reached #37.)  I’ve always loved this song, which is a great blend of new wave and power pop.  Sharp guitar, and a great vocal.  In fact, when I got my first CD burner (back when you had to buy them separately from computers and you had to walk three miles in the snow uphill against the wind, etc), I immediately made my definitive ’80s CD and put this song as track #2.  (Track #1: "Kyrie.") 

5.  Twist of Fate – Olivia Newton-John
  Ladies and gentlemen, rejoice: we have finally reached the end of The Reign Of Newt.  Oh, and what a reign it was!  As mentioned back in Chart Attack #11, Newt (this is your fault, everybody who encouraged me on "Nuge") holds the honor of having the most popular Hot 100 song of the 1980s, period: "Physical."  Unfortunately, such a popular song enabled her to reach the top of the charts which some pretty shitty tunes ("Heart Attack," anyone?).  "Twist Of Fate" was her last Top 10 hit, period (unless she has something up her sleeve, which I doubt).  And it sounds not only horribly dated but also like something straight out of a soundtrack, you’re right on both counts.  The dated sound is courtesy of none other than the song’s author, David Foster.  (Damn him!)  The soundtrack sound?  Well, it was the lead-off track for the movie Two Of A Kind:

Do you remember Two Of A Kind?  I sure as hell do.  I swear, the first month we got HBO, this movie was on twice a day.  And of course, we were so excited to get HBO that we watched it.  Okay, I watched it.  Twice a day.  I don’t want to stray too far off-topic here, but this movie is perhaps one of the dumbest ever created.  The basic plot?  Travolta’s an inventor, Newt’s a bank teller.  God decides to destroy the human race.  An angel (Charles Durning) convinces God to give him a chance to find two good souls in the world.  And he finds these two, who turn out to be criminals.  I don’t need to say any more.  And the voice of God?  Gene Hackman, who wisely went uncredited.  The movie put a bad taste in the mouths of just about everyone.  The public allowed Newt this one last single, save for a few Adult Contemporary hits (which we all know don’t count), and then told her to shove it.  Oh, they told Travolta to shove it, too: after this flick, he pretty much went into hiding until "Look Who’s Talking."

I feel dirty after writing so much about this shitty song.

4.  Union Of The Snake  – Duran Duran 
The lead-off single from Seven And The Ragged Tiger, "Union Of The Snake" reached #3 in late December 1983. 
It’s never been one of my favorite Duran Duran songs – although I dig the backing vocals and the guitar part, it’s actually just a bit too synth-heavy for my tastes.  The video, however, was one of the first to be filmed on 35mm instead of videotape, and was the source of some controversy: the video was released to MTV before the single was released to radio, and radio programmers weren’t happy about it: what would happen to the efficacy of radio promotion if music videos were to steal their thunder?  Luckily, such a thing never happened.

3.  Say It Isn’t So – Daryl Hall & John Oates (download)
  After a successful early-’80s comeback, H&O decided to take a brief break and release their first greatest hits collection, Rock ‘N Soul, Part 1, including two new songs: "Say It Isn’t So," which peaked at #2, and "Adult Education," which reached #8 a few months later.) 
This is one of my favorite H&O singles.  I think the backing vocal really makes this song, which is interesting considering it only consists of the words "say it isn’t so" and maybe three or four notes.  Rhythm and timing is everything.

2.  Owner Of A Lonely Heart – Yes
  If this was the only Yes song you had ever heard in your life, you’d have no clue that they were ever a prog rock band.  Yes had ever-changing members throughout the 1970s, and surprisingly, "Owner" represented a line-up that closely resembled the original: Chris Squire on bass, Jon Anderson on vocals, and Tony Kaye on keyboards.  The band had broken up in 1981, and reformed by accident: Squire and Alan White (Yes drummer since ’72) formed a band called Cinema, and invited Kaye to contribute keyboards.  Guitarist Trevor Rabin also joined the band, and when his vocals didn’t cut it, Anderson was asked to contribute.  Realizing that Yes was essentially back together, Cinema assumed their previous name and released 90125.  "Owner Of A Lonely Heart," written by Rabin, wound up becoming the biggest hit of their career – their only #1.  Oh, and it was produced by former Yes vocalist Trevor Horn, who also sings the falsetto in the chorus, but did not re-join the band.  Are you still with me?  Because I’m writing it, and I’m lost.

1.  Say Say Say – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
  Ah, the good old days when Jackson and McCartney were buddies.  Their collaboration began in the late ’70s, when Jackson recorded McCartney’s "Girlfriend" for Off The Wall.  Jackson invited McCartney to duet on "The Girl Is Mine" (the first single from Thriller, which hit #2) and McCartney returned the favor by inviting Jackson to collaborate on two songs from his upcoming album, Pipes Of Peace: "The Man," and "Say Say Say."

Produced by George Martin, "Say Say Say" was a smash, holding down the #1 spot for six weeks.  I haven’t heard "The Man," but this track is clearly superior to "The Girl Is Mine" (although the "I’m a lover, not a fighter" line is now cute in a kitsch-y kinda way).  The song was accompanied by an absolutely adorable video, with a storyline having absolutely nothing to do with the song itself.  Featuring "Mac and Jack" as traveling salesmen/vaudeville comedians, the video recalls the famous Bing Crosby/Bob Hope "Road To…" films, and features Linda McCartney (who acted as well as she sung) and Michael’s sister LaToya, who plays the object of Michael’s affection.  How did we not see this as the first sign of a warped man?  Either way, watch the video, it’s lots of fun.


But here’s what I really want to know: two musical geniuses, and this is the best cover they could come up with?

And that covers the Top 10 for this week!  Hope you enjoyed – have a great weekend and we’ll be back once again next Friday for more CHART ATTACK!

  • Matthew Wilder actually did have one more semi-hit, "The Kid’s American."  It went to #33 on Billboard.  It features a faster version of that "’65 Love Affair" shuffle-beat, and manages to rhyme "got it in his blood" with "drivin’ faster than he should" and "’cuz he looks so gooood."

  • David

    I never picked up that was Trevor Horn on the chorus of “Owner.” The things you learn …

    I may be one of six people (there were five guys in Yes at the time) who considers Drama to be one of their finest albums.

    I also like Trevor Rabin’s vocals more than Jon Anderson’s.

    Clearly, I am losing credibility here.

  • JT

    J, thank you for the Stevie B nod. :-) You know, I got this letter, from the postman just the other day…(okay, I’ve officially killed the joke now, and we can all move on. T’was a fun ride while it lasted.) SO – what next? It’s gotta be a small story I can share re: the harmonica solo in "I guess that’s why they call it the blues."  (Forgive me if you already knew about this and I told you in college.) The idea to get a harmonica for Chanukah came from (you guessed it) Adam Sandler’s song. So, I was up in G’ville, went to a music store, and bought myself my very first harp. The assistant asked what chord (cord?) I wanted. I had no idea. Didn’t know they came in chords. All I knew was that I wanted to teach myself how to play – you guessed it – the solo from IGTWTCITB (along with Bono’s solo at the end of "Desire" but that’s for another Chart Attack). So, I went back to my dorm, tape recorded the solo, brought it back to the guy, had him listen to it and tell me what kind of harmonica I needed based on the solo. Alas, he had no clue. (Why I was surprised by this I don’t know. Oh – and I should mention – this was before the internet was invented. Well, not really, but the internet only had 5 websites total at that time.) So I liked the way "E" sounded, so I bought that one. Needless to say, I fiddled with it, and it went the way of many a Chanukah gift – in the drawer for safe keeping.
    Happy Friday everyone!

  • I found that chord so annoying to play on guitar that I eventually pleaded to Mike to just change it to a plain C chord, which actually works also.  So I guess the point of this story is that I’m not talented, and Matthew Wilder is some sort of genius.

    Actually, we let him play an Eb chord, the song is in Eb. The Cdim (spelled C Eb Gb (And Bb if you want to throw the 7th in) is a substitute for the tonic chord Eb (Eb G Bb) at the beginning of each trip through the verse chords. Jason called it a C chord because he played the song capoed on the third fret, where an open C shape sounds as Eb.

    Yes, I am THAT MUCH of a dork.

  • Nice Attack!  I really like the fact that you devoted so much time to Two of a Kind. I have never seen the film, but I’m sure it was on the Top 10 Worst films of 1984. 
    I’m a "mild" Yes fan, so I was surprised to learn that Yes became "Cinema."  I guess that’s why one of the cuts on 90125/90210 was called "Cinema."  I really liked that abum, but their follow up (Big Generator) was a big pile ‘o shit.

  • Velma

    David, there are seven of us who think that Drama was a good album, then — in my case, in large part because Jon Anderson isn’t singing on it. And Jason, if you’ve never seen one, look for the Peter Frame Rock Family Tree books (http://www.amazon.com/Pete-Frames-Complete-Family-Trees/dp/0711904650) — they’re as helpful as anything can be in tracking the history of Yes and other British bands. (I particularly like the little notes that read, "left music, became a carpet salesman in Milton Keynes" and things of that sort.)

  • woofpop

    Is it me, or does Matthew WIlder kind of look like Arnold Horschack from Welcome Back Kotter? (if Arnold had a moustache and one of those oh-so-cool at the time snap shirts)..

  • JT – I never knew that story.  That’s awesome.  I have three harmonicas.  Can only sort of play one of them.  I’ve been wanting to take a few harmonica lessons for a while now.  There are actually two major types of harmonicas: diatonic (which come in different keys, like the one you bought) and chromatic (which play every note possible, I think, based on a button you push on the side).  The chromatic is a bitch to learn.  Stevie plays the chromatic, I’m pretty sure.  Damn him.

    Velma – nice to hear from you.  That book looks pretty ood.  Speaking of, I haven’t forgotten – I still have your other book.  So sorry I have not returned it as of yet.  I’m hoping to photocopy the charts very soon.

  • I work for a producer management company and one our clients is MATTHEW WILDER.

    I love it!

  • Stevie does indeed play chromatic harp.

    That Wilder clip is hysterical.

  • Also, JT, I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues is in the key of G. If it’s Stevie on the solo, it might be a chromatic harmonica and the solo might have notes a diatonic harp can’t play, but if any diatonic harp would work, it would be a C harp see this link on "Cross harp" for more info.

  • That harmonica’s in the drawer and it’s STAYING in the drawer!

  • In January of ’84 I was in second grade, and I seem to remember hearing at the time that "Break My Stride" didn’t have a video and therefore it was AMAZING that the song was doing so well on the radio!  (Playground gossip is always reliable.)  See, we didn’t have MTV on Cox Cable in Macon until something like February of ’85, so we had to rely on Friday Night Videos and USA’s Radio 1990 (1990 — the future!) and Night Flight and other random non-MTV shows for our video fix.  I guess my brother and my friends and I just never saw the video for "Break My Stride."  Now I know better.

    Isn’t it odd that "The Girl Is Mine" was the first single from Thriller?  Maybe the thinking behind that decision was "Let’s get the worst song on the album out of the way first."  Yes, I do think "Baby Be Mine" and even "The Lady in My Life" are better songs (the latter was nicely sampled/interpolated on Angie Stone’s "Lovers’ Ghetto" in 2004).  "Say Say Say" was definitely an improvement in terms of these superstars’ duets.  And Jackson’s version of "Girlfriend" is better than McCartney’s.

    I never met a Duran Duran song I really liked.  I thought I would’ve found a few that I’d like by now, 20 years later, but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.  Is it just me?

  • Well, remember that Michael Jackson wasn’t the biggest star on Earth at the time of Thriller’s release.  I’m pretty sure the reasoning was that a lead-off track featuring Paul McCartney would be enough to catch people’s attention.  Nobody knew that the "Motown 25" special would be enough to catapult Michael Jackson into a whole new category.
    That being said, if memory serves correctly, the first single off of Bad was "I Just Can’t Stop Loving You," the duet with Siedah Garrett, which was also one of the weaker tracks on the album, so what do I know.

    I was thinking last night about what my favorite Duran Duran song is.  I still don’t have an answer.

  • Robert:
    Personally, I think P.Y.T. is the worst from Thriller, which means that out of the seven singles on the album (out of nine songs…wow), the first and the last could/should have been replaced by the two "deep" cuts, or at least one of them with "Lady in my Life", which is an awesome slow jam….and if I remember correctly, before it was the basis for the Angie Stone song, it was the basis for the LL Cool J/Boyz II Men collaboration "Hey Lover"
    As for Duran Duran, their music hasn’t aged well…the production incorporates the worst of the 80s sound: compressed, in your face vocals, synths that don’t resemble any sort of instrument, the real instruments burried in the mix, or tweaked until they don’t sound real, and those electronic drums….oh those electronic drums! Which is a shame, really, because they actually can play the hell out of their instruments. Try to track down a boot of their reunion tour from a couple of years ago. Just for a starters, you’ll be amazed at how much "Hungry Like the Wolf", stripped of the studio excess, actually rocks.

  • Elaine

    I can answer affirmatively to the Duran question. They hit the scene when I was an impressionable underclassman in high school, so I actually do remember their music (mostly) fondly.  Some more than others, of course.  Anyway, do you hate "Come Undone?"  It’s not bad.  The Rio album has its charm.  If nothing else, obtain the sheet music for "Hungry like the Wolf" and play it with sincerity on acoustic piano.  It’s good for chuckles at parties, in a Richard Cheese kind of way.

  • Mike and I do a pretty good cover of "Hungry Like The Wolf," and we throw "Rio" in the middle.  I’m pretty sure we could throw in "Girls On Film" and "Planet Earth" as well and nobody would be the wiser.

    I hope my sis-in-law Heather chimes in; she’s a Duran fan and I’d like to hear her favorites.  I do like "Rio," "The Reflex" and "Ordinary World;" I just don’t know if I like them that much more than any of the others.

    As for Thriller, I love "P.Y.T." but I think "Human Nature" might be my favorite.  I’d say that this merits its own posting, but I posted about it on my old blog a little over a year ago: check it out.

  • Elaine

    I picked up somewhere, it might have been at Jefito’s, the David Mead cover version of "Human Nature."  I like it a lot better than the original.  MJ has (had?) his skills, but his vibrato and quirks overpowered that song.

  • "Well, remember that Michael Jackson wasn’t the biggest star on Earth at the time of Thriller‘s release.  I’m pretty sure the reasoning was that a lead-off track featuring Paul McCartney would be enough to catch people’s attention."

    I don’t want to hear your logic right now, sir!  But yes, it obviously makes sense to release the McCartney duet first.  I just wonder if anyone in Jackson’s camp really thought "The Girl Is Mine" was all that good.  I do like "P.Y.T.," Matthew, but I can see why others might not.  (I had no idea about "Hey Lover."  Thanks for the trivia!)  And Jason, I’ve never stopped loving "I Just Can’t Stop Loving You," but I know I’m in the minority with that one.  In fact, it and "Bad" are the only songs I like from Bad.  I am happy to say that I recently realized how good "Remember the Time" is.  And 2001’s "You Rock My World" is better than I remembered.  If you’ve never heard li’l Michael’s song "I Wanna Be Where You Are" from the early ’70s, I recommend you do so NOW!

    I don’t hate any Duran Duran songs (I’m not sure if I even remember "Come Undone" — was that from their ’93 album?), but I don’t have any nostalgic grade-school affection for any of them either.  I thought I would by now, but I don’t.  I thought "A View to a Kill" would give me some sort of nostalgic rush when I heard it again last summer for the first time in years, but nope.  I’d like to hear John Taylor’s "Do What I Gotta Do to Have You," or whatever it was called, again, but the closest I’ve come to liking a Duran Duran song is the Power Station’s "Some Like It Hot."

  • More more more … yes, that David Mead version of "Human Nature" is great, but so is Jackson’s, although I didn’t REALLY like it until a year or so ago.  Great write-up on Thriller, Jason, and as for the "mama-say-mama-sah-muh-mah-koo-sah" chant in "Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’," it comes from Manu DiBango’s "Soul Makossa."

  • How about that?  You learn something new every day (and around here, it’s usually something you didn’t really need to know).  Thanks, Robert!

    I think "Human Nature" got better for me once I knew members of Toto were involved.

  • JT

    Thank you, Michael.
    J, thank you for explaining harmonicas to me. :-) I had no idea it was more complex than, ahem, s-b-s-s-b. ;-) (Which, even that I could not master. ) ;-)

  • woofpop

    God, so many things to comment on..
    Duran: actually, "Save A Prayer" from Rio is really good – almost like a lost Roxy Music ‘Avalon’ era song <ducks>. But I could do without the whole rest of the DD catalog.
    Robert: 100 bonus points for mentioning "I Wanna Be Where You Are". That song is one of the finest ’70’s Motown creations, period. Yes, right up there with "Innervisions" and "What’s Going On".
    "The Girl Is Mine" – terrible, terrible. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember it coming out a while before Thriller . It could have been out there just as much to help Paul – remember this was months after "Ebony and Ivory", and despite that smash, there weren’t any other hits on Tug Of War , so they both needed a boost.
    I don’t know, I always liked "I Just Can’t Stop Loving You", but, yeah, it was an odd choice to lead off the follow up to the biggest thing, ever..

  • BD

    Hey, that’s the easy part of Yes history. Try tracking how many times Rick Wakeman has been in the band. (As of this writing, I believe he’s in — the only Yes lineup you’re likely to see tour or record in the foreseeable future is the one that did Fragile and Close to the Edge.)Matthew Wilder had one other decent song, which I think involved bouncing.The Romantics were huge then. IIRC, Talking in Your Sleep led a lot of people to discover or re-discover What I Like About You. I remember the drummer saying the first single off that album should’ve been Rock You Up rather than Talking. He had a good sense of humor about it.

  • heather

    Duran Duran rocks!
    Oh wait, they use way too much synth to rock. Have you ever listened to music and just picked a certain line to follow through the song? I’d pick the guitar or the bass or the vocals, sometimes the drums, but I can’t recall ever listening for the synth. 
    There are songs that rock–My Own Way off of Rio can really rock, and First Impression from Liberty starts off as their very processed sound then finds a real guitar. I really enjoyed that one.
    Their latest album has a great opening–perfect for waking up to.
    So I went to see them in November, and they really do rock live. Although as I was leaving I heard one of the other concert goers complaining about not hearing the synth too well. (They were breaking in a new guitarist) And I was thinking, that was a bad thing?

  • woofpop

    But that’s a GREAT Yes lineup…

  • "Take It Away" was a hit off of Tug of War (I think it reached #10).  I live for the minutiae …<br><br>I should’ve mentioned this a few comments ago — a friend of a friend used to work in the Levi Jeans store on Michigan Ave. (on "the Magnificent Mile") here in Chicago.  Simon Le Bon’s manager once called ahead to the store to let them know that Simon would be arriving shortly, and would the employees please recognize Simon as he’s shopping?  He apparently likes to be recognized.

  • woofpop

    "Take It Away" – I remember it being a big video item, but I was really surprised that it was that big of a hit.  I love that jeans store story. "Excuse me, but aren’t you Simon LeBon?" Wow – right there in the jeans store.

  • Matt

    Bill Bruford hasn’t been in Yes since the "Union" fiasco. It’s been Alan White (not the former Oasis guy!) on drums for over 30 years now, which means the current lineup of Yes is the "Going for the Topographic Tormato" lineup. One great record (Going), one total piece of crap with a good finale (Tormato), and of course, the most bloated, pompous double album of all time. And you can’t even play the "Sandinista game" and edit it down yourself because all the songs are full LP sides!

  • BD

    Oops — brain fart. Yes, the current and likely last Yes lineup is the Topographic Oceans/Going for the One/Tormato lineup (which would have set a continuity record in the 70s if Wakeman hadn’t stalked off to let them do Relayer without him). It’s a mere four-fifths of the Fragile/Close to the Edge lineup.I still can’t believe the two Alan Whites aren’t related. Could’ve sworn there was a family resemblance, and what are the odds!

  • Emily

    Jason- this is why I love you (and Mike) and yes, you are super talented and yes, that video is HOT!   Viva Matthew Wilder!
    Also, I headed up a group to see Duran Duran at MSG during their last visit to NYC and it was everything my little 7-year-old-self wanted it to be!  I broke out my walkman and listened to my mix tape of Duran Duran songs for WEEKS after the concert.  Can’t wait for the chart attack where you break down the pros and cons of "View to a Kill" as a James Bond themesong….

  • Ha!  That job will have to go to someone else, as I’ve only seen a handful of the Bond movies – so it’d be hard to compare.  I DO like "View To A Kill."  I mean, it’s no "Die Another Day" by Madonna, but WHATEVER…. ;)

  • Emily

    Argh.  Me and my crazy requests!  How do you put up with me?!

  • Woofpop, I’ve never seen the video for “Take It Away.” I didn’t know there was a video. Life … isn’t … fair.

    And now, after getting home from work and being able to watch the “Break My Stride” video on my own computer, I see that it’s not a video at all! It’s a “Solid Gold” clip. What the hell! Therefore I stand by the playground gossip from 1984 that claimed there was no real video for “Break My Stride.”

    David Arnold and Aimee Mann’s cover of “Nobody Does It Better” is the best Bond theme ever, if you ask me (even if it’s not the version that appeared in “The Spy Who Loved Me”).

  • David

    (Watches Wilder video/Solid Gold clip)

    Wow. By my count, it took six musicians to perform that song “live,” vs. the one (and his casio) it took to record it.

    Seven, actually, if you count Matthew’s offstage moustache handler.

  • So much! So much!!
    Okay then, we start with the basics. At this point in her career, Olivia Newt was not an Aussie songbird anymore, she was a sex symbol. Hard to fathom from this vantage point, but the "Physical" album and all the press photos therein of black and white and heavy breathing had changed the US perception of little miss Goody Two-Shoes into a hot mama. This is the only reason to expain how anything from "Two Of A Kind" got into the top ten.
    True story: back when the local mall was an enjoyable place to be, way back in the late 80s, there was a store that sold high end home entertainment equipment like big-ass projection tv’s, high end Beta and VHS machines and "the wave of the future", the 12 inch laserdisc. Every time they popped in the VHS of "Star Wars" they’d draw a crowd. And every time they played "Two Of A Kind", they scattered the whole floor level. It was hilarious.
    They also, close to closing time, played the infamous Duran Duran music video for "Girls On Film" with the female boxers icing down their nipples. This leads me to the Durannies, whose output was wildly varied. I agree that "Save A Prayer" has a slight Roxy feel, but by then all the Brit bands were adopting that Nu-Romantic Stephen Hague production sound. The big surprise was the self-titled album featuring "Come Undone" and "Ordinary World". These two songs actually changed my perception of the band, which at that time was summed up thusly – "kinda gay".
    I’m in the deep, deep minority that likes Yes’ "Big Generator". No, it ain’t prog, not in the slightest. But I always liked "Shoot High Aim Low", especially for it’s mood. That said, I also think "Drama" was a hugely underrated disc. "Tempus Fugit" did a near impossible feat: make Yes rock steady ska-punks. But the word I received was that Trevor Horn was a realy difficult guy to work with, not necessarily that he could never truly sing the back catalogue right. One of the former Yes guys slagged him pretty soundly in an interview once, but I can’t remember if it was Chris Squire or Trevor Rabin… so I’ll put this all back under ‘speculative’.
    And finally, I saw Steve Howe at this past summer’s Asia reunion show. He played just as amazingly as you’d expect, but with his entry into town came a mild flurry of press talk that he’s fighting cancer… I hope it’s not true, but he did look even more frail and wispy than he used to. Don’t expect any full scale Yes projects anytime soon, and save a prayer for Steve.

  • Matt

    There’s another pair of bands with identically named drummers… Duran Duran and Queen both have Roger Taylors. (funny how everything goes full-circle, eh?) And although the Alan Whites aren’t related, the Oasis Alan White is the younger brother of drummer Steve White, who’s been with Paul Weller since the Style Council.
    And while we’re discussing Duran Duran, I saw the video for A View to a Kill recently… what was SO cool when I was 13 is beyond cheesy today. "Bon… Simon Le Bon" :)

  • woofpop

    That video for ‘Take It Away’ was constantly on MTV in the summer of ’82, and featured Ringo, Sir George Martin and William Hurt. It’s easily seen on YouTube – I had forgotten how much I had liked that song. I was surprised that it was such a big hit, because it got virtually no radio airplay in my area. 

  • That’s odd, because I definitely remember “Take It Away” on the Top 40 station in Macon that summer. (Or maybe it’s not odd, because before 1996 not every radio station was owned by the same three companies, right? Therefore not every playlist would be the same.) And like I said, we didn’t have MTV until ’85, although I was aware of certain videos like the ones for “Mickey” and “Centerfold” at that point.

    I now need to seek out this music video featuring William Hurt. I wonder if Paul was hoping to land Kathleen Turner in the video instead.

  • I found the video. Still doesn’t ring a bell. And I think that instead of William Hurt, who was once kissed by a spider woman, you meant John Hurt, whose face was once hugged by an alien.

    I wish I knew something interesting about Yes so I could keep talking, but I don’t, so I won’t.

  • Hmm… things you didn’t know about Yes that could keep the conversation going…Jon Anderson was a guest vocalist for King Crimson (Lizard), Kitaro (Dream) and was a part of the Jon And Vangelis duo. Trevor Rabin is now a big-time film score writer and an integral part of Hans Zimmer’s conclave of writers. Prior to his involvement in Yes, he recorded the album "Wolf" at Ray Davies’ Konk Studios.Alan White was a part of John Lennon’s touring group in the early seventies.Rick Wakeman provided tasty mellotron parts for David Bowie’s "Space Oddity".Patrick Moraz was the keyboardist on "Relayer", and only on "Relayer". Afterward, he joined The Moody Blues and was a major part of their big comeback disc "Long Distance Voyager".DwD

  • I couldn’t stand Duran Duran, but like Woofpop I made an exception for "Save a Prayer", which was astonishingly (to me) gorgeous, with chord changes that made me shiver.  And yeah, it does kind of sound like Avalon, though I’m sure glad Bryan Ferry wasn’t singing it.

    There are a few notable singles that became much bigger hits over time than they were in the first place.  "What I Like About You" is one of the best examples.  I don’t have a Billboard reference with me, but two more that I know charted lower than people think are "Walking on Sunshine" and "Turning Japanese".

    The cheesy backing vocals for "I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues" are probably a big part of why it’s become a huge piano bar favorite.  Of course, Elton John is the reigning king of pop piano bar songs, but still, you don’t hear them play "Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance)".

  • Incidentally, the song never does explain why they call it the blues.  What’s up with that?

  • Scraps, it’s a testicle reference.

  • woofpop

    Yeah, big typo on my part with <William> Hurt.. D’oh.
    Scraps, there are tons of those songs that have become bigger in retrospect. "I Melt With You", Squeeze’s "Tempted" are just a couple that come to mind right now..

  • I think the early to mid-eighties are particularly heavy with songs that became bigger in retrospect, because of the influence of MTV, in that brief period when they played non-guaranteed-hit videos.  The songs we’ve mentioned weren’t played on pop radio, but they were all played on MTV.

  • As a big Jon Anderson fan, I’m almost embarrassed to mention this, but as a solo artist Jon dabbled in "smooth" wussy music in the late 80s with his album "In the City of Angels." He worked with some of the fellows from Toto on it, and it’s slick as all get out. You can watch the atrocious video for the album’s single, "Hold on to Love," at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yMCKk9Qtug … it’s as if Jon is trying to channel Al Jarreau or something. This from the man who sang "Roundabout" and "I’ve Seen All Good People." Yeesh!

  • I think View to A Kill is the best Bond them there is.  Followed by The Spy Who Loved Me by Carly Simon.
    Please don’t come to my website and make fun of me.

  • @ D-Dubs: What about ONJ’s Totally Hot album of 1978? It was right after Grease came out, and she was all in black and looking sultry standing against the wall and everything …Or are y’all going to make me start backing my stuff up with Billboard charts? Don’t I get credit for just remembering some of this stuff?

  • tres

    Oddly, I’m cool with that Matthew Wilder clip. I can deal with the hair, and I dig his Star Trek meets V top that is appropriatly unbutton and folded down in one corner – giving him that essential sci-fi dishelved look…but oh that moustache. He’s the fey man’s Oates. He looks like Adam Sandler’s limo driving friend in The Wedding Singer.
    "Break My Stride" was like a bonding song for my mom and me. She’d pick me up from 4th grade, I’d be all pissy to her, than break my stride would come on and we’d be laughing like school girls in no time. Now THAT’S a gift. – thank U Mr. Wilder!

  • Good point, Broad.  And wasn’t the climax of Grease, in which Sandy shows up at the carnival or whatever (I’ve never seen the movie all the way through) in tight black spandex, the initial coming-out of Olivia’s sex appeal?

  • Maybe this says something about my taste in women, but I always thought she was much sexier as the goody two-shoes.

  • @ Robert: It was indeed.@ Jason: Appropos of little, my dad was a huge fan of Doris Day, so you’re in fine company. Now, if you say you found ONJ hot after Sordid Lives (which was a great film, btw), you might need a little ostracizing.