#70 of CFNY's Best 87 of 87, The Cars, Door to Door
I went through a Cars phase, circa 1984. Is there a band that is more synonymous with the burgeoning art of the music video? Remember their quirky, innovative videos in the early days of MTV? The moody Timothy Hutton-directed video for "Drive"? (RIP, Ben Orr.) The Andy Warhol-directed "Hello Again"? All quite memorable, which is more than I can say for Door to Door, their 1987 release, which admittedly I don't even remember. (Once again, I thought the power of YouTube would jog my memory. No such luck.)
This is really quite terrible. Click at your own risk.
I always liked this song from Ocasek's solo LP Beatitude.
#71 of CFNY's Best 87 of 87, Dead Milkmen, Bucky Fellini
I could spend a few entries on The Dead Milkmen.
(The video features a tribute band's version. The Deceased Lactate Product Delivery Personnel. Get it?)
During my time abroad in Deutschland, I had an English boyfriend whose musical tastes were extremely conventional, so I did everything I could to broaden his horizons. (Of course, I made the assumption that every English person listened to Ultravox, a notion which was quickly refuted.) "The Badger Song" was on a mixtape of my favorite Milkmen tunes, and somehow it became our song. I think I used to sing it when I had too much to drink, and since we had a bar on campus(!), I did my fair share of drinking. And my "singing" meant screeching "The woodchuck likes me/We smoke PCP" during one of these alcohol-fueled nights out. Heck, I don't even think drinking was restricted to nights. Anyway, the song lends itself well to this drunken tomfoolery. "I want to make friends with the badgers"--what the heck does that even mean? "Make love to the badger"? WTF?
Speaking of WTF, I can't believe that there's no video of "Instant Club Hit" on YouTube. Here are the lyrics from the Milkmen's site: "Blow it out your hairdo 'cause you work at Hardees!"
"You'll dance to anything by the Communards." Yeah, well, I won't disagree with that.
"Jellyfish heaven is full of dead jellyfish!" (My sister: "Wow, that's deep.")
#72 of CFNY's Best 87 of 87, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Out of Hand
The 87 of 87 introduced me to this underrated band from Wolverhampton. I can still hear my mother: "The Mighty Lemon Drops? What kind of band name is that?"
Later, I would hear "My Biggest Thrill," which actually predates "Out of Hand," on Rochester's WITR.
"Into the Heart of Love" was once in heavy rotation on 120 Minutes:
Here's another great song.
Thinking about Wolverhampton makes me think of a friend I had while living in Germany. After I moved back to the States, and he went home to Wolverhampton, we exchanged mixtapes for about a year or two before losing touch. He was a big fan of the Tindersticks.
#73 of CFNY's Best 87 of 87, Alison Moyet, Raindancing
I'll admit that I have absolutely no memory of this Alison Moyet LP. The YouToob clip above contains previews of all the songs on Raindancing. Memory is still not jogged. Moyet might be best known for her work in Yaz(oo), with Vince Clarke. Clarke, of course, would go on to form another duo, Erasure.
Since I have nothing else to say about Alison Moyet, here are some random Erasure-related memories.
I have a memory when I was fourteen of being in a car with my friend Marcie. Her mom was driving, and when her mom heard the line "It's not the way you throw your clothes on the bathroom floor," she turned to Marcie and said, "He must know you." We laughed.
I spent a lot of time home alone in my teen years when we lived in Rochester, doing nothing but watching television and listening to music. I used to spin this tune on my parents' record player, which survived the move down south and is still in their living room. I have no idea where my copy of Erasure's Circus is, though.
#75 of CFNY's Best 87 of 87, Hunters and Collectors, Living Daylight
I have the 87 of 87 to thank for introducing me to the great Australian band, Hunters and Collectors.
Funny thing that this band's best-known song "Throw Your Arms Around Me" was adopted by Crowded House--H&C's lead singer Doug Seymour's brother Nick plays bass for the Crowdies.
Living Daylight is an EP that contains two of my favorite H&C songs. "Inside a Fireball" has a Midnight Oil vibe, which I'm sure will send my husband running in the opposite direction.
Later, I discovered another Living Daylights song, "January Rain," on the band's greatest hits compilation, Collected Works. This song is more Crowded House-esque.
The album Fate would be released Stateside in 1988. I always dug this song.
"In a blinding flash, I see the years go by."
#76 of CFNY's Best 87 of 87, Blow Monkeys, She Was Only A Grocer's Daughter
So, the guy who runs the totally kewl 80s blog Slicing Up Eyeballs does a show every week on Strangeways Radio. This week, he played a new song from the Blow Monkeys. New song? Madness!
Makes me wish for a Thrashing Doves reunion. Unlike the band featured in my previous post, I don't own any Blow Monkeys albums. Never did. However, I do own a 45 of one of my favorite songs of the 80s, "Digging Your Scene. Since that song now gets a good amount of airplay on Sirius/XM's First Wave, I could possibly become sick of it, which would have seemed unthinkable twenty years ago. (As I've groused about in this space here, the playlist on First Wave is horribly repetitive.) Whoever wrote/edited the band's Wikipedia page claims their best known song in the US is "You Don't Own Me," found on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Really?!?
However, I still haven't posted the song that was featured on CFNY's countdown that day. Here's "It Doesn't Have to Be That Way." Weird video. Not sure why there's a football player in it. Another movie-tie in tidbit: This song was in Police Academy 4.
Edit: Embedding no longer available. Here's "It Doesn't Have to Be This Way":