Remember That Song? – 12/14/11

Can you name the artist and song:

Tried to make it little by little,
tried to make it bit by bit on my own

Last Song: “On the Dark Side” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (From the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack)

Ain’t nothin’ gonna save you
From a love that’s blind
You slip to the dark side
Across that line

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1984 – Scandal

“The Warrior” by Scandal

I was surprised to find out that Scandal was a one hit wonder. I do Like “Goodbye to You” a lot. But it only reached #65 on the charts. Oh well, so twist my arm! I have to include “The Warrior” as a one-hit wonder for Scandal.

Scandal was formed in New York City in 1981 by guitarist Zack Smith, who also wrote most of the band’s hits. The other initial members included: bassist Ivan Elias (1950–1995), guitarist Keith Mack, guitarist Jon Bon Jovi (briefly), keyboardist Benjy King, drummer Frankie LaRocka, and, of course, vocalist Patty Smyth. Thommy Price later replaced LaRocka on drums.

But, the band was slowly losing member after member. By the time The Warrior tour started in 1984, the only original members were Patty Smyth and Keith Mack. That did not stop the song from being a huge hit. It peaked at #7 on the charts on September 22, 1984. Shortly after the tour, Scandal officially broke up.

The group (minus Ivan Elias, who died of cancer in June 1995) reunited in 2004 for VH1’s Bands Reunited show and did a string of concerts on the United States East Coast. Patty Smyth and Scandal have toured in the time since then, and have recorded some new songs. It would be great to see them on the charts again. But in the meantime, let’s enjoy “The Warrior”:

Daily Trivia: 12/13/11

Question: What NBC show dared to run a sixth season, despite the loss of its cast and most of the writers?

Last Question: How many times was the song “Footloose” played in the movie Footloose? (And I mean the original movie!)

Answer: 3

It was played during the opening, then it was playing in the bar scene when Rusty (Sarah Jessica Parker) couldn’t contain herself, and just had to leave Willard at the table so she could dance. And of course the third time was in the final dance scene at the prom.

Here is the opening scene:



I could not find the bar scene online anywhere, but here is the final dance:

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1984 – Talk Talk

“It’s My Life” by Talk Talk

Here is the second New Wave/Synthpop one-hit wonder of the day. Talk Talk was another band that was a one-hit wonder in the U.S., but had more success in other countries. In the band’s early days, they were compared with Duran Duran, as both bands had a name which was a single word repeated, a Roxy Music-inspired musical direction, and shared the same record label (EMI) and producer (Colin Thurston).

Talk Talk released their first album, The Party’s Over, in 1982. It was successful in the U.K. They achieved huge international success in 1984/85 when they released their second album, It’s My Life. The title track of the album was a hit in several countries, including the U.S., where it peaked at #31 on May 19, 1984.

The band abandoned the New Wave style completely with The Colour of Spring in 1986. That album was a smash hit in the U.K., but the success never translated over to the U.S. Their follow-up, 1988’s Spirit of Eden, while critically acclaimed, did not sell as well as it’s preceding albums. The band then wanted to be released from their contract with EMI.

In 1990, Talk Talk signed a two-album contract with Polydor Records. They released the album, Laughing Stock in 1991. After Laughing Stock, Talk Talk disbanded in 1992, as lead singer/founder Mark Hollis wished to focus on his children. In 1998, Mark Hollis released his self-titled solo debut Mark Hollis, and then retired from the music business shortly afterwards.

However, Talk Talk made an impact beyond the ’80s. The band No Doubt remade “It’s My Life” to be included on their greatest hits album The Singles 1992–2003. The song became a hit for them also, and was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 47th Grammy Awards.

So, here is both versions of the song:

Talk Talk

No Doubt

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1984 – Re-Flex

“The Politics of Dancing” by Re-Flex

Here is one for New Wave/synthpop music fans. Re-Flex was formed in the early 80s. In late 1982, the band recorded their debut album, The Politics of Dancing, which was released in 1983. The album was moderately successful. But their lead single, the title track “The Politics of Dancing” acheived greater success. It became a big international hit in 1984, reaching the Top 40 in several countries, and peaking at #24 on March 17, 1984. The band toured Europe and the United States, where, on their first visit, they supported The Police.

Re-Flex planned a follow-up album for 1985, called Humanication. But the record company, EMI, felt the album was too political, so they would not release it. The band left EMI after that.

Re-Flex continued to record together, working on a new project entitled Jamming The Broadcast. During this period the band also recorded two tracks, “Life’s Too Dangerous” and “Revolution Now”, for the soundtrack to the 1987 film Superman IV. After recording was completed, the group ceased actively working together, but never officially disbanded. They have an official web site.

Here is the band’s only hit, “The Politics of Dancing”:

Daily Trivia: 12/12/11

Question: How many times was the song “Footloose” played in the movie Footloose? (And I mean the original movie!)

Last Question: Who was the original host of Ripley’s Believe It ot Not?

Answer: Technically Robert Ripley was the original host, but Jack Palance was the orginal host in the 80’s incarnation

Robert Ripley started the show in the late ’40s, but died 13 episodes in, then there were substitute hosts for the rest of the season, and the show no longer aired. Jack Palance started the show back up in 1982. Other hosts followed him…including his daughter Holly Palance.

Here is an opening with host Jack Palance:

Remember That Song? – 12/12/11

Can you name this Simply Red song:

I been laid off from work
My rent is due
My kids all need
Brand new shoes

Last Song: “Anything for You” by Gloria Estefan ad the Miami Sound Machine:

Time keeps draggin on and on
And forever’s been and gone
Still I can’t figure what went wrong

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1984 – Nena

“99 Luftballons” by Nena

OK, how many of us used to try to sing this song in German, when we didn’t even speak German? We would sing incoherently, until we got to the part where we would sing loudly: 99 LUFTBALLONS!! Thankfully, Nena would release the song in English, so we would have an idea of what the sog was saying. But, it was still the German version that was the big hit in the U.S., peaking all the way at #2 on March 3, 1984.

Nena was the name of the band, as well as the lead singer. The band was formed in 1981, and had some success in Europe. When “99 Luftballons” was released, the band became weel known all over the world.

The song came into existence when Nena’s guitarist Carlo Karges went to a June 1982 concert by the Rolling Stones in West Berlin and noticed that balloons were being released. As he watched them move toward the horizon, he noticed them shifting and changing shapes, where they looked like strange spacecraft (referred to in the German lyrics as a “UFO”). He thought about what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet sector.

Both the English and German versions tell how faulty East German radar equipment registers 99 balloons as incoming weapons. They immediately put their troops on red alert and scramble fighter jets to intercept which ultimately triggers a nuclear war between East and West. In the apocalyptic aftermath, the song’s narrator stands in the rubble of the city and finds a single remaining balloon. Thinking of someone, he or she then lets the balloon go.

Although “99 Luftballons” was Nena’s only hit in the English-speaking world, the band continued to enjoy success in several European countries in the following years. The band split in 1987, and Nena went solo.

Nena has been very active recording albums. The songs have not made it back across to the U.S. at all. But, the one time Nena made it big over here, they made a huge impact. Here are both versions of the song:

Daily Trivia: 12/9/11

Question: Who was the original host of Ripley’s Believe It ot Not?

Last Question: What future Oscar-winner played roomate Maggie Lauten in the first season of A Different World?

Answer: Marisa Tomei

Before her big breakthrough role as Mona Lisa Vito in the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinny (for which she won Best Supporting Actress at the 1993 Academy Awards), she played Maggie Lauten during the first season of A Different World. A Different World was a spinoff from The Cosby Show originally centered on Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) and the life of students at Hillman College. Here is a scene from the show:


Before the second season started, Lisa Bonet announced that she and husband Lenny Kravitz were having a baby. It was felt that viewers would not accept Denise Huxtable as an unwed mother, having grown to know her as a “good girl” after four seasons of The Cosby Show and A Different World. So, it was decided that Denise would drop out of Hillman, return home to her family, and eventually travel to Africa throughout the fifth season of The Cosby Show, ensuring that viewers would not see a pregnant Denise. A Different World would be revamped, placing Whitley (Jasmine Guy) and Dwayne (Kadeem Hardison) at the center of a wider ensemble cast. During this revamping process, Marisa Tomei was replaced. The show continued to be successful, lasting six seasons. Marisa Tomei also went on to be a very successful actress.

Here is the theme song from season one of A Different World: