The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is ZZ Top’s Eliminator.
There were several artists who had been around since the 1970s who I did not discover until the early to mid ’80s (Thank you MTV!). Along with David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top is one of those bands to me. Of course most of us remember the iconic trilogy of videos – “Gimme All Your Lovin’“, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs“. However, the entire album is awesome. “Got Me Under Pressure” is a solid track. And while the “trilogy” gets all the music video attention, I absolutely loved the video for “TV Dinners,” which is also a great song. And my favorite underrated track on the album is “Thug“.
While I love the follow-up album, Afterburner, the Eliminator album helped shape my taste in rock music, and kept me glued to MTV. And while I was bored in class in high school, I loved drawing the ZZ Top logo on my book covers and notebooks.
Here is Eliminator on Spotify:
And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:
Welcome back to a new Top 40 countdown! This week we will jump back over to the UK, and see what was charting over there at this time in 1985. There will be some familiar songs for the US audience, but there are also many songs that we may not have heard over here. Now, let’s Return to the week ending January 12, 1985, and begin the countdown!
Well there is no denying which decade this song came from! This is definitely a song that will get stuck in your head. I had never heard of Russ Abbot, but it sounds like he was very popular in the U.K. Not only was he a musician, but he also had his own variety show that aired for 16 years. It started as Russ Abbot’s Madhouse in 1980 on ITV, then was renamed The Russ Abbot Show when it moved over to the BBC.
Next up, we get a good R&B song from Amii Stewart. Stewart is mainly known in the U.S. from her 1979 disco smash “Knock On Wood“. She did not have any other major hits in the U.S., but she had several in the U.K., including this one, which peaked at #12.
Now, this sounds like a fusion of all three genres that I had just mentioned. There is not much information on The Limit, other than that they were composed of Dutch producers Bernard Oattes and Rob van Schaik. This song peaked at #17 here, and peaked at #7 on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play chart.
Oh hell yeah!! The second video of the Eliminator video trilogy, this may be my favorite one. This is a great song, even without the video. But, you can’t really separate the two anymore. Awesome car, great rockin’ tune, and hot girls. What else could you ask for?!
I had never heard of this song or band before. The band name sounds like something you would come up with after drinking a few rounds with your friends, and saying 2 random words in a sentence, and exclaim, “That would make a great band name!” So, I was expecting a punk rock sound. Instead, it’s a light synth-pop song. Strawberry Switchblade is a Scottish female duo, and this was their only major hit.
Here is a layover from the Christmas season. And this will be far from the last of them. This would be a fun song if it wasn’t sung by an evil pig, who has been convicted several times of sex crimes involving children.
Well, I don’t want to end today’s countdown on a sour note, so here is a more wholesome Christmas song for us to enjoy:
That wraps up today’s list of songs. I hope you are enjoying these so far. Let me know what you think. Do you have any favorites so far? Come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.
It’s time for another ’80s crossover event! This time we are talking/writing about some of our favorite music videos. Here are the entries from the rest of the ’80s League. Please check all of these people out, and leave comments.
We were fortunate enough to grow up in a time where we saw the birth of MTV, and watch it become one of the most influential entities of the decade. Before cable TV arrived, we had 3 major networks (and some UHF channels, that only had a little static if we were lucky). Then cable TV opened up a whole new world for us. I loved having HBO and Showtime. Being a sports fan, ESPN was great. You Can’t Do That on Television on Nickelodeon became one of my favorite television shows.
However, most of my television viewing went to MTV. The day I came home from school, and cable was newly installed in our home, the first station I put on was MTV. The first video I saw was “Little Red Corvette” by Prince. I don’t think I was the only person glued to MTV at the time. It was so different than anything else we watched. And if there was a song you loved, if you watched long enough, the video would come back on within a couple of hours. MTV helped out several artists who arrived on the scene at the perfect time – Michael Jackson, Prince, Duran Duran, Madonna. Unfortunately, it ruined some artists who were huge before MTV – buh-bye Christopher Cross and Billy Squier.
Now, for this #Fave80sMusicVideos crossover event, I’ll present some videos that stand out to me. There are many, many more. But, it would take days for this page to finish loading on your screen if I listed all my favorite, and groundbreaking videos. So, we’ll start from the beginning:
As any ’80s fan knows, this is the one that started it all. Not only is the song title appropriate for the first video to ever air on MTV, but it has that perfect ’80s sound. I still love this song to this day. The video itself isn’t too bad either. It doesn’t have that movie production value. There were some really cheesy and cheap videos in those early days, and this was above most of them.
ZZ Top Eliminator trilogy
While a lot of great acts from the ’60s and ’70s faded away with the dawn of the MTV generation, ZZ Top adapted extremely well. There was no mistaking their signature guitar sound of the ’70s, which made them wildly successful. But, instead of riding off in the sunset, they rode a customized 1930s Ford coupe, called the Eliminator, all the way to the stratosphere. They took advantage of the music video age, and made a marketing coup. While they weren’t the only singles released from the Eliminator album, these trilogy of videos are the most memorable. There is a storyline that runs through all three of these videos. First up…
Great introduction to this series! I love how the first thing we see, even before the music starts) is the Eliminator. The car pulls up to a gas station, where we meet our protagonist dude, and we are introduced to the 3 Eliminator babes. The dude is a gas station attendant, who has a boss that’s a prick. The band tosses the keys, on the iconic ZZ Top keychain, to the dude, and he goes for a ride, while we listen to this awesome song! At the end, it appears the whole thing was a dream…or was it???
Protagonist dude is changing into a tuxedo. He must make a lot of money at the gas station! Oh, wait. He’s a valet who gets treated like crap by coworkers and snooty, rich patrons. Then the Eliminator and Eliminator girls arrive, and the dude goes on another drive. He comes back in a new suit, and parties with the snoots, putting on the dance moves.
The third and final video of the Eliminator series features a woman as the main protagonist. She’s a mousy girl with glasses who goes to a burger joint, and is harassed by everyone there except for one guy, the cook, who is also harassed. She escapes the joint, leaving behind a food container and her glasses. The cook grabs the stuff and goes after her. She arrives at the shoe store where she works, where she is treated pretty much the same as at the burger joint. The cook gives the poor woman her stuff, then he is unceremoniously thrown out the the door by an asshole. But, he is thrown right in front of the arriving Eliminator. The Eliminator girls step out of the car, help the guy out, and go in the store, and exact revenge on the assholes in the store. Then our protagonist girl gets a makeover. After her makeover, the ladies all head over to the burger joint and rescue the guy, again, exacting revenge on the assholes in that place. The Eliminator drives off into nothing, and ZZ Top waves goodbye to us and fades away.
Sit down, Waldo! As with several of David Lee Roth’s solo videos, this Van Halen video begins with a kooky skit before it gets into the song. As much as I love Sammy Hagar, there have been very few showmen like David Lee Roth. The whole band was at the top of their game right here. The song starts with that iconic drumbeat, and of course when you have a legend on guitar, you can’t go wrong. Not only is the song awesome, but as a teenage boy when this song came out, I did not mind the hot bikini clad teachers. At all. Looking at it now, it seems just as creepy as Madonna’s “Open Your Heart” video where a boy watches Madonna strip and dance. I also liked how they got kid versions of the band members who liked just like them. This was a very fun and funny video.
Another great song accompanied by an awesome video. Even though this video got constant airplay, I never got sick of it. This was my introduction to the caricature puppets by the British television show Spitting Image. I know that Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” and Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing” are heavily promoted as innovative videos. But, this is the one that fascinated me. In the age of CGI, I doubt we’ll see the likes of this again.
What were some of your favorite music videos? And don’t forget to visit the other pages and podcasts of my fellow 80s League (soon to be Banzai Club) members .
Hi Everybody! Paul here. Today is our big ’80s extravaganza! Several ’80s bloggers and podcasters got together, and decided on a common topic that we will share. We are promoting each others work, and introducing you to some ’80s blogs that you may not have know were out there. The topic in this inaugural crossover will be on our favorite cars that were famous in the ’80s. Here is the list of blogs taking part are:
I will kick things off, and Robert has an article himself immediately following this one. So, let’s get on the road, and get this underway.
Sonny Crockett’s Ferrari Daytona Spyder
Miami Vice was a perfect fit in the ’80s. It was the age of excess – bright colors, big personalities, money flying hand-over-fist, great music, lots of cocaine, and of course, fast cars. And one of the most iconic cars was Sonny Crockett’s black 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4. It was awesome seeing it flying down the streets of Miami. But, in perhaps one of the most iconic scenes in ’80s television was Crockett and Tubbs cruising in the Spyder, with Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” playing. What?!? A popular song on network TV?! NBC had a hit on its hands from that point forward. Unfortunately, the car only lasted 2 seasons. This Spyder was a modified version of the Ferrari. The suits at the Ferrari company were not happy with this, and sued for trademark infringement and trademark dilution. So, the Spyder was destroyed by a bazooka in the first episode of season 3. You can keep your Walking Dead. The death of the Spyder was far more horrifying than any death in The Walking Dead.
ZZ Top’s Eliminator
Awesome cars weren’t just seen in movies and television shows. The golden age of MTV had it’s fair share of great cars. Not the least of which was the Eliminator, which was prominently featured in a trio of ZZ Top songs – “Gimme All Your Lovin’“, “Sharp Dressed Man“, and “Legs“. The Eliminator was really a customized 1930s Ford coupe. Unlike other Ford cars in the ’80s, this car seemed to run pretty fine to me. I don’t believe I ever saw it broken down on the side of the road, leaking oil, with smoke coming out from under the hood. That would have been a letdown. Instead, this was one of the coolest cars around. The drivers weren’t too shabby either, right fellas? Not to mention. the car came with the best keychain ever!
For my final car, I am going outside the box, and heading to the arcade! Pole Position was a unique game in those early ’80s arcade days. Most games, you just stood at, and moved a joystick or roller ball around. In Pole Position, you became part of the game. Instead of standing at the machine, you would sit in a booth, and drive your own Formula One race car around the track, using a steering wheel and gas pedal. This was easier said than done for some of us. It could be tough navigating turns at a high speed, while avoiding other cars at the same time. One misstep, and your car would go up in a ball of flames, with your tires bouncing away on the course.
I’m not into video games anymore. But if I somehow found myself in an old school arcade, you would have a difficult time tearing me away from this game!
What were some of your favorite cars seen in the ’80s? I hope you enjoyed this series. Please let us know what you think, and if you would like to see more of these crossover events. Again, please check out the following blogs. Every one is on Twitter as well, so please give all these hard-working bloggers a follow: