Admit it, you were glued to VH1 Classic’s 80 Hours of the ’80s this weekend (That is if you have VH1 Classic). Lord knows I was. I thought about e-mailing each of you individually to make sure you knew it was on.
In between shows for the kids and doing things outside, I tried to check in on the A-Z run-through of some of the decade’s best videos all weekend. Most nights, while I was reading, I used it as my background music instead of my usual iTunes library. Good stuff.
Five years ago was the great Labor Day flood of 2003, in which we got like 800 inches of rain in about 12 hours (or eight inches, whatever). S. worked a 24 hour shift that weekend. I remember watching a lot of I Love the 80s that weekend. Had it been 80 Hours of the ’80s back then, I might have watched 24 straight hours!
Had that been the case, you would have expected about 5000 words out of me. So it makes sense that I scribbled down a few notes this weekend.
Worst video of the weekend? <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4bgjXPdczw”>The Jackson’s “Torture.”</a> Neither Jermaine or Michael bothered to show up. One of the other Jackson brothers had a single dance move he repeated over-and-over. And then there was some strange witch, demon, spider, skeleton thing going on. Apparently there wasn’t a lot of collaboration on the actual album. I know I have a few readers who saw the first show of the Victory Tour at Arrowhead in KC.
Also shitty was the video for <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-mw1HGJjdA”>REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Lovin’ You.”</a> Just go watch. It’s a short song. As if the beginning and end aren’t bad enough, note the 10” TV they “invested” in for the vid.
Long time readers will recall that I loved that song back in the day. I never really noticed until this weekend, though, how they totally copped out. There’s no second verse! Some songs truncate the second verse, cutting it to only two lines. But REO went straight to the guitar solo then back into the chorus. I wonder if Kevin Cronin tried and tried to put something decent together for the second verse, kept getting crap, but realizing he had pure FM radio gold in the first verse and chorus, decided to cut to the chase. It hit #1 for a week and kept me up for hours one night in 1981 to try to record it, so I guess it worked.
Continuing the shitty theme, pretty much all hip-hop videos. Most of them had the feel of, “Well, the label says we have to put a video together, so let’s call up all our boys, get some ladies to come on down, and we’ll figure something out. Oh, and our budget is $500.” I still love the music, but it was hard to justify how excited I was when Yo! MTV Raps started.
Another bad one was a Black Sabbath video from the Dio years. Filmed before a live audience, there is all kinds of bad camera work and audio through the entire piece. But, at the end, the music abruptly fades out, there’s a split second of silence, then the fake crowd noise fades in. Did they even try?
Eurythmics songs have aged very well. Annie Lennox is awesome.
On the positive side, I’ve decided Jane’s Addiction is one of the most underrated bands ever. I had no idea that Nothing’s Shocking came out in 1988. That’s a year before Nirvana’s Bleach came out. (And then Ritual De Lo Habitual came out a year before Nevermind.) I always thought <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgF7yxIjY8E”>”Mountain Song”</a> was brilliant, but knowing it came out when hair metal still ruled makes it even more amazing. And “Jane Says” was from ’88, too. Those guys were geniuses and deserve more credit for changing music. Nothing’s Shocking is the perfect mix of showing us exactly where rock music was in 1988 and where it was going from there. Weird that the video for “Jane Says” was actually from the mid-90s reunion.
And could Mark Goodman have taken his sunglasses off for his little between songs moments?
I hope they do this again over Thanksgiving are around the end of the year.