Audio Lore

A Positive Music Blog

Friday, February 15, 2013

Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's Vol. 11 (Out of the Vaults with a twist #4)

Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's Vol. 11 

There is a Nigel Tuftnel joke in there somewhere.

I was pretty shocked to see this series made it to Volume 11. Even more shocked to learn it  topped off at Volume 15!

Surprisingly the first song on the disc is “In a Big Country” by Big Country. I would have thought the song would have made the cut a lot earlier in the series then Volume 11. The same could be said for Nena’s nuclear war pop-protest song “99 Luftballoons” (Track 2), The Fixx’s plodding “One Thing Leads to Another” (Track 9) or The Romantics’ catchy in a stalkerish kind of way “Talking in your Sleep” (Track 6)

99 Red Jumpsuits"
Most surprising of all is Spandau Ballet’s “True”. This song, which I have an agreement with my coworkers that I am allowed to sing along to it when it comes on the satellite radio (in turn they are allowed to sing along to Gwen Stefani when that comes on), is one of the songs I most affiliate with the whole new wave genre, not only did not make series cut until Volume 11 , but it is also the last track on the disc, making it almost have to wait until the slightly more demeaning  Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80’s Volume #12.     

They don't look so scared
I can understand why the Tears for Fears and Squeeze songs are so far along in the series. Even though they are two big names in “New Wave”, their contributions here are a not the cream of their catalog crop. Squeeze’s “Black Coffee in Bed” (Track #14) is okay but Tears for Fears’ “Change” (Track 5) is just flat out boring. I’m sure both bands have better songs somewhere among the Just Can’t Get Enough New Wave of the 80’s previous ten volumes.

JoBoxers take Fun Boy Three's old clothes
Two bands in the “I Didn't Know They Sang That” category are The JoBoxers and The Flirts. The English (with an American singer) JoBoxers do “Just Got Lucky” (Track 3), another song that my coworkers have consented to let me sing along to when it comes on, is a soul filled song with a singer that you can tell is a natural. This song to this day still turns up in movies and television shows; usually after a scene where someone loses their virginity or just got lucky.

Not the people who sing on the record
I knew “Jukebox (Don’t Put another Dime) (Track 4) was recorded by a band called The Flirts but I didn't know they weren't a real band. It turns out they were an ever changing group whose songs were really written and recorded by one person. Kind of like and American Menudo, if they were female. Real or not, check out their great video for this song, filmed on the streets of New York City’s Greenwich Village. House of Oldies, the store where they sell back the guy’s records is still there today.

But there is one more winner among the songs on Volume 11. Australia’s Real Life includes their hit “Send Me An Angel”. Although this song has been recorded, released, rerecorded, rereleased many times, it will always remind me of the dancing bike prom scene with my preteen crush Lorrie Loughlin in the movie Rad.

These THREE don't look like much FUN
In the  “How the mighty have fallen and/or sold out” category: Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple all left their very cool sleek suits they wore while in The  Specials to form the embarrassing dressed, yet very successful, Fun Boy Three. Their “The Lunatic Have Taken over the Asylum” (Track 13) I find pretty unlistenable. 

I'm a Fanatic
There is actually not one but two bands that could not decide whether they wanted to be The Clash or The Rolling Stones. Felony’s “Fanatic” (Track 10), which actually sounds vaguely familiar, succeeds a little bit more than the ridiculously named DFX2’s “Emotion” (Track 7). Both bands would probably have been better off deciding on one band to copy.

Haysi Fantayzee: Not even cool in the 80's
No matter how off those two songs may sound or the “New Order doing New Wave Karaoke” sound of Dollar’s “Mirror, Mirror (Mon Amor)” (Track 12), none can touch the straight out awful “Shiny Shiny” by the even more terribly named Haysi Fantayzee. The song sounds like a bad white rapper hosting a game show. It’s kind of scary that (after a quick Wikipedia search) I find out the band’s singer Jeremy Healy (now a DJ),in 2009 married another one of my pre-teen crushes: Patsy Kensit.

          They have since separated.

Here is the classic "Bike Boogie" scene in the movie RAD featuring Real Life's "Send Me An Angel"