[This Looks Like a Job for a Hero!] -- As I am attending the San Diego Comic-Con this week, I figured we should have a heroic them for this week's Flashback. Makes sense, right? I'm fully immersed in movies, comics, web-series, video games, and other media that deal with heroes, anti-heroes, reluctant heroes, and the occasional, honest-to-badness villain. But there's nothing nefarious in this week's playlist. Or is there? To find out, read and hear more after the break.
Considering the image that leads this week's post, it's an easy bet I'm going to talk about that 80s television show, The Greatest American Hero. From 1981 - 1983, William Katt starred as Ralph Hinkley, a high school teacher who was bequeathed a super-suit of alien origin. Of course, after receiving the suit in his own close encounter of the 2nd kind, he promptly lost the instruction manual. This show had a handful of wonderful 80s troves: outcasts (both Hinkley and his students), government subterfuge (in the form of Agent Bill Maxwell, played pitch-perfect by the late Robert Culp), a beautiful love-interest/voice-of-reason/damsel-in-distress (Connie Sellecca as lawyer Pam Davidson ), and Hinkley himself as the reluctant hero. Our first flashback this week: The show's theme song, "Believe It Or Not," written by Mike Post (music) and Stephen Geyer (lyrics) and sung by Joey Scarbury. Oh, and believe it or not, I still own this tune on 45. I've embedded a video of a Scarbury performance on Solid Gold below. For pure nostalgia, you can view The Greatest American Hero's intro clip here.
Flashback #2: "Where have all the good men gone And where are all the gods? | Where's that street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?"
In 1984, the movie Footloose burst onto the scene and racked up unfavorable reviews but great box office returns. The soundtrack also racked up excellent retursn: It was the #1 album on the USA Billboard 200, spawning two #1 hits and three top 25 hits on the US Billboard Hot 100. Only Bonnie Tyler's single, "Holding Out for a Hero," did not reach those heights. Her song did, however, reach #34 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The original video featured Ms. Tyler being threatened by evil cowboys before a cowboy hero appears and saves the day. It's a fine video, but for something a bit more in line with Comic-Con, I am featuring a fan video that sets Tyler's performance against scenes from the BBC series, Robin of Sherwood.
Flashback #3: "I can't hold you down, if you want to fly. | Can't you see I'm all broke up inside? Well, just use your two X-Ray eyes."
So far this week, we have a female vocalist, but no female heroes. So, even though I wanted to feature R.E.M.'s 1986 cover of The Clique's 1969 song, "Superman," I have to go in a different direction. But I will go in the same year. XTC is no stranger to the Flashback, having appeared on the April 8, 2011, edition (Rain Over Me) with a song from Skylarking. As I did back in April, I selected a track that was not released as a single. For this week, our final flashback tune is "That's Really Super, Supergirl." This isn't the only song about DC Comics' Supergirl, but it is one of the only two such songs I found from the 80s. And, in typical XTC fashion, it's a wonderful, almost bouncy, "It's not me, it's you" kind of song. And for those who like more backstory, XTC singer/guitarist Andy Partridge discusses the song over at the XTC Fan's blog.
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!
|Uh, Ralph, you might want to rethink that attitude toward Supes.|