Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday 80s Flashback for August 31, 2012

80s Fashion Collides with 2008 in the Subway (Book of Lies published in 2008)

[Lies] -- In the wake of the recently completed Republican National Convention, and in full knowledge that the Democratic National Convention starts next week, the 2012 Presidential Campaign is in full swing. Not that we haven't already been inundated with campaign rhetoric for more than a year already, but now we're in the home stretch. And regardless of your party affiliation, or lack thereof, the one thing we can all agree upon is this old chestnut: "How can you tell when a politician is lying? You can see their lips move." But I'm not lying when I tell you this week's Flashback features songs about lying and liars. I can't promise you'll find out why politicians have to lie, but I will promise that you can read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1"Now would I say something that wasn't true?"

The fifth album by the Eurythmics, Be Yourself Tonight (1985), represented a significant change in the duo's sound. Right from the the album's first single -- "Would I Lie to You?" -- it was apparent that Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart had dropped synthpop for more of a pop-rock-crossed-with-R&B vibe. With the new sound, they also expanded their personnel, adding the talents of nearly a dozen additional musicians. And it worked for them. "Would I Lie to You?" peaked at #5 in the US (Billboard Hot 100) and was a top 20 hit in the UK while garnering the #1 spot in Australia. And the album itself was certified Platinum in several countries. The Eurythmics did not tour in support of Be Yourself Tonight. Singer Annie Lennox was unfortunately recovering from vocal fold nodules. The video for "Would I Lie to You?" begins with a clip of pre-show argument between a singer (Lennox) and her boyfriend (portrayed by actor Steven Bauer), presumably the cheating lover spoken of in the song's lyrics.

Flashback #2"I give you what you ask for | I still see that you want more."

Disco and funk were alive in the 80s. And leading the Brit-funk movement was the best little quartet you likely never heard of. Linx was comprised of singer David Grant, Sketch Martin (bass), Bob Carter (keyboards), and Andy Duncan (drums). Grant and Martin were from Jamaica and Antigua respectively, but had both moved to the UK early in their lives. They met while working in a hi-fi shop. Their debut single, "You're Lying" (1980), was released as a private pressing but it was later picked up by Chrysalis Records. Chrysalis helped make the song a hit, getting the band an appearance on Top of the Pops and helping Linx become the first Brit-funk band to make any kind of dent in the US market. "You're Lying" later appeared on the band's third and final album, The Last Linx (1983). Time to get groovy!

Flashback #3"I don't understand | Why promises are snapped in two | And words are made to bend."

The Thompson Twins were not twins and none of the band members were named "Thompson." Rather, this 80s synthpop act was named after a pair of detectives (Thomson and Thompson) in the comic strip, The Adventures of Tintin. Starting out as a quartet in 1977 and expanding to a sextet by 1981, the best known version of the band is the trio of Tom Bailey, Joe Leeway and Alannah Currie. From 1986 to 1993, however, the band consisted of only Baily and Currie who had become a couple and had their first child together in 1988. But back in 1983, the trio version of the Thompson Twins had released Quick Step and Side Kick (or simply Quick Step in the US and Japanese markets) and they were about to finally enjoy international success. Their first single, "Lies," peaked at #67 on the UK singles chart and #30 on the US Billboard Hot 100, but it also enjoyed a two week run at #1 on the American dance chart in the Spring of 1983. The album reached #2 on UK charts and released three additional singles, all of which reaching top 40 status (or close to it). So, for our final Flashback this week, enjoy an extended version of "Lies" and all its 80s glory, including a video which could be considered an early use of virtual reality. Well, sort of. The complete video takes place in a computer animated room and features the band members (or simply their heads, arms, and feet) appearing and disappearing without cause.

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.

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I'll see you in seven!

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