[Breathe] -- Those of you who follow me on Twitter, or know me in some other way (either virtual or IRL), know that I have been out of town visiting my father in the ICU. He was admitted last Tuesday evening due to shortness of breath. Since admission, he has been shuttled between two different ICU departments (cardiac and medical), undergone a battery of tests, and subjected to intubation -- with that last one occurring twice! The various doctors and experts on staff seem to know what the problem is -- Dad's muscles are too weak to properly ventilate -- but they don't know the "why" of the problem, or how to reverse it ... yet. So, as you can well imagine, breathing has been very much on my mind lately. Unfortunately, the kind of breathing I have in mind isn't exactly enshrined in 80s tunes. But I'll do my best to deal with this week's theme as well as support my family during this medical crisis. If you want to know what made the playlist this week, you can read and hear more after the break.
Flashback #1: "Every time I think of you | I always catch my breath."
The very first line of our first Flashback this week has the song's protagonist catch his breath. And because I am hoping for a positive change in my father's condition, I think John Waite's "Change" from his debut album, Ignition (1982), is a great tune to lead off today's Flashback (even though it already appeared in the 2013 New Year's Flashback). "Change" was written by Holly Knight and originally recorded by her band, Spider, in 1981. Don't be surprised if you haven't heard that version. Even John Waite's single failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100 when it was first released. However, Waite's version became a top track on AOR radio stations and was a popular video on MTV. In 1985, Waite's recording of "Change" was included on the Platinum selling soundtrack for the movie Vision Quest. The movie is a coming of age drama based on the Terry Davis novel. The story centers on a Spokane high school wrestler who falls in love with an older woman. The love story is, of course, a subplot that temporarily derails him off his goal of dropping to a different weight class so he can challenge an unbeaten rival from another school. You think you have weight loss ambitions? This guy targeted a drop from 190 pounds to 168 pounds, while still competing in a highly physical and challenging sport. I've included the John Waite video below, but you might want to see scenes from the 1985 move while listening to our final Flashback.
Flashback #2: "Turning and returning to some secret place inside."
My father doesn't exactly need his breath to be taken away, but he does need respirator assistance in ventilating (i.e., getting rid of carbon dioxide in his system). In 1986, Tom Cruise needed help from Kelly McGillis to become a better person and pilot -- er, rather, his "Maverick" character needed help from Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood. At least, that's what the romantic sub-plot of the action drama Top Gun was all about. The synthpop band Berlin recorded the film's love song, "Take My Breath Away," a chart topper (#1 on the Billboard Hot 100, in the UK, and on the Canada Adult Contemporary chart) as well as an Academy Award winner for Best Original Song (1986). It is also probably the least Berlin-like song in the band's catalog. And that makes sense as the song was written by the songwriting team of Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock rather than founding member and original bassist John Crawford who was the primary songwriter for the band from 1978 through 1987.
Flashback #3: "Every breath you take | Every move you make."
The Police's fifth and final studio album was also the band's finest release and most contentious album to make: Synchronicity (1983). Sting referred to the album -- or the making of it and the subsequent tour -- as "the beginning of the end." Still, it contains some of the band's most popular singles. Synchronicity's first single, "Every Breath You Take," hit the #1 position on several charts and won two Grammy awards: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Song of the Year. The album spawned three more hit singles and won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. And I'm betting that you probably guessed this tune would anchor this week's Flashback. How could I resist when my father is currently struggling with every breath he takes, and while we and the medical staff are indeed watching every move he makes?
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!