Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday 80s Flashback for April 19, 2013

[April 1986 Week 3 - Redux] -- I'm away at a conference this weekend, so I'm pulling out the the Flashback from a year ago and re-posting it. It's a Flashback of a Flashback! (Yeah, I know. You've heard that before ... on this blog ... sorry!). We now join the Flashback already in progress:

If you have been following the Flashback this month (er, a year ago this month), you know that we are reviewing tunes from April 1986, the month and year in which I turned 18. This time around, we are looking at a few songs that charted in the week of April 19, 1986. That's 26 27 years ago this week! After ruling the top spot in the Hot 100 for three weeks (March 29 through April 12, 1986), Falco finally yielded #1 to another artist. Do you recall who that was? Do you know what else was ruling the airwaves that week? Read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1"You move it to the left | And you go for yourself | You move it to the right | Yeah if it takes all night."

In the Billboard Hot 100's #8 position 26 years ago this week, we find a cover song. You might not think much of that until you realize that this was the first cover song released by the Rolling Stones as an opening single off a new studio album in 22 years. This tune was originally written and recorded in 1963 by Bob & Earl, an American soul singing duo. But in 1996, it graced the Rolling Stones' 18th British -- and 20th American -- studio album, Dirty Work (1986). The album would go Platinum in the US and the single would peak at #5, but critics were overall rather lukewarm in their reception. The music video for this single, "Harlem Shuffle," featured a combination of live-action and animation (animated street cats, of all things), and it likely was key in propelling sales. But I think it is just about the most boring Stones' single released in their career through 1990. Please note: I did not say it was the worst single, merely the most boring. I'll leave Stones' fans to deliberate further. But before I am, ahem, stoned by the Rolling Stones faithful, here is the video for our first flashback of the day, "Harlem Shuffle."

Flashback #2"Sometimes you're better off dead | There's a gun in your hand, it's pointing at your head."

Our next Flashback artist, Pet Shop Boys, jumped three positions to arrive at the Hot 100's #5 spot this week in 1986. But this song was originally recorded and released in 1984, and it became something of a hit in dance clubs on both sides of the Atlantic. After the boys signed with EMI, the song was re-recorded with another producer and placed on their first studio album, Please (1985). It hit the charts in October of 1985 and finally reached the #1 spot on May 10, 1986. In fact, this song reached #1 in both the UK and the US that year. Since then, this duo has released 55 singles. 42 of them were Top 30 singles and 22 were Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart. They also achieved a total of four  #1 hits. Not bad for a pair of lads who met in a Chelsea electronics shop in London. I can chart my college years pretty much by Pet Shop Boys' music, but I honestly lost interest in them after 1992. A quick glance through their total catalog confirms that I was on board for the better part of their run. A run that started with this tune, "West End Girls." 

Flashback #3"U don't have 2 be beautiful 2 turn me on."

Our final flashback of the day was the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1986. After first entering the top 10 on March 22, 1986, it jumped into the top five and continued its climb, week by week, to the top spot and held it for two weeks. Something of a collaboration between Prince and the funk band Mazarati, this tune started off as a simple acoustic demo before eventually becoming a driving yet minimalist funk rock gem that was later covered by such acts as Tom Jones and Age of Chance. I am talking about "Kiss," the first single from Prince's eighth studio album, Parade (1986). Actually, the full name of that album is Parade: Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon. Now, in my efforts to find a copy of the official Prince video, I kept coming across messages indicating that Prince had blocked his content from YouTube. For example, the footage for his video is here, but the original music has been replaced with another song. I found this odd, so I did some more digging and came across a 2007 CNET News article, Prince lashes out at YouTube, eBay and The Pirate Bay, that tells a bit more of the story. There's also the October 2007 story of a Pennsylvania mother who "stood up to the internet-battling escapades" of Prince. In July of 2010, Prince declared, "The Internet is completely over," and even shutdown his personal website. This means there are no official Prince videos online, and no sanctioned digital downloads of his catalog available. But I cannot leave my fellow 80s-philes without a clip of this week's final flashback single, right? Right! So, I leave you with this footage of someone's turntable playing the extended version of Prince and the Revolution's "Kiss."

Prince - Kiss by cdipre

Even when celebrating my own birth month, the rule of three applies for 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.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

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