Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday 80s Flashback for November 4, 2011

"Don't Forget Me" by ~sweet-reality-xo (

[Memory] -- Technically, the Flashback is always about memory and remembrance, and about not forgetting great 80s music, but this week we focus on songs that specifically evoke the theme of memory. Given this week, memory is an appropriate theme: we have gone through a number of holidays (or holy days) that traditionally have been dedicated to remembering those who have passed beyond the veil (Samhain, All Saint's Day, El Dia de Muertos, and All Soul's Day). Also, as the days turn colder, we remember, perhaps bitter-sweetly, the warm days that are now in our past. And many are likely looking forward to the upcoming holiday season, yet also remembering the Thanksgiving, Yule, and Christmas celebrations of long ago. Now, all this week, I have had a particular and memorable song in my head. As it fits this week's theme, I hunted down two more tracks to accompany this earworm and share them with my fellow 80s-philes (all two of you). As usual, you can read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1"Will you recognize me? | Call my name, or walk on by?"

Our first flashback is a classic from the 1985 film, The Breakfast Club. And, oh, what a classic it is. Recorded by Simple Minds in 1984, it is probably the best known song in their entire catalog. However, they did not write it, and they were not the first choice for recording it. They were tapped by the songwriter only after Cy Curnin (The Fixx), Brian Ferry, and Billy Idol all declined. Simple Minds initially declined as well, but their management encouraged them to change their collective (and simple?) minds. And it's a good thing they came around. If not for their involvement on the soundtrack to The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds would likely have drowned in the obscurity of the Scottish pop scene, and my generation would have been robbed of one of the defining songs of the 80s. I am talking about "Don't You (Forget About Me)" which reached the top 10 in hit charts around the world, including #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and US Billboard Top Rock Tracks charts. Singer Jim Kerr and his band-mates may have promptly forgotten this song after recording it, but its legacy has lived on. Over a dozen acts have covered it, it has appeared in at least half a dozen other films and scores of TV shows, and it has been used in several commercials. And for all the 80s-philes out there, it is part of the soundtrack of your youth. It gives voice to that little spark of insecurity one feels at any kind of parting -- high school graduation, the end of a conference, or even moving to a new home -- and although its fusion of synthpop and rock elements may sound dated or trite by today's standards, there is nothing quite like it for dancing with tear or two in your eyes.

Flashback #2"Through the sleepless nights and every endless day | I'd wanna hear you say - I remember you."

Do you know what song was the most popular prom theme of 1990? Apparently, it was a tune from Skid Row's eponymous 1989 debut album. And that is no mean feat for a tune that was released in late 1989 and only peaked at #72 on the US Billboard Hot 100! In a 2007 interview, Sebastian Bach said, "'I Remember You' was the #1 prom song in the United States of America in the year 1990....You talk about making memories! Literally the whole country of America did their prom dance to 'I Remember You' one year, and that's a real heavy memory to beat." ["Sebastian Bach Is Charged Up". Sleaze Roxx. 2007-11-28]. Although their second album debuted at #1, they never quite recaptured the popularity and success of their debut. But that does not matter, because we still remember them.

Flashback #3"You take my breath away | Love thinks it's here to stay."

If you were wondering what song prompted this week's playlist, wonder no longer. The horn section, chorus, and bouncy bass line of Glass Tiger's "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" have all been in constant rotation in the music center of my mind, so it is our final flashback of the day. A Canadian import, Glass Tiger released their debut album, The Thin Red Line, in 1986. It is best known for its first single, "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone," which features backup vocals from fellow Canadian artist, Bryan Adams. The song peaked at #2 on US charts. There are two versions of the music video. The original (Canadian) video mixed performance with a storybook concept and was nominated for Best Video at the Juno Awards of 1986. Another video was made to target other markets because the Canadian version was deemed "too cutesy and directed solely toward the youth market." [Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 98 (49): 22. 1986-12-06]. Yeah, I'm posting the "cutesy" video today, folks. Enjoy!

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!

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