Friday Genius Ten: 80s Week Edition
Couple of big discussion questions I want to toss out to the Pandagonians today, but first one more shot at the video advertising tonight’s prom in NYC.
80s week wraps up tonight, and it feels too soon, but I must confess: I haven’t decided what to write about. Part of it is an overabundance of topics, which is giving me choice paralysis. So I toss it out to you: what aspect of the 80s would you like to see a blog post on? The cross section between politics and pop culture is what I’m looking at.
Question #2 is, what is the most iconic 80s song to you? What song really distills the era for you? Marc’s pick is “Don’t You Want Me?” by Human League. It wasn’t a one-hit wonder (the entire album “Dare” is in the canon, I’d say), but it still manages to be one of those songs where most people who know all the words couldn’t even tell you who the band is. It’s also danceable, catchy, and has remarkably intelligent lyrics for what is generally treated as a throwaway dance pop song. (Seriously, the entire album is great.)
I like that pick, but my choice is “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama. LIke “Don’t You Want Me”, you can imagine a wannabe snob sneering at it for its slightness and poppiness, but if you talk to hardcore rock and pop fans, there is much love for this song. Human League gets bonus points for dudes in make-up, but Bananrama gets bonus points for being a girl group and featuring overalls heavily in the video. Massive bonus points for this song being the theme of an iconic 80s film where a young man conquers adversity to meet a cheering crowd at the end. What’s your pick? (For the highly touchy people, please remember, there is no right answer to this question. Just wrong ones. Kidding!)
1) “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby
2) “Kids In America” by Kim Wilde
3) “Our Lips Are Sealed” by the Go Gos
4) “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys
5) “Don’t You Want Me” by Human League (See? Genius knows.)
6) “Let The Music Play” by Shannon
7) “She Bop” by Cyndi Lauper
8) “Rapture” by Blondie
9) “Back on the Chain Gang” by The Pretenders
10) “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order
Leave yours in comments if you want, but seriously, I’m open to suggestions!
Cat pics and videos under the fold. Human League awesomeness:
I take off my hoodie for just a second, and this happens:
My purses aren’t safe, either: